MARLEY MAGIC: Ahead of her CFW showcase, Cedella is all smiles.
Backstage during Saturday’s leg of Caribbean Fashion Week, a radiant Cedella Marley (dressed in our national colours) is telling me about the PUMA-sponsored collection she crafted for Jamaica’s London-bound Olympians. “It is something that I was very excited to do,” she says, adding that previewing the collection at CFW was an imperative. “I couldn’t show it to the rest of the world and not show it to Jamaica. I didn’t want them to wait until July to see their own. This is an extension of them. And hopefully what I’ve done is really an extension of our culture and our people.”
As she walks me through the rows and racks of military jackets, tracksuits and other vibrant green-, black- and gold outfits, I bring up the rumour that her dad Bob’s retro yet legendary style partly influenced her work on the collection. “The military jacket is definitely the Bob fit. Daddy used to always rock a vest so we have the sweater-vests, as well,” Cedella explains, showing me a few examples. “So the menswear was definitely influenced by Dad. And working with PUMA it’s all about fitness so we had to bring it, and I think we did.”
The designer, who is also busy promoting her flirtatious “High Tide” swimwear collection this month, says she is greatly pleased with how her exploits in the world of fashion have evolved over time. “I’m loving it,” she gushes. “I’m kinda tied up with PUMA for another year. We did extend our contract, so I’m with them exclusively for another year. So we’ll see what happens after that.”
Never far from her thoughts, TALLAWAH soon discovers, are the dynamic duo of family and motherhood. “Oh, my kids are in the audience. My husband is in the audience and my mother is here as well. Family is very important and they’ve actually been very supportive over the last year that I’ve been with PUMA. And I couldn’t have done it without them.”
And last, but by no means least, I had to mention Kevin MacDonald’s acclaimed Marley documentary, which ate the world earlier this year. According to Cedella, her brother Ziggy is absolutely right: it is The One. “I’m happy about it. I think this one really showed Dad in a different light,” explains Cedella, who is featured in the film along with mom Rita, Bunny Wailer, among others. “You kind of come away knowing so much more about him. I learned a lot, and I haven’t even been able to watch all of it.”
You were very blunt in the documentary. You didn’t sugarcoat anything at all, I tease her. “That’s what I heard,” Cedella responds with a hearty laugh. “I don’t know how to be anything else but honest. That’s me.”
WALK THIS WAY: Jaunel McKenzie leads the troops showing off Cedella's latest designs. Oraine Barrett (above) wears one of the track outfits.