KIWIE DAN catches eyes at Rio Games with design

542
Yakima Daniel in one her Olympic Games designs ( Photo compliments of SKNOC)

 

Team St. Kitts and Nevis in Yakima Daniel design ahead of the opening ceremony (Photo SKNOC)
Team St. Kitts and Nevis in Yakima Daniel design ahead of the opening ceremony (Photo SKNOC)

By Staff Writer

Stardom has found 29-year-old fashion designer Yakima Daniel, a St. Kitts native.

Ms. Daniel’s design was worn by the St. Kitts and Nevis delegation during the opening ceremonies for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, bringing acclaim to both the designer and her country.  Her work has been rated as one of the top designed uniforms worn at the Olympic Games.

Team St. Kitts and Nevis in Yakima Daniel design ahead of the opening ceremony (Photo SKNOC)
Team St. Kitts and Nevis in Yakima Daniel design ahead of the opening ceremony (Photo SKNOC)

Ecstatic at her success, the soft-spoken designer told The Observer that having her designs given such a high rating by Essence Magazine was very rewarding.

“When I first heard about it, I was amazed,” she admitted.  “I did not expect it and was shocked.”

She competed with 206 different countries aat the games Friday, Aug. 5  The Federation was one of 22 nations that were designated as best dressed. Other countries included America, Jamaica, Bermuda, Zambia and Sierra Leone.

Daniel said her inspiration for the design came from a project she is working on for her independence line.  It includes a white shirt with madras designed on the inside collar and sleeves, along with brown shoes and pants and topped with a Panamanian hat.

She said she wanted the design to be local as well as trendy so that it would be noticed after independence and the Olympic Games were concluded.  She also said she created the design in a single night after SKNOC asked her to design the uniform.  It took two weeks to complete the design.

Rio2016-2

Yakima is the daughter of a seamstress. She has been designing clothing for the past five years and said she fell in love with the profession after being inspired by her mother’s work. .For the past two years she has operated Kiwie Dan Couture in the Federation.

She said, “It means a lot to me. I feel good that my designs and hare work have been placed alongside the other top designers in the world. Being reflected as one of the best is really rewarding.”

She revealed she is completing her line of clothing to be released later this month in time for the September independence celebration. And she dreams of using her endorsement by Essence Magazine as a stairway to ‘bigger and better things’

The St. Kitts and Nevis Olympic Committee added to her praise, stating that the line ‘Keeping local but on trend’ means her designs were inspired by the colors associated with the culture and beauty of St. Kitts and Nevis.

On its website, SKNOC noted that “Commissioned by the SKNOC for whom the presentation of each athlete and team member was of paramount importance for the Federation as well as for their appearance on the world stage of Rio 2016, the new outfits were voted among the best team uniforms at the 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremonies by Essence Magazine.”