Local designer makes mark at Grammy Awards - Shamara Sahadeo ecstatic to style Kabaka Pyramid
When Shamara Sahadeo was a teenager, year after year she would stay up on those Sunday nights in spring for the Grammy Awards where her eyes would feast on the fashion of music's biggest night.
This Sunday, the now 24-year-old Sahadeo sat at home and watched her own design grace the stage on the back of reggae artiste Kabaka Pyramid, as he collected the Grammy for Best Reggae Album. Sahadeo, stylist and owner of the local brand Seora Clothing, got the honour of a lifetime when Kabaka, who is her longtime client and friend, requested her eye when putting together his look for the 65th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California.
"I was so excited," she told THE STAR. "I've been his stylist in Jamaica since 2020, so we've been doing work for a bit. But I was so excited that he chose me to style him for the Grammy stage. I was just overly excited. I knew I had to kill it."
Named for her bubbly personality, Sahadeo, going by the nickname Shampagne, said it was at age 17 that she decided to make Seora a reality.
"I grew up seeing my mom make clothes. She does costume and interior design as well so it was always around me. When I was around 17, I realised that I wanted to do something that I was passionate about and fashion was just a great avenue to represent my country and culture," she told THE STAR. "I describe my brand as Caribbean couture and a mixture of what I call 'yaad street' wear. So what I do is I choose a lot of elements that are imagery Jamaican and I elevate that."
The 24-year-old designer said that for her pieces, she draws inspiration from sellers, whether they are based downtown or in the highest of echelons of society.
"I feel like fashion has no class, honestly, because uptown people have fashion and downtown people have fashion. It's just the perspective. I feel like fashion really and truly is an experience, and it's your experience and what it is that you are seeing and feeling at the time. So it's a very individual thing, I would never place it in uptown or downtown. It's just fashion," she said.
Although she originally set out to be a carnival costume designer, Sahadeo said her ideas slowly manifested into full outfits, until one day a styling opportunity thrust itself upon her.
"I'd always just be posting my outfits and at that time a creative director that I worked with, they had reached out to find out if I was also a stylist, because of how I would dress. At the time I never had officially styled somebody but I kinda knew that I probably could do," she said.
With a leap of faith and much research, she took on her first official styling job with reggae artiste Lila Ike and her team, the group that would later acquaint her with Kabaka.
Though the reggae section of the award was not televised, soon after the artiste claimed his award, photos began to flood social media of Kabaka standing in his shimmering suit.
Recalling that moment, Sahadeo said, "When I was was watching it, I felt so excited. I felt every emotion that they felt walking up there because honestly, I just feel like it was such a beautiful moment for Jamaican culture. I was just extremely grateful to have been a part of that experience."
The St Andrew native said that while she is proud of Kabaka, the accomplishment is a personal win for her as well, as she has long been a fan of the Grammys.
"I've been obsessed with the Grammys, like growing up you know watching the red carpets. So I just knew I had to kill and represent our culture," she said.