By Deidre Brathwaite
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – On July 10 – 12, Caribbean luxury brand portal PAPAIŸO staged the first-ever Caribbean showcase at leading resort show, Cabana in Miami Beach. With the support of key industry partners, such as the Caribbean Export Development Agency, brand Caribbean did not disappoint.
In an initial count, PAPAIŸO has already documented over USD $60,000 in orders from buyers across the world for their top three brands. Meiling, whose Resort 22 collection was an undeniable hit at Cabana, calls the Cabana win “a great reminder of the global appeal of artisanal luxury from the Caribbean.”
Meiling’s extraordinary craftsmanship and heirloom details were on full display at Cabana, with one buyer calling her collection the most beautiful collection on the floor. Cabana reinforced what we always knew, the Caribbean is truly a special place. According to PAPAIŸO, its mission is to increase the awareness and perceived value of Caribbean artisanal luxury in global markets, and the young startup is well on its way.
The projected amount of Cabana sales could increase significantly if the leads generated at the event convert over the course of the next few weeks. With PAPAIŸO’s recently launched virtual showroom, a key element of their B2B sales strategy all of the leads generated at Cabana will have ample opportunities to engage with the whimsical world of Caribbean artisanal luxury for which PAPAIŸO has become known. This landmark initiative highlights the virtues of a collaborative business model, as well as the brand-centric, data-driven business strategy that PAPAIŸO has always championed. To prepare for Cabana, PAPAIŸO brought the full weight of its ecosystem of services to bear, providing some of the brands with services in product development, creative development, brand strategy and logistics.
Indeed, after carefully analyzing the £271 billion personal luxury goods industry, 54 percent of which goes to the wholesale market, PAPAIŸO is making a bold play for this B2B segment.
“The Caribbean personal luxury goods market is a blue ocean of opportunity that is largely unexplored,” says Micha Alleyne. “It sits within a robust global luxury industry that is more than just fancy fandangles and chic shows,” Alleyne advises. “We have to be business-minded and serious about strategically harnessing the potential of this space that has proven potential,” Alleyne warns.
“Cabana was a great win for us on many fronts. First, this is perhaps the first time the Caribbean personal luxury goods market has been quantified in such a tangible way. Second, it has really clarified what our creative industries now require to be truly successful on the global stage. Logistics infrastructure, clarity on how to leverage trade agreements, and an honest conversation on the stifling effects of our customs duties are among the most pressing needs,” says Alleyne. “If we don’t urgently address these needs, then we will create a bottleneck of opportunities where talented brands put in all the work to reach the global frontier, then get stuck two steps away from the finish line,” Alleyne advises.
With a team of the Caribbean’s most stellar brands and the support of dynamic partners across the regional community, this collaborative effort illustrates the type of dynamic partnerships that are needed to navigate global markets. “We are very happy to have partnered with PAPAIŸO at Cabana this year,” says Caribbean Export’s Executive Director, Deodat Maharaj. “Caribbean Export recognizes the services sector as the next frontier for Caribbean businesses and will continue to work with SMEs to build Caribbean brands for the global market.”