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‘I Am An Islandista’ featuring Shala Monroque

Islandistas, today we introduce a new original series where we feature women who embody what it means to be an islandista – smart, fascinating, proudly Caribbean women who are making waves in the region or the world.

We are really excited to be launching this series with a real coup – an interview with someone we’ve already highlighted as one of our favourite islandistas – St. Lucian art consultant, fashion icon and muse, Shala Monroque.

Photo credit: Shala's Rabbit Hole (

What? Sure she was just on the cover of New York Magazine. And in the pages of the recent September Vogue.

And now she’s here on Islandista because that’s just how we roll.

In all seriousness, Shala was super-gracious, taking the time to answer our questions even though it was right in the middle of New York Fashion Week, when Garage, the hot new magazine for which she is creative director, was being launched.

So we are hugely appreciative of the opportunity to get Shala’s perspective on what is an islandista and her poignant reflections on her island home.

Islandista: …Has most influenced what you’re doing now?
Shala Monroque: My mother.

Is: …Is an islandista to you?

S.M. : Smart, intelligent and stylish women from the West-Indies or of West-Indian descent who carry with them a strong sense of pride for the country.

Is:… Do you love/miss most about your island?
S.M. : The simplicity of life.

Is: …Do you see yourself in five years? In ten years?
S.M. : I can’t see that far.

Is: …Is your ‘happy place’?
S.M. : In my memories of childhood in the St. Lucian countryside.

Is: …Do you call home?
S.M. : My happy memories.

Is: …You worry, what do you worry about?
S.M. : That’s private.

Is: …Are you happiest?
S.M. : That’s private too.

Is:…Do you love what you do?
S.M. : I get to engage in intelligent conversation.

Is: …Would you like to be remembered?
S.M. : As a girl who loved to dance.

Is: …Do you unwind?
S.M. : [With a] bath.

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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