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Corporate Jamaica buys into dancehall fashion

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The Magnum girls always stand out at any event. - Contributed

With dancehall being a big part of local culture, corporate companies have been using the fashion to help promote their brand.

Whether it is a telecommunications or drink company, many of them have been using dancehall fashion.

Magnum's brand manager Kaysia Johnson said the outfits the promotional girls wear are highly dependent on what is popular in the dancehall.

"Magnum tries to keep up with fashion. We look at what the trends are. The best place to see fashion is in the dancehall," she told THE STAR.

While image is important, Johnson said an effort is also made to make the outfits functional. In the same breath, she said the outfits are sexy in order to appeal to their target audience.

"If you look at what the Magnum girls wear, it's a replica of what is in the dancehall. Magnum has been standing strong behind dancehall for the last 10 years because it is part of Jamaica's culture," Johnson said.

She said they have used designers like Camesha Poshe, Melissa Dunkley and Tiana Harriot to make outfits for the promotional girls. She said there are also intentions to do work with Dexter Pottinger. For the corporate shirts, they have used Romeich and now they are using Rojah Threads.

Richie Drenz from Drenz Fashions said he has also done some shirts for Magnum. He said he was targeted because "we are doing something different from what the crowd was doing and they wanted something that was connecting with the crowd."

One designer who has been benefiting from corporate Jamaica's interest in dancehall fashion is designer and producer, Romeich.

In recent times, he did the outfits for the artistes in LIME's latest advertisements, Mr G's outfit for the Claro advertisement, Beenie Man's outfit for Courts and one for Elephant Man in a KFC advertisement that will be coming out soon. He said he also does designs for companies like Digicel, Red Stripe, Wisynco, Appleton, Flow, Sagicor and IBM.

"Everything is about image and I dress a lot of the artistes and high class people. I deliver on time and I give them good quality for reasonable prices, sometimes at short notice," said Romeich, who recently released the 'Table Fi Table' rhythm.

Dexter Pottinger is mostly known for his work at fashion shows but he has designed outfits for Digicel promotional girls, which he says was somewhat linked to dancehall.

"It's linked to dancehall. The last thing I did was about Digicel's 4G, so it was about being futuristic," said the designer, while in Guadeloupe at a fashion show.

He said he also did work for KFC and Pepsi.

Meanwhile, LIME's Tara Playfair-Scott said the outfits worn by their promotional girls do not necessarily have any link to what is being worn in the dancehall circle.


Romeich Major. - File

Instead, she said the promotional girls "wear outfits that are suited for the environment that they are going to work in."

Digicel's sponsorship manager, Paula Pinnock-MacLeod, said the company uses designers like Dexter Pottinger, Neah Lis, Lubica and Romeich. She said the outfits worn by the promotional girls are determined by the activities they will be doing.

"Digicel has a wide promotion and sponsorship portfolio consisting of sports, community, entertainment and cultural activities and so promotional outfits are designed to suit each occasion. Dancehall represents only a fraction of the genre of activities Digicel supports, hence we are always mindful of the circumstance to ensure our representatives are appropriately outfitted," she told THE STAR.




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