Reggae and Rastafarianism permeated Bunny’s consciousness during the 1970s. He worshipped the genre’s charismatic prophet, Bob Marley. But never in his wildest, ganja-tinged musings could he ever have anticipated the bizarre series of events surrounding his encounter with the Rasta icon on a trip to Jamaica in December 1976.
“Different world in those days. The things you could get as a journalist…” Bunny sighs nostalgically, when asked to recite the particulars.
He’d been honing his chops at Figaro, writing fairly extensively about reggae, when an intriguing piece of information came his way: a local deejay on WNOE, Michael Kopacz, was going to Jamaica on a junket sponsored by the Jamaican government. Through Kopacz, Bunny got in touch with the Jamaican Tourist Board. Turned out they were indeed very interested in hosting reggae-loving journalists and radio personalities. Tourism was hurting because of violent political strife, and the agency in charge of promoting the island as a destination was desperate for good PR. Bunny would be welcome to join Kopacz for the trip, all expenses paid. “I was really excited about it,” says Bunny.
“Trends are gone. It seems to be all about individual tastes. I think what becomes critical to us as designers is to stay true to what you believe in and hopefully build an identity and look that people can relate to.”—Mr. Billy Reid on what comes next.