Poze Brand’s 4th Collection

Based in Miami, but inspired by Haitian culture, Poze brand is a Haitian street wear brand for both men and women. The word “Poze” meaning “chill” or “relaxed” in Creole, is heard in most conversations between Haitians. The brand, founded in 2014 by Jeff Appolon, prides itself in teaching the world about Haitians, one word, one picture, and one story at a time. So far 3 collections have been released and the 4th one is forthcoming.

Check out our interview with Mr. “Poze” himself, where he discusses his latest collection.

Tell me about your new collection and what was the inspiration behind it.
• This collection follows up on the previous one which pushes the boundaries further. I want this collection to be engaging to the mind and also laid back. Half of the pieces in the 4th collection visit our rich history and capture moments of glory. As a country, we’ve taken so many L’s in the past that we forget that we were once great.

 
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How does the collection reflect your Haitian background?
• One of the shirt is inspired by the current success of our Haitian national soccer team. I mean, we haven’t won any world cup but we are doing better now. The shirt I’m referring to shows the picture of Haitian soccer Legend Manno Sanon as he scored the famous goal against Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff during the 1974 world cup match Vs Italy. That goal ended Dino Zoff’s long standing 1142 minutes without getting scored on. After I read about it, I thought that it was important to celebrate that moment and glorify him.

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• Another shirt I have is a drawing of the statue of Marie Louise Coidavid, who was Henry Christophe’s wife. I visited the Palais Sans Soucis a couple of years ago and I remember seeing the statue. I remember how proud it made me feel. Somehow I feel that it’s the same feeling that a diaspora gets when they first visit Haiti. Even though only the ruins are left, it shows greatness once existed in our country. I feel like back then, our ancestors were a bit more courageous than us because they did more with less.

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When and where can one purchase the new collection? Will it be available in stores in Haiti?
• Yes it will be available in Haiti. I had the perfect store to sell, but unfortunately with the economic instability, the store had to close down. I am looking at some other places to carry it in PV. More information will be provided soon. Everything should be available beginning of June.

 
How does the brand Poze reflect your personal style?
• I tend to be more on the conservative side, so my designs will be a bit minimalist. I don’t really like loud colors and too much going on in a t-shirt. I usually go for neutral designs that you can wear when you’re out. But every now and then, I’ll collaborate with someone who may have a different taste than me. I try to have the designs balanced. I’ll take suggestions from my friends and see what they prefer. After all Poze is not my personal brand, it’s the people’s brand.

 
Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
• I try to keep up with the current trends and add a bit of Haitian mix to it. I’ll be on fashion blogs all day and Instagram when I have some free time. If I see something that catches my eye at the mall, I put a note on my phone. Basically my whole environment.

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Is there someone from the fashion world that inspires you?
• I’m a big Kanye West fan. A lot of times I like his style but other times I feel like he pushes the boundaries but then again that is what fashion is all about. I like his style better when he’s rocking the tall tees, ripped fitted denims and yeezys. I also like Big Sean’s style, he’s always on point.

 

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What is your personal favorite piece of the 4th collection?
• I really like the Manno Sanon t-shirt and the hat with the Poze hands. I feel like I can see those items on the shelf of an Urban Outfitters store. I like that they are Haiti related but with a touch of pop culture.

What can we expect from Poze in the near future?
• I really want to branch out to different things. I wanna go deeper into female and kids clothing but I’m a bit limited as far as man power. I want the brand to evolve and get better with time. My goal is to keep the brand alive so that one day I see it in a website like Complex, The Source or Highsnobiety as a street wear brand to watch out for.

 Fashion Ayiti, the models and Mr. Poze doing the Poze hand sign.

TOMS Haiti Artist Collective

“Before, I was cutting metal but I had to focus on painting after the death of my father to help my family. I’ve been painting for five years and I want to paint more and more.” Haitian artist, Norelus MacKenly, 18.

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Haitian artist, Norelus MacKenly and his blue ocean design. Source: Toms.com

Philanthropic shoe brand TOMS, known for its One for One principle that matches every purchased pair with a new pair of shoes donated to a kid in need, took this time a different approach by commissioning 30 Haitian artists to design a limited edition of TOMS shoes.

Photo Source: Toms.com
Photo Source: Toms.com

The project behind this initiative is to support the recovering country by creating jobs for these 30 artisans with the collaboration of Haiti-based Caribbean Craft , an organization dedicated to work with Haitian artisans.

In addition, it gives the artists the opportunity to show and express to the rest of the world  their cultural visions while portraying the Haitian scenery, community and life-style on the footwear.

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Haitian Artist Carlène Ruben painting her pink flower design. Source: Toms.com

The shoes, which are individually hand painted by local artists between the ages of 18 to 45 in a Haiti based TOMS atelier (workshop) will be available for both women and men for a price of $68.00 at the TOMS website or US flagship store.

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Source: Toms.com
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Haitian artist working on his design. Photo source: Toms.com

For years, I have been inspired by the perseverance and passion of Haitians and the work done in Haiti by people such as Donna Karan and others. The Haiti Artist Collective is the first small step toward us going beyond One for One in Haiti. Our ultimate goal is to provide sustainable jobs that drive artistic expression and generate a desire with customers throughout the TOMS community to participate in this exciting new program,” Words by the company’s founder Mycoskie.

Below is a short video about Haiti Artist Collective and its artists:

All pictures and information are take directly from Toms.com

Haiti Fashion Week 2012

Event: Haiti Fashion Week 2012.

Location: Karibe hotel.

Purpose: Stimulate and showcase the Fashion World of Haiti.

For the first time in history, Haiti proudly introduced its first Fashion Week from November 8 to November 11, where thirty designers showcased their collections. Also known as “ModAyiti 2012” in creole, this special event was created by the Haitian Center for Support and Promotion of Enterprises (CHAPES) and the Haitian Network of Designers (HAND), two associations working to develop the Haitian Fashion Industry. Funded by the Ministry of Culture and the European Union’s support program ARCADES, this event gave our local designers a chance to be noticed by the international eye thanks to the presence of international designers, guests and press.

Decor & Set-up

As we entered the Karibe Convention Center we were immediately transported into another atmosphere: Elaborate white draping covered the ceiling and walls, and white chairs were laid out to align the also white catwalk.
Ushers greeted us at the door and brought us to our seats while the pleasant beat of the Haiti Fashion Week 2012 theme song played in the background.

The Event

The program of Haiti Fashion Week 2012 included a forum during the day on the development of fashion in Haiti, and an exposition of items for sell by the designers after each show. The opening ceremony last Thursday was a welcoming celebration for the designers and the organizers of this event with a tribute and homage to the Haitian culture and history. The celebration ended last Sunday with a Haitian folkloric dance with colorful costumes.

Scheduled to start at 7 PM, it was not a surprise to see the shows start an hour late while the public preferred to mingle in the courtyard with drinks and cocktails. An intermission of 15 minutes took place each day, and the shows were a little too long lasting almost 3 hours. It is Fashion after all, and Fashion is fast paced.

Designers

Top Left: Marie Thérèse Hilaire. Bottom Left: David André. Center: Michel Chataigne. Top Right: Watson St-Louis. Bottom Right: Marjorie Alexis

We saw it all: beach attire, casual look, suits, cocktail and evening dresses. More than 2 dozen designers took part in this show to exhibit their creations. Native names such as David André, Michel Chataigne, Maelle David, Marie Thérèse Hilaire, Miko Guillaume, Marjorie Alexis (to name a few) shared the runway with international designers coming from the Caribbean, USA, Argentina and Japan.

Daniel Oberti Glasses Collection – Argentina

Culture and heritage are at the heart of every designer in Haiti and are proudly reflected through their collections. However, it seems that the focus on culture was taken too seriously. We believe that more initiative and risk should be taken by our designers in order to push the envelope when it comes to the individuality, cohesiveness and aesthetic of their designs.

Left: Garment painted with Haiti’s geographical departments by the students of Verona Fashion school. Center: Folkloric garment in Haiti’s colors by Harry Lafond. Top and Bottom right: Works of Jacqueline Francis.

Our island is known for its beautiful craftsmanship thus making accessories our forté. Models carried the works of many jewelry, bags, and sandal designers like Phelicia Dell (vèvè bags), Créations Dorées, Gerry Romain, Savannah Savary …

Top Left: Men necklace by Gerry Romain. Bottom Left: bag by Sibylle Denis Touat. Center: Accessories by Gerry Romain. Left: Vèvè bags by Phelica Dell

The project beyond ModAyiti goes as far as creating an atelier for our local designers and hopefully opening a store in New York selling Haitian products and clothing. The world of fashion is no longer dormant in Ayiti, and this project led by Maguy Durcé marked its awakening.

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Prisca Milliance

Modeling

Nearly 30 models carried the designers’ collections down the runway 10 of which were international. While some were too fast, others like international Haitian model Nayeli Fanfan among others (see below pictures) made their way down the runway with the perfect modeling grace and attitude. Reigning miss Haiti International Anédie Azael brieftly joined the modeling team.

                           

Male models appeared shirtless and some with paintings on their faces to showcase some designers jewelry collections.

                                

A group of 20 Haitian and 10 international models, stylists and makeup artist were part of the team that made Haiti Fashion Week possible.
A fashionable public

Who would have thought that a country who has suffered so much from recent natural disasters would one day hold it’s very own Fashion Week? Surely a lot of work needs to be done but thanks to ModAyiti and its team, we hope to make this event an annual rendez-vous.