Spotlight: Sakafet London
With carnival season in full swing, we are so excited about Caribbean madras fashion brand ‘Sakafet London’ joining StylzMag. Sakafet London create the authentic handmade traditional madras clothing of Dominica, Saint Lucia, and the French West Indies including the Wob Dwiyet, Jip and Jupe and a wide range of modern designs. We caught up with Jennifer Laurent Smart, the visionary behind the brand.
Jennifer of Sakafet London, Welcome to StylzMag. What does Sakafet mean?
Sakafet StylzMag, and thank you. It's great to be here. Sakafet is an informal greeting. It's like saying 'Hi, What's up' or 'how's it going' or'how are things'. It is used primarily among the Kweyol-speaking people of the Caribbean.
What is the inspiration behind your brand?
It is simply my desire to share the vibrancy of the Caribbean culture and its beautiful madras fabric with people in the UK. I really believe that our energy is expressed through the colours of the fabric we wear and Madras fabric not only offers a variety of colours but also a unique connection to our Caribbean roots and our African heritage.
When you wear Madras you are automatically connected to something much bigger than yourself. My brand specialises in handmade traditional clothing, such as the Jip Outfits, which team madras with Broderie Anglaise and lace, and the formal menswear of waistcoats. However, we also use madras in modern more fashionable items such as Bucket Hats, Crop Tops, headwraps and more which enables my customers to enjoy expressing themselves in a way that suits them.
You provide bespoke tailoring services in addition to selling ready-to-wear pieces and accessories. What can people expect from your brand?
People can expect the uniqueness and quality that comes with handmade clothing. I listen to my clients' needs to ensure that I can bring their vision to life because I want them to feel excited about their clothes and comfortable in them. I love it when a lady has her first fitting for her Wob Dwiyet which is a long formal gown, because we spend time focusing not only on the gown but the accessory pieces also and the different fabrics, colours and styles. And also I love when she comes to collect her Wob Dwiyet because I get to spend time with her showing her how to move in it, carry it etc.
We loved having you take part in the My Cultural Style campaign. Why did you decide to get involved?
I saw Cultural Style Week as an opportunity to showcase this aspect of my Caribbean heritage and share my passion for Caribbean Madras and the culture that it represents. It's a great way to connect people from the Caribbean diaspora and people in general.
We believe that everyone needs creative output. If you weren't a fashion designer you’d probably be?
My mother was an incredibly creative and gifted person. She was able to sew, crochet, and weave, so I think that like her, I am always drawn to creating things with my hands. However, if I was not designing I think I would teach young people. I believe it is a privilege to be able to work with young minds and help them to grow and explore the world around them and I'm really excited by the idea of sharing my knowledge while also learning from them.
Three words that best describe you are..
Five hair and beauty products you couldn’t do without
Living libations oil
What is the most memorable moment of your career so far?
There have been so many, it's really difficult to say but participating in the first-ever Cultural Style Week has got to be one of my top experiences.
What else is on the horizon for you this year?
Oh, lots of things. I'm currently making costumes for two Mas Bands taking part in Notting Hill Carnival and we'll also be entering the creole season shortly after that so lots of fashion shows and cultural events in the lead-up to, and during Black History Month. I'll also be introducing some new clothing lines for the guys and looking into opportunities to collaborate with other brands.
Sakafet London ready-to-wear pieces and accessories are available on the StylzMag marketplace. They are also available for bespoke tailoring services so get in touch and book your free consultation today. Click here.