Fashion designer and stylist Shamara Sahadeo is making a name for herself in the industry as she continues to impress with her ability to capture Caribbean culture and expression in her pieces.
Sahadeo’s interest in fashion began at the age of 17 and was inspired by her grandmother, who was a seamstress, and her mother, who designed clothes. With her growing love and passion for fashion, she started her own swimwear brand in 2017, which she later developed into a clothing brand called Seora Clothing.
Sahadeo, who goes by the nickname “Shampagne”, has designed and styled Jamaican artists such as Lila Iké, Kabaka Pyramid, Spice, Ding Dong, Protoje, Jesse Royal and Skillibeng. This month, she made her fashion show debut at the Johnnie Walker Keep Walking Session in Di Lot, designing six Johnnie Walker-themed pieces that drew inspiration from the brand’s personality.
“It was really exciting for me. I love being able to tell the story of what I think Johnnie Walker represents from my perspective. I decided to call the mini collection ‘Opulence’ because I feel like that’s what spoke to me about Johnnie Walker’s brand and presentation.The color palette was inspired by Johnnie Walker’s red and black bottles, and I did it in a context a bit couture, a bit streetwear, but entirely Caribbean,” Sahadeo explained.
One of the designer’s main challenges as an industry professional in Jamaica is her limited access to a wide variety of materials. However, she uses this limitation to push the boundaries of her creativity when it comes to using what is available. She said it’s one of the reasons her first fashion show with Johnnie Walker meant so much to her and proves she’s headed in the right direction. “I was very nervous, but I’m glad everyone loved it. I received many compliments from people who came to me. I also got to talk to quite a few people about what I do, so that was really, really good for me,” she said.
The mini collection featured a vintage floral print taffeta trench coat with reverse print cargo pants; a set of brown suede cargo jacket; a red tulle mini dress; black laced wide leg pants with a cropped blouse; a black satin cargo jacket with chained red velvet durga and red satin cape with faux fur, black ruffled faux leather pants and chained Monday wear from her “After 8 Monday Wear” collection.
Sahadeo mainly designs and creates custom clothing which she classifies as a cross between Caribbean tailoring and “yaad” streetwear. “I’m very influenced by African and European designers, but I’m very passionate about the Caribbean perspective. So while I’m very into fashion houses like Balmain and Dolce and Gabbana, I want everything I do to feel like Jamaica or the universal Caribbean experience.
As a stylist, Sahadeo’s business has also taken her to spend a lot of time in the dancehall and reggae space, allowing her to hone her craft and understanding of Jamaican culture through fashion. The first female artist she drew was Lila Iké in 2020, while her first male client was Protoje. “Whatever I style, I design it,” she said. “Because I primarily design and style for musicians, performers, and artists, my designs have been in music videos, magazine covers, commercials, and live performances internationally.”
In the future, Sahadeo hopes to launch her own gender-neutral fashion line and allow people to buy her designs in person or online. “I see design as creating a reality, and I love being able to tell stories through clothes. When my grandmother was alive, she made clothes, and she taught my mother how to do it. , and my mother taught me. I want to enlarge our heritage and also represent the Caribbean region [as] a whole so people can see us as a fashion superpower in the world,” Sahadeo shared.