Twenty eight year-old Cross Roads Jamaica resident Gregory Williams is the mission Catwalk Season 2 winner and will be heading to London Fashion Week later this year as part of his wining package valued at $3 million dollars.
The designer, who won one prior challenge on the show, had a tearful reaction to the announcement made on Tuesday’s finale episode.
“When I heard my name, I couldn’t help it. This was a competition and I had worked hard so it was just a relief to get to the end.”
He was judged on 12 looks he presented at Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW) 2012 on June 8. Though he has a penchant for high fashion, Gregory made a strong effort to present ready-to-wear pieces.
For Novia McDonald-Whyte Jamaica Observer lifestyle editor, “Gregory got the nod at the end of the day because he is truly a designer! One who’s not only capable of thinking outside the proverbial box, but one who makes a woman crave his designs.” aptly summing up the views of fellow judges Keneea Linton-George host and executive-producer of the series and menswear designer Carlton Brown.
Guest judge Kay Davitian, a former head of quality control at Jones NY and Ralph Lauren gave Gregory some sage advice.”You are a true designer and you will go far if you put your head to learning the trade.”
His learning has already begun with advice on running a small business from NCB who will contribute JMD$500,000 to his HOD Designs clothing line. Gregory will also receive industrial sewing equipment valued at JMD$200,000 courtesy of Singer Jamaica, a contract to sell his designs at SOHO boutique, a six-page fashion editorial in Ocean Style Magazine, a scholarship to pursue fashion program at London College of Fashion, an apprenticeship with Master Savile Row Tailor Andrew Ramroop and the chance to show a new collection at London Fashion Week in September accompanied by his Mission Catwalk model Sydia Valentine.
Fellow Jamaican Crystal Powell came a close 2nd, but a lack of cohesiveness in her collection of beautiful pieces cost her the win.
“Her passion is evident and her precision will put her in good stead in what is undoubtedly a fickle fashion market,” predicts McDonald-Whyte.
In third place was Rebecca Stirm of Belize, a strong contender throughout the show, whose final designs were not “aspirational” according to Linton-George. Rounding up the top four was Trinidad’s Ryan Chan who did have an impactful collection but lost points for “slapping on” ready-made beading.
This is the first time that casting for the show was open to designers from around the region. Mission Catwalk’s first season, won by Shena Carby, consisted of Jamaican designers only. Linton-George says requests are coming in from every island regarding season three. Interested designers and models can visit facebook.com/missioncatwalk for information and can catch up on all season 2 episodes at youtube.com/missioncatwalk.