In the spring of 2014, I attended Wynwood Art Walk for the first time. The whole experience started off as an accident as my flight from Bogota with stop over in Miami was delayed, which caused me to miss my connecting flight to New York.  I went from immense frustration to overwhelming joy in under three hours.  I fell in love with the street art scene, growing only more and more captivated as the night went into morning. The energy was palpable. The artistic expression was divine. The rush of exuberance was further topped off by a deep sense of togetherness and community with people from all walks of life, all hues and cultures, from all over the country. Growing up in Jamaica, Miami was largely overlooked given its proximity to Kingston and similarities with the North Coast (sun and beaches). My Art Walk experience opened up my curiosity.

As our marketing team researched and reviewed options for KYU to establish a footprint in Miami, we decided that the most logical place to start was Art Week Miami , of which Art Basel is apart. In case you are not familiar with this annual affair,  according to CBS Miami “with the start of Art Basel and Art Week, comes a boom for local business and the economic impact is impressive.” Art Basel does not release statistics but analysts say it pumps about 500 million to 700 million into the local economy.  For Miami Beach, Art Basel is one of the top five revenue generating events. For Design District, it is the the number one week for sales all year.

In 2016 I participated as a guest presenter (Introducing Art in Fashion) and curated a pop up experience in collaboration with Alessandra Gold and another in collaboration with Rachel of Space Caribbean.  Both events were well attended. Both events helped to lay the foundation for the experiential events I would have created during Miami Art Week in the following years. In particular I was really inspired by the formidable Rachel Barrett, the curator of the Neo Global exhibit. Her presentation highlighted Caribbean focused artists on a well curated platform, capturing all the different flavors of the Caribbean –  from food, to art to fashion to music –  from one end of the floor to the other.  I walked away from this experience with a clear idea of the creative direction I would deploy for the next show. Then of course came Irma.

In 2017 Kesi focused on presenting Art in Fashion with a focus on Ethical Luxury and The Future of Sustainable Fashion through a collaboration with Upcycle.  The opening reception featured eight designers all focused on sustainable couture, creating pieces from upcycled fabrics, recycled fabrics, real palm leaves, faux hair extensions, industrial sacks, discarded and discarded sail cloth.

KYU MEANS PROGRESS! The future of fashion is here!

The BAIA Gown is a classic A-line gown, with clean lines and tastefully glamorous hand-painted finishes, inspired by art collector Vladislav Doronin. The Fashion Evolved presentation brought together a select group of fashion designers, art collectors, fashion enthusiasts, international influencers and the media.

The BAIA Gown and this entire collection was specifically and especially created to support Kesi’s conviction that fashion that is ethically and or sustainably made can also look amazing and glamorous. The primary material used in the construction is a recycled sail that was discarded in hurricane Irma. The dress was both hand-made and hand-painted by Kesi.

In 2018 I Kesi wanted to share her platform with a wider array of artists and designers and curate entire experiences in her 2018 Art in Fashion Presentation. She did exactly that in partnership with Club Debut Art x Fashion Festival during Art Basel which was produced by noTheName. The Festival was held from December 3 -9, across three venues: The Faena Hotel, The Fontainebleau Hotel, and Zenith Art & Fashion.

 

Contributors include:
@noTheName @KyuByKesi @UncuttArt @Shi @Jr_Reid @MMV @clubdebutofficial @pjclaytoncreative @iamkesikesi.

Sponsors include:
@blulifeusa @kavita @harmlessharvest @cubalibre @socialenlite