By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
BAHAMIAN designer, model and singer, Kendra KayGeni James, had much to celebrate on her birthday on Friday as she hosted a relaunch event for her Thatch Collection brand.
The Jewellery Trunk Show and Shopping Party at The Volume Music Bar on East Bay Street attracted fashion lovers from all over town. Thatch Collection designs are made for women of any size, shape and lifestyle, offering a mix of sexiness and simplicity.
Kendra told Tribune Entertainment she wanted to create pieces that any woman could feel confident and comfortable wearing. "I specialise in designing one-of-a-kind pieces for clients and I also just started offering jewellery as well. When I am ordering my jewellery, I like to find pieces that are difficult to find anywhere else.
"I want people to feel like they are getting something unique and not ordinary. I like to delve into the areas that are risqué and unexpected. When I make clothing, I have the same mindset,” she said.
Three years ago Kendra started testing her skills with a sewing machine, breaking countless needles trying to learn how to use one properly. After getting the hang of it, she started to make and wear her own clothing.
"I knew I was ready when I would wear something I made and someone would go 'I love that! Where did you buy it?’ she said. Once she came up with the name, Kendra knew exactly what she wanted her pieces to reflect - the easy going elegance of the islands.
Since then, Kendra has held Thatch Collection shows not only in Nassau, but on Family Islands like Eleuthera and Cat Island. She also had the opportunity to fly to Florida to host a show.
"Because I am a musician as well, I started focusing more on my music and kind of took a break to creatively expand and come up with new ideas and designs. So now that it has happened, I am in a better place where I can evolve. I am actually wearing a piece of my own right now, a dress, but I am not going to be showing any clothing tonight, just the jewellery. People can expect to find midi rings, ear cuffs, large bangles, body chains and those type of things that you won't normally find at a jewellery store,” she said.
While Thatch Collection is known for dresses, Kendra said she also makes swimsuits, jumpers, shorts and trousers. "I wouldn't call myself a tailor, but I like to make things that you won't find anywhere else. So if you are a person looking for something unique, special and specific, then Thatch Collection would be your choice. If you are looking for something mundane and ordinary then I am not the person you want," said Kendra.
She feels it is important to be tasteful but sexy at the same time. Kendra enjoys playing on revealing a little skin but not too much. Wearing a pink fitted dress with a cut-out at the back, Kendra said that specific design signified what it is to be sexy with class.
"For the remainder of the year I would like to do one more small show like this just to get my name out there again. My ultimate goal though is to be completely respected worldwide as a designer and a creative person, and that is what I am working towards. I feel that Bahamians already have an eclectic, spunky and cultural personality, and so when we do things creatively it is always out there and out of the box."
She appreciates Bahamian designers and personal friends like Theodore Elyett and David Rolle, saying the way they are not afraid of designing out of the box inspires her.
Kendra's designs are made to order on the Thatch Collection Facebook page, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org