Born and raised on the beautiful island of Tortola, British Virgin Islands, Kristin is the third generation in a family of women whose keen eyes for color and purity of design have always been coupled with a direct sense of fashion-forward style.
In 2008, she birthed her company called Trèfle and focused on swimwear for women. After a few years of fashion events came a new thought of creating a kids swimwear line called Trèfle284 for girls that was launched in late 2013. This was shortly followed with a new resort-wear collection for women that would complete any ‘head-to-toe’ Trèfle look. With achievements of fashion shows from as far south as Guyana to as far north as New York, and write-ups in local, regional and international magazines such as Martha Stewart, Marie Claire, Ebony and Essence, Kristin is more than just ‘one to watch’…she’s moving boldly to become the iconic Caribbean swimwear fashionista of our generation.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Kristin. Check it out below:
Can you please tell myself and the readers about yourself?
Trèfle is a luxury swimwear and resort-wear company offering designs for men, women and children. Our private label also includes TrèfleHome which includes manufacturing our home items like pillows, bed throws, curtains and more in the British Virgin Islands for Hotels, Villas Condos, Boutiques and more.
Growing up and still to this day who are your inspirations? How did they influence you?
Inspiration was always around me, but my closet inspiration that really pushed me to start my own label was my Grandmother Clover. She truly was a teacher, mother, friend, businesswoman, Godmother and a philanthropist at heart. The British Virgin Islands and especially the Western end of the island, is inspiration in itself.
What influenced you to get into the fashion industry?
I’ve been sewing since the age of 7 and I’ve always been passionate about garment construction and textiles. As a young girl, my summers and nights were spent designing and sewing and naturally over the years, that passion and love never faded. It was the right career path and I was ready to start my experience once the brand launched in 2008.
What message and feel are you looking to provide with your designs?
Colors evoke mood and as an extrovert, I’m always demonstrating through my daily attire. My personality and my designs bursts of color! Happiness and peace are two of the most freeing words that can keep you afloat and I try to create that feeling through color, my original prints and design. Everyone should be able to tell a “Trèfle” piece when they see it!
Earlier this year your brand was given the opportunity along with nine other fashion companies to describe Caribbean fashion through your eyes for Zing Magazine, how was that experience? Did it increase your recognition and sales?
I’m always so proud when such a dynamic Caribbean magazine that engages readers worldwide features designers and artists from around the Caribbean. The feedback was lovely and it helped to create culture appreciation and sense of thankfulness through my eyes when the magazine came out. Most of my feedback came from people living in the BVI that traveled on Liat, but the connection between all was the love and happiness of knowing the designer that was being featured was something that contributes to me continuing in my passion in putting the BVI on the map and to me the sales will soon follow. I am grateful for the opportunity to be featured and hope that there are more to come in the near future.
When can we look forward to seeing your new designs and clothes?
Well, it’s been six months since Hurricane Irma and she really set back the entire BVI in more ways than one. Trèfle also suffered major setbacks, but with my two favorite words of being consistent and being persistent, I pulled myself together and will be releasing my capsule collection called Zion for my 10 year anniversary in May 2018.
Are you at Trefledesigns planning a fashion show in the near future we should look forward to?
At the moment, we are solely concentrating on wholesale accounts and may be doing one or two fashion events throughout the year, but our overall goal is to really push for the international market. We are a wholesale and retail company with product ready to export so we are staying the course.
Any words of wisdom or advice you would like to share with us millennials?
Fashion in the Caribbean is far more advanced than it was 10 years ago. You have the world literally at your finger tips with easier access to almost everything and anything that you aspire to reach or achieve. Take advantage of that and mix it with your love and passion for whatever you have in your heart and soar! You can do it!
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