Saturday, September 25, 2010

Martinique's Melodie rules the (fashion) world!

On the catwalk for Bottega Veneta (all photos:
Martinique's Melodie Monrose has emerged as the breakout star of the fashion season thus far -but didn't we tell you so?
Islandistas, in the fortnight since we highlighted her as the one to watch this fashion season, Melodie pretty much decimated New York Fashion week.

Bagging 19 shows, she was far and away the top black model of NYFW and all of a sudden, it's a lot easier to find information on her, as the fashion press have rushed to highlight her.

Courtesy of, we now know that the 18 year old was discovered a mere two months ago through a school friend’s model scout. included her in a list of NYFW 'Catwalk Queens and it girl Shala Monroque (from neighboring St. Lucia) pronounced herself 'In Love with the Melodie' on her The Pop blog.

And all of a sudden, she has gone from lit student to fashion darling. She skipped the just-ended London Fashion Week to head to Milan and the Milanese have taken to her just as the New Yorkers did. We've counted her in six shows already including Gucci and Prada! Check out the rest of the pics below!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Martiniquan model Melodie is continuing her march of dominance

Martiniquan model Melodie is continuing her march of dominance through the catwalks of New York City.

The newbie from Wilhelmina, who was tipped as one of the models to watch this season, has lived up to the expectations - thus far, we have counted at least seven shows that she has walked in and we expect more before the end of NYFW.

Check out her reign thus far.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

New girls Melodie, Ornelia & Alyssah @ NYFW!

Islandistas, it's that kinda time again - Fashion Season!

New York Fashion Week kicked off yesterday at a brand new location - Lincoln Center.

And with the new location and new season, comes a host of new runway talent and as per usual, we are back to poring through the web pages of to scout out the hot new islandista talent working the runways.

After the first day, one new model has pulled ahead of the pack of both old and new Caribbean models, snagging three shows on day one - Martiniquan model Melodie.

She got a shout-out last week from the New York Times' in a piece by fashion critic Cathryn Horyn looking at casting directors' (of course!) new favourites and has followed up on that, walking forVena Cava, Rachel Comey and Nicholas K.

Truth be told, lots of models of colour and of island walked for Rachel Comey - sent us scrambling to the Fashion Spot's Jamaican models thread to i.d. some of the new faces.

Another newbie is Jamaican Ornelia Edwards who walked for Rachel Comey, as did Trini-descended Canadian Alyssah Ali.

By the way, Alyssah wants you to know that she Trini and proud eh? In an interview earlier this year with the Trinidad Guardian, the Canada-born model explained that there is still some confusion about her heritage, with many presuming she is from India.
"It was because someone wrote an article about me being Indian. Ever since, I have been trying to prove to people that my background is Trinidad. Even then, some do not know where it is and assume it is somewhere in Asia. I am very proud of where my family is from. I would love to celebrate my Trinbagonian heritage if given the chance,"
she told the Guardian.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Islandista on the rise: Haitian-American jewellery designer Monique Pean

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 16:  Designer Monique Pean attends The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards at Skylight Studio on November 16, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Vogue)

Islandista-descended jewellery designer Monique Pean has been getting plenty of buzz in 2010.

From Michelle Obama wearing her designs to being featured in O Magazine as one of ten women on the rise to profiles in Essence, New York Magazine and Businessweek, Monique's star is on the rise.

A former Wall Street banker, Pean, whose Haitian father is a former UN diplomat , turned to jewellery making in 2005 after her little sister Vanessa, was killed in a car accident at just 16.

Out of the tragedy came the Vanessa Pean Foundation, which provides scholarships to students at the Centre D’Etudes Secondaires in Haiti and recently completed a spring-fed well in Cabestor which is now providing clean water for over 6800 people.

The tragedy also led directly to what is now Monique Pean Fine Jewellery as her creative form of therapy eventually became a business when a boutique store manager asked about a one-of-a-kind necklace she was wearing which was made from - get this - fossilised wooly mammoth tusk from the Artic Circle.

When Monique said she'd made it herself, the manager asked to see her line sheet.

"I had no idea what a line sheet was," Pean told Businessweek in a profile on her that is out this week.

However, the interest led her to approach more boutiques and within six months, she had left her position at Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs to start doing jewellery full-time.

And from there, she has progressed by leaps and bounds. She received the CFDA/ VOGUE Fashion Fund prize in 2009, and is the recipient of the 2009 Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award for Accessories.

She has also expanded her production staff so they are up to producing 1000 pieces a year - doesn't sound like much unless you consider that their prices go as high as USD$203,840 for a recycled rose gold, 33.4 carat diamond bracelet.
Photo credit: Reuters/Eliana Aponte

Still, between Mrs. Obama's frequent appearances in Pean's designs - at a state dinner and on an April visit to Mexico, business is booming. Business has grown 136% in the past year and high-end retailer Barney's carries her line in eight of its national stores.

A good look indeed!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Islandistas at WEEN awards!

Islandistas of all stripes were out in force this weekend Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network's Awards Gala in New York City.

Check out the pics of actress Nia Long, singers Shontelle and Estelle and CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Caribbean models in Benetton FW 10 campaign!

Benetton went up and down the island chain for their latest ad campaign for the FW 10 season.

They snagged no less than three Caribbean models from three different island nations for the campaign, featuring Jamaica's Shena Moulton, Turks and Caicos' Chrishell Stubbs and Martiniquan male model Carl Agapit.

Check out the flicks and look for them in a magazine or on a mall store front near you!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Islandistas in Russian Vogue, W and Elle magazines!

Photo credit: Sharif Hamza for Russian Vogue
It was so nice, Russian Vogue clearly had to do it twice!

Pulse Jamaica's top girls Jeneil Williams and Sedene Blake are back in the pages of Russian Vogue, two months after their July spread with fellow islandistas Shena Moulton and Reina Montero.

This time they are in the September issue of Russian Vogue for a dark and brooding spread alongside several other models, including Victoria's Secret angel Alessandra Ambrosio.

And all on her own is Trini-descended Lyndsey Scott in a nude spread for W magazine, while the baddest of them all, Naomi Campbell is on the cover of UK Elle for its 25th anniversary edition- 24 years after she first appeared on their cover! Fly and forty Ms. Campbell is.

Check out those pics and more from Jeneil and Sedene's shoot under the cut.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Shontelle gets patriotic ink

Bajan singer Shontelle went under the needle recently to get a patriotic tat done - of Barbados' broken trident. Check the vid below.