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COVID-19 will not be stopping the inaugural 'Rise of the Sunbird' for Grand Kadooment 2020 as Vida X Esquire works to put contingencies in place.

The threat of the novel coronavirus pandemic has infiltrated the Caribbean borders, with reported cases in the Dominican Republic, St Martin, and Martinique, but costume designer and co-founder of Vida Barbados, Janelle ‘Jin’ Forde is still expecting persons to come out in their numbers to jump on Grand Kadooment Day.

Speaking to the media at the press launch of the newest Kadooment band, Vida X Esquire, Jin Forde shared that they are aiming for and expect the band to have more than 600 revellers making their way to the Mighty Grynner Highway on August 3. She stated that Vida X Esquire will be specifically targeting those close to home – the Barbadian population and regional revellers – to secure their numbers.

With Italy recently issuing a national shutdown due to over 10,000 citizens being diagnosed with the virus, Jin Forde acknowledged that the virus has spread rapidly, but she believed the brand will attract the CARICOM masqueraders.

“Regarding the virus, we can’t control that so we really have to target our family and when I say our family, our Bajan population. As we know the virus can be widespread, we don’t know the impact but for us we are very self-sufficient so we are capable of producing large numbers, surpassing 600 locally and regionally,” Jin Forde commented.

Fabric, imports hit by COVID-19

Businesses internationally are bracing for a substantial impact on their operations as the coronavirus disease 2019 slows down the Chinese economy. The business of carnival will not escape unscathed as many materials are sourced from Chinese suppliers.

When questioned about how the slowdown will affect her operations, the head designer of Vida revealed that her suppliers have resumed operations and business will be on track.

“Not everywhere has closed and where it was closed, [business] has resumed. You never know what can happen but places with my supplier are fully functional.
We do source fabrics overseas and some of the fabrics we source overseas are available locally. It is cheaper overseas so of course we want to pass on those benefits of cheaper materials to our patrons,” she explained.

“When it comes to colour, texture and fabrics, we want to embody what is Kadooment. We want to embody the vibrancy of the festival and we intend to do that through the costumes,” she also added.

The original article can be found here.



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