Need another reason to up your fashion game this summer?

The City of Hamilton can give you at least six.

That’s the number of fashion heavyweights who’ll descend on these shores for the Bermuda Fashion Festival.

James DeMolet, a New York-based fashion stylist; Hannah Bibb, an associate fashion editor at Cosmopolitan magazine; Danielle Prescod, Elle.com fashion editor; Tiffany Reid, the American fashion market editor at Allure; Matthew Henson, the fashion editor at Complex Magazine; and Julia Gall, a senior fashion editor at Interview Magazine will take part in the local designer showcase on July 8. They’ve each been assigned as mentors to some of the Island’s brightest design talents.

Danilee Trott, who is directing the Bermuda Fashion Festival, said the showcase would provide locals with unprecedented access to industry insiders.

“There are a couple of goals when it comes to the local designer showcase,” she said. “We want to give the local designers the chance to be able to grow in a professional arena and take the quality of their work to the next level. We also want to get them more exposure.

“The international exposure they’ll get from this is unprecedented and is something they couldn’t pay for.

“The mentors they connect with are not only sharing their experience, they are also giving locals the opportunity to be featured in their different publications or get mentioned in their own social media platforms. It could be whatever the mentor feels is press-worthy and is of the quality they expect.”

Ms Trott said last year’s participants got a “huge amount” of international coverage, which was very encouraging. “It’s not a guarantee, but it’s something that is earned,” she said.

The Bermuda Fashion Festival started off five years ago as the two-day Evolution Fashion Show.

These days, it’s a six-day event. It runs from July 6 to 11 this year and includes a hair and beauty show, raft-up and a designer trunk show.

“Every year it grows and every year it expands,” Ms Trott said.

“It’s hard to predict what will happen the following year, but something special always happens at the end of one show that lends itself into the growth for the next year.”

In 2014 a partnership was built with Queendom Ink International. Meanwhile, Bermuda’s own Shiona Turini has been instrumental in the event over the past two years. This year, she is coordinating the local designer programme and was responsible for securing the international mentors.

The support has helped to put Bermuda’s fashion festival on the map.

Ms Trott said: “This is an event that boosts Bermuda because at the end of the day it’s representing the whole Island.

“It’s our designers, salons, retailers, make-up artists and models on display. When you piece it all together and have a week of fashion that’s fun and exciting — it brings the Island a lot of positive attention.”

Such an event can’t be pulled off without lots of dedication and hard work.

“I love the challenge,” Ms Trott said. “The work can feel a little overwhelming at times but we have a great team which was extended, so it’s not just the Corporation of Hamilton, and that helps with the level of experience and expertise that goes into it.

“It’s a festival that wouldn’t be possible to do as a one-man show.

“It’s made possible due to people like Shiona Turini, Dean Parris, Lamont Robinson, Ronnie Chameau and Amir X. And the great part about it is it’s not like New York Fashion Week or what you see in Paris or the Caribbean. It’s unique. This year’s theme is the Bermuda Gombey, so we wanted to think about the cultural promotion aspect as well.”

Ms Trott said she was excited to see what doors open after this year’s event.

People from the international fashion community actually asked to be part of this year’s event — a festival first.

Another first is the passport to fashion, an all-access pass to after-parties and shows that were previously invite-only. People who purchase tickets from www.ptix.bm can expect to see all the action first hand and will have a chance to mix and mingle with the fashion elite.

Visit www.bermudafashionfestival.com