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Rhaj Paul's seamless transition


Transcription by Korena Darnelle

24/02/21                   11 minute read

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Photo courtesy of

Rhaj Paul

Hashtag TLRD: A New Design

What does the future look like and who are the visionaries that are planting the seeds for bountiful creativity? With a focus on sustainability and innovation, Rhaj Paul and Thérèse Fergusson have joined forces to create an exciting new web series, Hashtag Tailored, that takes an intimate look at Barbadian creativity. It’s garnered the interest of musicians, creatives and even business revolutionaries who are keen to witness the development of an industry which supports brilliance in both the academic and the creative realms.


Tailor, designer and owner of Ministry of Style Creative Alliance (MOSCA) Rhaj Paul and Thérèse Fergusson, Administrator of MOSCA and Production Manager of Hashtag Tailored, sat down for a chat with Bajans Connect to talk about the series. Click below to listen or scroll to read excerpts from this fascinating chat. 

Top 5 Things You Need To Know

About Hashtag Tailored

1. It's A Team Effort

BAJANS CONNECT: So given the COVID situation that we find ourselves in and you guys are doing this project right now: connecting Bajan culture, Bajan style, Bajan craftsmanship to the diaspora abroad, what are you doing? Can you tell us about the journey here and about the Hashtag Tailored project?

RHAJ: I could have all the ideas I want to have, but the execution is a whole other story. I went to Thérèse and I’m like, yo fam, this is something maybe I should’ve done a long time ago, but I know the timing is now. I want to create a platform where we could focus on makers. Where we could bring out a new love and a new admiration for craftsmanship and quality and so on. She was like alright, well cool, let’s hash it out right.

THÉRÈSE: I feel like artists often have great ideas. But our framework in Barbados has not prepared most artists for business and for bringing things to fruition. So I know oftentimes it’s difficult to translate a dream into reality. So, like Rhaj said, we had a mind-mapping session through my consultancy. So we had a half an hour meeting and we fleshed this concept out and other concepts out. But certainly this came out of trying to figure out what his... what he wanted to represent and what he wanted to bring to the market.

Photo courtesy of Rhaj Paul 

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2. Think Globally

BAJANS CONNECT: What do you think we need to realise more of that talent?

RHAJ: I had the opportunity to take some Community College students over to Limegrove and I said how many of you have ever been in Louis Vuitton, just before it went out and it was a handful of people. Louis Vuitton was in Barbados with their whole shop set up like how it does be in the States and Europe and so on and you gine leave that out? You not gonna go in there, cause why? You ain’t had no money to spend? Forget that! We going in there! We going and see how these people do it, you know what I’m saying? We went to Boss, Hugo Boss, you know. I said “touch that fabric, put on that jacket, feel that quality. Look at that layout, look at that branding.” Because those things help us to shape our own craft given our unique input in this larger international picture.

"...those things help us to shape our own craft given our unique input in this larger international picture."

3. Empowerment Is Key

BAJANS CONNECT: We have the choice; will we make [the garments] well?

RHAJ: It’s empowerment, right. I feel that’s what we need more of. I feel that is what will raise the standards all the time, that sense of empowerment which comes from recognising that you can. That you can. You can do you. You can be too. Here’s an example: to me, that’s one of the biggest impacts of Rihanna on our culture. You know what I’m saying?
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Photo courtesy of Rhaj Paul

4. Make Synergies

RHAJ: I would love for the science major who can produce a new textile. To say I ain’t nah designer, I’m a science guy, I do this. How does this serve you? Do you need a fabrication that is repellent, but still light? At one point we did not have dry fit. We didn’t have dry fit. Technology, science, combined with sports and leisure and function produced materials that could behave a certain way and then it became very fashionable.

THÉRÈSE: Style by extension is a very valuable part of the arts. It’s not just ‘a thing’ and of late we’ve seen a lot from more artists who understand that the synergy of look, sound and everything is critical to the overall presentation of the brand.

5. Community And Bajan Values Are The Way Forward

BAJANS CONNECT: I hear very traditional Bajan values reflected [in your statements]. So things like community, that’s always been the village community, your people around you. When you prosper, the people around you prosper.

RHAJ: But that’s just a fundamental African way of thinking you know. The whole village nourishing and supporting everybody. Not only eating but upbringing and development. When we talk about economics as a race and so on, it is so evident that we could very much sustain one another very easily just by me using you, you using me to do whatever. Debbie can do X, let's get her to do it and pay her. She eats, her family eats. Debbie then comes back to me and asks me to facilitate something and all these people [get] involved and they all eat and their families and they can afford to do their projects. You can easily see how just one structure branches out to thousands of people very easily. It is just that[‘s] the way that we are made up. It’s the way that we think and it’s just genetic I think. I think it’s part of who we are.

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