Perry Martial – The ‘Crazy’ Creative Genius

By Rae Anthony

Perry Martial is a creative genius who loves what he does and for him it’s an absolute blessing. The designer is well-known in fashion circles and at 57, he’s still as brilliant as ever. I stopped by his studio earlier this week and we discussed his affinity for art.

According to him, whenever he’s immersed in it, he’s “at peace”.

Image of Perry Martial
Perry Martial [Photo by Castro]
“I’ve always had a creative bone, it’s something I inherited. My mom was a dressmaker and my dad was a tailor; I never did a course in sewing,” he revealed.

“I went to school to learn to fix gas cookers so I’m a stove technician by trade, but I’ve always been a craftsperson. Art was always something I did on a side. When I left Saint Lucia and I went to Canada for 10 years, I never touched a stove. When I came back, I went to work for Adrian Augier (the Managing Director of Landmark Events),” the designer added.

Now, he has his own studio in Castries.

“I get inspired by different things and people around me. For example, when I’m in my studio working next to another craftsperson, that can motivate me,” he stated.

When it comes to fashion, he does it all, but he prefers making his signature bags and of course, any Perry bag is a must have.

“If I have to choose a craft I would go with bags. In my spare time or if I’m bored, I might do something else but my focus is on bags. I did a denim line during the pandemic called ‘Out of Quarantine’. It’s a bag collection and I used different kinds of fabrics like leather and African prints. They are all unique,” he said.

“With everything that’s going on in the world today, this collection is aimed at bringing a fresh look to fashion,” he told fans on Instagram.

Perry’s bags have been showcased at a number of fashion shows including ‘Hot Couture’ and are also sold in various parts of the world.

His hands are blessed, there is no doubt about that —just take a look at his calabash bowls. The designer launched ‘Perry Bash’ in late 2019 and it was received with open arms.

“I was bored one day and wanted to do something different and then I came up with the idea. I saw it on Pinterest— there was a sister fruit to it and the individual carved it. When I saw it, I thought I may as well try it with the calabash. I pulled out my dremel, sandpaper, fabric paints, resin and came up with that,” Perry explained, adding that he wanted his designs to be one-of-a-kind.

Image of some of Martial’s unique designs
Some of Martial’s unique designs

“Everybody’s so accustomed to persons cutting a calabash in half and painting the Pitons on it so I wanted to do something different. It’s decorative and functional; you can use it as a fruit bowl, you can use it as decor— whatever you want to use it for,” he added.

Perry is also an event decorator (the list goes on and on) and according to him, he can accomplish anything, once his heart is set on it. There aren’t many persons like Perry and those who know him, absolutely love him.

He is easy-going and even described himself as “crazy!” That, however, is what makes him stand out.

The designer promised to give fans “more” in 2021. I’m certainly curious to see what Perry does next and of course, as always, the wait will be worth it, I’m sure. He has over ten years of experience underneath his belt and his work only gets better with time.

“I would really like my business to reach further than where it is. Probably in the U.K. or in high end craft stores or duty-free stores. Maybe start off small in the Caribbean first; I want it to go far,” he said in closing.

A “humble guy” from the Castries CDC, Perry is certainly an inspiration.

Follow Perry on Instagram: @perryba

1 Comment

  1. Never in my life would I believe a young man in St.Lucia, growing up in the C.D.C.
    could come up with Art such as this; on the stage of Art, ‘Perry the Calabash man’
    have astounded me, and I’m sure many others too. Here’s a man who is truly blessed
    and he is not shy about it – so from one Lucian to another,(look above, ‘He’ is watching)

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