Eleven years after her pioneering introduction of a range of clothing and fabric from West Africa on the local market Designer and Businesswoman Anetha Eastman is still seeking the commercial space which she has more than earned for her game-changing contribution to the African Guyanese clothing culture. Her fabrics as much as her finished clothing are, on the whole, a ‘cut above’ much of that which is likely to be found anywhere else in the local commercial mainstream and what she has to offer is easily attractive to the discerning eye.
If there is a limitation to her enterprise it lies in the challenge of effective marketing, the fine fabrics and male and female apparel which her brand Anetha’s Elegance offers deserving of far more elaborate marketing than they are afforded at this time.
Almost a year ago, when this writer took a visiting Jamaican academic to Anetha’s cramped Robb Street shop inside The Courtyard Mall his comment at the end of a twenty-minute stay was profound and to the point. “More people should see what this woman is offering,” he declared, his remark an unmistakable comment on the dichotomy between the range and beauty of what she has to offer and the inadequacy of the cramped space in which it is stored rather than displayed.
The game-changer may well be the Anetha’s Elegance that now embraces the entity’s Facilitator Angelique Eastman- who has infused into the enterprise a considerable knowledge of West African fashion and sound ideas as to how Anetha’s Elegance can re-invent itself. She believes that outside of the value which the wide range of social media can add to the company’s marketing efforts, both the fabric and the clothing designs which the company offers are deserving of a bigger stage. She has a considerable point. The current Shop and
display space at the Courtyard Mall comes across as a treasure trove of beautiful clothing and accessories reined in by the cramped nature of the space that it affords. Still, the shop is dripping with beautiful things and in your keenness to get to the bottom of it all you can find yourself going through mounds of pieces frenziedly.
Angelique, the modernist, is mindful of her mother’s traditional way of doing things and she is mindful of the need to go forward at a sedate pace. Now that she is more deeply immersed in the enterprise, however, she embraces it as much more than another commercial venture. She wants what Anetha’s Elegance does to contribute meaningfully to African fashion not just from the perspective of the ‘costumes’ on offer. African fabric, should become interwoven into mainstream Guyanese fashion, so that it cuts across to constraints of culture and allows for a much wider appreciation of its inner beauty.
What animates Anetha is not just a passion for Guyana but a keenness to make an impact of her own, in terms of setting a trend in fashion. These days she appears to be seized with a determination to grace a bigger stage. She understands, though that it is a matter of circumstance and opportunity.