She is considered to be the most successful Caribbean covergirls in history and one of the most recognizable supermodels on the planet. Come June, Pulse star, Jeneil Williams will lead the model call at Caribbean Fashionweek. This is not Jeneil’s first CFW, having successfully come through the ranks in both the Live as well as the Reality TV versions of Pulse’s Caribbean Model Search. However, this is the first in which she has taken pole position, given her current status as the region’s megastar.
Jeneil was discovered in Pulse’s Caribbean Model Search in 2005. She placed in the top 3 behind the winner and fellow international Pulse model Gaye McDonald. However, it was clear from the very beginning that her’s was a special potential. Jeneil epitomized the unique beauty of Caribbean people ofAfrican descent. Like Lois Samuels and Alec Wek before her, Jeneil was not the stereotypical or traditional beauty, usually seen on the world stage, something her manager Kingsley Cooper clearly understood. He recognized this fact at the start and, in introducing her to the international marketplace a year and a half later, decided that she would have to be marketed in a particular way.
Cooper personally took Williams to New York and, along with New York Model Management, a Pulse affiliate with whom she was placed in that city, framed a strategy for success. It immediately paid dividends. A week later, Williams shot her first campaign for Benetton. Two weeks after that, she shot her first international cover (and 28 pages) for Italian major BMM. At seventeen (17) years old, Jeneil became Pulse and Jamaica’s hottest “new face” and was named world “Model of the Week” by Models.com, the bible of the international modeling industry.
Jeneil has previously shot the cover of SHE magazine in the Caribbean and went on to shoot the covers of such varied and iconic magazines as i-D(twice), French, Full Freedom (cover plus 26 pages), LOVE and the Wall Street Journal (twice). The crucial LOVE cover (from Condé Naste) became a further catalyst for her career, catapulting her into the superstar stratosphere (as one of the 8 big names in world modeling). As such, she joined the select group of that issue’s cover girls (each girl having a different cover), which included Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Natalia Vodianova, Lara Stone, Daria Werbowy, Kristen Mc Menamy and Amber Valetta.
Interestingly, Kimberley Mais, the iconic Pulse international history maker of the mid to late 1980s, has done a lot more magazine covers than Jeneil, but while Kimberley’s were scored largely in Japan, Jeneil has done hers for some of the most revered brands in the major markets. Also, while several Pulse stars have worked for almost all of the world’s top magazines (including covers) and appeared in almost every edition of Vogue, Lois Samuels was the only Caribbean model to actually become a Vogue covergirl. Jeneil has copped a greater number and variety of editions at this level, than any other Caribbean star.
Pulse Model Management
Several of the Caribbean’s master designers have already confirmed their attendance at Caribbean Fashionweek from June 8-13.
In addition to the best designers the Caribbean has to offer, CFW boasts recognizable faces in world modelling, plus top stylists from Europe, North America, Africa, Latin America and Asia. This year the event will amp up its recent trend as a growing entertainment event on a broader scale. Whereas in the past CFW has attracted major international celebrities and featured short concert performances by such superstars as Eve, Kelly Roland and Nia Long, this year’s event will showcase full concerts after the fashion shows, featuring major international and Jamaican acts.
Pulse Supermodel Nell Robinson in Gavin Douglas.
Such Caribbean icons as Meiling and Biggy are committed to the event in June. Other confirmed master designers include British-Jamaican fashion designer Sandra Kennedy, Trinidad’s acclaimed Claudia Pegus, Jamaica’s Barry Moncrieffe and Mutamba plus Vogue stylist Gavin Douglas. Others will be announced as soon as they are confirmed.
In addition to the Caribbean’s top couturiers, major designers will also come from Italy, Switzerland, France, Suriname, Canada, South America and the United States. They will no doubt contribute to the Business Forum, to be held on Sunday, June 12, another key feature of CFW 2011. British Vogue once described CFW as an important new trend in world fashion and the event has been taken to every corner of the globe by Fashion TV Paris. It is also regarded as one of the important fashion weeks in the world and is accepted internationally as the #1 platform for the best of Caribbean style, attracting thousands of locals and visitors alike. Its growth in its first decade has been exponential.
According to Pulse, organisers of the event, CFW 2011 is likely to be the biggest and best to date, based on confirmations already received from designers, celebrities, supermodels and entertainers. The event features six days and nights of activities, including opening and closing events, as well as three nights of shows, an exhibition, after-parties and a business forum.
Current Pulse stars Sedene Blake and Jeneil Williams are driving a new ascendancy of black models in the world. Sedene, described by Elle UK as the new Iman, was named by Style.com (the online home of Vogue) as being one of three models to watch last show season. Jeneil was featured on one of eight covers of Love magazine (Conde Nast’s new publication), last year. Other covers include i-D (twice), the Wall Street Journal (twice), French, BMI and a number of others.
CFW 2011 will not only herald a new decade of the best of Caribbean style, it will help to cement the status of this event. More importantly, it will continue to provide opportunities for Caribbean talent to emerge and take its place among the best that the world can offer.
Source: Jamaica Observer