Minister of Trade and Industry has announced Government's intention to transform the fashion industry, following the recent triumph of local designer Anya Ayoung-Chee. Cadiz said his ministry had met with various stakeholders of the fashion industry in an effort to chart a way forward. Cadiz joined a growing number of public figures to send congratulations to T&T designer Anya Ayoung-Chee on her success in winning the Project Runway competition. Anya blazed past the competition on Thursday night to win both the design competition and the fan favourite competition put on by the US television network Lifetime.
In a release from Perth, Australia, Cadiz congratulated Ayoung-Chee who he labelled "a daughter of our soil" on her phenomenal success in the US-based television series. "This morning in Australia, I received the news that our very own Anya topped the competition. As a citizen of this great land, she represented our nation on the international stage with grace, poise and certainty," said Cadiz. He continued: "Her collection titled Tobago Love was able to capture the creativity, essence, beauty, vibrancy and spirit of the Caribbean. Anya's success story has further highlighted the potential of the fashion industry of Trinidad and Tobago." Cadiz described creativity a great asset, but lamented that the potential of the fashion industry has yet to be exploited to its fullest.
"Fashion is a key pillar of our diversification plan and this government is fully committed to ensuring that there is sustained growth and development," Cadiz said. "We are committed to creating a suitable environment which will foster, nurture and harness the creativity of our people to ensure its transformation into a booming industry. We have heard the plights and concerns of the creative sector and I assure you that we are addressing these concerns." He recognised the contributions of Wayne Berkeley, Peter Minshall, Claudia Pegus, Meiling and Heather Jones as those who had blazed the trail and laid the foundation which has identified and nurtured talents such as Ayoung-Chee's.