IT’S NO secret that reggae music more than any other is ‘riddim’ driven; it’s therefore fitting for a Jamaican clothing line to bear the name ‘Riddim Driven’.
The VP Records clothing line was started three years ago by Patricia Chin, and for those who don’t know, Mrs. Chin, is the ‘P’ in VP. She says she started the line as a hobby after her sons took over the business.
“I started the line about three years ago, making VP promotional T-shirts and then last year I decided to make a separate line called ‘Riddim Driven’, parallel to the music because we have a series of LPs where it has the name ‘Riddim Driven’, so I decided to make a whole line with T-shirts and jackets and stuff like that,” she said.
She says she is pleased with the reception the line has been getting so far, although they have not yet hit all their target markets.
“Well we did a first season and everybody loved it, and we are in the second season which is coming out in July. So far we have got a good response from the Japan market and that’s where we are strong … We have been in the Japanese magazines so things have been pretty good. We are very optimistic,” she said.
So far, the ‘Riddim Driven’ line features T-shirts, jackets and accessories, all of which capture the spirit of Jamaica and its music. On each article of clothing there is a message; these include ‘Music is the heart of the people’ – which Mrs. Chin says has been doing extremely well – ‘Bob love’, ‘Hard times’ and ‘Original Champion Sound’. “It is cultural as well as honouring the deejays,” she says of the theme choices.
GRAPHIC ARTISTS’ DESIGNS
Mrs. Chin says the clothes, which are made in China, are designed by graphic artists: “We have many graphic designers and the inspiration comes from the music and the history, because you know we have a long line of history from the music … You have so many other designers using the Jamaican culture and colours, and why not me? I am a true born Jamaican. Why not embrace my culture and show it in the clothing?”
Although the clothes may be viewed on the official website (riddimdrivenclothing.com), Mrs. Chin says they are not yet available for sale there.
“We are going to hook up with vpreggae.com where they can buy them. We have a lot of people in Japan advertising the clothes on their websites. We are not selling online yet because we have other distributors selling for us. We are in a lot of the boutiques overseas like the Virgin Mega store,” she said.
As for getting the clothes in Jamaica, the – shirts are available in a few stores. “We haven’t gotten around to that yet, but we will be negotiating now to go down into the hotels and also in the Caribbean and get one and two stores to carry the line,” Patricia Chin said.
–Kavelle Anglin-Christie, Staff Reporter, JAMAICA GLEANER