Sunday, July 20, 2008

Preparing for Toronto

One of the main goals is to have a Liz Mannette presence wherever there is a large community of steelpan people. This is our intention because we always want to remain true to our roots, and we came out of the steelpan and steeldrums world.

So in keeping with this goal, we have been deliberately reaching out to the main steelband shows, at least in the United States for this year. We've been to Maine, West Virginia and soon we will be in Toronto, London, Tokyo and New York. This is certainly a lot of travel and a big stretch for a startup fashion company based in Trinidad and Tobago. But the steelpan pioneering spirit is within us at Liz Mannette so we have no hesitation about stepping out.

And it brings real satisfaction to see the faces of those who email us, or the pannists we may never have met, if not for our designs. In fact, it certainly reinforces to me the unifying nature of the steelpan. People from so many different groups, countries, ethnicities, languages, etc are all brought together by this instrument invented in Trinidad and Tobago.

So our next big step is into Toronto. We will have a unique display at the York University's conference on Carnival. I don't think there is another fashion company at a Carnival conference. So Liz Mannette Inc. will be the first.

But I specifically wanted to be at this conference because it will expose the Collection to a different audience of academics, artists and intellectuals- I hope.
It also forced us at Liz Mannette to think a bit more about the philosophy behind the Collection so that our display could be in sync with the theme of the conference. This was a bit of a challenge, but I knew that the reasons for starting the entire line were all part of the immigrant's need for belonging in a foreign land. And that was what this conference was about. So stay tuned for further news on our presence in Toronto at the York U Conference. And of course if you are in Toronto, do come over and say hello to us. We'd love to meet with you.

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