Trinidad and Tobago are a group of islands located in the Caribbean near the shores of Venezuela. As a former colony of England, the native language is English, although French is also spoken. It’s primary industry is oil and gas, with Trinidad being one of the world’s largest liquid gas exporters. Due to its high levels of exports, the native population enjoys a relatively high per capita income. As a consequence of its booming export sector, the country has become a strong regional financial center. All of these factors have produced a rich economy that allows its citizens to indulge in international travel and shopping. There also exists a large community of people from Trinidad in the New York region, who travel back and forth between the US and Trinidad.
Trinidad enjoys a strong fashion scene, hosting the annual Fashion Week event, where local designers showcase their latest creations. Trinidad clothing businesses also import brand name clothing from the United States, primarily from New York and Florida based clothing wholesalers. The demand for American style clothing is especially high because many people have family and friends in New York. These relatives and friends expose them to American fashions, creating a strong desire for what they see. Because Trinidad is located in the Caribbean all clothing must be adequate for the summer. Polo shirts, cargo shorts, sport shorts, sun dresses, and Church suits are the most popular items, both in the day time casual and work environment market. The market for children’s apparel is growing as the population increases in size.
Clothing is primarily distributed to shops, boutiques, and roadside vendors by distributors with access to American clothing suppliers. There are also popular local designers such as Meiling, Heather Jones, Robert Young, Dexter Jennings, Peter Elias and Claudia Pegus. Importation is done via freight forwarders such as Tropical Shipping, Dennis Shipping, and Carvalho’s Shipping Agencies. Clothing shipments generally enter the country through Port Of Spain, with the shipping charges being paid for by the importer upon arrival. Once the shipment arrives and clears customs it will be sold both domestically, and exported throughout the Caribbean.