It is not an exaggeration to say that the concept of Cayman Instyle Fashion Week (CIFW) would not be what we experienced without the creativity of the remarkable designer Norma Ebanks. Another well organised glitzy Instyle Fashion Week has come to an end in the Cayman Islands.

It was a festivity of the ateliers and artistry of the many designers who are no doubt pleased with the final pieces of their collection – crafted from the earnest work, emotional commitment and dedication for each piece to make a statement.

Let’s be brutally candid for a minute - out of all the fashion events on the island, CIFW is one of the most coveted shows to look forward to. Loads of stunning models in the most picturesque attire sashay the catwalk for the audience’s entertainment pleasure. Parading these assorted styles on stage were well known public figures Chloe Powery-Doxey (Miss Cayman Islands Universe 2022), Mariah Tibbetts (Miss Cayman Islands Universe 2020), Georgina Kerford (Miss Cayman Islands Universe 2021) and Rashana Hydes (Miss World Cayman 2021) amongst many others. The collections were out of the closet to the fashion show catwalk allowing a tiptoed peek into its assemblage. It was impossible not to love the CIFW extravaganza – it was a dazzling, prestigious, glamorous and theatrical backdrop. Some of these beautiful clothing were also designed by other local and international designers.  The host hotel, The Ritz Carlton portrayed the theme perfectly - it’s Lights, Camera, Fashion - leaving behind the memories of a fashion event well enjoyed. The most striking fashion show, energetic and mingling parties with the emerging and newest talents to be aware of.

The fashion show had young models parading in children’s wear designed with different pattern making skills in comfortable, colourful and playful designs. Haute couture was graced with a symbol of individualism, character and humour with the evocation of the most stirling soul of happiness decked out.  Local and international designers Khylo Butler – Khylo Paris Designs, Carlton Jones - Uzuri International and Adrian Alicea to mention a few.  

It was all about elegance and glamour for local designer Khylo Butler – Khylo Paris Designs with sophisticated, beautiful embellishments that were red-carpet inspired, literally turning fashion on its head. As an emerging designer, she embarked on her very first fashion show at CIFW.  She hopes to achieve her ultimate goal of wowing the crowd as her collection develops and continues to build her fashion business.

No such thing, wholly in particular as a fashion show – in the thick of the elegant and grandiose setting in place to the lavishly appointed front row to the attire. It’s an inexpressible fondness of pure excitement that overtakes the ballroom. Circumambient, by palpable fashion magic, in admiration by virtue of how the whole deal colluded - what happens next exactly for CIFW?

As a top-notch fashion designer, Norma Ebanks' dreams were brought from a thought to commercial sewing machines, inspiration mood board, fabric store, thread, needles and thimbles. Her passion for fashion has been never-ending for all her life which provided a route to mentor several of the highest quality fashion experts in the industry. Having studied at the prominent Parsons University in New York City and trained in Fashion and Design at the Howell School of Fashion in Jamaica. 

Returning to the Cayman Islands with her many years’ of experience the renowned Creative Fashion & Design was founded – a busy and fruitful fashion entity serving the classy stylist demands of customers both locally and internationally in addition to home interior decorating.

Norma Ebanks’ mission is to encourage the youths in the Cayman Islands through fashion is the ultimate form of empowerment and self-expression of art and design. Being an advocate for mental ill-health, her organisation collaborates with the Alex Panton Foundation adding to both their already impressive impact with the community.

Here are lessons gleaned from Cayman Instyle Fashion Week.

Hard work does pay off - Hard work is the key to success - for a variety of distinct motivation. Success doesn’t come with ease in any venture and the fashion industry is no exception. As far as fashion goes, persistence in whatever you do certainly pays off. Many times, it's drawing an all-nighter in assembling elaborate pieces or revamping a style to have it perfected.

It's all about the walk - Models are clad in clothing by a designer showcasing an imminent clothing line. Strutting the catwalk with charm, swagger and flawlessness - their bravery stands out with confidence and there’s nothing more magnificent.

Figure out who you are. The clue to clean-cut isn't always conforming to the latest fashion trends. It's really cleaving to your personal style to evolve with your unique style by searching for inspiration (starting with the runway), and exploring with fashion. Never adapt to every look because it is in season or trendy.

Networking is crucial - The most affluent fashion designers are often supported by a superb team of business partners. Similarly, the most successful entrepreneurs need a boost on the creative side as well. The fashion industry in all parts, alliances and networking on various levels is really everything. Your network is your network kind of mantra.

Presentation is everything - How you flaunt your design and collection matters as a profound presentation goes a very long way. The smallest of details are always the key. Likewise, adorning yourself in an irresistible outfit and that dazzling best pair of shoes will enhance your outward appearance and brand – be a head turner.

Teamwork - An astute fashion designer knows or should know, there are many benefits of teamwork within their team or industry. Engaging in a influences each team member to be resolute, productive and perform their best to achieve results.

After the fashion creators take their last dip amidst the post-show high, social platform buzz and desire with a lot of work needs to be completed. Welcome to the World of fashion, beyond everything — the hustle never ceases.

Contributed by: Dee Burrowes, Certified Professional Coach and NLP Practitioner, International Speaker, Trained Teacher and Author supports you to gain more confidence and how to be more effective at bringing happiness into your life.