St. Croix, Territory Six and ib designs representing at Miami Swim Week! We had the exciting opportunity to team up with Territory Six to showcase who we are in St. Croix and the Virgin Islands and our artistic vibes. Our mission is to always support other local artists in St. Croix. With this in mind, Territory Six was a perfect connection! We are excited to spread the creativity on St. Croix with the world.
Who is Territory Six?
“Radiating with positive vibrations, Territory Six is the homeland of self-expression for free-spirited souls. It is your ultimate destination for unique and sustainable artistic designs; an Afro-Caribbean style fusion of creations made with madras (the fabric of the Caribbean) and fabrics from the motherland such as ankara, kente, and batiks.”(Merlissa Thomas, n.d.)
“Auraah” Merlissa Thomas, owner and fashion designer, creates Afro-Caribbean aesthetic designs, fused with madras & African fabrics. Her goal is to reduce, reuse and recycle textile waste and make them into masterpieces. Thus, embodying the phrase, every last drop! Auraah explains, “I was born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands on the beautiful island of St. Croix with lots of culture and black pride. It is your ultimate destination for unique and sustainable artistic designs; an Afro-Caribbean style fusion of creations made with madras (the fabric of the Caribbean) and fabrics from the motherland such as ankara, kente, and batiks.” (Merlissa Thomas, n.d.)
Did you know the V.I. has it’s Own Madras?
Madras is a textile and special pattern originating in Madras, India. Madras is a light-weight, hand woven fabric with a colorful checkered pattern. The fabric was originally worn by villagers in this small fishing town. In the 15th century, with the arrival the compass and global navigation, India became an exotic fascination to the west for trade in textiles and culture. As a result, trade routes spanning the globe were established. In one of these many trips, madras was acquired by the Dutch and English, East India Company and brought to the western world. In the 1600’s, this breathable fabric made its way into the Caribbean. The fashion trend took rise among Caribbean culture. Today, the popular and iconic fashion is used as cultural costumes for Quadrille Dancers and traditional decor, akin to the Irish Kilt.
Native to the Caribbean and St. Croix, artist and designer Debbie Sun created the Virgin Islands unique madras pattern, which became official in June of 2021. The color variations Debbie chose, speak to the natural beauty of the Virgin Islands. Link to gotostcroix for a deep dive into madras journey in the V.I., Debbie Sun and Quadrille Dance.
If we put our creative minds to fruition, while supporting fellow local talents, we can help our St. Croix and Virgin Islands community thrive for generations to come. Ultimately, we hope to share our mission of peace, love and good vibes with the world.