NOREEN PHILLIPS - INNOVATION AT ITS BEST
Antigua based designer Noreen Phillips has built her career in the fashion industry by rewriting the rules. Known for her energy, radiance, and celebration of the elegant, Noreen has been gracing the Caribbean fashion stage with her uniqueness and originality for over 17 years. Her commitment to remain true to her totally unique concepts has guaranteed continued success in an industry known for its volatility.
Now one of the biggest names in the Caribbean fashion industry, Noreen Phillips Couturiere is synonymous with its unique and complete personal image encompassing Evening wear with drop dead glamour, casual and semi-formal wear, cocktail outfits, bridal made-to-order, bags, jewellery, hats, and a host of lifestyle fashion accessories.
Today, the name Noreen Phillips is a by-word for understated elegance,exquisite tailoring and quality taste.
THE EVOLUTION OF NOREEN PHILLIPS
Noreen was born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the first of 15 children. From an early age, she developed an appreciation for the movement of the body and how clothes fit. Her mother was a seamstress and grandmother sold textiles.
Her passion and determination to design her own clothing as a young girl growing up with her mother eventually laid the foundation for Noreen's creativity and inspiration, which is evident in her designs today.
Noreen came to the magic crystal-blue waters of Antigua some 21 years ago and worked briefly as a sales representative for Joseph Dews.
A few years later, the young and independent-minded Noreen decided to go it alone to create an exclusive line of ready-to-wear garments, a move that represented the start of a new and unique influence in Caribbean Fashion.
In 1984, she began her foray into retail by opening a new boutique at Deep Water Harbour called Glamourland. The challenges gave her the creative opportunities to follow and execute her visions and inspirations to the fullest potential.
NOREEN PHILLIPS COUTURIERE
In 1989, a second sales outlet was opened on Long Street in St. John's under the name Noreen Phillips Couturiere. Charlene Fields, a writer who visited Glamourland in 1984, adopted the word Couturiere that means ‘dressmaker’, from an article.
1991, the Glamourland boutique closed following the passage of Hurricane Hugo. Noreen operated the business at the Lemon Tree location on Long Street until 1996 when she finally moved to its present site on Redcliffe Quay
Noreen designs for the discerning customer, and her fundamental sense of aesthetics enables her to create designs with never-ending appeal.
Noreen likes to explain her thinking about style and design by referring to customer tastes and by acknowledging the beauty of understated elegance in every design. It's a simple attitude perhaps, but it is also one, which has worked very well.
Noreen believes in quality, innovative designs, as well as high standards of finish and strict delivery schedules to meet customer expectations. As she puts it, "the energy and inspiration comes from seeing the joy of a satisfied customer."
Her guest book is steamed with comments from customers who have come to Noreen Phillips Couturiere from Helsinki to Canada, and from Sydney to Johannesburg. Susan Woods of Norway had this to say: "Lots of beautiful clothes for the soul." Another customer said, "This is innovation at its best."
As proof that her work is gaining approval and following, Noreen Phillips has been profiled in several documentaries including rave reviews on BBC 1, BET as well as coverage in numerous international magazines and publications. She has also participated in Fashions Shows in many important cities such as Paris, London, New York, and Caracas.
FASHION IS A WAY OF MAKING A STATEMENT
Noreen's designs are classics that transcend time. They have vibrant Caribbean colours, motion, energy and sense of structure to the romantic.
Her attention to detail is legendary. The inlays and hidden seams, the embroidery, the helm, - and so on - are little things that matter much at Noreen Phillips Couturiere.
The typical "Phillips" customer can expect to find outfits that inspire confidence, emphasizes credibility, and is deliciously fashionable. Her work invokes the elegance of the past, and integrates these influences beautifully with modern sensibilities.
At the showroom on Redcliffe Street, customers will find bold blossoms on strappy dresses, designs that help one stay true to any occasion, evening wear that make the customer divinely elegant at dinner parties, and delicate splashy prints that bespeak a feeling of magic and modern femininity. Her boutique is stocked at any given time with over 300 pieces ready-to-wear and ready to go!
Even though Noreen has got the fashion game beat, she still works 18 hours each day and manages 21 fashion shows each month. Often she will painstakingly hand-stitch many versions of a dress until she senses it will hang right for the customer. Now you know why many customers are repeat customers.
NOREEN PHILLIPS HERSELF
Noreen Phillips herself is a fit and dynamic woman with bright eyes. Her usual outfit comprises a trademark hat, a 1000-watt smile and, of course, a NPC design. She admits to working long hours. Her attention to every detail extends from the design studio to as far as the pattern and colour mixes of fittings on the show window.
The genius of Noreen Phillips and her entrepreneurial acumen are the two qualities, which have enabled her to achieve great success in building a genuine fashion business since launching Glamourland in 1984.
Understated elegance pervades all Noreen Phillips Couturiere clothes, and has made her one of the Caribbean's most acclaimed and successful designers.
Her approach to creativity is distinctive, and her work adapts to the evolution of consumer tastes and needs. As she sees it, her designs are inspired by the needs of the customer.
Despite her success, she remains a behind-the-scenes type of person.Whenever possible she avoids the limelight, preferring instead to be at work on her designs or painting fabric in her home.
'I love my work," says Noreen. "I just love to celebrate life…I like wake up in the morning and look in the mirror and feel good… I like to walk into the boutique and say to myself: I have a beautiful Showroom… I love my customers and I find joy in bringing them satisfaction by meeting, and exceeding their expectations."
Some say she has single-handedly brought colour, glamour and excitement to Caribbean Fashion. Others claim her designs will define the next decade and beyond. Unquestionably, Noreen Phillips has built a small but very successful company with a growing reputation for top quality work.
Noreen Phillips is the Caribbean's new golden girl of fashion and she is poised for a future with a vision that defines her approach to fashion as a passion that is timeless.