FASHION: Debra Edwards building brand Jamaica

Rocheda Bartley
Rocheda Bartley

March 8, 2020

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Good shoes take you places! But what’s even better is when they’re eco-friendly. Debra Edwards achieves both feats with her 11-month-old enterprise DAE Collection.

A brand of sustainable sandals that leave a low carbon footprint, DAE, which is an acronym of the creative director’s name (Debra Antoinette Edwards), offers fabulous pieces made from repurposed material – chiefly goatskin – which are suited for every woman who has an appreciation for fashion.

The young businesswoman and fashionista has always had a passion for style. However, her initiation into the fashion world was unplanned and occurred only seven years ago. At the time, Edwards had travelled to New York to pursue an education in mass communication. While studying, she was introduced to lifestyle journalism and fashion, which ignited uncontrollable flames of excitement.

BUILDING JAMAICA 

Like many others who have tapped into entrepreneurship, Edwards has had her share of challenges. With a shop that exists only in cyberspace, she’s a little troubled that her country has yet to fully cross over to online shopping.

Still, that’s not enough to dissuade her from continuing what she has started. In fact, she has not yet been able to identify anything that can.

Edwards is committed to protecting the environment, while advancing the country by providing jobs for local artisans. She told Flair, the sliding dollar is a major challenge and wishes that the raw materials would become more readily available. The fashionmonger also hopes to find more craftspersons who are devoted to her cause.

“When you purchase a DAE Collection sandals, you’re doing more than just buying shoes. You are giving somebody the chance to put food on their table,” Edwards said.

Part proceeds from every pair of DAE sandals sold are donated to various foundations across the island. 

During her down time, the St Andrew native enjoys travelling, loves people and adores her family, especially because of the strong support system that it provides. These three factors were instrumental in the naming of her four designs: De La Vega, San Souci, Lady M and South Sound.

The urban, trendy and elegant sandals are available in several colours. Each pair is unique and that’s because each scrap of goatskin is different. So, you won’t find another pair that’s quite like yours.

Story by Rocheda Bartley

rocheda.bartley@gleanerjm.com 

Photos by Nicholas Nunes

nicholas.nunes@gleanerjm.com

Rocheda Bartley

Author

Rocheda Bartley

Whether it's through her written profiles or quick retorts, Rocheda Bartley has a way with words. Quiet, diligent and observant, she brings balance to the Flair team and never ceases to surprise.

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