Friday, 16 February 2024 10:22

Kadian Nicely Exclusive designs to hit the streets in true dancehall fashion

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When Kadian Nicely was approached with the proposal to design costumes for Dancehall Street Parade, a highlight event during Magnum Dancehall Week, she did not hesitate to accept the challenge.

As a popular designer known for her bold, flirty, and captivating creations, Nicely recognised the opportunity to contribute her unique style to such an electrifying occasion.

Drawing inspiration from the rich history of dancehall culture, the designer infuses her creations with elements reminiscent of iconic looks from the past while adding her own modern twist.

For Nicely, the creative process involved delving deep into dancehall archives, paying homage to classics like the mesh marina, a staple of the ‘rude boy’ attire and Dancehall Queen Carlene's gold two-piece outfit from the Murder She Wrote music video. However, she didn't stop there, aiming to push boundaries beyond the typical red, green, and gold by incorporating unique elements like the marijuana leaf motif to one of the designs.

Nicely said, “I thought about everything dancehall especially from the old school era. I wanted to do an outfit that wasn’t just the regular red, green and gold mesh marina. For ‘Rude Gyal’ I incorporated the ganja leaf and elements of the colours meanwhile Glammity is a reference to Dancehall Queen Carlene’s iconic look.”

She highlighted that the designs are not just costumes but wearable pieces that blend style with comfort and affordability, ensuring they can be worn beyond the parade festivities. Divided into five sections - UkkuGlammityTraffic BlockingChampion Bubbla and Rude Gyal – each ensemble reflects Nicely’s attention to detail and commitment to authenticity.

Nicely’s journey in the fashion industry started out with modelling in her teenager years, but she quickly discovered her passion for designing. Her Kadian Nicely Exclusive designs have been featured on local events and recently on international runways during Brooklyn Fashion Week. She boasts a wide clientele of celebrities including reggae-dancehall recording artistes like Marcy Chin, Shaneil Muir, Sevana, and Nadine Sutherland and popular personalities such as five-time Olympic Champion Elaine Thompson Herah, Social Media Influencer Tanaania Tracey, and Wellness Coach Kamila McDonald.

Magnum Dancehall Week, taking place during Reggae Month from February 13 – 19, serves as a platform to honour and showcase the vibrant fusion of music and style that defines dancehall. With Magnum Tonic Wine as a key sponsor, the event aims to celebrate Jamaica’s cultural heritage while highlighting the enduring influence of dancehall on music and fashion.

The Dancehall Street Parade will tek charge of the streets of Kingston, starting from Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, ending at Independence Park at the National Stadium on Sunday, February 18.

“We really need this for dancehall. I am extremely glad Magnum came on board for the celebration; Magnum Tonic Wine is the staple drink at most if not all dancehall parties, dancehall nah keep without Magnum,” Nicely said. Noting that Magnum Dancehall Week has the potential to become a staple event, she added, “Personally, I am grateful for the opportunity to be the first designer to participate in this project because that will be embedded in dancehall’s history.”

Dominic Bell, Brand Communication Manager at J. Wray & Nephew Ltd, distributors of Magnum Tonic Wine, emphasised that Dancehall is an integral part of Jamaica’s cultural DNA and Magnum Dancehall Week offers an opportunity to celebrate its colourful tapestry.

“Reggae Month celebrations have been going well and we are looking forward to Magnum Dancehall Week because of the unique subculture it represents. Dancehall historically has its own niche in music and fashion. We have seen several dancehall artistes like Shabba Ranks and Spice gain recognition not only for their music, but for their unyielding flare for fashion. This week-long celebration will zoom in on all that connects music and style. We invite lovers of dancehall to join the festivities and pay homage to the iconic genre,” Bell said.