SO2 - January 23
From left: Jamaican-born actor, writer & producer Kaci Hamilton, Ian Smalls Jr (Melissa's on-screenson), Melissa Anderson, Randall Richards, Malaika Paquiot and Stephanie Malson at the Getawaywrap party.

Firstly...

SO2 gave you a taste last week of what Kaci Hamilton has been up to. But there's more! Lots more!

She's been pursuing acting for the past five years, the last three in Los Angeles, and after just a year in LA, shot a commercial for Smirnoff starring Dave Bautista (of Guardians of the Galaxy fame). That was February 2020. Cue: The lockdown. But while everyone else was making starter dough, she built a home voiceover studio, attended endless IG Live events, Zoom conferences, acting classes, and even enrolled in a virtual networking service, all to stay current and ready. It's paid off!

Last year, she auditioned for pretty much every major network, from Apple TV, Disney, ABC, to HBO, Amazon, and Netflix, ultimately booking a spot on NCIS: Hawai'i.

“I ended up not being able to accept the role, but as they say, it's an honour to be nominated,” she says. “In the last six months, I booked my first feature film and landed a Lexus campaign that's currently live and set to run through the Winter Olympics and March Madness. But the project that felt like a real milestone was a recent dramatic short film, Getaway, that I filmed in Jamaica. It's written by first-time Jamaican film-maker Malaika Paquiot, directed by American Stephanie Malson and co-starring Jamaican-American actress Melissa Anderson, all of whom I met coming up in ARRAY, the independent film distribution company founded by Ava DuVernay.

“It tells the story of June, a Jamaican-American single mother who brings her young son home to connect with his roots, but ends up making a life-altering decision by the end of her trip. I play Grace, June's cousin and the person who knows her better than she knows herself. I've been committed to telling immigrant stories, so it was especially rewarding to be a part of a Jamaican one, shot in Jamaica, and collaborating with three dynamic black women who shared the same passion. Getaway was also shot by Jamaican cinematographer Randall Richards, of Mint Creative, and is slated for the festival circuit with plans for development into a series. There's also been time for some more light-hearted TV appearances. And I haven't stopped writing. I'm working on my own pilot about attending college as a Jamaican in Alaska, as well as [I have] plans to launch a sleep podcast, Jamaican Me Sleepy, later this year. I'm ready for the diversification happening in the industry, and I'm especially excited about Jamaica being at that table,” she concludes.

Cue: McFadden and Whitehead's Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now

Also...

Beauty and fashion mogul Kim Kardashian announced the latest release from her KKW fragrance line wearing a trio of sheer corseted outfits designed and created by Canadian designer Kathryn Bowen. Kardashian collaborates with world-renowned floral arrangement designer Jeff Leatham for a special capsule collection: Jeff Leatham by KKW Fragrance. The news came with photos of Kardashian clad in custom white, black, and beige Kathryn Bowen sheer corsets, posing alongside the new bottle for the fragrances and elaborate floral arrangements courtesy of Leatham.

No stranger to SO2, the Canadian designer's father, Bruce, headed Scotiabank Jamaica for several years.

Next...

Last October, Japanese multinational electronics company Epson announced a new partnership with eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt. Widely considered the greatest sprinter of all time, Bolt was selected to be the face of an awareness-building campaign for Epson's cartridge-free EcoTank printers. Television and social media ads, billboards, and website banners rolled out shortly after. The most recent video ad is a heart-warming story of a young boy fulfilling his dream of meeting his hero Usain Bolt, with the help of Epson EcoTank. The retired sprinter shared the video with his 11 million Instagram followers. 

And...

Armed with a stunning Greta Constantine power suit and confident delivery, American actress, singer, and dancer Ariana DeBose made her Saturday Night Live (SNL) hosting debut during the first episode of 2022. The actress — best known for playing Anita in Steven Spielberg's musical film West Side Story — is now enjoying her time in the limelight after a decade of working hard on Broadway.

Greta Constantine — a ready-to-wear womenswear line based in Toronto, Canada — is helmed by Jamaican-Canadian designers Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill.

There's More...

After a whirlwind year for New York-based Jamaican designer Brandon Blackwood, Jamaica's sun, sand, and sea were exactly what the stylish entrepreneur was missing. Blackwood's Rock rendezvous — organised in part to celebrate his bestie's Imani Nia's birthday — included a stay at Bumper's Nest, a spectacular private villa located hillside at the fabulous Tryall Club in Montego Bay. 

Bumper's Nest encapsulates all that is synonymous with elegant Caribbean living with its lavish master cottage, handsome interiors, and stunning views. Many families have an enduring love affair with Bumper's Nest, returning year after year and enjoying it as their home away from home.

From a three-acre garden, at the peak of Mahogany Hill, Bumper's Nest takes full advantage of views of the Caribbean Sea, Tryall forests, and the 14th hole of the legendary Tryall Golf Club. It has been meticulously designed to maximise the natural light, airflow, and magnificent views.

The villa staff comprises a team of Rhona, the cook with over 30 years' experience at the Club, a butler, maid, laundress, and the lawns, pool and organic herb gardens are tended by the villa's two gardeners.

— The Tryall Club 

Finally

SO2 had the pleasure of meeting Andre Leon Talley at Morgan's Penthouse on Madison Avenue where the style arbiter was hosting a listening party for of-the-moment siren Jennifer Hudson. He held court in the same way that he had for decades, front-row from New York, to London, Paris and Milan. It is fair to deduce that because of him many dared to believe they could. May he rest in peace.

Kaci Hamilton (left), actress Melissa Anderson (centre) and writerMalaika Paquiot discussing a scene on the set of Getaway
screenshot fromthe Lexus campaignfeaturing Kaci Hamilton.
Kim Kardashian shows offher signature curves in whiteKathryn Bowen.(Photos: IG: @kimkardashian)
KimKardashiandonscustomKathrynBowen innude.
Designer Kathryn Bowenshared, by way of her Instagramaccount, how she snagged KimKardashian as a client.
World-renowned floralarrangement designerJeff Leatham workshis magic with KimKardashian on set.
The Jeff Leathem by KKWfragrances Iconic Gardenia,Rare Fig, and Caramel Orchidcelebrate Valentine's Day, butwith a decadent twist!
FashiondesignerKathrynBowen
Mission accomplished! At the end of the race, Bolt notices the boy's sign and invites him onthe track for a photo-op. (Photos: youtube.com/EpsonUK)
The Epson EcoTank is used to print the photo of the two.
New York-based Jamaican designer Brandon Blackwood at Bumper'sNest, The Tryall Club (Photo: IG/@brandonblackwoodnyc)
Originally an architecturally Spanish designed villa, Bumper'sNest — a six-bedroom villa at The Tryall Club — receivedvery contemporary renovations, which include a 50-ft infinitypool set in a 100-ft pool deck. (Photos: Nigel D Lord)
The heart of the property is theinfinity pool.
All bedrooms open to terraces with sitting areas.
Ariana DeBose kicked it into high gear in GretaConstantine for her Saturday Night Live hosting debut.
Jamaican-Canadian designersStephen Wong (left) andKirk Pickersgill for GretaConstantine
André Leon Talley, the larger-than-life former Vogue creativedirector, died Tuesday, January 18 from a heart attack at age73. (Photo: Squire Fox/August)

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