Saint International’s enviable record of scouting Jamaican talent for the global fashion industry continues to flourish, as visiting European and North American model agents are unanimous in praise of the pool of model hopefuls that competed in last month’s Fashion Face of the Caribbean finals.
Fifty-one females and 33 males from the island’s three counties vied to win top honours.
Of his interaction with the Jamaican youth, David Collazo, booking director and senior agent of the Spain-based Uno Models told Our Today “Besides their unique beauty, one of the qualities I appreciated most was their commitment and modesty. I also appreciated how conscious they were about the great opportunity being offered to them.”
Collazo was one of four agents Saint chief executive officer Deiwght Peters specially invited as judges for his annual model competition that has been a resoundingly successful launching pad. The roster of Saint stars to emerge includes Prada campaign star Kai Newman, Maybelline global face Tami Williams, Ralph Lauren go-to-model Brad Allen, Michael Kors campaign co-leading lady Naki Depass and Vogue Hommes cover star Winston Lawrence.
Speaking further, Collazo extolled Peters’ keen eye. “I believe his process of selection makes it clear how his mind perfectly understands what the global fashion movement is looking for. The models found and developed by him not only covered all the standards requested in the fashion industry but also have this special “something” that you find with those possessing star potential,” the Spaniard explained.
Other agents flying into the island to discover the next major fashion star were Monika Kielczewska of The Society/Elite Europe, Marcus Panthera of Elite Miami and Jodie Gordon of Fusion Model Management.
The verdict from Gordon, owner and agent of Fusion Model Management in New York, was effusive. “We loved every second of getting to know some of the kids. They were lovely and bright, and things were well organized to allow us time for this,” she disclosed.
“Honestly, the kids had great style and seemed generally interested in pursuing further studies. They each were polite and humble and many displayed positive spiritual beliefs, which we found refreshing. You could see how hard each and everyone was working,” added Gordon whose agency is ranked among the top ten in The Big Apple.
“The quality of the models was excellent,” Elite’s Panthera raved. “It was a great experience as always and I was pleased that they were prepared and super educated,” he shared with Our Today, adding that he heartily welcomed a return visit to another Saint competition.
According to Saint’s head honcho, this year’s crop of model aspirants “is one of the strongest groups in the nearly 20-year history of the contest and the attitude to training and becoming good models was admirable.”
Peters, who also acts as chairman of the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts, pointed out that training sessions for his model charges included dance and movement sessions with choreographer Neila Ebanks as well as stage and drama techniques by Pierre Lemaire, former head of the School of Drama. He was also impressed at “how compassionate they all were in looking out for Alexie Marks who was an autistic finalist.”
As to whether any models are close to signing on the dotted line with overseas-based agencies, Peters disclosed that this year’s two winners, TK Wilson and Drucillah Campbell as well as a number of top-ten finalists have offers on the table.
On that matter Peters had this to say: “The event this year attracted global interest with agencies from Germany, Turkey, the United Kingdom and elsewhere reaching out to collaborate with Saint and offering to attend the upcoming model search finals.”