By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
THE INTERNATIONAL Mission Catwalk competition has successfully completed its third season, and it was Bahamian designer Theodore Elyett, who walked away with the winning title.
Theodore emerged as the winner beating fourteen designers from around the Caribbean to capture the win for the Bahamas. Fellow contestant and Bahamian designer David Rolle claimed second place.
As one of three finalists in the reality TV fashion design competition, Theodore competed against David Rolle of The Bahamas and Renardo Lloyd of Jamaica at the finale runway showdown held at Trident Castel in Port Antonio, Jamaica.
Theodore said he was overwhelmed with the amount of positive feedback he received from Bahamian fans.
“I have two hundred inbox messages that I have yet to respond to. I’ve received so much love and support. First lady Christie even sent me an inbox message on Facebook. I thought that was super cool,” said Theodore.
He said: “It feels great to walk away as the winner of Mission Catwalk Season Three. Having had the opportunity to represent The Bahamas on the Caribbean reality television show, I’m elated to have completed the race a stitch above the rest. This is not only a huge win for my brand, but it is also a major achievement for my country as we ready ourselves to celebrate our 40th Anniversary of Independence.”
Each finalist designed a collection of 12 pieces over a three month period. Theodore’s “ello London” collection wowed the audience and the judges. He said the collection was heavily inspired by the culture and street fashion of London.
“From the bearskin hats worn by the Royal Footmen, to London’s cobblestone streets, to strong influences from iconic British actress and model Twiggy, the pre-Fall collection featured some of the industry’s hottest trends including Pantone’s colour for 2013, emerald green,” said Theodore.
Throughout the 11-week series, Theodore dominated the competition. He won the first design challenge with his African print summer dress, becoming the first designer to have his winning piece retail at Lee’s Fifth Avenue in Kingston, Jamaica. The design became a favourite, selling more than half a dozen pieces and was photographed being worn by Bernadette Christie, wife of the Prime Minister.
The African print summer dress will serve as the inspiration for Theodore’s summer capsule collection which will sell at Tanya Saunders Boutique.
“The collection will feature a line of garments inspired by the first design I created on Mission Catwalk. I trust the capsule collection will be well received, which will make way for the introduction of selected reproduced pieces from my ‘ello London,’ collection presented at the Mission Catwalk Grand Finale,” said Theodore.
During the competition Theodore said he and David Rolle would often give each other moral support.
“We both knew only one could win so really at the end of the day it was about putting the Bahamas on the map by slaying the competition with a 1, 2 finish,” said Theodore.
What’s next for Theodore?
He said he returns to The Bahamas at the end of the month, and the first thing he wants to do is take a full day off at the beach to relax.
“After months of nonstop work, I’m eager for a beach day. When my rest and relaxation comes to an end I will be fully engrossed in the production of my capsule collection of African print summer dresses,” said Theodore.
As the winner of the Mission Catwalk competition, Theodore will show his collection at London Fashion Week in February.
He will also receive $500K JMD funding to start a clothing line, industrial sewing equipment, a Samsung galaxy Note II, a contract to sell his designs at Lee’s Fifth Avenue, a fashion editorial in 6 Carlos Magazine and a scholarship to pursue a fashion programme at London College Of Fashion.