Stand Out From The Crowd With Sokanaval

The big Crop Over climax is almost upon us so this will be the final post in the Styled For Crop Over series for this year.

If you’re still looking for something to wear this long weekend, look no further than the Sokanaval line from Karen DeFreitas Fraser of St Vincent & the Grenadines. Sokanaval, a breakoff from her Soka brand, will offer clothing just for carnivals starting with this year’s Crop Over. It’s available locally through the F.A.N.C.Y. Bim website which we featured here.

We had a brief Q&A.

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  1. Tell me a bit about your background in design.

I’ve been sketching, drawing and essentially designing for as long as I could remember. I was the one getting in trouble in class for ‘doodling’ all the time. I was blessed to attend Parsons School of Design- The New School in New York City.  (You’ve seen it on Project Runway). I also have interned with many fashion houses and magazines such as Alice and Olivia, Zac Posen and Yigal Azrouel. I just completed my BFA in Fashion Design in December 2014.

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  1. What was the inspiration behind Soka?  

SoKa is my baby. It has grown, changed and developed over the years but the passion behind it has remained the same; to create fashion that one can see as an extension of themselves that helps one exude confidence.

The inspiration to start SoKa was my own need to express my vision and be bold about it.  It was my way of stepping outside of the box I was told to occupy and create my own space and purpose. SoKa has been inspired by all aspects of my Caribbean culture and environment. That can be seen in my love of prints and color and it has also been inspired by New York, my adopted home, where now I’m a ready to wear designer who always wears black .

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  1. How did the Sokanaval line come about and what are you offering?

Sokanaval is clothing made just for your carnival needs! It follows the same colorful aesthetic but it is casual and made for a good time. The line is best known for its ‘peppa pants’ or shorts but also includes our ‘Mary-Jane’ pieces of midi skirts and crop tops; the go-to pieces for the carnival season and beyond. It’s still a small brand that’s growing.

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  1. Where can we find your work?

We have officially collaborated with our first online store F.A.N.C.Y. Bim and can be found on their website (www.fancybim.com). And you can still order custom made pieces by contacting me at madebysoka@gmail.com and view my work at www.madebysoka.com.  And of course social media @madebysoka and @sokanaval . I hope to collaborate with boutiques and other stores in Trinidad and Tobago and St Lucia etc. in the near future.

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  1. Do you find that there is a demand for one of a kind pieces during festivals like Crop Over?

Definitely! That is why Sokanaval was created. During Crop Over season it is hot but women want to look sensual, be comfortable and stand out; the ‘peppa pants’ fits the bill.

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  1. What type of woman do you cater to?

Confident women, essentially the woman who is aware of and loves herself.  She is a modern woman, with a romantic taste of contemporary not trendy and what’s in the know.

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7. How do you incorporate your personal style into your designs?

I think design for every designer involves ego and self.  With SoKa I tell my personal stories whether memories or things I like and things that make me happy. This is how the dance hall SS15 collection came about.

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8. What can we expect from you in the future?

More growth and experimenting and learning.  New collections from SoKa and new pieces added to Sokanaval line for every carnival imaginable across the diaspora.

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