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Fashion designer Toya Taylor brings collection from Caribbean to Style Week Pittsburgh

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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Style Week Pittsburgh is expanding its borders for its second annual outing to include designers from beyond the city, too.

Meet Toya Taylor, an aspiring fashion designer from Kingston, Jamaica. Her women's wear looks will be featured in the kick-off runway event tonight at The Priory Grand Hall, North Side.

Get to know the designer, her goals and how she infuses her collections with island flavor.

What's your impression of Pittsburgh?

There is a culture of fashion that is waiting to be tapped into. I also love the architecture. I’ve seen beautiful brick work homes and gorgeous buildings. The winter is BRUTAL though.

What inspires you as a designer?

Being that I’m from a Caribbean island and surrounded by nature, I’m inspired by the beauty in that. To be able to find elements and textures of various trees, colors reminiscent of the water -- makes my ability to create clothing pretty easy.

I would describe my design style as ... clean lines, sophistication and timeless silhouettes, always given a hard edge. Of course, my island spice background plays a significant role with the use of bold prints and bright colors.

My must-have fashion item is ... a blazer. I love the multi-functionality of it.

My advice for aspiring designers is ... to just go for it and see it through. This will never feel like work if you’re truly passionate about it. Don’t be crippled by the fear of being judged.

In five years I'd like to ... be a household name in fashion, not only in Jamaica but internationally. You have to dream big, and I want to have my own design studio and boutique within this timeframe and also begin a menswear brand. Ultimately, I want to build the Toya Taylor lifestyle brand.

A lookbook of her designs will be available during Style Week Pittsburgh. (Some designs featured in the photos, courtesy of the designer.) She also can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for custom and ready-to-wear orders.

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