You’ve said yes to him and yes to the ring, but now it’s time to say yes to the dress! While some may have family heirlooms to choose from, many brides will select one-of-a-kind statement pieces representing who they are. It’s the one thing that is most memorable and will always be talked about. You can hear the whispers as the bride walks down the aisle – “Did you see her dress?”, “Ah, her dress is beautiful!”, “I wonder who made her dress”.
BeYond BeauTi got the opportunity to hang out with BVI’s International Fashion and Wedding Gown Designer Germain Smith to get a first-hand peek into his world of fashion through a designer’s eye and his take on dressing a bride.
BB: At what age did you realize or knew you wanted to be a fashion designer?
GS: I realized this at age 16
BB: What would you say is your style?
GS: My style is trendy, edgy, and couture
BB: Let’s talk about the beginning. What year did it all start? What was your first collection name? What do you remember most about that collection?
GS: I started in 1998. I came to the British Virgin Islands in 1999 and began doing garment construction, and over the years, mastered my craft. In 2012, I came out with a brand; the name was Unlimited by Germain. However, after Hurricane Irma in 2017, my business was destroyed.
My daughter Asia came into my life a month after, so I rebranded with a new name KYM’ASIA.
GS: A KYM’ASIA piece is couture, old English glam, and chic; it speaks differently depending on the occasion, time or mood.
BB: Do you have any formal training/certification? How do you keep us with the trends?
GS: Yes, I have been trained and certified in computer pattern making, garment construction, and tailoring. In this time and age, information is at our fingertips. Our brand subscribes to vogue runway, so we get daily information about trendy fashion, and with this information, KYM’ASIA uses 10% as inspiration for concepts to keep up with the trends.
BB: Let’s talk about dressing the bride. Do you have a running count of how many brides you have dressed over your career thus far?
GS: I have never actually thought about keeping a count because it has been a lot. Some, I do remember, and some I have not met personally, although I did their wedding garments.
BB: How long have you been doing bridal dresses?
GS: We have been doing bridal dresses for 17 years.
BB: Share with our readers a memorable story of how your design impacted a bride.
GS: The most memorable time that a KYM’ASIA design had impacted a bride is one that we will never forget. One of our brides had difficulty fitting into dresses, and she had bought several. She was completely stressed out about her predicament, especially at the fact that her groom had his suit already; her nights were sleepless. A week before her wedding, someone recommended KYM’ASIA and she contacted us. We got to work immediately, and we were able to create a dress for her in under 48 hours. However, after the dress was completed, we had another problem; when the bride came to fit her dress, she had lost over 15lbs during the 48 hours that it took us to complete her dress, and she said that the weight loss was because of the stress that she has been undergoing. So, we had to go back to the drawing board and sized down her dress, and everything worked out perfectly for her after that. When she finally received her dress and looked into the mirror, she burst into tears of unbelief that anyone could get her that dress for her special day, but we did. And we were overwhelmed because we were under pressure to do a one-day express service to get the fabric that she wanted. In the end, we were happy that she had that ‘wow’ feeling on her wedding day, and everything was superb.
BB: Many of your pieces are edgy. Do you approach bridal designing the same?
GS: KYM’ASIA’s philosophy is ‘you only get one chance’, so when we have a client, our approach is always the same. We design and style a client according to their demeanor and budget.
BB: Share your process of designing a gown, especially for a bride.
GS: When designing a dress for a bride, a lot is taken into consideration:
BB: Have you worked with any celebrity brides that you can share with us? If so, how was the experience?
GS: To KYM’ASIA, all brides are celebrities in their own right, and on their wedding day, the fame and recognition that they receive bring them to that celebrity status. So to us, all our brides are viewed as celebrities once they are wearing KYM’ASIA.
BB: Is there anyone you would like to get the opportunity to design for?
GS: Oprah Winfrey is someone that we would love to style and design for. She has a long-standing history in fame and has been inspirational and empowering for years. Also, as a black and Caribbean designer/brand KYM’ASIA embraces full-figured women.
BB: In what cities have your pieces graced the runways?
GS: KYM’ASIA pieces have graced runways in several cities, Miss BVI in Greece, Miss BVI in London, Miss BVI Universe in Las Vegas, Miss BVI Universe in Orlando Florida, Miss BVI in China, Summer Sizzle BVI, Style Weekend St. Croix and the collection Moda in Kingston Jamaica just to name a few.
BB: Have you had any Bridezilla experiences? If so, how did you handle it?
GS: We have encountered several bridezillas, but we use our distinctive power and good customer service skills to humble the bride.
BB: Share with us what we can expect from your upcoming bridal collection and when it will be available.
GS: The new and first collection of KYM’ASIA’s bridal line is called Sardonyx19. The 2022 line will be showcased in the British Virgin Island in June. As it relates to us sharing with you what you can expect from our upcoming bridal collection, can you keep a secret?……All we can say is that it will be different and daring!
BB: Are your pieces available by retail or just custom orders?
GS: For now, we are doing custom makes. Retail will be available in 2022.
BB: How has your style evolved over the years? What inspires your designs?
GS: As Vince Lambardi quotes, “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” With this in mind, I have been able to continue growing in my craft tremendously over the years with inspiration from vintage designs, nature, things, time, and all that is happening around me.
BB: Do you have any shows on your schedule for this year? What else can we expect from you in the coming years?
GS: If all goes well, KYM’ASIA will be participating in the Bridal and Event Expo BVI. However, everything is unpredictable in this time and era, so we are working with the times.
BB: 3 Tips for a bride to assist her in saying “Yes to the Dress”
GS: 1. State your budget
As we approach the wedding season, it is anticipated that more and more couples will choose to have face-to-face celebrations this year. So ladies, grab your besties, your Pinterest pages, your budget, and get to planning. KYM’ASIA is ready to bring your wedding dress dreams to fruition and be a part of your love story. Contact them via email email@example.com or on Instagram @ _kymasia
Contact BeYond BeauTi as firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured.