Gillian G. Curry - Williams
"My personal mission is to embrace, embellish and empower women, and to continue to make them look and feel their absolute best, one creation at a time." - Gillian Gia Curry-Williams
Mrs. Gillian G. Curry-Williams has been a major player in the vibrant fashion industry of The Bahamas, that constellation of beautiful islands in the Caribbean, for over thirty eventful years. Following closely on the lengthy conclusion to a traumatic and abusive marriage, and the acute realization of a need to propel her business to another level, Gillian took the bold and unprecedentedly proactive decision to terminate her fashion enterprise, as it then existed, and to embark upon an exciting journey of professional rebirth. To this end, Gillian relocated from her native Bahamas to Canada, where she attended The Academy of Design in Toronto, and subsequently graduated as class valedictorian, with the incredible and totally astonishing showcasing of a celebratory graduation collection aptly named "Manifestation," marking a fresh beginning, at the age of fifty, to one of the most remarkable careers in fashion design. Two years later, this exceptionally brilliant, creative and resourceful Bahamian would showcase her sophisticated, glamorous and awe-inspiringly chic Spring/Summer 2015 Collection, also appropriately named "Rebirth" on the great soil that had initially nourished and cultivated her innate talent and passion, The Bahamas.
Gillian was born on January 8, 1964 in the picturesque town of Nassau, The Bahamas, to a registered nurse and an accountant, both of whom sewed and tailored clothing as an entrepreneurial adjunct to their professional callings. It therefore comes as little surprise that, from an early age, Gillian had already cultivated a healthy and juvenile passion for fashion and design that could only be actively fueled by her own mother’s custom-made and bespoke creations.
In the circumstances, and only too naturally, Gillian was already sewing, and cutting patterns for her mother by the tender age of fourteen. Paradoxically, and perhaps unfortunately, at the beginning, her artistically-gifted, though thoroughly educated parents did not initially approve of a career in fashion for their beautiful daughter. This, however, only served to motivate Gillian to prove herself to be quite capable of demonstrating an extraordinary flair and passion for fashion designing, and by 1985, the precociously gifted young lady was already graduating with a BA in Fashion Design and Pattern Making, and would subsequently Found her first fashion business, Simple Elegance Couture, in 1987.
The world of Haute Couture is a rather exclusive one. Haute couture, which is French for high sewing, high dressmaking or high fashion, refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is fashion that is constructed by hand from start to finish, made from high quality, expensive, often unusual fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable sewers, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Not too many dressmakers are able to attain the rarefied heights of acclaim in this industry. But, for Gillian, assuming the role of a maestro in this industry came with a perfectly natural flair, as her use of opulent fabrics, beautiful crystals, hand-beading and elegant, one-of-a-kind bespoke custom designs were loved, admired and sought after by pastors' wives, full bridal parties and many affluent and professional women. She uniquely-styled the outcome of each outfit completely in-shop, while also providing the most superlative level of customer care and satisfaction, from the procurement of the right hair and makeup artists, to the luxury option of Versace tea time and champagne.
To declare, without equivocation, that Gillian was created to be a fashion designer would not be an exaggeration. With the success of Simple Elegance came her own fashion school in 1990, which she affectionately named Hei-Dons School of Fashion after her adorable daughter Heidi, and handsome son, Donovan. As a concept, Hei-Dons was actually a beginner’s school that accorded some of her eager clients and students the opportunity to learn the basics of pattern drafting and construction. Although modest, as an authentic specialist in contemporary Fashion Education, it certainly catered to an enthusiastic generation of fashion design students who she trained in the perfect combination of elegance, style, and scrupulous attention to detail that has always been a hallmark of Gillian's bold and revolutionary design concepts.
After fifteen years of unparalleled success in the fashion design business, Gillian, in the Year 200, expanded her brand to include a company called Gionella’s Design. This brilliant corporate innovation would walk a customer through the open doors of conveniently executed bookings, and would close it with a personalized gala event. However, Gillian does not lay claim to success after success, as she suffered some defeat along the way, with the closure of the doors of Hei-Don’s School of Fashion and Gionella’s Design.
Gillian's 2007 adventure into romance would meet with disaster, which, not unnaturally, affected her emotionally and dealt a severe blow to her creativity. However, resolutely traversing the scandal and trauma of her failed marriage, although left broken and emotionally drained, she still managed to keep her business, Simple Elegance, running successfully.
In 2010, on advise, and support from family members and friends, Gillian applied for two scholarships, and then to The Academy of Design in Toronto, barely two years after her son had embarked on his own post-secondary journey as an aerospace engineer. While she gained ready acceptance into The Academy, her journey of rebirth would not be without its obstacles. Despite having miraculously won a scholarship from the Canadian Branch of the Lyford Cay Foundation, which had already awarded her son his own scholarship, as well as having received yet another scholarship, her path appeared only to become inundated with pot holes, craters and boulders with each forward motion. The pervasive influence of naysayers, and the sowing of seeds of doubt, were beginning to take their toll on her heroic efforts. Additionally, having to adjust from living on a tropical island to a particularly severe Canadian winter, coupled with the unaccustomed stress of being torn away from her children, family and friends, all totally assailed her every desire to achieve her objective of acquiring advanced education in her field of calling. Despite all these, however, she resolutely refused to lose focus. In the harrowing midst of daunting financial struggle, despite her scholarships; her ever increasing and demanding school curriculum workload, and the emotional throes and anguish of concluding a seemingly interminable divorce proceeding, her dedication to scholarly excellence would remain absolutely unwavering, principally due two reasons. These were her faith in God, and the love of Christ that consistently manifested itself through the kindness of her family and friends in The Bahamas, and the compassion of her classmates, who transformed, for her, into a second family.
After her first year at school, Gillian and two other students were selected to represent The Academy at the annual Creative Festival Project Runway competition, in which they dominated and won. Having completed her first year at The Academy on the President’s List, coupled with the victory at the competition, Gillian's innate confidence was sufficiently restored to reawaken her seemingly lost faculty of creativity. In June 2012, Gillian graduated from The Academy as valedictorian with distinction, and subsequently made her Canadian debut with a graduating Fall/Winter 2012 collection appropriately named “Manifestation," a totally innovative and original concept that was inspired by The Wizard of Oz. It was around this time that she met her second husband, Franklyn, whose initial legal advice, counsel and support by telephone from The Bahamas would eventually blossom into a friendship, and although Gillian already had massive plans to dominate the Canadian fashion market, having even applied to one of Canada's leading fashion houses, it became clear that God had even bigger and better plans for her as the company suddenly had to shut down operations shortly after receiving her application.
Armed with her renewed confidence and matching credentials, on December 30, 2012, Gillian made a triumphant return to Nassau, The Bahamas, to reestablish herself in life, and in her industry, and on September 5, 2013, Gillian became Mrs. Gillian Curry-Williams, on marrying Franklyn K. M. Williams to embark on a second marital journey. Since then, she has dedicated herself to re-establishing her brand with the launch of her new business identity, Remilda Rose Designs, a name that was inspired by two of the greatest role models that have provided Gillian with the most eloquent examples of what it means to be a strong and purpose-driven woman. Theses remarkable women are Remilda Ethelyn Davis Taylor, her grandmother, and Letitia Rose Taylor-Curry, her mother.
Since then, Gillian has debuted her 2015 Spring/Summer Collection, “Rebirth," an epochal event that was held on January 25, 2015, at The National Art Gallery, Nassau. Her second show, 2016 Spring/Summer Collection, “Island In The Sun," was held on October 25, 2015 at SuperClubs Breezes, while her third show, “Your Light Shines," was held on October 15 2017 at SuperClubs Breezes.
In 2014, Gillian and her family would discover that her father had rectal cancer, a serious blow for the family. While accompanying him on doctors’ visits and treatments, she witnessed illness in its many distressing forms, and she resolved that she would use her talent to bring succor to ailing patients. From that decision was born a print fabric design that is made up of some of the colors associated with the various types of cancer. For example, grape purple represents the care giver, pineapple yellow indicates sarcoma, strawberry pink indicates breast cancer, saffron indicates bladder cancer, bisque stands for childhood cancer, tropical pink stands for head and neck tumors, breeze is indicative of ovarian cancer, brazil green indicates Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, while jungle green represents liver malignancy. The fabric has been variously used as clothing material, but it is Gillian’s hope to have the print used for scrubs for hospitals, cushions, chair covering, curtains and other hospital ware.
Gillian’s father passed away in March 2016, but today, those who are cancer survivors still hold a special place in her heart. Each year during her show, she makes it a point to honor six people, males and females, who have either survived cancer or are still battling cancer, by offering them free total makeovers.
Without doubt, whatever Gillian does is based on inspiration. She strives to set herself apart from the motley crowd by consistently tucking the twin standards of professionalism and a strong work ethic neatly under her belt, and since, in any case, uncommon creativity is merely second nature to her, her work is always executed not only to a fine degree of exquisite fit and finishing, but also to a point of totally reverent and exclusive excellence. Gillian unapologetically takes her penchant for excellence from fashion greats like Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera and the late Alexander McQueen. She subscribes to exceptionally high standards, and she is convinced that the Remilda Rose woman refuses to be constrained by trends, or defined by mass-produced fashion lines. The Remilda Rose woman, in Gillian's opinion, defines what and who she is by the sophisticated, totally chic and refreshingly tasteful style with which she chooses to dress and subsequently live; elegant, trend-defying and absolutely graceful, in the sublime knowledge she is fearfully and wonderfully made in the eyes of her God.
Gillian’s vision for Remilda Rose Designs is to arrive at the glorious point where she can dress women of all sizes in such a manner that will allow them to embrace their bodies with elegant styles that accentuate their every curve; to establish a factory in The Bahamas where unyielding attention can be paid to strict quality control; to have her garments on the racks in Macys, Neiman Marcus and Harrods, just to name a few; to have her cancer-associated prints worn in all hospitals and doctors’ offices as scrubs, snugs, surgical caps and changing gowns, and to have the print in day dresses, resort wear, evening wear, artwork, chair coverings and cushions.
Gillian, with an uncannily quiet, calm, composed and tranquil demeanor, has obviously arrived at her authentic destiny, and this is merely the beginning of her inevitable rise to the top of the Bahamian fashion industry, from which, she will, without doubt, be propelled onto the international haute couture platform. She is definitely fulfilling her purpose, and that purpose is: Embracing, Embellishing and Empowering women to look and feel their absolute best, one creation at a time. Therein lies the totally inspiring saga of the lady known as Gillian Gia Curry-Williams.
Doesn’t matter who you are
Doesn’t matter where you’ve been
Doesn’t matter where you start…
Only matters where you end.