Wednesday 28 October, 2020

Jamaican creatives capture Saint International models for i-D Vice

Rodgers (left) and Pinkerton, stylist and photographer, respectively.

Rodgers (left) and Pinkerton, stylist and photographer, respectively.

At the helm of, and largely responsible for the success of, the Saint International modelling agency is its founder Deiwght Peters.

In under 20 years, Peters and a modest team of scouts have launched the careers of Jamaican models for runway shows globally from a boutique agency here on The Rock.

Saint International is now one of the biggest exporters of black models in the world, and by default, a major disruptor of industry norms.

Young male and female models have worked for a cadre of high fashion brands including Celine and #OldCéline, Balenciaga, Gucci, Lanvin, Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, and Miu Miu, among others.

Saint International now represents models from the Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, Martinique, and down south in Suriname. And in Nigeria, Aworo Mayowa, Chris Akin, and breakout model Tomiwa are the newest faces.

Back on The Rock, six new models go front and centre in the British bi-monthly fashion, music, art, and culture magazine i-D.

Tashi Banton, Danielle Fletcher, Breana Carson, Jannel Duncan, Val Haughton, and Winston Lawrence were in the spotlight.

For the feature, London-based Jamaican photographer Amber Pinkerton and fashion stylist Kadeem Rodgers co-directed a collection of timeless images.

Save for Fletcher, all the models have maintained a budding international career, and we reckon the best is yet to come.

To see the article, click here. See the inspiring interviews below.

Breana Carson, 16, Portmore, St Catherine, Jamaica

How did you get scouted? I was scouted at school by Saint’s CEO Deiwght Peters when I was 14. I remember that it was a Friday and I’d planned to skip school because my parents didn’t have the money for the bus fare or for my lunch. I decided to walk about 5km to get there, and that day ended up changing my life. A week later I was entered as a finalist in the Fashion Face of the Caribbean Model Contest and I won. What's the biggest job you've worked on so far? My only job so far was walking for Celine for their AW '19 show. I was booked as a world exclusive. I also did their showroom [catalog] and had so much fun. What's your dream job? I want to be a top international supermodel, working with all the major clients, runway shows, magazines, campaigns… I want to do EVERYTHING!

Winston Lawrence, Portland, Jamaica

How did you get scouted? I was on my way home from an evening class when a Saint scout saw me and asked me if I wanted to be a model. I gave her my information, they called my parents and called me into Kingston for a meeting. A few weeks later I was on my first trip to Milan to meet with Gucci and ended up on the Gucci runway. I couldn’t believe how quickly things moved, but I LOVED every minute! What's the biggest job you've worked on so far? Gucci as an exclusive was a big deal of course, and I also walked Off-White last season. That was amazing. I am also pretty pleased about my new editorial in Vogue Hommes. What are your hopes for the future? I want to be a supermodel and travel the world.

Danielle Fletcher, 18, Linstead, St Catherine, Jamaica

How did you get scouted? I was at school one day and my teacher took me to meet Deiwght. He told me that I would make a perfect model. Shortly afterwards, I was a finalist in the Fashion Face of the Caribbean model competition that Saint organises. I had to learn to walk the runway, but I eventually won the competition. Do you have any key inspirations on the way you dress? I love Cardi B’s style. She’s into glamour, which I love. Though, as I live in Jamaica and am still in school, I love to keep it simple too. What's your dream job? Before I started modelling I wanted to be a flight attendant, but now I want to model for all the major brands: Versace, Saint Laurent, Chanel, Balenciaga, Balmain, Prada… all of them!

Jannel Duncan, 22, St Elizabeth, Jamaica

How did you get scouted? Saint advertised a model call in Kingston and a friend of mine who was always encouraging me to model told me to go and see Deiwght. When I met him, he said, “You’re stunning, but you need some work.” I knew that he was very frank, but I also knew that he made stars. What's the biggest job you've worked on so far? I remember it like it was yesterday. Deiwght took some digitals and proposed me and another model to Balenciaga. He called us to say we were being flown to Paris to meet Lotta Volkova and Demna Gvasalia. I was then booked as a world exclusive! It was my first model job, so I was happy Deiwght was there with us. I’ve now done several runway shows and showrooms with them. I also have another major project coming out soon; it’ll be amazing but I can’t say anything about it yet... What's your dream job? I think I just shot my dream job but can’t say more about it right now. Other than fashion, my dream job would be to become a lawyer.

Tashi Banton, 23, St Elizabeth, Jamaica

What's the biggest job you've worked on so far? I walked for Marni as an exclusive for AW '19. What's your dream job? I would love to work with Chanel, especially on the runway and perhaps a beauty campaign. I also really love Balmain, I think their team looks really cool. Olivier [Rousteing] seems really fun! When it comes to magazines, I would love to work with Vogue -- a cover would be nice! And i-D print, of course ;) What are your hopes for the future? I hope to develop an even more successful career. I’d like to be based in a city like New York, work on larger projects and travel to different locations around the world. I just want to be rounded. I want to look back and say I’ve experienced so much and I’ve travelled to so many places.

Val Haughton, 19, Clarendon, Jamaica

How did you get scouted? I was encouraged to attend a meeting to meet with Deiwght and when I met with him, he told me that I reminded him of one of his former male models, Tafari Hinds. That definitely boosted my confidence. What's the biggest job you've worked on so far? Walking exclusively for Balenciaga AW '19 earlier this year. It was such an honour because I knew a lot of Saint models had worked with them, so I was hoping that I soon would, too. I also just wrapped shooting something big, but that’s all I can say for now. How would you describe your personal style? I am a pretty easy-going guy. I like sleek, casual looks. I also love to stand out from the crowd. What are your hopes for the future? I want to work at the top of the business for the next 20 years -- that’s no joke!



Photography: Amber Pinkerton

Styling: Kadeem Rodgers

All models featured from Saint International

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