Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) Fashion Consultancy students Samantha Murphy, Janice Brown and Sandra Ferguson stand with their instructor Kathy Pinder, pictured second from left.

What started as an open-ended class assignment for Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) students Samantha Murphy, Janice Brown and Sandra Ferguson transformed into a full-fledged event featuring the work of Bahamian designers and BTVI alumni, Kendi Smith and Kevin Evans. 

The trio, enroled in a Fashion Consultancy course, were required to come up with and execute a project of their choice. A brainstorming session and weeks of planning led to the production of a fashion show dubbed Spring 2023: Rocking the Road to 50, an ode to the country’s 50th Independence.

Samantha Murphy, a 50-year-old fashion student, suggested the fashion show option for the class assignment. She underscored that although the fashion show was a success, collaboration was key to overcoming challenges during the planning stage.

“The processes of getting sponsors, organising the event and onboarding the designers and models took a lot of brainstorming. The hardest part about the whole process was trying to get a venue,” Samantha said.

The aspiring plus size fashion designer added, “The Fashion Consultancy class has been very interesting and informative. It has challenged my thinking and ability to work with a limited or non-existing budget.”

Janice Brown, a current government employee and longtime seamstress, was excited about the assignment.

“I feel the fashion show went very well. The models were very professional, the designs were unique and the audience seemed pleased with what they saw. There was applause and cameras taking photos of every design as they were showcased,” Janice said.

Sandra Ferguson, a trained accountant and retiree, admitted she did not see the significance of the Fashion Consultancy course but, as someone who uses fashion as an escape, is glad she did it.

“The exposure to this field has left an indelible imprint on us, helping us become more rounded in the fashion arena. Not only will we be able to design and create garments for clients, but we can also act as a one stop shop for events.

“Fashion makes you dig deep and discard shyness. We saw this firsthand and in return, our event allowed Kevin Evans and Kendi Smith to get more local exposure.”

Along with BTVI alumni as the featured fashion designers, BTVI students served as hair stylists and makeup artists for the event.

Event sponsors and supporters included Baha Mar’s Assistant Director of Art Direction, Jordanna Kelly and Gallery Sales Representative, Christina Wong; Saman Pinder; Jimmy’s Wines and Spirits Brand Representative, Oranique Hamilton; Eyewitness News reporter, Laurencia Smith and videographer, Arjay Newbold; entertainer, Julien Believe; Commonwealth Fabrics Manager, Tamara McCartney; BTVI’s Alumni Association, Cosmetology, Fashion, Media Technology (who produced the entire show and livestream), Fund Development and Recruitment departments.