Meet fashion designer Lauren Austin who created Rihanna’s Kadooment costumes

27 Aug

If you have never seen her then you have definitely heard of her; Lauren Austin; the entrepreneur, make-up artiste, costume designer and swimwear designer…you name it, she can do it. From working with Beenie Man to designing Rihanna’s Grand Kadooment show-stopping costumes, Austin is definitely a designer to look forward to.

MetroCaribbean had the opportunity of chatting with the beautiful and talented Trinidadian on her success and her experience on working with Rihanna!


Who is Lauren Austin?

I am an ambitious go-getter, twenty-seven years old born and raised in Trinidad. For the past six years I’ve been living in Barbados and I love it here. I am totally in-love with my job and I will never trade it for the world; I work hard and I don’t give up no matter what the circumstance may be. I work with Dream Real Project, Loud 87 and MILC Vision. I’m also a make-up artist and swimsuit designer. Most of my friends think I’m also a bit crazy and I agree (lol).

What is Zulu International and what inspired you to found Zulu International?

In 2012 I owned a section from another band in Barbados. The theme of my section was Zulu Warriors which got tremendous reviews. The following year my husband and I decided to branch out and create our own band which we kept the Zulu and created Zulu International.

As an innovative lady, what or who do you gain inspiration from?
The person that inspires me the most, to be honest is Rihanna; long before I ever thought I would get the opportunity to design for her (she) was and still is my biggest inspiration. I love everything she is and  have showed me that anyone  can achieve anything they want to with some hard work .However, I am generally  inspired by anyone and everything and I am motivated by people that pushes me to be better. 
I am very grateful for each person that supports me.

When did you begin designing and what was your first design?

I fully began designing in 2012 which was an orange and blue costume.

Recently, we noticed you have worked with singing sensation; Sarah Mark and pop star; Rihanna…how will you describe such accomplishments in your career so far?

It’s an amazing feeling knowing where I came from and the person I am becoming. Everything that I am doing with my life today  is a lot more than what I could have imagined five years ago would be possible and they all are just awesome to work with.

How will you describe working with Rihanna?

I have designed and worked with Rihanna in 2013 when she came to Barbados for Kadooment in my band Zulu International; she wore an all white costume called legend then I worked with her this year, 2015.I designed every piece that she wore on August 3rd ;I even designed her boots. Working with Rihanna has been nothing but a dream. She is the most down to earth, amazing, sweetest and kindest person you can meet and has been nothing but nice to me; she is not fussy at all, never had a problem with any pieces that I designed  for her and she always wears it well ! 

Who are other celebrities you have worked with thus far?

I have worked with Rihanna, Lewis Hamilton, Veronica Bozeman, Mya and Beenie Man.

Describe the working experience for Crop Over 2015.

Crop over every year is a lot of hard work and it takes a lot of patience. It is way more to it than a street party and the preparation for Crop Over is an all year round work.

Throughout your success, what has been your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment thus far is being the owner of the band Zulu International and of course designing for Rihanna.

What will you say are five key elements to founding and operating a successful business?

Honesty, loyalty,  a proper management team, marketing and financial planning.

As a young business woman and entrepreneur, what advice will you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Be dedicated to it and love it as u would your baby. Everyday is a new day to learn more and try harder.

What can the public expect from Lauren Austin in the near future?

I’m not sure what the future has in store for me as I try my best to live in the moment but I definitely am aiming for higher and this will not be the last you heard from me.

Fun Facts:

What are five things you cannot live without?

My glue gun and glue sticks, sewing machine, scissors, YouTube and makeup of course.

Having a busy lifestyle and a creative mind, what is your favorite form of relaxation?

When I’m not designing I love to just sit at home all day watching TV shows.

What do you enjoy most about living in the Caribbean?

There is so much I can say because there is so much I love about it but mostly it’s  the culture and traditions , the music, the food and of course I live where most vacation what’s not to love about that.

What is/are your favorite song(s) of 2015?

Stiffy- Bus Crawl 
Stiffy -Garden
Peter Ram- All ah we
King Bubba- Mash up
Nakita ft King Bubba- Tequila

MetroCaribbean extends congratulations to Lauren Austin on her great accomplishments and do look forward to more from her. For more updates,check out her website Zulu International. 

Image: Lauren Austin and Beenie Man

Image : Lauren Austin: Zulu International Designs


Image: Lauren Austin and Mya

Image: Lauren Austin: Zulu International Design

Lauren Austin and Veronica Bozeman

Image: Lauren Austin and Rihanna


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