In his Ellements

Jamaican takes on New York fashion scene

BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Observer staff reporter livingstonc@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, June 06, 2014    

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JUST four years after moving to New York City, Jamaican photographer Kaneo Biggs is making his mark in New York City's competitive fashion scene.

Biggs is owner and editor-in-chief of Ellements magazine, a monthly publication that focuses on emerging faces and trends in fashion.

He started the 'mag' three years ago and runs it with a staff of four out of his apartment in the Bronx.

Things have looked up for the glossy in recent months. The May issue had Marvin Cortes, male winner of America's Next Top Model, as its cover.

Jourdan Miller, the contest's overall winner, was also featured.

"Having both of them in the issue pushed the magazine way further than was expected," Biggs told Splash.

"We got recognition from America's Next Top Model who shared the information, and it placed the magazine in the eyes of other celebrities, top agents and agencies."

The June issue, which is scheduled to be released today, features Yoanna House, winner of cycle 2 of America's Next Top Model.

The Montego Bay-born Biggs is a graduate of Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, where he studied Communication Information Science.

He says Ellements is more than just covering the American circuit.

"We feature top working models from across the globe; Australia, Milan, Paris, Poland and other major markets," he said.

Although the United States accounts for most of its sales, Biggs points to strong reception in Australia, Europe, Japan, China, Brazil and The Philippines.

He said his main challenge operating a magazine in the Internet age is keeping the content, style and image current.

"There are so many independent magazines that have emerged in the past year, and most of them somewhat present the same type of content and style," he noted. "Trends change every other day and there are a lot of young emerging talents who are our main focus, so keeping up with them and the industry is quite a work."

It is a feat Biggs is equal to. Ellements, he disclosed, sells 1,000-1,200 copies per month as well as 4,000-6,000 digital copies for the same period.

Biggs started working as a professional fashion photographer in 2008. His credits include Olivia (of Love & Hip Hop), Theresa Francine and Naomi of Real World Las Vegas. He has covered Africa Fashion Week and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

According to Biggs, he maintains ties to his 'roots' by working closely with Jamaican agents and featuring models, photographers and musicians in Ellements.





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