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Where did they go? Tracking some of our favourite islandista models

Yet another fabulous fashion season has just ended and as is the case nearly every season, there were new islandista catwalk stars making their presence felt.

This season, we welcomed Saint International’s newest teenaged sensation, Tami Williams as well as Dominican Republic’s Ysaunny Britto who both had strong debut seasons, walking in some high level shows including Alexander Wang, Burberry and Giles Deacon.

The season before that, Jamaican ‘Saint’ Kai Newman made a sensational debut, doing major shows on both sides of the Atlantic.

Her strong start continued this season as she booked blue chip shows in several cities.

However…we’ve seen this before haven’t we?

Back in 2009-2010, Jamaican Sedene Blake of Pulse was experiencing a dream start to her career, walking for Jason Wu, Costello Tagliapietro, Vivienne Westwood and others, as well as booking high level magazine editorials.

Turks and Caicos’ Chrishell Stubbs also had a fantastic debut after switching over from commercial work to high fashion back in 2010. She walked in over half a dozen shows at New York Fashion Week for her first season out, including the Lacoste show and seemed on her way to stardom.

And let us not forget American model Lyndsey Scott, she of the Trinidadian mother (and exuberant Trini aunties and uncles). In oft lily-white Milan, she went down a storm as the girl of the season in 2009, walking for Gucci and Prada. This after she was the first black model to score an exclusive with Calvin Klein earlier that year.

Now it’s not to say that these girls aren’t still working because they certainly are. But after the incredibly strong and hyped starts their careers had, we really have not seen much of them on the catwalks in recent years.

So what happened? And what have they been up to?

After her blazing start, Sedene’s career grew pretty quiet, to the extent that commenters on The Fashion Spot (TFS) queried whether she had put modelling on the back burner for school.

An editorial in Vogue Italia in 2011 and an appearance on the catwalk for Tommy Hilfiger at New York Fashion Week 2012 were basically the last high profile appearances we’ve seen from Sedene.

Stunning still: Jamaican Sedene Blake in one of her last high level editorials in Vogue Italia.
Stunning still: Jamaican Sedene Blake in one of her last high level editorials in Vogue Italia.

Chrishell’s career has been even quieter, with her fans on TFS regularly bemoaning her scarcity on the catwalks or in the pages of magazine. However, none other than Chanel’s Karl Lagerfield picked her out for a spread in the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK in 2013 but very little has been seen and heard of the green-eyed TCIslander since.

Chrishell Stubbs harpers bazaar
Shot by the Kaiser himself, Chrishell Stubbs shone in the editorial ‘Singular Beauties’ in Harper’s Bazaar UK.

Lyndsey Scott has also been a rare sight in the upper echelons of fashion in recent years prompting bitter ruminations from TFS regulars about how the fashion industry only seems to allow a few girls of colour to be ‘hot’ at any point in time. She did a sick editorial for Harper’s Bazaar Hong Kong last January and was also seen in a colour-soaked editorial with Shena Moulton in the September issue of Essence.

Still got it: Lyndsey Scott for Harper's Bazaar Hong Kong.
Still got it: Lyndsey Scott for Harper’s Bazaar Hong Kong.

However, this BBC clip gives us some insight into what Lyndsey is up to outside of the catwalk – she codes! The computer science grad is also an avid programmer who creates apps.

So that explains (at least partially) where she’s been – she has a whole other life/career outside of modelling. We still miss seeing her though.

There’s a whole host more of islandista models who blazed hot for a while and then seem to have either fell off the high fashion radar or changed direction – Selina Khan, Alyssah Ali, Reina Montero, Ornelia Edwards, Sigail Currie and more – look out for more from us as we try to track where they’ve gone.

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.

One reply on “Where did they go? Tracking some of our favourite islandista models”

From what I’ve seen lately, it appears that a lot of the models are working in South Africa. I’ve seen several of them featured in SA publications. Even though you didn’t mention Jeneil Williams, she has been very busy lately.

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