Designer Akeem Stanley

by Cynthia Johnson

Akeem Stanley is a Fashion Designer who specializes in high fashion women’s clothing and accessories. His passion for fashion started from the tender age of seven when he saw the fashion on the red carpet at the Oscars and was mesmerized by guests wearing the brilliant artistry of Versace and other designers. This led him to teach himself how to design clothes from start to finish, keeping in mind the meaning of sophisticated silhouettes with bright and vibrant colors as his design aesthetic.

Born in the British Virgin Islands and raised in a single parent home, Akeem says that growing up Caribbean can sometimes come with a rigid set of rules and traditions and it has also helped him to develop many quality traits including a desire to succeed and to work hard for what he wants. It helped him create a great passion for what he does. Turning his negatives into positives and searching for ways to express his creativity is the biggest inspiration behind Stanley’s creations.

Akeem creates Women’s Ready to Wear and Evening Wear with a high end luxury aesthetic. He says that he has a keen eye for color because he believes “color transforms everything.” He cites Gianni Versace and Zac Posen as having been a major influence in his design background. Both designers to him represent resilience and he hopes to one day walk in the path they have created. He also credits the beauty of the Caribbean islands as his inspiration, saying, “St Lucia, St Kitts and St Vincent… ironically all Caribbean islands have a totally different beauty and charm. I have discovered true inspiration especially from St. Lucia, with its lush mountainous views and beautiful Caribbean architecture. It is truly inspiring.”

He believes the Caribbean has impacted culture in many ways. One way that he can point out and that ties into his own work is the colors and tropical vibes of the Caribbean. “Warm Caribbean inspired colors have graced runways around the world. Another impact that we Caribbean people have instilled in the world is music, world renowned artists like Bob Marley will continue to cure today’s world and have truly left a bit of our culture wherever the music is played.”

As a proud Caribbean, Akeem wants the world to know that the Caribbean as a whole shouldn’t ever be overlooked. We as Caribbean people are truly blessed and have a lot to offer in the arts, music, culinary spaces and so on. Our culture is powerful and our story is one that cannot be compared.

Personally, Akeem feels that having a passion is something that truly brings value to his life. He reflects that, “fashion has truly saved me. Being able to teach myself what I know thus far, from starting with a sketch of a design to constructing a complete look, is truly something magnificent and I am proud of what I am becoming. Fashion is life.”

Akeem is optimistic about the future and has his eyes on some regional fashion shows. You can follow along with his rise in the fashion world by following him on Instagram at
@designerakeemstanley or by visiting his website www.akeemstanley.com.

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