JUS G' WAN

By :- R. Anthony Morrison

Featured

Charon Richardson, the creator of G’wan inspires women to fall in love once more with their authentic selves –

G’wan ~ I dare you… to be you!” is her motto.

No matter what size or ethnicity, Charon’s designs to help reconnect women with their innermost beauty. Born and raised on the tropical island of St. Croix USVI, she was inspired to bring her island aesthetic to designs for the plus size woman.. Professionally trained at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City, Charon has spent years traveling the globe learning and experimenting with different design elements. Her styles reflect her global journeys. On April 25, she presented her second debut of her swimwear line in Brooklyn's trendy DUMBO district. Fans of the designer came out in numbers that had the venue packed to near capacity.  There was plenty of interest in the line from attendees. We managed to catch up with the designer for a quick chat before the end of the festivities, we present to you Charon Richardson of G'wan.

 

CR : My name is Charon Richardson, and I was born and raised in St. Croix the U.S. Virgin Islands. I've been designing for about 23 years. I worked in fashion on New York's Seventh avenue for 16 years. I traveled the world, and then decided to launch my own collection. This is the second debut of my swim collection.

P : Why did you decide to do swimwear?

CR : Cause I'm an Island girl and it was an easy transition. After I left to go to college almost 20 years ago I said " You know I will not have arrived if I don't have a swim suit collection. Last year I had the honor of  it on St. Croix my first collection ever. That for me was epic, this was great but to be home, on my earth was epic. At heart I'm an island girl, I just happen to live on the mainland.

P :  So what was the element you wanted to bring to the area of swimwear design?

CR : I think I'm  bringing a totally different aesthetic. I tend to design plus size women. I feel that as far as what's out there we don't have enough sassiness.  That sassy, classy lady pop.  My swim suits are sexy and alluring but very lady like,very sophisticated. She can be sexy but with just a little slivers of skin popping out and for me that's key, you can be sexy but be a lady at all times.

P : You seem to have a love for color and pattern that is expressed a bit differently from a lot of swimwear designers, do you see that as an advantage?

CR: I think the beauty of my swimwear is that I play a lot with patterns, and fabrics because I'm a knit wear designers by trade. I understand what the knit fabric can give, and cannot give me. With a lot of my pieces you can take that top and say "I'm gonna wear it with jeans." I think that's what I bring that's different. Other peoples designs look like swimwear. With mine you look and say " is that swimwear?" It's bright, the prints are great.  I feel like plus size women need the bold prints, they need cutouts, just in the right places. It can cover up and hold everything where it needs to be. The key is learning how to cut, and have that cut fit the woman. .

P : Where are your highest sales these days?

CR :  Actually from the Virgin Islands, I probably have 60% from the Virgin Islands. I also have product in St. Maarten, Antigua, Canada, and of course the mainland. These are primarily internet driven sales, though I do make custom orders. I have customers that come to my studio and they get a personalized fitting with me. 

P : What are your plans for the future of G'wan?

CR : We want to branch off into more Caribbean islands, that's my ultimate goal especially with the plus line. I will probably be doing pop up boutiques, and trunk shows in various islands. I don't have to explain the name; they get it. They say "oh G'wan,  I get it, I get it". So my drive is just to saturate the islands with G'wan everywhere, everybody should wear it. I just want to make women feel confident, and sexy. Just know that we are all created equal it doesn't matter what shape, size or ethnicity,  if the clothes are cut right it will fit you.

 

For more info on Gwan please visit

http://www.gwanbycharon.com/

 

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