- How did you start D-Junction Mas?
It all started when I worked with other masquerade bands: I had sections with one band and was part owner of another but I truly wanted a band of my own. I took the lessons I learned along with what I envisioned for the band, reached out to people I’d worked with over the years for help, and like they say, the rest is history.
- What is this year’s theme and how do you come up with it each year?
Our theme for Miami-Broward One Carnival 2018 is HARLEM: The Golden Age – a journey through an age of social and artistic explosion in African American culture, manifesting in music, art and literature. We have centered our story on the speakeasy culture and experience of that era. With regards to how we decide on each year’s theme, team members offer their ideas and suggestions. We select the one we feel works best and start tweaking it from there to tell the best story of what we are trying to portray.
- How many designers do you use and what does that process look like?
This year, we have eight (8) sections in the band: Four (4) owned by D-Junction Mas and the other four (4) owned by individual section leaders. D-Junction used two designers this year. We send the designer the section and overall theme concept along with suggested colors, although colors often change during the design process. From there, a prototype is made and the review process starts from there.
- How is D-Junction shaping up for this year’s Miami Carnival?
While we had a later than normal start this year, the feedback we have received on the theme and designs has been overwhelmingly positive. We love it when all the brainstorming and hard work and planning come together to create something we can be extremely proud of.
- How does D-Junction prepare for Miami Carnival each year? What are you doing differently this year?
First, we review the previous year to see the areas where we can improve our overall masquerader experience. We send out a survey a couple weeks after the road presentation to get feedback from our masqueraders. At the end of the day, our masqueraders are who matter the most so if there is a way for us to exceed and surpass their expectations, that’s what we want to do each and every time. This year, we approached our theme selection from a different point of view. We wanted to select a theme that reflected positivity or highlighted a positive event. With all the #BlackGirlMagic and #BlackBoyJoy focus recently, what better way to celebrate the greatness of people of color than through highlighting the time where we shined brighter than ever! The Harlem Renaissance was that moment.The biggest difference this year is that all of our masqueraders will receive 3 days of ALL-INCLUSIVE feting: J’ouvert, Pretty Mas and a cool down beach lime. The best part about this is that we were able to offer this without drastically increasing masquerader cost.
- Tell me about the making of this year’s theme and the process to making the costumes.
I like to refer to the theme as a story, which is what we are telling. On the outside, you might see a section and ask yourself, “what does that have to do with Harlem?” but it’s part of the story that we are telling that represents the theme. Costume production is broken into 3 parts: Backline costumes are decorated by one vendor, Frontline costumes, whole pieces and special requests are handled by the designers of the respective sections where possible, and the feather pieces are prepared by a Miami-based vendor. Also, it’s important to mention that we do not pre-design individual/section leader pieces. We believe these pieces should be what the individual wearing it wants or has envisioned. In those instances, we have them work with the designer of the respective section to produce a design to their liking that best fits their body.
- What can one expect when playing mas with D-Junction?
First and foremost, any person playing mas with us will ALWAYS receive the following: exceptional personal care, world-class customer service, beautiful expertly crafted costumes, and VIBES CYAH DONE! To top it all off, we make it our priority to ensure that each masquerader is comfortable. Whether you are playing mas alone or with a group, you will always have the freedom to enjoy yourself as a new member of our extended bacchanal family.