House of Byfield fashions are instantly recognizable. Bold, trendy and eye-catching, they are the creations of designer Carmichael Byfield who established his luxury brand in 2011. Carmichael is heavily inspired by Jamaican culture, and he refuses to create boring, typical, monochromatic offerings. Instead, his suits and dresses are colorful and contain bold patterns that instantly set his work apart.

Carmichael hailed from Kingston Jamaica and started his career in fashion as a model before turning his attention to creating colorful outfits. His work has skyrocketed him to fame in the Netherlands where he works as a top designer.

His name in the fashion industry is now globally recognized via the inclusion of his fashion collections on runways in Los Angeles, Jamaica and New York.

February 2019 marked the launch of International Fashion Week which led to the showcase of House of Byfield at Manhattan’s Art Hearts Fashion event. Carmichael created a series of largely black-and-white ensembles which were sophisticated yet bold, comfortable, and undeniably his.

Recently Carmichael Byfield, “The King of Prints,” discusses his fashion career and future plans via an exclusive interview.

Modeling, apparel collections, and Jamaican pride

Meagan Meehan (MM): You grew up in Jamaica, so how does your cultural background influence your artistic Style?

Carmichael Byfield (CB): Indeed, I grew up in Jamaica and Jamaica is known Globally for its cultural heritage with great reggae music throughout the World. Therefore, it’s intentional that I, as one of the many international fashion brands from Jamaica, continue to carry the Jamaican flag highly on the rightful path of fashion and to continue enforcing that artistic style with colorful and bold prints--especially with unique designs for men.

This way I'll show the world that Jamaica is also known for having creative directors globally apart from just our known reggae musicians.

MM: How did you first get interested in modeling and how did that lead to you designing your clothing?

CB: I first started modeling in high school while living in Brooklyn, NY.

And during that era in the early '90s, it was the likes of powerhouses such as Versace & Moschino who ruled catwalks globally. I thought to myself “one day I'll work so hard also to rule catwalks globally.”

MM: What was the first piece of apparel you designed and how did you get your fashions showcased on international runways?

CB: The first apparel was created on May 14, 1995. And the first major fashion show was in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on October 19, 2011. The first international show was DFMM on February 14, 2013, in Morocco.

MM: What inspires your bold patterns and how do you select which colors to combine?

CB: I looked throughout the fashion market in the Netherlands, and I thought to myself “I'm not going to be like any of those boring Dutch fashion brands who only use standard and dull colors.” I wanted to be outstanding and unique, so I've created something new in the Netherlands which never existed before.

MM: What was the inspiration behind the latest 2019 black and white collection?

CB: There wasn't any inspiration behind the lasted FW19 collection. I went fabric shopping and came across the prints and immediately decided that they would be the new prints for the House of Byfield FW19.

MM: How did you get involved with the Art Hearts Fashion show in NYC and what makes this show unique?

CB: My first show with them was on February 19, 2015. That was when the Art Hearts Fashion was part of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. They were on the official schedule, and we still have a great collaboration with the creative director, Erik Rosete.

Fashion shows, ultimate goals, and the Netherlands

MM: Of all the fashion shows you participate in do you have any favorites?

If so, which ones and why?

CB: That'll have to be the Serbia Fashion Week! The protocol and production of their platforms is PERFECT--too good to be true. In Serbia they have a great team, they are entirely well organized, and the platform is the greatest for starting or knowing designers.

MM: How did you become so famous in the Netherlands and which countries are you currently gaining traction in?

CB: I am not sure if I'm famous as yet in the Netherlands. I'd like to think that I'm known there. I am very humble and kind and have reached out to many and will continue reaching out as much as possible. But I guess it's just by me being myself that makes me a famous person in the Netherlands.

MM: What are your ultimate goals regarding your career as a fashion designer?

CB: I've already reached my goals since 2015. However, my next goal now is to fly the first flagship store for the brand and I'm currently working towards that.

MM: What exciting events are coming up for you in 2019 and what sorts of fashions can fans expect from you in 2020?

CB: The most exciting thing is to head over to Dubai where I'm showcasing at a major event in October 2019. And what to expect for the brand in 2020 is the House of Byfield flagship store!

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