Award-winning fashion designer Isy Obi has been designing clothes ever since she was able to pick up a pencil. She grew up watching her fashion designer mother at work in her studio, and guided by her mother, she designed clothes firstly for her dolls, and then for herself.
Following her head rather than her heart, she initially pursued a career in finance, while continuing to dabble in the world of fashion.
It took three decades for her to decide to follow her passion professionally and since establishing her fashion brand – Isy B. – in 2015, it seems her feet haven’t touched the ground. Her innate talent for creating beautiful clothes has won her brand many accolades on the international fashion stage. Her recent win as Emerging Lifestyle Designer of the Year at Phoenix Fashion Week cements Isy B.’s status as the Caribbean brand to watch, and is set to propel the Isy B. brand on a whole new trajectory globally.
After making the first cut as one of just 15 designers selected from over 300 international applicants for the Phoenix Fashion Week emerging designer program, Obi embarked on the tough four-month fashion boot camp program. Launched in 2008, the Phoenix Fashion Week boot camp is designed to educate new designers about the business of fashion, while testing their creativity, problem solving skills, and commitment.
After winning the title of Emerging Designer of the year at Phoenix Fashion Week, the brand was picked up by Evine, the third largest home shopping network in the U.S. Isy Obi will be Evine’s newest home shopping TV star in May 2017, appearing in front of a national audience of 80 million viewers to sell an Isy B. collection which she is creating exclusively for Evine.
“One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from the Phoenix Fashion Week boot camp is to push myself as a designer and expand my boundaries,” says Obi.
As Isy B.’s success grows, the designer is enthusiastic about making Isy B. a shared success story for the Cayman community as a whole. Isy B.’s first intern, Caymanian student, Ariana Bignal, has gone on to pursue a college career in Fashion Journalism at the Academy of Art University San Francisco, and this fall, the designer worked with students and teachers from CIFEC and John Gray High School to produce the winning short fashion film submitted as one of her Phoenix Fashion Week challenges.
“I love being able to share the work I do with young people who aspire to careers in the creative industry,” says Obi.
Isy B. is currently available online isybdesign.com, at Sand Angels in Camana Bay and on online resortwear boutiques Vault XV in the U.S. and Global Runway in the U.K. In the coming months, Isy B. will also be launching in some of the premier resortwear boutiques in the Bahamas.