TURNING AN ISLAND STYLE TRADITION INTO DOLLARS

Her name is Derrica Williamson and her fresh new swimwear line goes under the label of Adelle 13. In keeping with a growing trend among Caribbean designers, Derrica’s fashionable lines of swimsuits are all crocheted by hand. “Its not evening wear or ball gowns, but I’m developing my line into `Beach couture,’ “ said the designer who was born In Nassau, but schooled and grew up on Grand Bahama Island. Self described as determined, ambitious, colorful, creative and friendly, Derrica said she’s also a jack-of-all-trades, but for now, the focus is on developing her swimsuit line and taking it to the next level.

EARLY BEGINNINGS

“This all came naturally,” claimed the self-taught designer. “I dreamt of becoming an architect, but found myself loving everything that was fashion and art.” She was the one who took her friends’ old jeans and made outfits from them. Derrica also admitted that she altered all her friends clothing from a very young age. As a child she saw her grandmother crochet tablecloths, she then crochet and sold scrunchies at school for three dollars. “To me, it was something fun. I guess its because I have been around art my entire life. It came very natural to me.”

 FIRST GARMENT

Derrica was making clothing for her dolls from scraps of fabric when she was 8 years old. She remembers making her first full outfit; a crochet, halter bra-top. “My stepmother sews and is a jewelry designer – Chevette Williamson of Chevy’s Accessories. My grandmother was a seamstress, so I have always been around craft and fashion of some sort. Plus, I’m like a sponge I soak up everything. Once I’m interested in something, I will learn it,” said Derrica.

SHOWS

Presently, Derrica favors all types of yard and threads because the main part of her swimsuits are hand made and crocheted. “I love the process because its so different, and, not many people can do it. I am also now working with fabrics like chiffon and silk to add an extra flair to my creations.” Her work will be featured in `Breaking the Code’- a charity fashion show in aid of St. Jude’s Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia and on July 3rd in Nassau at `Beyond Borders’ a plus size fashion show. Her work was recently featured in MBO Style magazine, modeled by former `Miss Bahamas 2010’ Braneka Bassett.

FUTURE PROJECTION

Looking ahead, Derrica sees herself as a major brand. “I see my line and myself branching out in to resort wear and so much more. I want Adelle 13 to be my platform. I want to see the `who’s who’ wearing my pieces.” Derrica also admits that the dream place to grow her business will be in Nassau, because she feels that to keep the talent in Nassau will give the people (customers) another reason to want to visit the country again. “Our main industry is tourism. So much of our culture is craft and fashion. So many people come to the Bahamas and do not get a chance to see 10% of the talent Bahamian people have to offer. Almost everything is imported and made in China. Where is the authenticity? I would love to have a solid foundation here in the Bahamas where tourist from abroad and locals alike can come in and have something custom made and authentic.”

 PHILOSOPHY & ADVISE

“To those reading this who may have dreams like I did, and still do. I believe nothing is achieved unless you get up and make the first step. Failure only comes to those that do not try their hardest and even with failure, if you don’t get back up and try again, you will never know how close success is. God has blessed us all with talent, how you use yours is up to you, but it is all there. Just put God first and everything else will fall in place.”

For more information and purchase visit: www.adelle13swimwear.com

Published in Profiles98 Summer Issue 7 2011 | Photos courtesy of adelle13 swimwear

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