Can you hear that? Are you listening? That echo not so far off in the distance of children writing letters to Santa, Christmas carols filling the air, mistletoe’s begin hung high, office parties being planned. The holidays are near. 

Ahead of all the yuletide cheer we ‘Stepped Out of Office’ with Jamaican designer, Zaid, to discuss his love of design as well as his passion for modeling and art.


At what age did you start painting? And, when did you transition from art to fashion?

I started to paint at the age of 17 and I transitioned into fashion at 26.



Did you have formal training or are you self-taught?

I went to school to learn sewing at Garmex Academy in Kingston.



In 10yrs, where do you see your brand?

In ten years, I would love to see my brand in some big movies, on the big screen, selling out at box the office.



Being a designer in the Caribbean what has been an advantage or/and a disadvantage?

Being a Caribbean fashion designer, my advantage is our culture is so abstract and that gives me the vibe to be super creative. A disadvantage I have is the lack of fabric choices to execute some of my ideas so, I then have to (turn my hand and make fashion, as my grandmother would say) that means when you can’t get what you want, you use what you have the most creative way so it may not be a disadvantage, but, it pushes you to do what you never knew you could do.



Not only are you an artist and a designer but, you model as well. Tell us about some of the designers you have worked with, and out all, which one did you enjoy working with the most?

Modeling started for me by doing art for a designer who was also responsible for my influence into my fashion lifestyle. The designer is Mutamba. She was the one who brought me to Pulse for the interview and they loved my look. I was entered in a competition by Pulse CMS and was placed in the top 3. I also did a couple of runway local shows and some advertising for corporate companies. I modeled for designers like Tokyo James, The Cloth and Carlton Brown.



How often do you put out a collection?

I put out a collection of work about two to three times a year depending on the events.



Who are some of your designer inspirations?

For me, I would say designers such as Balmain, Donna Karan (DKNY) and Alexander McQueen. Locally, Mutamba is a designer who inspires me.



If you can impart advice on the next generation of designers/artist what would that advice be?

I would say, find out if this life is for you and if you are for it and if it is for you, then, JUST DO IT and stay FOCUS and be CREATIVE! The fashion game is always changing but, stay the same YOU.






Designer: Zaid Smith


Creative Director/Stylist:
Neko Kelly – @bootlegrocstar

Anash – @bigupanash

Zaid Smith

Hair Stylist:
Natalia Doswell Golding – @simplybeautifuljamaica


Sue Gregg  |  @suethemakeupgirl

Caribbean Style Phyle CREDITS

Neko Kelly – Creative Director/Stylist

Janette ArmstrongCreative Director/Fashion Development

Gina Mair – Creative Director/Strategy

Syntyche Clarke – Editor-In-Chief

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