Tortola-based fashion designer Kristin Frazer has seen her vibrant prints go global, thanks to her Trèfle swimwear and resort wear catching the eye of such A-list patrons as Beyoncé, and to Otterbox selling her tropics-inspired smartphone case. But she remains firmly anchored in her native Tortola. “I drive the scenic route around the West End and take in all the colors: the flowers, the water, the horizon,” she says. “They all make it onto my mood board for my designs. The beautiful scenery and close community of my home inspire all my work.”
Frazer learned sewing and fashion at the elbow of her grandmother, a retail pioneer who opened Clover’s in Road Town in 1962. Frazer sold her first fashion pieces (bandanas) there at age 14. The designer now manages the family store, which, of course, carries her Trèfle line, as do several high-end retailers throughout the British Virgin Islands, including Taino Boutique & Gifts in Tortola Pier Park and Arawak on Virgin Gorda.
Why did you choose Trèfle as your label name?
I wanted my company name to tie into my roots but also to stand out, not only in the BVI but internationally. Trèfle is the French word for clover, which was my grandmother’s name. Everything she taught me about, not only sewing but fellowship and giving back, stays with me to this day.
How have you incorporated your Tortola roots into your recent designs?
For my new Zion collection, which celebrates Trèfle’s 10th anniversary, I designed a bracelet that contains sand from Apple Bay in the West End, where I grew up and which set the tone for where my life is today.
What do you hope visitors will take away from today’s post-Irma Tortola?
I hope that everyone sees our resiliency in our efforts to bounce back islandwide, and that they will love our islands just as much if not more when they depart.
Frazer’s Top Tortola Tips
D’CoalPot (restaurant in Carrot Bay): “Its natural scenery and ambience create happy vibes for me, my family and friends to enjoy.”
Camdem Gourmet Market (Road Town): “It provides healthy meals, reasonable prices, excellent customer service and a great atmosphere.”
Myett’s (bar in Cane Garden Bay): “It’s a great hangout, with the beach at your toes and fingertips.”