DIOTIMA: Caribbean temptation

Rachel Scott, Founder and Creative Director about her label Diotima:

Through Diotima I seek to present a seductive and nuanced vision of Caribbean style, looking to the future while remaining grounded in history and my lived experience as a Jamaican.

Founded in 2021, Diotima is designed and crafted between Jamaica and New York. Rooted in a reverence for savoir-faire, focus is placed on supporting and amplifying artisanal communities in Jamaica. All our crochet – the foundation of the collection – is made in Jamaica.

Tailoring is crafted with Heritage Tweeds from the UK, harkening back to the informal dialogue that was born out of the Jamaican diaspora during the Windrush era, as well as Tropical Wools and Basketweaves from storied Italian mills that reference the traditional crocus bag. In tension with the Tailoring and crochet is hand embellishment and threadwork, always with an emphasis on craft. I advocate for a more expansive definition of luxury, one that is not exclusively centred in Europe.

I use Diotima to widen the definition of sustainability beyond materiality. Sustainability is an approach to making that is not exploitive. As communities in the global south are on the front line of the effects of climate change, efforts must be made to support these communities in a way that fosters their autonomy. At Diotima responsibly produced materials are used, producing only two collections a year, all made to order.

Diotima, unclear whether she was a real or invented figure, teaches Eros to Socrates in Plato’s Symposium. Her love ascends from love of a beautiful being to the highest form which is love of beauty itself. It is through Eros that I seek to build anew.