Born and raised in Grand Turk, the now 29-year-old, Cyprianna Jalesa Green is setting the tone for luxury swimwear in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Having already two master’s degrees under her belt, this local business owner decided to move home after successfully obtaining academic achievements in Epidemiology and Business.
How Bēchë Began
The inspiration behind bēchë came when Green was visiting home and realized she didn’t bring any swimsuits. She decided to go on a hunt for the perfect swimsuit to wear whilst visiting. However, she realized that the only places that catered to luxury swimwear were hotel boutiques and they did not reflect “Turks and Caicos”. She immediately saw the demand.
For Green, learning about the industry was new to her. Although she has a personal trendy background and modelling experience, the art of retail was what she needed in order to bring bēchë to life.
To get started, she worked with a design consultant – one who has also worked with luxury brands such as Ralph Lauren. However, bēchë did not launch until three years after the initial idea came about. From sampling material from different clothing and textile stores, to learning about running an e-commerce business, bēchë is now on its third collection.
Cyprianna, the creator and designer, has strived to ensure bēchë has its own unique design capturing the Turks and Caicos’ unofficial trademark “sun, sand and sea”. The other important aspects that she draws inspiration from are the culture of the Turks and Caicos and its people.
The Creative Process
The brand collaborates with local artists every year. Work from artists such as Hezron Henry, Ryesha Higgs, and David Bowen can be seen from the marketing aspects to the initial design for the launch itself.
On the design process, Green says
“There’s really not a ritualistic approach and I believe that’s the case with most creatives. I feel moved or inspired by a particular element of our country and culture and create a mood board. Once the mood board for the collection is complete I pull imagery and develop a colour palette for the collection.
I explore artists’ portfolios to see who the brand can collaborate with to bring the vision to life.
As it pertains to the designs, because our cuts are minimal, I make subtle changes to the classic cuts.”Cyprianna Green
Beche and the Environment
From the beginning, it has always been important for bēchë to have a cause tied to the brand. Inspired by Turks and Caicos being surrounded by the third largest reefs in the world, Cyprianna, herself, has always been an advocate for saving our reefs. Coincidentally, the same year that she came out with The Reef collection, the DECR informed the public that our coral reefs are being affected by stony coral tissue loss. It was always a part of bēchë’s plans to donate a portion of the proceeds from the collection to the reef fund. This announcement, therefore, provided more reason for the brand to commit to making the said donations.
Sustainability is also extremely vital to the bēchë brand. All of the fabrics from The Reef collection are made from econyl (regenerated ocean waste). They are completely plastic-free, all biodegradable and compostable.
Following an amazing first year launch, the Grand Turk native decided to pay homage to arguably our largest cultural event – Maskanoo. Green was inspired by how David Bowen and the TCHTA created Maskanoo by tying in our traditional Massin’ with our ties to Junkanoo in the Bahamas and African descent. The 2021 collection collaborated with all locals, making sure that the launch exuded cultural effervescence.
David Bowen was instrumental in the creation of this launch. He lent Cyprianna his time and knowledge, and with that, the men’s swim trunks for this collection have been named the “Bowen Trunks”.
Bēchë has been built from patience, experience, and a wealth of knowledge. Green has no plans on rushing the process of the brand’s growth, but she also has no intentions of bēchë being confined to just the Turks and Caicos Islands. There are already talks about the brand selling regionally and internationally. In the short term, there are plans for a Brick-and-Mortar store and also outsourcing to Hotels selling bēchë in their boutiques, helping to boost cultural and sustainable efforts while promoting the Turks and Caicos Islands.
To shop bēchë swimwear, visit their website www.shopbeche.com.