The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) launched the first tertiary level fashion design programme in the Caribbean region in 2008. It was based on the philosophy that the development of a student’s individual creativity should always be supported by a strong foundation of techniques and informed thinking. Four years ago, more than 100 hopeful individuals applied to this programme. Only 35 were retained for the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design and 35 for the Diploma programme (out of which 16 went on to pursue their four-year degree). Now, in 2012, 38 students (nearly 60 percent of those entering CAFD in 2008) have completed this grueling course of study and will make history as the nation’s first graduating class of designers trained to compete on an international scale. To mark the event, UTT is proud to announce the first senior thesis show, appropriately titled, A Cut Above: Designers Debut, to be held at the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) Restaurant on Saturday, June 23, 2012. Over the last four years, these brave men and women were provided with the very foundation of art and design studies, through courses including: Colour and Design, Life Drawing, Art History, Critical Thinking and Computer Graphics. From there, they were taught skills needed in the typical professional atelier such as: pattern drafting, draping, fashion drawing, textile design, design research, composition and conceptual design. Their third year confronted them with the Designer Critic project where a theme was assigned, spearheaded and critiqued by an outside fashion professional. Visiting critics helped them to understand design requirements and limitations of the marketplace along with challenges faced in the business of style. Rounding out their studies during the three years of specialisation were electives in Handbag and (sustainable) Jewelry Design, Foreign Language, Marketing courses, and Entrepreneurship. In their fourth and final year of study, each person was given free rein to explore the depths of their heritage and cultural aesthetics and the outer limits of their imagination as they pushed the boundaries to create the, “Thesis Collection”; a group of six looks entirely conceived, researched and realised by each graduating fashion design student.