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Fit for a celebration!

WALKING TALL: Models show off Gooding’s designer bags

RESIDENTS OF Brixton, south London were treated to the sight of models parading up and down the area’s High Street last week carrying clutch bags and wearing shoes adorned with Jamaica’s flag.

The occasion was to celebrate the London 2012 Olympics, Jamaica’s 50th year of Independence and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Twenty-eight-year-old London designer, Dionne Gooding, unveiled the designs in her latest shoe collection, called Jamaica 50.

Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence will be marked on August 6.

The street fashion show drew in a swarm of local spectators who stopped and stared at the wedge-heeled shoes that took eight months to create.

Gooding said she wanted to create shoes that were not only celebratory but “ladylike” so that they could be worn in the daytime and at night.

“When you go to the Olympics or a football game everyone wears t-shirts to support their team. I thought there aren’t any shoes out there with the Jamaican flag. I’ve seen flip-flops but I’ve never seen any evening wear handbags.

“I thought I’d do the shoes and handbags in my style to promote (and) support the Olympic team and the 50th anniversary of independence,” she said.

Gooding said that she didn’t expect her collection, which bears her name, to take off in the way it has. She said that her passion for shoe making only started out as a hobby. But in 2008 her hobby became a business after she received numerous requests from people who wanted her to design shoes for them.

“I had loads of friends and family that liked my stuff so I started doing shoe parties to sell the shoes,” she explained.

Amongst those who admire her festive shoes, which retail at £79.99, is MC Lady Dynamite, who, she said, has ordered a customised pair complete with Swarovski crystals.

As well as taking orders from customers, Gooding said she is currently working on a future collection.

The new designs will include African inspired styles and leopard prints and will be on sale during autumn.

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