How To Walk The Carnival Runway? Chichan Fashion Designers Naballah & Ryan Collaborate On Monday-wear Collection

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By Kimberly Wallace

This Carnival season will see the emergence of the Chichan Monday-wear collection – a collaboration between two young formidable designers in the Carnival/fashion world – costume designer/master draper Ryan Chan and fashion designer Naballah Chi.

Long before Chi met Chan and became “Chichan”, the two talented designers were making waves in their respective fields; Chi began as a blogger and stylist before making her debut as a fashion designer in 2015. As for Chan, he gained a reputation as a master draper. Over the years his Monday-wear collections have grown in popularity and are among the most highly anticipated of each Carnival season. The designers met for the first time while working on a special project in September 2023.

“We instantly clicked, our aesthetic and personalities aligned perfectly. We admired each other’s personal style and became great friends so we decided to work together,” says Chi.

The fashion-forward pair decided to collaborate on a Monday-wear collection – a first for Chi. By the end of last October they were conceptualising the designs and they began shopping for fabrics in November. Each design is a blend of Chi and Chan’s personal styles.

“It’s bold, colourful Monday wear. It’s fashionable, so people will feel in their element, yet it’s also comfortable for the road,” says Chi.

Since Chichan was launched on December 18, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The collection caught the attention of local personalities, including DJ Ana  (Ana-Leesa Ramnarine) and Nessa Preppy (Vanessa John) , as well as international clients.

“The response has been amazing,” says Chan. “I’ve been doing this for a long time—since the inception of Monday wear and every year, it gets bigger and bigger. I’ve never done a collaboration with anyone before and Naballah and I instantly clicked—our aesthetics work perfectly together.”

For years, it was common for masqueraders to wear their Carnival costumes on both Carnival Monday and Tuesday, which eventually gave way to T-shirts and shorts on Carnival Monday. But in recent times, Monday wear has blown up and become its own entity.

Chi envisions more collaborations between herself and Chan in the future.

“This entire experience has reminded me of how important it is to never give up but to continue to work on yourself and your talent. If you keep toiling and opening yourself up to opportunities—anything can happen. Trust your personal journey and be consistent—eventually you will see results,” says Chi.

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