Kimberley Tobas-Charles, is the head designer for KIPT Apparel Designs Fashion House, an eponymous, local, independent fashion house situated in a quaint area in Maraval. As a Chemistry Undergrad at University of The West Indies (UWI), Kimberley saw fashion as an escape from the monotony of academia. After gaining what was believed as sufficient technical and scholarly training, Kimberley legitimately birthed her fashion brand in early 2018. After understudying other local designers while simultaneously gaining a degree in Fashion from the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), Kimberley decided that she was ready to establish her independent design house. Today she still describes this decision to be an avenue of escape (for her). She uses clothing as a means of storytelling, utilising her crafty nature and intellectual canny wit when creating collections. The latest collection “Black and White no grey area” is an appropriate example of her expression that mirrors her innermost feelings in subtle and witty but yet always having the juxtaposition of sophistication.
Many know her for her forte in fabric manipulation and ingenuity of design. This is where creativity flows through the seams of KIPT. Kimberley proudly states that inspirational designers who predisposed her attention to fit and refined style aesthetic are foremost the recently deceased: Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander Wang and Alexander Mc Queen. Intrigued by Kimberley’s escape through fashion, the WE Mag team took time to hear some more about her journey. Here’s what she shared with us:
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome and how did you deal with it?
Though the life of a designer may appear glamorous from a runway and the shutters of a photographer’s lens, I have faced many challenges to attain a foothold in this cluttered yet embryonic fashion industry. One of my biggest challenges as an independent designer for fashion house is not only sustainability but striking that balance between personal and business life. As a wife, daughter, sister and friend the delicacy of spreading myself too thin poses a crisis. The biggest challenge is overcoming the disappointment in a parent that derailed my career and had no faith in my talent or success – this virtually made me lose all optimism in humanity. However, I was able to overcome this feeling by sheer determination, strong will, prayer and the unwavering support of my husband and inner circle.
Tell us something about you that people may not know?
Limited people are previewed to my less uptight obsessive side to actually experience ‘Kim’. When I let my hair down, I am the most loyal, honest, free spirited, down to earth, simplistic, non-judgmental human being. One thing one may not know is the lengths that I go to ensure every member of the KIPT family is gratified. It’s truly a luxury lifestyle brand and a one of a kind atelier experience.
What are you most grateful for?
As a designer I am most grateful for being blessed with a skill that journeys along a client’s life span from baptisms to birthdays, weddings and the honour of death. Gaining a KIPT family of clients has been one of the most rewarding things in my life. “My heart lays in the threads of garment construction and is the pulse of KIPT designs.”