“With the abundance of talent in the Caribbean, teaming up with Mission Catwalk presents an opportunity to my people to raise a new generation of highly skilled designers that not only conceptualize their designs but can execute them as well,” says Ramroop who opened SRA in 2008 at his 19 Savile Row location.
Built in the 1730s, and named after Lady Dorothy Savile, wife of the 3rd Earl of Burlington, the famous street is considered to be the mecca of men’s tailoring. Stores along London’s “Colden Mile of Tailoring” boast a long list of famous clients including Winston Churchill, Prince Charles, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. Even fashion designers (Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen) have used Savile Row tailors to add the right touch of quality and elegance to their designs. With his purchase of Maurice Sedwell Ltd., Ramroop made history as the first person of color to own a tailoring house on Savile Row.
Over his 50 year career Andrew Ramroop has been globally recognized for his work in bespoke tailoring. In 2005 he received the Chaconia Gold Medal from the president of Trinidad and Tobago; three years later he was appointed by the Queen to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and since 2002 the W.E.B DuBois Institute of Harvard University has offered an annual prize in his name. He has twice captured the title of ‘Best Men’s Wear: Design, Cut and Fit’ in the Golden Shears Awards, considered the Oscars of tailoring.
“Like the SRA, Mission Catwalk has set very high standards of excellence,” says Linton-George. “To partner with such a reputable institution furthers our goal to show designers how far talent can go when combined with hard work and dedication.”
The reality series which starts March 27 on Television Jamaica will see contestants from Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and home country Jamaica competing in weekly challenges which test their skill and creativity. Apart from the first episode on which five designers are swiftly eliminated, each week one designer will be cut from the competition by a panel that includes Linton-George, Jamaica Observer lifestyle editor Novia McDonald-Whyte, menswear designer Carlton Brown and a guest judge. The thirteen week series culminates with three designers at a live showdown in Kingston where the winner will be chosen.
Prizes for the lucky designer include JMD$500,000 courtesy of National Commercial Bank of Jamaica (NCB) to start their clothing line, industrial sewing equipment valued at JMD$200,000 courtesy of singer Jamaica, a contract to sell their designs at SOHO boutique, a six-page fashion editorial in Ocean Style Magazine and a scholarship to pursue fashion program at London College of Fashion where incidentally Mr. Ramroop is a graduate and lecturer.
Mission Catwalk Season 2, presented by NCB, Supreme Ventures and Digicel, airs every Tuesday at 8:30 PM on Television Jamaica starting March 27th. Viewers in Barbados, Belize, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago please check local listings.