Made for Women / Designed by Men

As women, we naturally tend to take our carnival wear quite seriously. After all who’s really going to show up to the greatest show on earth not looking their best when the soca jammin and it’s time to perform. Perhaps by now majority of women already have an idea of what their carnival Monday look is going to be but have you ever wondered what the designers think about making them for us? Has it ever crossed your mind that some of the fabulous Monday wear looks on the road have been designed by a Man? As we await the coming of the greatest two days on the road and perhaps the most anticipated Monday of the year, we want to share with you some insider details from a Male designer’s perspective.

Rhion Romany is a well known designer who’s self titled brand is made up of a variety of designs inspired by the evolution of the Trinidadian social lifestyle. This easily allows his natural ability of putting together edgy and contemporary designs for his clients to be executed. The Rhion Romany brand comprises of 6 layers: Rhion Romany body wear, resort, bridal, menswear and carnival which includes both costume and Monday wear design. He is a man who unapologetically continues to design for women, having been surrounded by strong women for most of his life. The XX Team met up with Male designer Rhion Romany to find out about his Female Monday wear collection for 2019 and of course to get the real tea and why he designs for women, here’s what he shared with us.

XX: Describe your brand to us?

Rhion Romany: To me, it’s the embodiment of timelessness, sophistication and boldness.

XX: Tell us about your Monday Wear 2019.

RR: I have two sections this year, one section with Tribe Kösem and the other with Rogue Hekate. I’ve decided to design my Monday Wear for my Carnival costumes, but you don’t have to be in the sections to order the Monday Wear. Moving forward it’s just easier for me to do it this way.

XX: Why did you choose to design for women?

RR: I see the woman’s body on the whole as one that’s very intriguing, interesting and beautiful. I grew up surrounded by strong women and, to date, all my best friends are women. How I started designing happened organically, where I was thrown into a position to do so while working with Caesar’s Army. They would normally contract designers for their annual Crop Over trip but one of their designers couldn’t design anymore. Jules asked me to try my hand at it since I already had an eye for women’s clothing from my retail store. I did and it worked out to be quite successful until more and more women continued reaching out to me and over time, I realized I could make a career out of it.

XX: How would you describe Trini women for carnival?

RR: During Carnival, I believe the Trini woman tends to be riskier. I could have maintained the same clients throughout a year but at Carnival time, women tend to take greater risks with their style. Whether it be with their choice of colour and fabric, or simply by the way they choose to show more skin, it shows an increased confidence for them at that time of year.

XX: What’s the craziest request you’ve gotten from a woman?

RR: There was one client that asked for a Carnival costume to be designed for her to attend an all inclusive fete, which I said no to because I believe there’s a time and place for everything. Although I have to add, she wasn’t local, which means she might not have understood exactly how we would dress for the various events during the season and that a costume wouldn’t actually be worn to a fete.

XX: How difficult is it to design for women?

RR: Women are a pain to design for during carnival mainly because there is something about carnival that makes people nervous or very particular. I’ve dealt with numerous women that think about carnival almost as if it’s their wedding day. And I understand because I’m also in carnival but I would definitely say that although women can be difficult I am the right person to work with them.


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