Living the POSHE life

Living the POSHE life

Written by Editor

Topics: Fashion & Beauty

Her passion for fashion is clearly conveyed in her words as she explains the magic of design and the appeal that the industry holds for her. Camesha Powell, stylist, image consultant and creator of the POSHE clothing label, equates fashion to bliss – the kind that radiates with boundless creative energy, engages the mind and spirit with innovation and intrigue and celebrates in the glow of beauty and confidence.

“Fashion for me is happiness…it’s a bright smile on a dull day. My personality loves variety and change. I feed off being kept enticed and curious. I love seeing my creations come to life and I delight in seeing how people react to them. The industry is very competitive and has its negatives, but it’s also vibrant and full of energy and that’s the type of person I am. I welcome challenges and fashion keeps my mind active, knowing I always have to create something fresh, different and innovative,” states Powell.

Camesha “POSHE” Powell

Born in Mandeville, Manchester, this past student of Bishop Gibson High School for Girls and Manchester High first got involved in the fashion industry in 2005 as a director in POISE Jamaica, a company that hosted the University Model Search in association with PULSE. Two years later, she launched her own clothing label – POSHE.

“The name POSHE came about through the help of a friend. We were brainstorming on names and that was just perfect…it was so me. POSHE represents being chic, stylish, sexy and sophisticated. It’s about owning your sexuality and sensuality but delighting in your femininity.”

The label has definitely grown over the years, with its signature design aesthetics of a hard/soft fusion with a youthful yet sophisticated twist. Powell recalls the first showing of her collection at Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW) 2007 as one of her proudest moments in the fashion industry.

“It was the beginning of a dream…the day I saw it come to life and walking down the runway. After seeing and hearing the response to it…it was a really emotional moment and one that I will never forget. Since then, the brand has grown. It has a strong position and image in Jamaica and has gotten rave reviews from media, patrons and fashion insiders who have seen my work locally and internationally. It’s been featured in numerous magazines, blogs and other fashion publications…but that’s where it started!”

In addition to taking part in Caribbean Fashion Week from 2007-2009, Powell has most recently participated in Miami International Fashion Week. Her next show will be in New York during Fashion Week. She recently expanded the line to include swimwear, which she had been doing on a custom basis before debuting her first official collection.

Black two-piece with one-shoulder and gold chain details

Blue and coral two-piece with beaded accessories detail

Tribal print one-piece with wrap around straps and tribal print two-piece with wooden buckle detail

Red two-piece with gold chain detail

According to Powell, she has always been inspired to create designs that make women feel and look beautiful while exuding “presence” and “standing out”.

“I believe in developing personal style, learning what works for you, who you are and not necessary following every trend that comes your way,” says the young designer, who cites D’squared, Gwen Stefani and Betsy Johnson as inspiration for her “funky” side and references Chloe, Jason Wu, Marchesa, Michael Kors and her forever love Chanel for her ultra-feminine and classy sensibilities.

During her fashion industry career, Powell has worked with top Jamaica supermodels such as Nell Robinson, Carla Campbell, Jaunel McKenzie, Sedene Blake, Jeniel Williams, Gaye McDonald. She has dressed former Miss Jamaica World winners Yendi Phillipps, Kerry Baylis, Brittany Lyons, Terri-Karelle Reid and Sara Lawrence, as well as various TV personalities and artistes. She has also styled for music videos, commercials, magazines, TV and live performances. Among her most recent projects include the “For Your Eyes Only” music video for Shaggy featuring Alaine and the Mission Catwalk reality TV Show.

From left: Designer Ashley Martin, supermodel Carla Campbell and designer Camesha "POSHE" Powell at CFW 2011

Powell believes that there has been an infusion of energy in the fashion industry over past few years and the support for Brand Jamaica is growing. She points out that the perception of wearing local designs is changing, and while this is sparking growth, the industry is need of greater support from government and private entities.

“Fashion is one of our most identifiable features as a country. Jamaicans are known for being stylish and having ‘swag’ and with so much creative talent here…the industry shouldn’t be associated as such a niche possibility.”

The talented designer dreams of establishing POSHE all over the world, expanding it to include not just clothing and swimwear but accessories such as bags, shoes and jewellery. In keeping with her plans for personal and professional growth, Powell – who holds a degree in in Marketing and International Business – will be pursing a Masters degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York this fall. As a result of this, POSHE will be based in New York for at least the next two years.

“My plans during this period include exposing the brand to more international markets by doing fashion shows, trade shows and getting the line in more boutiques. In the long term I eventually want to explore other areas such as events, TV productions, seminars and workshops…and most of all I want to start a charity.”

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