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Islandista ‘It’ Girls

Maybe it’s just a coincidence or how the stars are aligned right now but I have noticed that an increasing number of the ‘It’ girls making waves over and away these days are also islandistas – or at least islandistas by descent.

Now what do I mean by an ‘it girl’ ? After all, it’s still debated whether the term is a compliment – indicating a young woman at the peak of her fame and celebrity who is praised and copied for her style and personality or whether it’s a bit derogatory – an aimless, narcissistic party girl/socialiate who can’t let any dog fight miss her and is always angling to get in front of the cameras. Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian are described as ‘it girls’ (shudder) but then again so are genuine talents with actual careers such as Keira Knightley.

For my one – it’s a young woman who is a bit of both – she definitely has to have an innate sense of style and be imitated – fashion is probably the biggest element of true ‘it girl-dom’.

She is someone who not only goes to but is invited to all the hottest events. And especially in this day and age she is definitely someone who occupies that voracious and rapidly-growing world of media celebrity – the blogs can’t get enough of her,  the fashion magazines are in her thrall and her personal life and style are breathlessly tracked. Perhaps it is too hard to define. Let us leave it to the French who put it so beautifully. Simply put an it girl is a young woman that has that certain ‘je-ne-sais-quoi’.  

And it so happens, some of the hottest it girls on the scene right now are straight from the islands or at least of islandista extraction.  









The most obvious islandista it girl on the scene right now is Rihanna.

(photo credit:

The Bajan songstress is beloved by both black blogs and mainstream fashion mags for her edgy, 80s influenced sense of style, particularly since the release of ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’ which catapulted her above the many other RnB popstresses such as Ciara and Christina Milian into a different dimension. Her asymetrical cropped do spawned a million imitators in the last year or so and now that they have all caught up, she has gone and changed it up again, with a throwback short, bowl cut a la Halle Berry in the 90s – but with a funky twist.

I’m not so sure about those open-toed Balenciaga gladiator boots in the pic to the right but she is pushing that envelope as ever.

Another islandista it girl is model, Victoria’s Secret ‘angel’ and former Nick Cannon fiancee (dodge a bullet dey girl!) Selita Ebanks from the Cayman Islands. In an interview with Sports Illustrated she made it clear she is a real-real island girl, talking up her love of fried snapper, calypso and dominoes and reminiscing about her childhood home with the zinc roof.

She is another islandista it girl that is firmly in the mainstream consciousness, as evidenced by the fact that she was listed in the 2008 edition Maxim magazine’s (in?)famous list of Top 100 sexiest women. Not to mention she is at every event and live-blogged the New York Fashion Week for New York magazine.

Another, more controversial one is islandista-by-extraction (yes, I’m coming to like that term) the mysterious Genevieve Jones.

The allegedly half-Trinidadian Ms. Jones was tipping dangerously into that ‘it girl for no reason with no job’ area but she’s got a line of jewellery now (whew!) which was featured in a recent edition of Vogue. Genevieve … well she parties. And she dresses really well and knows all the right people. And even though she’s not wealthy – apparently hailing from middle-clas roots in Louisiana, she’s a socialite.

There was a rather scathing piece about her in the Wall Street Journal of all places (yuh reach girl!) in late 2006, that really set the blogosphere buzzing and tongues wagging, with folks questioning where she got the money to live in the style that she does. There was more than a hint of thinly-veiled racism and condescension in the piece with statements like:

Unlike many of her friends, Ms. Jones isn’t an heiress and she lacks the Ivy League credentials and social pedigree of Manhattan’s largely white society set. An African-American, she grew up in Baton Rouge, La., and didn’t go to college.

The accusations that flew were not much nicer. Frankly, I love that this is madding them people.  No-one puts that level of scrutiny on the white party girls and socialites so why is it so very passing strange when a chocolate-coloured socialite sets the place alight?


By Me

island ~ ista
From Latin -ista via Portuguese -ista
one who follows a principle; an adept.

As an islandista I live, embody, exude the spirit of the Caribbean islands.

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