We’ve really been lamenting the loss of so many of our local designers’ retail stores. There was a time, we remember, when the Shops at Normandie were filled to the brim with local clothing (anyone remember the Cloth’s store towards the back of the first floor?); there was a time when Radical Designs had a store in every major commercial shopping centre. We never thought we’d even see the decline of Westport and Catwalk. Yes, they were cheaply manufactured in some faraway continent, but at least they were locally designed.
We miss being able to buy local ready-to-wear. Which is why, when we stumbled across this gem, we couldn’t contain ourselves. Stylish, impeccably made off-the-rack? Made in Trinidad and Tobago? Designed by Trinbagonians? An affordable price range? Goddamnit, yes!
Emphasis Clothing makes their clothes in Laventille, and sells through a store located in SimpliCITY Shopping Plaza on Murray Street, Woodbrook. Though they specialize in workwear, they’ve got a small albeit well-made selection of basics as well. I’d been looking forever for a stripey, 3/4 sleeve sailor-ish top, and I found one there for TT$150. Win. Another member of our party found a structured linen dress that fitted her perfectly—and loved it so much that she wore it out of the store.
We certainly hope this store withstands the fickle tastes and foreign habits of Trinbagonians, and the tides of cheaper clothes manufactured elsewhere. It’s a simple store with welcoming staff and great clothes, and we can’t wait to see what else it’s got in store.