NeKreol: Seychelles' babywear brand with Creole language and culture at heart
The NeKreol collection of Annarose Clarisse. (Juliette Dine)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A new baby clothesline called "NeKreol," which means "born Creole," was launched on Tuesday as part of the Seychelles Creole Festival activities.
At the launching ceremony, the owner of the business, Annarose Clarisse, presented three collections of clothing entitled "Nesans" (birth), "Flanbwayan" (flamboyant), "Inik e Andemik" (unique and endemic).
Clarisse said that the words portray the collection that she wants to project through the use of language and images.
"NeKreol is not just a name but it symbolises our origin, a connection, and our culture, heritage, and also language. It is an opportunity to integrate in our children trust in our culture, which merges with our modern reality," she said.
Her collection of Nesans is for infant clothes from 0-3 months and 3- 6 months and Clarisse said that this collection is affiliated with child development the first phase of eating and playing.
Flanbwayan is for a flower found in Seychelles and represents the explosion of colours that is expressed throughout this collection in various forms.
Inik e Andemik relates to the various endemic and unique species in Seychelles and this is done in a way that children will be connected to and with the use of colours and drawings.
|At the launching ceremony, Clarisse, presented three collections of clothing entitled "Nesans" "Flanbwayan" and, "Inik e Andemik". (Juliette Dine) Photo License: CC-BY
NeKreol also had the support of the Creative Seychelles Agency (CSA) and in his address, the executive director of the agency, Emmanuel D'Offay, said, "It is important for us as parents to choose carefully what kind of clothes we give our children to wear, Creole words are the first words a child hears when he/she is born, NeKreol has made Seychelles proud."
Clarisse said she came up with the idea after giving birth a year ago and having to find and purchase baby clothes that she felt were not really related to her baby's surroundings.
"Just as much as I was concerned about what cartoon my son watches and what books he reads, I was also concerned about what kind of clothes he was wearing," she said.
That got her into doing collage of her son's most important moments and people started to appreciate them so she began making them for the locals and those living abroad.
"There was a lack of connection that I did not realise before with regards to the sharing of culture with our kids, especially those whose mother tongue is English. There was a thirst for that kind of connection on a daily basis where we could talk to our kids about our tradition that was not in their surroundings like children of the previous decades experienced," said Clarisse.
The business officially started in February and the baby clothes are made in China according to Clarisse's specifications since China has an abundance of fabrics and the production is more affordable.
In line with her strategic plan to remain in business for years, Nekreol has enough drawings to last for a period of five years.
Although the words appear simple, the owner of NeKreol engaged in extensive research to ensure that the Creole words are correct and to ensure that the history behind certain information was accurate.
Clarisse intends to collaborate further with the Seychelles National Institute for Culture Heritage and the Arts (SNICHA) for other projects.
October is the month when there is the highest number of activities to promote the Creole culture in Seychelles. It is also the time when the locals wear their traditional outfits, but there are very few options for children.
Clarisse sees this as an opportunity to create traditional outfits for kids but this is still in the research and development phase.
"During the Creole Festival children wear clothes that are quite relevant to the Creole spirit but it's not really it. So we definitely have this in our plan," said Clarisse.