BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor — Auto and Entertainment firstname.lastname@example.org
RENARCO Spencer and Kyisha Newman took top honours in the 12th staging of Saint International's Fashion Face of the Caribbean at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston on Saturday night.
Spencer and Newman won from a field of 43 females and 36 males, some of whom came from Barbados and The Bahamas.
Designer André Rowe secured the Avant Garde Fashion Award, now in its ninth year.
The 6 feet 2 inches Spencer, 18, from Stony Hill in St Andrew, said the win came as a surprise.
"I'm over-ecstatic right now. I didn't expect to win, but I'm thankful for the victory," said Spencer, a student at the Institute of Academic Excellence. His female counterpart was equally elated.
"I'm so excited," said Newman, a 5ft 10 inches, 15-year-old student of Holy Trinity High School in Kingston. "I was so nervous. My friends at school are going to be all over me."
She said she hoped to inspire a new generation of models.
Saint International CEO and president Deiwght Peters said he was pleased with the event.
"The competition was absolutely stunning. The feedback from the judges validates that, in terms of the diversity of the faces, the strength of the faces, the personalities were also great, the bodies — which is an essential part of the equation — were also amazing," he said.
"I like the fact, that agencies simply could say: 'I'm offering you a contract for this girl.' The winner tonight already has a contract offer," he continued.
Peters was, however, unwilling to state the details.
"What this does, is open the doors for people to say something serious is happening in Jamaican fashion and, Styleweek Jamaica — as the platform for reference — is definitely going in the right direction," he continued.
The evening showcased several creative and edgy pieces.
Rowe's black and white John Galliano-inspired piece saw him winning $50,000. Other outstanding creations in this section included Kaydian Nicely's Cycletopia, made of plastic bottles; The Ruse by Argent Roberts, Shelle Barnes and Jamie Lake; Simone Gordon's Accessorise, Keshawn Hawthorne's Lady Gaga-inspired design, and Cecelia Davana's Money Tree.
The Style File section boasted works from Kaydian Nicely, Sophia Max-Brown, Nina's crochet wear, Balla Shawn, Cecelia Davina, André Shirley, Kurt Campbell, Franz Christie, and Gregory 'HOD' Williams.
Peters said he was impressed with the collection of Paris-based designer Kevin O'Brien as well as that of Coco Johnson's.
Judges included American trial lawyer Sanford Rubenstien; Larrisa Gunn of Art and Commerce; Jody Gordon, owner of New York-based Fusion Management; Michael Eland, worldwide scouting director for Wilhemina; Lanny Zenga, scouting director — New Model Management; Melissa Alfer — booking agent for Request Model Management; and Delpha Ramos, international scouting director for Elite Model Management.
Styleweek begins on May 24 and runs until May 26.