DANIEL GARRIGA: Cuban Roots & Guadeloupe Flavour
something new and to make more changes. Daniel decided to settle in Guadeloupe, where he started teaching Cuban popular and traditional dances to enthusiastic locals who loved his style.
Scouted by Everlast to represent the famous brand of boxing equipment in Italy, Garriga left Guadeloupe for six months, then came back to the French island in 2003, where he continued teaching dance. His past profession as a tailor came back to mind in 2008, and he decided to start a new enterprise called Daniel Creation. He did mainly custom tailoring for several years, working “sur-mesure” for numerous students from his salsa classes. The clients loved his work and pushed him to go further, so in 2014, he decided to develop Daniel Creation into a ready-to-wear brand.
Garriga moved from his former studio and opened his own store, Eclipse By DC in Baie-Mahault, the economic heart of Guadeloupe. Since then he has created his own style and local magazines regularly feature his work photographed on the most beautiful models of the island. He is an important voice in Guadeloupe's fashion industry. As a former tailor, he likes form and structure, playing with different fabrics to build colourful clothes. A standard of his brand is a popular little dress with a boat collar, pinched at the waist, its short hemline allowing the beautiful legs of Guadeloupean ladies to be caressed by the Caribbean sun. The dress is presented in the photo below, where Daniel is seen working with the brand new face of Eclipse By DC, 14-year-old Lilia Lemnos, winner of Zaigo Fashion Face By Victoria L model contest in Guadeloupe. (See P18 for more.)
Daniel Garriga is inspired by the idea that his creations are made for all women, whatever their age.
“I don't make dresses for my customers,” he says. “Doing what you think people want is the best way to limit yourself. You have to propose a vision and give people the opportunity to open their minds by wearing your clothes. If you go in a direction that everybody wants to go, how do you stand out among other fashion designers? We do not have to follow the trend. We have to create the trend, create new trends by crossing the lines.
“Unfortunately, creation has a cost and the cost of producing original designs often prevents you from reaching younger women on an island affected by economic difficulty; they just cannot afford to buy an original creation. But I fight everyday to make affordable clothes, because I do want every woman to be able to wear one of my dresses if they feel it could bring joy in their lives.
“Fashion is way more that finding a way not to be naked in the street. It's a lifestyle, a way to assume and to claim your identity.”
Daniel Garriga and his muse Lilia at his studio