CARIBBEAN STYLE & CULTURE 2017

Caribbean Style & Culture is a showcase of Fashion, Music and Art, held annually in the month of June to commemorate and celebrate NATIONAL CARIBBEAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH. The Caribbean Style & Culture Runway Showcase is exciting, dynamic, constantly changing, … Continue reading

BEAUTIFUL CARIBBEAN WOMEN

ALEXIA PALMER

Alexia Palmer’s luminous skin, captivating features, winning smile and determination was a recipe for success from the day she arrived at Pulse. Snatching second place in the agency’s 2010 Caribbean Model Search at merely 17 years old, the ‘wet-behind-the-ears’ beauty booked Vogue without even leaving the shores of Jamaica, becoming the first Caribbean model to have accomplished this feat.

Since then, Palmer has gone on to sign with the largest agency in Europe, Model’s 1, and Trump Models in New York; score a campaign with French beauty powerhouse Chanel, just two weeks after her London arrival; booked Teen Vogue with the cast of Glee; and can now add Iman Cosmetics to her growing catalog.

ANASTAGIA PIERRE

Anastagia Pierre (born October 5, 1988) is an American-born Haitian-Bahamian beauty queen and model, elected as Miss Bahamas Universe 2011 on May 1, 2011. She competed at Miss Universe 2011 in São Paulo, Brazil on September 12, 2011. She is the Station Host at WTVJ NBC 6 in Miami, FL.

She is no stranger to the pageant industry, as she competed in her very first pageant at age 5.  In 2010 she won the title of Miss Bahamas Intercontinental, and placed 2nd Runner Up at the Miss Intercontinental 2010 pageant held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Ms. Pierre has also held the titles of Miss Florida Teen USA 2004, and Miss Florida USA 2009, making her the first African American woman to represent the state of Florida at both Miss Teen USA and Miss USA.

​She has been studying dance for over 15 years and practiced classical piano for over 10 years.  She is classically trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and modern dance. Anastagia Pierre is currently an international model and spokesperson. She was a featured actress in the 2012 national Acura ILX campaign. She has graced the runways of Caribbean Fashion Week, Islands of the World Fashion Week, Miami Beach International Fashion Week, and Mercedes Benz Fashion Swim Week. She has been featured in publications such as the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Edition, US Weekly Magazine, Self Magazine, SoBe Fit Magazine, Brookstone Catalog and Pageantry Magazine.

 She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Nova Southeastern University and worked as the Station Host on NBC Miami. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, going to the beach, cooking, golfing, painting, and photography.

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SEDENE BLAKE

Sedene Blake, who was introduced to the international market in November 2009, has had a dream start to her international career, when she copped four editorials for different editions of industry bible, Vogue magazine, completing the first three within two weeks of her introduction to world modelling.

To be in the revered Vogue at all, is a feat never accomplished for the great mass of successful international stars, but to be in four different editions and to do three of them within two weeks of start up is an amazing accomplishment.

Italian Vogue, American Teen Vogue, Russian Vogue and Vogue Pella have all shot editorials featuring Sedene. She shot her fourth Vogue (the Russian Edition) with agency colleague Jeneil Williams.

LEE ANN FORBES

Lee Ann Forbes was crowned the 2011 Miss Trinidad and Tobago World. The 21 year old supermodel from St James beauty bested her seven stunning counterparts to wear the crown at the 61st Miss World competition.

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JAUNEL McKENZIE

Jaunel McKenzie in 2010 was named the first Caribbean-born model in history to be ranked the #1 black model in the world by Models.com. The Jamaican-born model was discovered by Pulse at the age of 16 during their very first Caribbean model search in 2002. McKenzie has built an enviable portfolio, with multiple spreads in Vogue – 11 for American Vogue and one each for the German, French, and Italian editions. She has also done spreads for Elle, W, Vibe, Allure, and Victoria Secret. McKenzie has starred in campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger, Nordstrom, Banana Republic, and Addidas, and has walked the runway for Kenneth Cole, Catherine Malandrino, Derek Lam, Heatherette, Gucci, Dolce & Gabana, Louis Vuitton, and Stella McCartney, to name a few.

JOAN SMALLS

And who is the most bangin’ supermodel of them all? None other than beautiful  island girl Joan Smalls! Smalls father is from St. Thomas and  mother is from Puerto Rico. The model was born and raised in P.R. alongside two  similarly stunning sisters…

At just 24-years-old, Joan Smalls has been named the top supermodel in the  world. The Puerto Rican-born beauty was recently ranked number one on the list  of top 50 models by Models.com.

“It feels amazing being number one,” Smalls said in an interview with  Models.com. “I am extremely flattered, honored and just blessed because it just  cements that all my hard work means something and it paid off.”

Just this year alone, Smalls has represented brands like Chanel, Calvin Klein  and Lacoste. She’s graced the covers of W, GQ and Vogue magazines and she’s the  current the face of Estée Lauder.

Smalls may be among the small group of women of color in the fashion world,  but that isn’t stopping her from making large strides. “Being in the Fendi  campaign as the only girl is a great deal, especially if you’re a Black girl,” she said. “Some people think it’s a challenge being diverse. You just have to  remember who you are, where you’re come from. And that’s why you see me stomp  and walk as hard as I can.”

KIMANEE WILSON

With killer looks and a unique name to match, Jamaican stunner Kimanee Wilson already stands out from the pack. Considered one of the Caribbean’s top supermodels, Wilson is ranked highly with the likes of her peers Nell Robinson, Januel Mckenzie, and Nadine Willis.

Discovered in 2005 by the highly regarded Pulse Models,Kimanee has graced the runways of Caribbean and New York Fashion Weeks, and can add leading designers such as Roberto Cavalli, Chloe, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren and Missoni to her impressive resume.

With gorgeous tear-sheets from major editorials; VCosmopolitan, and British Glamour, this frequent flyer remains grounded citing Jamaica as her favorite place in the world.

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SESSILEE LOPEZ

Sessilee Lopez (born January 4, 1989) is an American (Pennsylvania) model. She has appeared in Vogue Italia and graced one of the four covers of its “All Black” issue, while Naomi Campbell, Liya Kebede, and Jourdan Dunn graced the alternative ones. Lopez has  Dominican Republic and Portuguese Heritage. Her career started in 2004, when she signed with IMG Models. Sessilee is currently represented by Major Model Management. Her runway debut was at the Vivienne Tam and Daryl K Fall 2004 shows. In 2007, she switched representation to Major Model Management Worldwide. Since then, she has walked for Shiatzy Chen, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Lanvin, Hermès and several other established fashion houses. She has appeared in editorials for American, Italian, French, Japanese, and German Vogue, V Magazine, W Magazine, Allure, i-D, Dazed & Confused, Marie Claire, Numéro, Swedish, American, and French Elle, and Spanish and American Harper’s Bazaar. She has signed contracts with Benetton and ckOne. She has appeared in advertising campaigns for Gap Jeans, Tommy Hilfiger, Barneys New York, GAP, Benetton, ckOne, Macy’s, Levi’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, DKNY, Nordstrom, Adidas, H&M, and Uniqlo.

SELITA EBANKS

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Selita Ebanks, born of Native American, Irish and African descent to a Jamaican father and a Caymanian mother in George Town, Grand Cayman, was raised in a large family that included seven brothers. Her family, her mother in particular, encouraged her development through extracurricular programs. She moved to the United States and settled on Staten Island. She was accepted by Columbia University and New York University, but instead chose to pursue modeling. In 2000, at the age of 17, while walking through the turnstiles at Six Flags Great Adventure, Ebanks was scouted by an agent from Elite Model Management.

Ebanks made her debut in February 2001 at the fall show for Tuleh. After working for the likes of Catherine Malandrino, James Coviello, Abercrombie & Fitch, and DKNY, she signed a contract with Victoria’s Secret in 2005.

Ebanks first modeled for Victoria’s Secret for their Ipex Bra line, before being signed as an Angel. She and Izabel Goulart made their major débuts in the 2005 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, working as an Angel until 2008. In 2005, Tyra Banks said she was proud of Ebanks to be representing black women at Victoria’s Secret.

In 2007, Ebanks was selected to wear the “Very Sexy” Holiday Fantasy Bra Set with a price tag of $4,500,000 dollars that contains diamonds, emeralds, rubies and yellow sapphires–which she wore in the Victoria’s Secret “Christmas Dreams and Fantasies 2007” catalogue. She also wore the fantasy bra set during the Victoria’s Secret fashion show on December 4, 2007.

Ebanks made a special guest appearance on How I Met Your Mother (episode: “The Yips”) on 26 November 2007 with her fellow Victoria’s Secret supermodels (Miranda Kerr, Heidi Klum, Adriana Lima, Marisa Miller, and Alessandra Ambrosio).

According to Forbes, Ebanks ranked the twelfth highest paid supermodel for 2008, earning $2.7 million. She appeared in Sports Illustrated’s 2007 Swimsuit Issue.

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JASLENE GONZALEZ

Jaslene Gonzalez (born May 29, 1986) is a Puerto Rican American model, television host, and winner of Cycle 8 of America’s Next Top Model.

Jaslene Gonzalez was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Humboldt Park, Chicago. She attended Notre Dame High School for Girls on the Northwest Side of Chicago. She was an online college admissions adviser prior to America’s Next Top Model.

Gonzalez tried out for Cycle 7, but only made it to the semifinals. Assuring the judges that she would be back for the next cycle’s audition, Gonzalez’s determination caught the eyes of producers, who thought she had potential. She indeed tried out for Cycle 8 and this time made it to the finals. During the competition, Gonzalez was called first at panel four times, received 4 Covergirl of the Week awards and won one reward challenge. She was also the second contestant and first winner to never be in the bottom two. On the season finale, Gonzalez was revealed as the winner. She is the second of three winners from Illinois, preceded by Adrianne Curry of Cycle 1, and followed by McKey Sullivan of Cycle 11.

Jaslene Gonzalez

Gonzalez has modeled for the New York Post (Tempo), US WeeklyIn Touch Weekly, had a 6-page spread in an issue of Vibe Vixen magazine, a 12-page fashion spread for ZooZoom Magazine. Named One Of Latina Magazine’s Latinas Of the Year, had a 9-page spread for Colures (U.K fashion Magazine), was featured in Trace (magazine): Model Behavior as Falls new faces, has been on the covers and had spreads of over a dozen magazines such as LatinaImagén.

DESHA RAMBHAJAN

Desha S. RambhajanDesha Rambhajan is a television News Presenter and Journalist. She currently anchors the C News Weekend News and the C Sports.

She has been in the news and current affairs business since 2004, working her way up from newspaper, to radio and into TV. In 2008, Desha won the Hilton Group of Companies award for “Excellence in Television” in the category of “Journalist/Anchor”.

She was the internal Communications Specialist for the Caribbean at the world’s largest food company Nestlé, and also the regional Marketing Manager of the fastest growing ice cream franchise, Cold Stone Creamery.

The southerner attended St. Gabriel’s Girls’ RC School and then Naparima Girls’ High School. She received a scholarship to attend the University of Toronto, which prompted her to move to Canada. She graduated with Honors from U of T and then went on to complete her post-graduate studies at Ryerson University.

CARIBBEAN STYLE

KARIB BEAT

ANYA AYOUNG-CHEE, PROJECT RUNWAY SEASON 9 WINNER.

It was a long, eventful season on Project Runway, but the best designer won. After fighting it out in New York City for many weeks, Project Runway Season 9 finally came to a close  Thursday (October 27/2011) evening with the winner being Anya Ayoung-Chee.

Anya hails from the twin isles, Trinidad & Tobago, which played as her inspiration for her collection shown at Lincoln Center. Anya’s collection featured looks that felt easy, created beautiful visualizations for the eye and paid homage to what she does best – prints.

“AS A CARIBBEAN DESIGNER I AM COMMITTED TO DESIGNING
                                                 FOR CARIBBEAN WOMEN, WHO COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES.”

She faced tough competition going against the most skilled designers from her season in their final walk on the runway. Joshua made a unique collection featuring designs that played on the idea of hard and soft, Kimberly gave a unique point of view using her experiences and background as her inspiration, and Victor tailored every single one of his garments to a T.

However, the creativity and the voice behind Anya’s collection really showcased her as an immense talent in the fashion industry. Michael Kors himself stated he could visualize Anya’s brand down the road and becoming something bigger than just easy-going dresses.

Throughout the season she has used her tremendously tasteful eye for prints, her natural since of style and her desire to grow as a designer as the force behind what she aims to become.

Anya  is one of the hottest young fashion designers to emerge from the Caribbean in recent years, she launched her women’s label, PILAR, in May 2009 and it has been making waves ever since. In June 2010, she launched a lingerie line named Anya de Roguethe first of its kind in the Caribbean.

A graduate of Parsons School of Design and Central St Martins School of Art and Design, Anya spent several years working as a designer in New York City until in 2007 she returned home after her eighteen-year old brother Pilar died tragically in a car accident. Soon after the move, Anya was selected to represent her country at the Miss Universe pageant. This experience propelled her into a life in front on the camera as a model and television host. Anya has since hosted several Caribbean television and web-based events and live shows, including movie premieres, fashion shows and her own fashion program “Make It Yours”.

Anya’s diverse background as a designer, stylist, model and host is only a hint of things to come. As a designer, Anya is set to redefine the Caribbean as a fashion mecca, and has already begun to do so in a revolutionary way.

The gracious winner beamed with excitement as she thanked the panel.

“It’s a turning point in my life that I’ll never, ever, ever be able to forget,” she says.

Anya Ayoung Chee & Miss Jamaica Universe Yendi Phillips, 1st. Runner-up Miss Universe 2010

CHANTAL RAYMOND, Beauty With Brains

CHANTAL RAYMOND, Miss Jamaica World 2010

Chantal Raymond who was crowned Miss Jamaica World 2010, is a true definition of the meaning beauty and brains. She graduated from Harvard Law School where she was the recipient of the following awards – Doctor of Law, 2010, Co President and Co Founder Harvard Caribbean Law association. She also gained a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Florida and Nine Undergraduate Academic Scholarships. Chantal also completed a political/Economical internship at the US Department of State – US Embassy, Kingston JA 2009-2010

Her desire in the near future is to be the CEO of a major International Corporation which has roots through Latin America and the Caribbean. This beauty enjoys international travelling, and has travelled to Japan, China, Spain, Italy, England, France, USA, Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Canada, and the Bahamas, she also enjoys dancing, jogging, weight training and spending quality time with her family and friends.

She is desirous of meeting Michelle Obama – a Harvard Law School Alumina class of 88. Chantal views the First Lady as an outstanding woman who has built a successful career promoting service and the advancement of youth, while supporting and nurturing her own loving family.

Personal Statement: I believe in empowerment through education, both formal and informal.

UNIQUE CARIBBEAN HAND MADE JEWELRY 

KARIB BEAT


Miss JAMAICA UNIVERSE 2011 – Photo Shoot/UZURI INTERNATIONAL DESIGNS

Miss Jamaica Universe 2011 Shakira Martin-Aminah, photographed by Roger Jones; Fashion Director Tricia Williamson; Location: Devon House Mansion, Kingston; Design by Uzuri International; Makeup by Sharon Wint/Face Forward.

Miss Jamaica Universe 2011… I’m a young hard working woman trying to make a difference in lives. I love the different varieties of the entertainment industry. I would describe my style as Caribbean chic. I love a simple clean look but I also experiment with colors and patterns. I ultimately want to be viewed as an ambassador for young women and men around the world. I want people to want to hear what I have to say. I hope to help make small changes now for a great effect in the future in the process of bringing people together.

SHAKIRA MARTIN-AMINAH

SHAKIRA MARTIN-AMINAH

BEAUTY TIPS

Making it’s debut at San Fernando Fashion Week 2011 in Trinidad, Nique Cosmetics is a mineral cosmetics line specializing in powder foundation for women of color.

The line was created for every woman who has searched for that perfect foundation shade. With the needs of women of color in mind Nique Cosmetics has created a line that is light-weight, doesn’t clog pores, covers dark spots and blemishes and gives a very natural, youthful appearance.

The line carries 28 different shades, truly beauty for everyone.

San Fernando Fashion Week 2011

Women of color tend to loose the warmth in their skin tones during the winter months, so it is important to have a winter foundation shade and a spring/summer foundation shade.

Miss HAITI UNIVERSE 2011

Miss Haiti Universe 2011, Anedie Azael

Anedie Azael was born on September 15, 1988. She is a professional model, student and activist who was crowned Miss Haiti Universe 2011.

Anedie was raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, by her parents, Eddy and Chantale Azael, then in 2004, at the age of 16, she moved to Miami, FL to pursue her studies. Despite the challenges her country faces today, she grew up having unyielding aspirations of posing for editorials and strutting down runways, unveiling unforgettable pieces created by the world’s most prominent designers. “I’ve discovered myself.” she confidently proclaims. Anedie graduated from Felix Varela Sr. High in 2006.

In 2009, Anedie’s dreams became a reality. She signed with Runways The Talent Group in Miami Beach and started booking jobs immediately. Her unique, exotic features and bubbly personality instantly caught the attention of casting scouts, photographers and stylists. Anedie is currently the face of Alpha Communication Network (ACN) in Haiti.

Miss Haiti Universe 2011, Anedie Azael