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Thread: Taking Chances Coskel in Caribbean Beat

  1. #1
    Registered User coskel is offline
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    Taking Chances Coskel in Caribbean Beat

    TAKING CHANCES




    Xolani Heylon along with his wife and fellow designer, Machiyo Kodaira-Heylon
    Courtesy Coskel University

    “I was doing something that I knew and something that I loved, and I think success always comes when you do that,” says designer and businessman Xolani Heylon, a big young man with a wide, friendly face.It’s an unusually cold night for fall, and we’ve taken refuge in Tropical Paradise Restaurant in East Flatbush, a short distance from Heylon’s apartment.

    Heylon is fashionably dressed in a brown lambskin flat cap, grey T-shirt, khaki sweater, and khaki jacket with brown patches. He boasts that, with the exception of the hat, the whole outfit was designed by him and his business partner Machiyo Kodaira as part of their Coskel University clothing line. Heylon has had other incarnations, as a rapper and an actor. “I hate selling stuff,” he says. But since 2004 he has been successfully marketing to the world casual tops adorned with the images of Trinidad and Tobago’s cultural icons.


    He has found that there’s a market for West Indian branding. “New York is very welcoming to different [ideas],” he says. “It is a lot more liberal; New Yorkers are more susceptible to accepting things that other people may not.”


    Coskel was born, as many great ideas are, out of frustration. “I was in Lounge [a boutique] and I wanted a T-shirt, and they only had Bob Marley T-shirts. I was pissed.” Kodaira, a children’s book illustrator whom Heylon met during one of her exhibitions, suggested that they print their own T-shirts. They bought screen-printing paraphernalia and got to work in their living room.


    “We physically made every single T-shirt up until the end of last year,” says Heylon. The designs featured Trinidadian and Tobagonian iconography – the faces of Kitchener, Roaring Lion, Sparrow and Shadow, Carnival characters, the steelpan, birds and flowers – within artful collages made from recycled fabric. Heylon describes Coskel art work as “kinda rough, kinda distressed, kinda unfinished.” A few months later, at Coskel’s launch in Williamsburg, with mainly Trinidadians in attendance, all the T-shirts on hand were sold.


    Stylish clothes designed by Coskel University highlighting Trinidad and Tobago’s culture
    Courtesy Coskel University

    “In a certain way I think West Indians up here support their own more than West Indians back home,” he says. “I think the reason for that is because when you’re up here you’re so removed from the culture that you gravitate towards anything that’s reminiscent of home. It’s really interesting. There’s a saying that people come to New York to find culture. I discovered my love for calypso in New York.”


    Xolani Heylon was born in Belmont, Port of Spain, and migrated fourteen years ago to study business and accounting in Florida. He moved on to New York to escape a “dead end”. His clientele is now mainly non-West Indian. The biggest market for their Coskel clothing, which now includes hoodies, vests, shirts and jeans, is Japan.


    “When we first started marketing Coskel, we never targeted the West Indian community. Never,” says Heylon. “We targeted American, European, Japanese clientele, because we knew that if they bought the product it will eventually catch on in the West Indies.”


    And there is no customer more enthusiastic than one recently turned on to something. “By educating somebody you have a customer for life,” says Heylon. “If you can explain to somebody why Kitch [the late calypsonian Lord Kitchener] is important and give them that information to rediscover Kitch, they’re going to keep coming back. The reason Bob Marley is so popular is because multiple generations keep rediscovering Bob Marley.”
    source

    posted by
    Heather Carpenter (Public relations)
    Coskel University
    122 W 26th St
    New York, NY 10001
    admin@coskeluniversity.com

  2. #2
    smoke di herb Hot_Gal973's Avatar Hot_Gal973 is offline
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    is dat Taj modeling the clothing line for you

    the chick with the orange hair....

  3. #3
    Registered User coskel is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hot_Gal973 View Post
    is dat Taj modeling the clothing line for you

    the chick with the orange hair....
    Her name is keisha,

  4. #4
    Registered Member VINCYPOWA's Avatar VINCYPOWA is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by coskel View Post
    Her name is keisha,
    COSKEL, whey de VINCY theme t-shirts??

  5. #5
    Pebbles362436
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by coskel View Post
    TAKING CHANCES




    Xolani Heylon along with his wife and fellow designer, Machiyo Kodaira-Heylon
    Courtesy Coskel University

    “I was doing something that I knew and something that I loved, and I think success always comes when you do that,” says designer and businessman Xolani Heylon, a big young man with a wide, friendly face.It’s an unusually cold night for fall, and we’ve taken refuge in Tropical Paradise Restaurant in East Flatbush, a short distance from Heylon’s apartment.

    Heylon is fashionably dressed in a brown lambskin flat cap, grey T-shirt, khaki sweater, and khaki jacket with brown patches. He boasts that, with the exception of the hat, the whole outfit was designed by him and his business partner Machiyo Kodaira as part of their Coskel University clothing line. Heylon has had other incarnations, as a rapper and an actor. “I hate selling stuff,” he says. But since 2004 he has been successfully marketing to the world casual tops adorned with the images of Trinidad and Tobago’s cultural icons.


    He has found that there’s a market for West Indian branding. “New York is very welcoming to different [ideas],” he says. “It is a lot more liberal; New Yorkers are more susceptible to accepting things that other people may not.”


    Coskel was born, as many great ideas are, out of frustration. “I was in Lounge [a boutique] and I wanted a T-shirt, and they only had Bob Marley T-shirts. I was pissed.” Kodaira, a children’s book illustrator whom Heylon met during one of her exhibitions, suggested that they print their own T-shirts. They bought screen-printing paraphernalia and got to work in their living room.


    “We physically made every single T-shirt up until the end of last year,” says Heylon. The designs featured Trinidadian and Tobagonian iconography – the faces of Kitchener, Roaring Lion, Sparrow and Shadow, Carnival characters, the steelpan, birds and flowers – within artful collages made from recycled fabric. Heylon describes Coskel art work as “kinda rough, kinda distressed, kinda unfinished.” A few months later, at Coskel’s launch in Williamsburg, with mainly Trinidadians in attendance, all the T-shirts on hand were sold.


    Stylish clothes designed by Coskel University highlighting Trinidad and Tobago’s culture
    Courtesy Coskel University

    In a certain way I think West Indians up here support their own more than West Indians back home,” he says. “I think the reason for that is because when you’re up here you’re so removed from the culture that you gravitate towards anything that’s reminiscent of home. It’s really interesting. There’s a saying that people come to New York to find culture. I discovered my love for calypso in New York.”

    Xolani Heylon was born in Belmont, Port of Spain, and migrated fourteen years ago to study business and accounting in Florida. He moved on to New York to escape a “dead end”. His clientele is now mainly non-West Indian. The biggest market for their Coskel clothing, which now includes hoodies, vests, shirts and jeans, is Japan.


    “When we first started marketing Coskel, we never targeted the West Indian community. Never,” says Heylon. “We targeted American, European, Japanese clientele, because we knew that if they bought the product it will eventually catch on in the West Indies.”


    And there is no customer more enthusiastic than one recently turned on to something. “By educating somebody you have a customer for life,” says Heylon. “If you can explain to somebody why Kitch [the late calypsonian Lord Kitchener] is important and give them that information to rediscover Kitch, they’re going to keep coming back. The reason Bob Marley is so popular is because multiple generations keep rediscovering Bob Marley.”
    source

    posted by
    Heather Carpenter (Public relations)
    Coskel University
    122 W 26th St
    New York, NY 10001
    admin@coskeluniversity.com

    Wow fabulous article and I could not have said it better myself. I agree 150%and have had similar experiences. Well much continued success to you and your wife clothing line. You guys seem to have a very clear vision and passion which is half the battle.

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    Registered User coskel is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by VINCYPOWA View Post
    COSKEL, whey de VINCY theme t-shirts??
    They commin , look for Bomani in the new campain

  7. #7
    Registered User coskel is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pebbles362436 View Post
    Wow fabulous article and I could not have said it better myself. I agree 150%and have had similar experiences. Well much continued success to you and your wife clothing line. You guys seem to have a very clear vision and passion which is half the battle.
    Thank you

  8. #8
    Registered Member VINCYPOWA's Avatar VINCYPOWA is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by coskel View Post
    They commin , look for Bomani in the new campain
    Niceeeeeeeeeeeeee

  9. #9
    De Scribe Metro Robber's Avatar Metro Robber is offline
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    Big Up Coskel right thru!! The new line is boss. Keep up the Good Work!

  10. #10
    Registered User coskel is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metro Robber View Post
    Big Up Coskel right thru!! The new line is boss. Keep up the Good Work!
    You got Next

  11. #11
    Kiz
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    yuh men model and dem all like like faggots

  12. #12
    Taj
    Loyalty to Loyalty Taj's Avatar Taj is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hot_Gal973 View Post
    is dat Taj modeling the clothing line for you

    the chick with the orange hair....
    lawwwd now everybody thinks i have orange hair :

    nice work Coskel
    “A sharp knife never proclaims it’s sharpness to the world…but the first to fall against it becomes it’s advocate.”

    You can put any face behind a mask but be careful cos someone else might be pretending. You might not be the only one with a secret -- Cassie/Gretel

  13. #13
    Registered User coskel is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinikiz View Post
    yuh men model and dem all like like faggots
    That’s because we are not Homophobes or care about ppl's sexual orientation. We care about promoting culture across the board, and so far we have been successful at doing just that. So it's cool I respect your right to say what you did, however if that’s all you can see from this venture, you need to look a bit harder.

    1 love still

  14. #14
    Kiz
    Registered User Kiz's Avatar Kiz is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by coskel View Post
    That’s because we are not Homophobes or care about ppl's sexual orientation. We care about promoting culture across the board, and so far we have been successful at doing just that. So it's cool I respect your right to say what you did, however if that’s all you can see from this venture, you need to look a bit harder.

    1 love still
    Keep it up!

  15. #15
    Registered User coskel is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinikiz View Post
    Keep it up!
    Thanks love
    Nuff respect

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