AS St. Lucia gears up for another season of pageantry, there’s one woman who comes to mind and can be considered the Godmother of Fashion here.
Today’s FITC is just a simple girl who has a passion for life and all things beautiful. But to the rest of fashion-loving St. Lucia, she’s a fashion juggernaut who has made quite a name for herself internationally as well.
I am speaking of none other than fashion maven, Joycie Mederick.
The Artistic Director/Designer/Fashionista has been involved in the world of fashion and pageantry for more than half her life and judging from her body of work, she clearly shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.
This year, Mederick will once again be lending her name and expertise to a major pageant, the Miss St. Lucia Universe, where her company, Cinnamon Productions, will be tasked with producing the event.
She spoke with The VOICE recently about her career, how she handles the animosity that comes with the territory and, of course, the upcoming annual event that she calls “The Olympics of Pageantry”.
The VOICE: Not much happens in the local fashion industry without your name linked to it. How did you get to the point you’re at today?
Mederick: Perhaps my love and the thirty years of investments that I have made in the fashion industry in Saint Lucia have made it possible to be included in all things fashion- related. My career as a high fashion model started at age16. I have stayed the course through thick and thin. I also educated myself in the business of fashion and related entertainment areas, something I continue to do. The fashion industry is not static, it evolves every day. Fashion is living art!
The VOICE: Your name has also been linked to a few controversies over the years, with claims that you can be aggressive. What do you think about this perception of yourself?
Mederick: As an artist, or anyone who is in a leadership position in any field, there will be dissenting voices. In much the same way, I do not agree with everybody. As a mature individual, I don’t expect everyone to see or understand my vision nor do I expect everyone to feel my passion for fashion in Saint Lucia. My vision for fashion in Saint Lucia is for the industry players to recognize the niche market that exists so they can benefit from the economic and social opportunities. Stop blaming the messenger.
The VOICE: You are in charge of this year’s Miss Universe St. Lucia pageant, which has proven to be a troublesome topic as St. Lucia has never made it very far in the main competition. Why do you think that is?
Mederick: St. Lucia’s history in pageantry has been good. We have made it to the top 10 in Miss World and top 15 at Miss Earth. We continue to make the top 4 in regional pageants. The Miss Universe pageant system is different and must be approached for what it is. In my view, Miss Universe is the “Olympics of Pageantry”, therefore the work involved in grooming candidates for pageants must change from the local level. As a nation, we should and must adopt a more mature approach to pageantry. Pageantry is COMPETITION. We are competing for visibility, market share, and product placement.
In simple terms, we are competing because we believe that we are the best; therefore, we must approach it with that same mind-set. We are the best!
The VOICE: What do you think it will take to get St. Lucia up to par with the rest of the world, and do you think this is something you can help to achieve?
Mederick: I think I can make a positive difference and achieve better results from our participation at Miss Universe. Experience has taught me that one must prepare for any challenge that one will undertake; therefore, it will mean that you have to study and do your research and, most of all, you should be passionate about what you do. As the organizer for Miss Universe 2017, I believe the energy that I bring to this challenge must inspire the Miss Universe Saint Lucia hopefuls. We all are aware that our talent pool is huge. The question is what are we doing with it? Are we prepared to truly invest in our nation’s youth?
The VOICE: What advice would you like to send to this crop of hopefuls, as well as future contestants looking to represent our island?
Mederick: My advice is simply this: Change starts with you. If you want it, you can have it.
The VOICE: Finally, should St. Lucians get their hopes up that this year will be any different from previous years?
Mederick: Yes, Saint Lucians can expect better. I believe St. Lucians deserve better, and we intend on delivering a better production. The adaptation of the international pageant system will also raise the bar for the hopefuls moving forward to international glory.