Fashion Islandistas on the Rise Style

New islandistas @ New York Fashion Week


New islandistas on the catwalk (from left) Sedene Blake, Reina Montero and Chrishell Stubbs

 New York Fashion Week (Fall/Winter ’10) started on Thursday and so far it’s been pretty good, islandista-wise. 

For the last NYFW (SS ’10) we counted 10 islandista models (and one islandisto in the form of yaadie Tyson Beckford) walking the runways for 22 different designers. 

Thus far, the count is at the same 11 (including those new faces we’re going to tell you about) for 19 designers so far.  

The expected names have been out there – Jamaica Jeneil Williams walked for Costello Tagliapietra, Dominican Arlenis Sosa walked for Nicole Miller and fellow Dominican Rose Cordero walked for … everyone – we’ve counted six shows so far, including Doo.Ri, Jason Wu and Ruffian. 

Alongside new Sudanese-Australian wunderkid Ajak Deng, Rose has been the busiest black or brown model out there. 

However, one islandista newcomer is matching Rose so far, show for show. Read on for more.

 New-but-not-new kid, Turks and Caicos-born Chrishell Stubbs has walked in six shows so far by our count, including Lacoste. 


For Erin Wasson X RVCA (Photo credit: Lacoste (Photo credit:

The green-eyed 17 year old (who is of T&C and Peruvian parentage) has been on the scene for a few years now (as you can see from this five year old thread on The Fashion Spot) but has mostly been doing commercial (Levi, JC Penney) and teen magazine (Teen Vogue) work up until now. 

New York City’s FW 10  season is actually her first on the catwalk and she has started in a big way! 

Another new islandista on the scene is Jamaican teenager Sedene Blake who has had what the Jamaica Observer rightly termed a “dream start” to her international career, since being introduced by Pulse three whole months ago in November. 

For Jason Wu (Photo credit:

She has already shot for editorials in four different editions of Vogue – American, Teen, Russian and Italian Vogue Pelle and Elle UK’s site has tipped her in their New Model Faces column. 

She’s already walked for Jason Wu and Costello Tagliapietra this season and we have a feeling we may just see her in a few more shows before the season is done. 

The other new girl on the catwalk is Dominican Reina Montero – coincidentally a former volleyball team-mate of Rose Cordero. Rose’s mum actually helped Reina get her break, by introducing her to Rose’s management agency. The 16 year old was signed last year and now she’s on the scene for NYFW, walking for Rachel Comey and Wayne thus far. 

For Rachel Comey (photo credit:

And on an a fascinating aside, we have come across another islandista-by-descent model – she actually walked last season but the name would never have given it away – Nastasia Ohl – even by the Caribbean’s diverse standards, that is an unusual name and indeed it comes from her German/Russian father. But … she has a Jamaican-Chinese mother and New York Magazine has tipped her (along with Sedene and Reina) as one of the Top Ten Models to Watch this season. She impressed during the SS 10 season (her first) by walking for Calvin Klein, Rochas and Maison Martin Margiela. Check out her flicks below.


For Calvin Klein (Photo credit:

We’ll be keeping an eye out for her this season! 

For Rochas (Photo credit:

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s