Ar­ri­anne the un­ex­pected Vi­sion Arri

My wife wants to swap

Jamaica Gleaner - - OUTLOOK - LIFESTYLE REPORTER

AR­RI­ANNE LEIGH Wil­liams’ need to share Ja­maica’s magic through pho­tog­ra­phy man­i­fested it­self into some­thing big­ger than she ex­pected – trans­form­ing her into a fashion ‘Vi­sionArri’.

Vi­sionArri Cre­ations is more than a line of bags and note­books, but rather art on the go. Wil­liams never thought of her­self as a de­signer, and still doesn’t. She blushes at the ref­er­ence be­cause this was not the plan, and she thinks that there is much more for her to learn as it re­lates to the in­dus­try. She is a swim­ming teacher and a photographer – more of a hob­by­ist but not quite, as she has done some free­lance pho­tog­ra­phy work. Vi­sionArri started as she was try­ing to find a way to share her art.

Wil­liams cred­its her friend Kerry-Ann Clarke for get­ting her on the right track. She had al­ways liked tak­ing pho­tos, and many of her friends sug­gested that she start a cof­fee-ta­ble book. Though she con­sid­ered it for the future, it was not

where she saw her­self go­ing at the mo­ment. So in July 2015, she de­cided that she would cre­ate a hand­bag line.

“I love bags, so why not? Plus, I wanted to cre­ate some­thing that is used ev­ery day – func­tional things to share my pic­tures,” she told Out­look.

Ad­mit­tedly, Wil­liams was a bit un­cer­tain where to start. It was Clarke who pointed her in the di­rec­tion of the Al­pha Boys’ Home, who had cre­ated her first set of bags. A pro­to­type was fi­nally de­cided on in Septem­ber 2015, af­ter sourc­ing the best fab­ric for the pho­to­graphs to be prop­erly dis­played on. Again, it was Clarke who gave her the nudge, telling her that she needed to have her bags ready in time for MoDA Mar­ket 2015 – and she did. This was where the Vi­sionArri Cre­ations was of­fi­cially launched. At the time, she had two bags – To­tally Spa­cious, which was de­signed to be a travel or week­end bag, and the pouch Inside Out.

Of To­tally Spa­cious, she tells Out­look, “I be­lieve in trav­el­ling sen­si­bly, so I took into con­sid­er­a­tion, if you were trav­el­ling, that it could be used as a hand­bag, so it can fit un­der the seat of a plane. They are also big enough to hold all you need for a day at the beach, and you can even roll your yoga mat and it fits per­fectly at the bot­tom,” Wil­liams explains, high­light­ing the di­ver­sity of To­tally Spa­cious.

The Inside Out is in­tended to be a pouch that

could be slipped within a bag, but cus­tomers has turned it into a clutch be­cause of its beau­ti­ful pic­tures. Wil­liams also de­vel­oped note­books, cush­ions and note­cards.

One year later, she has ex­panded her col­lec­tion with her Art­ful Mo­ments – smaller than To­tally Spa­cious; Hands Free Fun – a strapped ver­sion to Inside Out; and When Change Makes Cents – a tiny pocket pouch. All the images on the bags also car­ries a name to per­son­alise her work.

It was im­por­tant to Wil­liams that her prod­ucts were 100 per cent lo­cally made. So the print­ing is done by Copy Cat, with the ex­cep­tion of her books, which are done by Topp In De­signz – an­other lo­cal com­pany. San­dra Hardy is her head seam­stress, while The Por­tal Vir­tual Ser­vice is re­spon­si­ble for her web­site de­vel­op­ment.

Ja­maica is def­i­nitely her in­spi­ra­tion even though it was her trip to Ber­lin that re­ally ig­nited her ap­pre­ci­a­tion for her coun­try.

“I al­ways thought that we had magic, but I could not put my finger on it; and when I went and I saw the street art, it hit me. Their coun­try was beau­ti­ful be­cause they cre­ated the colour, but we grew it. The beauty is in ev­ery­thing around us – from our di­ver­sity in peo­ple to the land­scape. We have true beauty,” she stated.

While she has not taken on the per­sona of a de­signer, she en­cour­ages per­sons to go af­ter their dreams.

“Go af­ter it. Pur­sue your pas­sion re­lent­lessly. This was some­thing inside of me that I needed to get out. You do not have to be a cre­ative per­son, but for ev­ery and any­one, just go af­ter it be­cause you do not have that dream or de­sire for noth­ing.”

ER­ROL CROSBY/ PHOTOGRAPHER

Jody-Anne Lawrence The brain and cre­ative soul be­hind Vi­sionArri Cre­ations, Ar­ri­anne Leigh Wil­liams, tak­ing us back to how it all started.

PHO­TOS BY AR­RI­ANNE WIL­LIAMS

Have a ‘dope’ time. Carol Ann Phillips (left) and Alyssia Fran­cis sporting Vi­sionArri Cre­ations’ To­tally Spa­cious de­signs Step­ping Stone and Bright Future, re­spec­tively.

Left: Phillips is wear­ing Hands Free Fun with the pho­to­graph, Jour­ney.

PHO­TOS BY AR­RI­ANNE WIL­LIAMS

You can even add a lit­tle edge to your for­mal wear with Vi­sionArri Cre­ations.

Vi­sionArri Cre­ations’ To­tally Spa­cious – Peas in a Pod, it is a com­plete all-rounder bag.

This Art­ful Mo­ments bag will be ‘Pin­ing for You’.

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