Fashion is a calling for 27-year-old David Rolle. He has never questioned his passion and has made name for himself at the House of Raphelita in The Bahamas.
“I always tell people that I don’t think its possible to learn fashion design in a classroom. You can learn techniques and principles and study history and theory but fashion has to call you,” said Rolle.
Born and raised on the island of New Providence, David takes an eclectic approach to fashion. Armed with a Judy (a sewing mannequin mostly used by designers who drape) David takes his design cues from fashion designers and traditional artists like: Anna Dello Russo, Alexander McQueen, Harl Taylor, Tom Ford, Jackson Burnside and Amos Ferguson.
“As an artist, you see everything different from the rest of the world,” said Rolle. [On a] late night flight while passing over the state of Florida, I looked down at the pattern created by street and home lights and cars on highways which created a plaid-like pattern and I could somehow see a little black dress covered in beading in a plaid-like pattern of amber, reds and creams. I’m often inspired by clients themselves, by designers, by experiences and one should never try to limit or subject his/her inspiration.”
David launched his first collection in 2011 at Islands of the World Fashion Week. Since then he has hosted private showcases and been a part of several other fashion events. The House of Raphelita has been featured in fashion Jamaica, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, Atlanta, Florida, New York and Washington D.C.
Rolle’s work has won awards such as: The Bahamas Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture Award for Pacesetter in Enterprise, Islands of The World Fashion Week Next Gen Designer Award and Islands of The World Fashion Week Cultural Fashion Award.
His latest venture is tapping into the Carnival bug that has swept The Bahamas. His design prowess is responsible for the lionfish section of the Bahamas Masqueraders Junkanoo Carnival group. Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival held it’s inaugural road march this May.
“Not only did I see Carnival as an excellent marketing strategy… but I also found it to be another way to tap into my creative,” he said. “I have already considered the fashion industry to be extremely awarding thus far, considering my personal goals I wouldn’t say I’ve gotten my big break as yet.”
David encourages budding designers to learn to find a balance when it comes to their personal lives and their craft and to always embrace everyday experiences as part of their learning process.
“Be true to the artist inside,” says Rolle, “It feels great knowing that every [day] I get to do what I love. I love being a stylist and I love inspiring people to play with fashion through my Instagram page (Team Shark Styling).
I love having creative input with Harl Taylor BAG as their creative director and continuing the legacy that Harl started. It feels great that my dream to be a notable designer has become my reality and I’m excited to see what the future has for me.”
Vanessa Clarke is a native of the Bahamas and The Diva Inc. Magazine’s newest international correspondent. Clarke is an avid reader, breeds pittbulls, loves hiking, photography and hanging out on the beach with her dogs, Ghost and Sheba.