Slow Fashion, Featuring Ryan Berkeley Designs

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As part of my effort to promote ethical shopping, I will be featuring different local (Guyanese) designers and their lines. While slightly more expensive than your “High Street” (Regent Street) shops, these are handmade and unique. Wearing this is wearing art, and clothes you have invested in, you will value more than those you got on the cheap!

In my post about fashion and international labor, I warn against the human rights violations committed by the fashion industry. One way of not contributing to this, while also dressing yourself in beautiful clothes, is to purchase from local designers.

When you meet Ryan Berkeley (above right), you are taken in by his quiet, gentle, peaceful demeanor. He gives the impression of someone shy, but he certainly has nothing to be shy about. His talent for creating clothing that accentuates and complements both men and women is remarkable, especially given his youth.

His designs are elegant and graceful with hint of raw sexual energy.

He allowed me two use of his pieces because I thought they would lend themselves well to a yoga photo shoot I was doing. The flowy batic fabric and tribal designs suited what I was trying to achieve beautifully.

DSC_9581 DSC_9554Photo credits: Ulelli Verbeke

Ryan painstakingly hand-paints all of the fabric and then he and his team construct them in his small studio in Georgetown, Guyana. In addition to those two pieces I wore, here are some examples of others in his current line.

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Photo credits:Marcus Antonius

While the inspiration is African, the results are pure Guyanese!

Ryan was just this week featured among the designers at Suriname’s Fashion Week and we predict great things for him in the future.

His pieces are available at 53 Russell St., Charlestown, Georgetown, Guyana and range in price from GUY$10,000 to $30,0000 (US$50-150). Find him on facebook for more details and to contact him.

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