Friday 16 November, 2018

Young People In Business: Daresque celebrates Barbados with riddim and risks

Riddim Tribe and Daresque have come together to show Barbados’ national colours in dynamic, bold ways, and for charity.

Latoya Daniel is the 31-year old creative designer behind the Daresque brand. The former Springer Memorial Secondary School student chatted with Loop this weekend.

“I always liked to be unique so I started designing for myself as I thought most swimsuit designs too ordinary or ‘safe’. People saw me wearing the designs and I saw a demand so I supplied.”

And where did the name come from? With a smile, she added, “When I first had the thought for the line I was thinking of words that would describe my style. I was on a plane and I took the napkin and wrote ‘dare’ and ‘risqué’ and I combined the words, came up with Daresque!”

Speaking to the collaboration with some of the island’s hottest, young dancers who make up Riddim Tribe, she was very excited to share.

“I saw pictures of the dancers with some amazing dance moves and it made me think of NIFCA. This is Barbados - dance and culture. I saw the combo immediately to create dance, fashion, culture and make it art. I reached out to the girls and they were hype.” 

Latoya was very pleased that the dancers welcomed her enthusiasm.

Asked how does it feel to have designed a special line of Daresque in our national colours in this year of our 50th anniversary of Independence, she beamed:

“It feels like a reflection of how Barbadians feel, it feels like pride and industry. This is especially special to me because it has received such attention and sales were good because when I first did the Barbados swimsuit three years ago people laughed and said it was cheesy, now it’s popular, sexy and copied. Sales from this line will go towards Christmas donations for the patients of the Geriatric hospital.”

As an entrepreneur, the designer spoke about the business side of things as well.

“Sales can be slow at times but they have surely been steady. Production is a challenge at times. From fabric options to production timelines there are many limitations.” Laughing out loud, she said, “A factory in Barbados isn’t one in China, they wont move 50 pieces in a week but I make it work.” 

Next April will mark four years in existence for Daresque. Latoya, who is also born in April, said that the idea came when she was going through an emotional time and wanted to be consumed by something that will take her mind away. “It was not a long thought out plan, no projection or financial plan. It was not a goal to be a designer it just happened.”

Since the launch, her swimsuits have been worn by some popular Bajans but that is not a part of Latoya’s plan at all.

She revealed, “I think all people are equal and I’m excited when I see anyone in my brand. I am always most excited when people I don’t know from abroad order my suits. It feels good to know it’s not because it’s someone that knows me or it’s not a celeb that I reached out to and asked to wear it. The choice to support was about the brand and not about me!”

Looking ahead, she said, “If I tell you the plans I let the competition know state secrets. I am very excited for my next project and you will see those plans executed shortly. Currently, my newest development with the brand is that it can be purchased at the new hot spot opened on Brighton Beach called Bluberry Beach Club & Lifestyle Center.”

With a swimsuit line, Loop thought it fitting to ask Latoya, what’s her favourite beach on island, and she said, it’s the same Brighton Beach actually.

“My favorite beach is Brighton. There is a long expanse of ocean that is calm and clear. The sunsets are gorgeous and nothing obstructs the view. It’s never crowded as it’s not one of the most visited so it’s uninterrupted peace. It’s like having a private reservation at beach heaven.”

RELATED STORY:  

Bridgetown heats up with Riddim Tribe dancers

Janet Toppin: A firm craftswoman of our fate  

Young People in Business: Jade Niccolls is leaving a ‘tie dye’ mark 

Young People In Business: Danielle puts the business in entertainment