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Behind the Scenes — The MoDA Team are transformed ... into floral goddesses.


The Portrait Artist — Uncovering

the story behind the cover with the artist, Natasha Cunningham.


MoDA Market — Scenes from MoDA Market 2017.


Front Row — Revisiting the front row at The Collection MoDA’s fifth runway show. FASHION NOTES




On Trend — From womenswear to beauty, get up to date with the hottest trends.


Stylista — Bermuda native Alexandra Outerbridge on her beautiful balancing act as a bespoke jeweller, swim line founder and new mother.


Stylista — Michelle Ford shares her stylish journey, and life in Guyana.


Stylista — Chrissy Rutherford gives us

insight into her inspired stylish life from a New York point of view.


In Black & White — Two Jamaican

journalists launch new books that celebrate entertainment, culture and style.


Celebrating HER — In recognition of those women who are making us stand up, look and listen.

Model: Emily Sara Claire Photo: Adrian McDonald


On the cover Portrait: Natasha Cunningham Original photograph: Wade Rhoden Model: Roginea Dixon for Sway Caribbean Models



Boy-ish — A fresh take on new femininity. Photography by Wade Rhoden.


Still We Rise — How one woman’s story inspired a movement.



Memento Moirai — Goddesses incarnate, frolic at a storied Jamaican villa. Photography by Adrian McDonald.



Big Bad Bakes — Authentic Trinidadian food experience found in the heart of Brooklyn, New York.


Star Chef — One-on-one with Debbie Solomon, Rihanna’s personal chef.


Come Fly With Me — Wanderlusting with Caribbean travel bloggers.


A United Front — Exploring the design philosophy of Alison Antrobus and Ruby Ramirez.


Listen Up — Jessica Hylton-Leckie of

Jessica in the Kitchen fame shares advice on how to build your brand online.


An Unexpected Journey — Tara Bradshaw steps out of her comfort zone and discovers herself. Published by The Collection MoDA. © The Collection MoDA. The publisher makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of information given in editorial and advertising pages of MoDA Mag, but accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions for claims made in any section of this publication. No part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronically or mechanically, without written permission from the publisher.


Model: Roginea Dixon for Sway Caribbean Models Photo: Wade Rhoden


Š 2018 Nathan Patrick Photography. All Rights Reserved.


Shop 22-24 8 St. Lucia Avenue New Kingston Jamaica T 876.906.1493 F 876.906.1255

Shop 10 Manor Park Plaza Kingston 8 Jamaica T 876.925.9298 F 876.755.0329

La Donna MoDA


woman at the helm is nothing new, especially in Afro-Caribbean culture. Still, it used to be uncommon, in most cultures, to see a woman take the lead—and the women that did were deemed exceptional. Today we may take for granted the great accomplishments of the many exceptional women around the world—women of substance and courage, who are respected and acknowledged by their peers. With this installation of the MoDA Series we are saluting “la donna MoDA”—the MoDA woman, and the power of the feminine spirit that every woman embodies and can, with a little ingenuity, channel into huge accomplishments. There are hundreds of incredible ladies all over the world that are breaking through the figurative glass ceiling and taking charge—in heels!—while remaining poised, measured and in control. For those who don’t know, the creative minds behind MoDA MAG and the directors of each epic production in the Collection MoDA Series are … GASP! ... girls! Team MoDA works hard throughout the year to ensure a production par excellence in each and every rendition.

Creativity is to innovation as innovation is to empowerment. MoDA is all about celebrating the creative spirit of our Caribbean nationals. This season, through our iCreate competition, we also want to highlight the importance of a sound education by offering two courses on “Project Management for Creatives” to our MoDA Makers. We have always stressed the importance of properly managing the commercial aspect of any artistic business venture; and we believe that having the proper training or educational background goes a long way in building a reputable brand. Our Makers are in for a treat with our free workshops to be led by the chic chief of Creative L’Attitude, Bianca Welds. We might all learn a thing or two from this technology professional and entrepreneur, who has honed her business acumen through years of experience working in both the public and private sectors. MoDA Makers are bound to depart the sessions with a wealth of priceless insight and much practical know-how. Every staging of The Collection MoDA is a celebration of local markets. And what’s a celebration without good music? This year the MoDA Series is going live, as we partner with New Wave to introduce a music platform geared at showcasing some of the Caribbean’s most promising up-and-comers. If you are a creative soul then music is probably a part of your process, whether through inspiration or outlet, so you can appreciate that this partnership is a natural progression for MoDA. All in all, we’re very excited about this year’s MoDA magic! Why magic? Well it’s a little crazy that we have so much in store this year! If you’ve been with us on the MoDA journey then you might notice that we’ve upped-theante again to deliver even more in 2018. So chin up, sit up, rise up and a special welcome—to you—La Donna MoDA!

Founder, MoDA Series Kerry-Ann Clarke


Unleashing the Creative Spirit

treat our palates, or simply fill the air around us with it, to reach up and take a piece of this magical expression of the quintessential Caribbean spirit and make it our own. At MoDA, we are committed to this dream of seeing Kingston as the creative hub of the Caribbean, the root of artisanship and the springboard of economic growth and personal livelihood of our deserving talent. And with that, we are ever-growing; hunting for and finding the best the Caribbean has to offer, knowing full well that it will take thousands of brush strokes to create the perfect canvas. And, we are excited to introduce the result of our newest creative collaboration—MoDA Music! In addition to our usual background groove, emerging musical talent will share with you in an intimate setting.


t has long been my desire to celebrate artists— people who are brave enough to not only tap into their creative spirit, but take it to the ultimate level and make it integral to their lives. I always maintain that art and beautiful design are the “unspoken heroes” that elevate all of our lives. It’s why we have these wonders of the world, not just because we marvel at their presence, but because they change the way we feel on a molecular level—if even for a moment. And here enters MoDA Market: the manifestation of our desire. The realization of our creative souls in a beautiful product, intricate design, harmonious palettes, varying textures; the epitome of first class artisanship dreamt up, crafted, stitched together, fired, hammered, painted, captured through a lens, and blended into some kind of perfection. So good that we want to wrap ourselves in it, imbibe it, inhale it, feel it,


We are also hosting the launch of an exciting partnership between one of our amazing Makers, Bernadette Matalon, and a favourite charity of ours, Mustard Seed. This combination of altruistic passion and design-sensibility will be truly inspirational. Once again, we will bring you the artistry of our neighbors in Trinidad. And we are equally delighted to add a cohort of amazing talent from St. Lucia, as we press on in bringing all the best the region has to offer in one magical shopping playground. Look out for Choiselle a beautifully packaged and thoughtfully crafted home and body line, with products so deliberately designed that the wick of the candles emit a soft crackling sound, reminiscent of a wood-burning fireplace. Totally dreamy! So here we are, another year stronger, another year of celebrating the bold, diverse talents and beauty of our creatives.

Curator, MoDA Market Aiesha Panton



with the MoDA Gals

Fidge Fletcher

Francene Noel



MoDA Creative Mind

… A fashion-obsessed, creative soul. I also see a confident go-getter, a strong woman riding the rollercoaster of life—taking it one day at a time, while living and loving in style. Most of all a woman who is thankful … grateful, who also feels blessed every day for what she has accomplished and excited for what the future holds. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

Take time to breathe; enjoy the simple things in life; don’t worry so much and know that everything, in time, works itself out. Your future shines so bright Fidge! Hard work really does pay off ! Stick with it, even when the road seems tough ... you’re built for any obstacles you are faced with. BEING A GODDESS MEANS …

… Being a supporter of other women. A goddess is strong, creative, nurturing, protective, an admirer of her own beauty and tenacity. She is a badass in her career and a supporter of her team. 12

MoDA Left-and-Right Hand

… Myself. I see a woman who has had two children. A special needs mother with the responsibility of raising her children to be responsible and caring individuals. I see strength, I see patience and I see gratitude. I see someone who knows how to get to her happy place ... her firm foundation in times of self-doubt, and is figuring things out on this road called Life. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

Live your truth and be courageous. The only person who knows what’s best for you is YOU. So just do it girl—find your passion in life and pursue the hell out of it. BEING A GODDESS MEANS …

… Following and nourishing your dreams; surrounding yourself with beauty; connecting with nature; creating a few boundaries; being confident—and of course doing all of that with grace and passion.

Steph Lawrence Noelle Black MoDA Go-to-Gal

MoDA Whiz-Kid



… Someone who’s been knocked down seven times and gotten up eight. Someone who looks at everything she’s been through as a lesson and challenges herself to be stronger. I see someone who is grateful for and appreciates every opportunity she’s received no matter the outcome. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

Don’t give up. It will get hard and you will get frustrated, but push through and though the result may not be what you expected, you’ll be fine. Don’t be afraid to go after what you want. BEING A GODDESS MEANS ...

… Being strong, being smart, rising to challenges, and making the best out of every experience. Setting a goal and going after it with everything in your power and never giving up.

… Growth. I believe in the woman I want to become and I allow myself to see a little bit more of her each day. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

I would tell my younger self to care less about the opinions of others and care more about her opinions of herself. Accept her flaws, rather than ignore them, and work at them until they become her strengths. BEING A GODDESS MEANS …

… Being a woman that is passionate in the pursuit of what sets her soul on fire. She is grateful and chooses to see the positives along the journey. As she ascends, she willingly contributes value to the lives of others.


A Woman’s Worth I

come from a line of strong women. Of my mother’s diverse heritage, she is most proud of her great-great-grandmother, who was a Maroon. The fighting spirit runs deep through the women on my maternal side, women who faced adversity and strife, and who have risen above to embrace immense success. I grew up around women. My mother is one of seven daughters. She herself has three daughters, and three granddaughters. My education was at an all-girls day school, followed by girls’ convent boarding school until I was 18. It was all about the girls. And now, with two daughters of my own, I find myself rethinking the role my daughters will play in the future. While we are still fighting against inequality and gender discrimination, we are also celebrating the independent, strong, bold, victorious voices of women now banding together, taking a stand for their rights. For the MoDA Series, this banding together of women is nothing new. With creative entrepreneur Kerry-Ann Clarke at the helm— supported by a diverse group of distinctly creative female creatures—the series has been defined by those of this ilk almost from inception. MoDA MAG has always offered a glimpse into the stories of the creatives that define the MoDA Series. And as the series shifts this year, to celebrate the creativity of women, our magazine does the same.


Creatives are not just those who work in the creative industry, but those who are leaders, they are individuals who see the world differently. They also think differently and are not necessarily satisfied by what they are “told”. They strive to make a difference in their realities. This issue is dedicated to creative women. We tell the stories and say thank you to just a few of the fierce and fabulous Caribbean females making the world stop and listen. Women are diverse, and our fashion editorials (captured by the talented Adrian McDonald and Wade Rhoden—because we cannot leave out our creative gentlemen!) are a distinct portrayal of this. Androgynous and urban; floral and graceful; women can embrace both sides, and are often called to. Our Stylish Life section also celebrates Caribbean women in interior architecture, the culinary world, and those who are inspiring the wanderlust in us all. To all women—may these stories inspire you to be a creative. No matter your field, or your age, may you draw strength to tell your own story, define your own characters and story lines, and write your own ending.

Editor-in-Chief, MoDA MAG Leisha Wong







es & ig ns L S


Unit #25, The Trade Centre 30-32 Red Hills Road, Kingston 10 Tel. (876) 908-0875 | (876) 908-1069 Fax. (876) 906-4361





A Curated Life

demands a more inclusive and tolerant point of view. As the concept of what was considered to be “urban/low” culture has crept across boundaries to redefine the aesthetics of “high” culture, fashion editorials that highlight island-urbanity, and tomes such as Constance C.R. White’s homage How to Slay: Inspiration from the Kings & Queens of Black Style are more timely than ever. Guyana and Jamaica have recently relaxed old colonial legislation that penalised and tried to shame women for wearing sleeveless clothing in a business environment, so gendered attitudes to popular fashion have also come under scrutiny. Not since Diane Keaton’s iconic turn as Annie Hall in the 1970s has menswear-as-womenswear had such a good run. As our notion of gendered roles in terms of sexual preference, visual codes and choices of self-identification also shift it’s interesting to see how these bigger international concerns play out in small island society.


Photo: Wade Rhoden

t is truly an honour and a privilege to be asked to work with this wonderful team of strong, impressive women to put together this issue of MoDA MAG. At a time when global interest in Caribbean culture is at an all-time high, women’s issues are in sharp focus, and the impact of the black diaspora is stronger than ever in global popular culture, a platform like MoDA that celebrates and empowers Caribbean creative talent is more valuable than ever! My editorial perspective is centred on poignant issues concerning gender, urbanity, identity and liminal definitions of the Caribbean that preoccupy me personally, and I hope will be of interest to you. We seem to be living through a major transformative period in popular culture. The “other” is becoming mainstream; and discriminatory perspectives are swiftly and loudly identified and denounced, as today’s society 16

Speaking of island life—at a time when Caribbean-inflected style and rhythm can be found in every corner of the globe—in this issue I have made an effort to focus on Caribbeansourced talent in design, photography and style, and am proud to say that the pages are jampacked with over 50 examples of creative talent from around the region. In a nod to our digital age, designers and boutiques are credited by their social media handles to allow the reader a chance to get to know them better on their own turf and time. Stop, take your time and enjoy the carefully curated selection of contributed artists, writers, fashion designers, stylists and photographers that the team has graciously allowed me to suggest and recommend for the platform this year. I would also like to thank in particular the editor-in-chief, Leisha Wong for her patience and support. Thank you for letting me pass through your world!

Contributing Fashion Editor Rachael Barrett


CONTRIBUTORS Antoinette Bailey

[ Makeup Artist ]

Antoinette Bailey has been a makeup artist for six years. She has worked on many photo shoots and her work has been featured in Nirvana magazine and also in the New York-based Elements magazine. She worked on the Jamaican/Canadian indie film Destiny as an assistant makeup artist alongside Loni Jones-Walsh and Peter-Gay Rose, and also on the Jamaican talk show Talk Up Yout hosted and produced by Emprezz Golding.

Tara Bradshaw

[ Writer ]

Tara Bradshaw is a self-confessed travel addict and solo travel enthusiast. She currently works in e-commerce and business development for the Caribbean’s leading travel agency, Trafalgar Travel, and takes advantage of every opportunity to hop on a plane. Her goal is to visit at least one new place every year. Follow her on her travel adventures on Instagram at @tarabarrra.

Brittany-Rae Brooks

[ Hairstylist ]

A Miami native with Jamaican heritage, Brittany-Rae is a graduate of the acclaimed Toni&Guy Hairdressing Academy in Rhode Island. She worked for a number of years in New York before moving to Jamaica last year and is currently a stylist at Hair by Brittany-Rae (inside of Day & Night Beauty). She is just about to launch her online activewear boutique, F.L.E.X. by BrittanyRae.






CONTRIBUTORS Judit h Denton [ Copy Editor ]

She brings one of the islands most distinguishable speaking voices to the media talent industry, and is the voice of the MoDA Series. But behind the scenes as the magazine’s copy editor she sweeps the pages, with an eye for detail, to ensure that the copy is clean and that MoDA MAG looks as good as it should!

Walter Greene [ Writer ]

Walter Greene is an international journalist, editor, author and fashion consultant based in New York City. As fashion editorial director of Profiles98 magazine, he’s responsible for the overall fashion and beauty content. He is the contributing editor at, and MBO magazine. Walter has formerly held fashion editor positions at Odyssey Couleur and Sister 2 Sister magazines and has interviewed luminaries in the fashion and entertainment worlds from Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington to Naomi Campbell and Beyoncé.

Tiffany Lue-Yen [ Photographer ]

A graduate of The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Tiffany has established herself as one of Jamaica’s leading photographers, with a career spanning well over a decade. Well-seasoned in the field she has expanded into the world of videography, adding to her artistic repertoire. Her photography has been featured in numerous internationally recognized publications such as Brides magazine, The Washington Post and MACO magazine. Visit www.tiffanylueyen. com to find out more.



CONTRIBUTORS Omar Martin [ Graphic Design ]

Aka Sharky, he is a co-founder of the design studio, Passion Fruit Jamaica and creative director of Bespoke Music NYC. Brand development and design projects in Kingston include local clients such as Bug Off Jamaica, ICWI, KGN Kitchen, Phase3 and Seprod. His aim is to deliver simple, iconic design.

Adrian McDonald

[ Photographer ]

A fine art photographer who is renowned for his wedding photography, Adrian McDonald believes it is his job to capture a moment in time in the most artistic way possible. His mind is always operating along the narrative of extracting the best emotional response he can with each click; and his first foray into the fashion editorial world—at the storied villa, Itopia—does just that.

Wade R hoden [ Photographer ]

Manchester-born, Kingston-based Wade Rhoden is a photographer and videographer whose work in high fashion, entertainment and the arts reveal a preoccupation with finding beauty in Jamaica’s urban environment, an appreciation of nostalgic elements in the physical landscape, and a painterly aesthetic commitment to highlighting the beauty of black skin.

Loni Jones-Walsh [ Makeup Artist ]

Loni Jones-Walsh has been a makeup artist for over a decade and has worked with countless names in the local and international entertainment industry; there have been too many weddings to count; and many production shoots for film, stills and television. She has also worked with international cosmetics line NARS Cosmetics, and was the resident NARS artist while living in the Cayman Islands.


a tree festooned with hanging petals

florals trailing the trunk greets your guests a smattering of petals

beneath their feet luring them into the magic a rope swing embellished on one side with leafy garlands and take the prettiest of photos

the most perfect of moments



filling the air with anticipation




rs ma

y ob


t ho

experience the magic









BTS Transforming the MoDA

Team into floral goddesses, with Loni Jones-Walsh, Antoinette Bailey and BrittanyRae Brooks forming the ultimate glam squad—Tiffany Lue-Yen behind the lens, and Tai Flora’s regal crowns—was a whole lot of fun and pure magic! Take a peek!



Behind the Cover

the PortraitArtist T

hey say never judge a book by its cover, but when it is the first thing people see, isn’t this expected? The MoDA MAG team puts a lot of thought into our cover artwork process. Previous issues have featured models and celebrities, however, our cover took a different direction this year. Inspired by the powerful and striking work of the young graphic artist Natasha Cunningham, our cover is a representation of a MoDA goddess. We learn more about the artist behind the cover.

Would you please share a little about your background?

My background is pretty boring, so prepare to fall asleep. I was born and raised in Kingston. I attended Gaynstead High School and upon graduating in 2006 I enrolled at the Edna Manley College of the Visual Arts where I attained a Bachelors of Fine Arts with a Major in Visual Communication. I went on to do Graphic Design which I’m extremely passionate about and I’ve worked in the field of advertising and branding for 8 years and counting. I’m currently transitioning to UI and web design. Yawn. Right?

Interview: Leisha Wong

Powerful early influences and superb talent merge in a young artist being true to her calling. How were you drawn to art?

I grew up being around very talented parents, so it felt normal to be creative with everything I did. Trying to get on their level ... and still not there! My mother is an amazing illustrator and crafter. I used to spend hours watching her make Jamaican craft dolls—the best craft dolls in Jamaica in my opinion—and other craft items. She’s also really good at illustration and would make the most humorous Jamaican patois hand-drawn comics for my sister and me to enjoy. I really would want her to publish them one day. My Dad, on the other hand, is a carpenter, specializing in any and everything wooden, whether it be functional or a carved piece of art. I would hang around his workshop and watch him make pieces from start to finish. I knew for a fact that I wanted to find my own niche within the creative space. I fell in love with visual arts and literature in high school, and decided to focus on the visual side of things. I remember drawing diagrams for the majority of my classmates during science classes and I was always called upon to paint and draw banners for sports day activities—which I enjoyed too much. Then and there I knew that I wanted to do something with visual arts that would help to communicate ideas.


7. How do you approach the creative process when it comes to the portraits? What goes through your mind? 3. What does art mean to you?

Art is a necessity for me. In much the same way as we need water, food and shelter to survive, I need art to ‘live’. Whether we are creating it or consuming it art is a language to communicate emotions, experiences, cultures and ideas in a universal way. You can also tell a lot about a person by the type of art they collect or gravitate to. And of course it always brings us together. You can always catch me at an exhibition opening.

4. How would you describe your style?

My main style would be iconography-based design. I get an adrenaline rush working with lines. Especially thick lines.

5. What is your favourite medium and why? My medium has been strictly digital. I normally start out with sketching, which then always leads to the computer. I spend most of my days behind a screen.

6. What inspired you to start producing the portrait series?

I’m always exploring different side-projects. They help me to stay creative and alive. A way to flex my creative muscles. Sounds corny, I know. I wanted to explore this digital collage style for a while and decided to make it into a series where I try to create portraits of creative people who inspire me, mainly to challenge myself to stay consistent. I’m always jumping from A to B. 30

First I decide on the subject of my portraits and then decide how I would want to portray them. I always include flowers, plants and greenery in each portrait as my main element. I see each portrait design as a sort of monument or a digital statue in honor of the subject. The process of designing them is always fun and sporadic.

8. What inspires you?

A lot of my influences are derived from music, such as old school reggae, hip-hop and jazz fusions; and films from amazing film directors such as Wes Anderson and our very own Storm Saulter. When it comes to design and art, I’m heavily influenced by iconography, minimalist design and photo compilations (surrealism). Some of my favorite design and art heroes are Aaron Draplin (internationally), and locally, Dawn Scott, Oswald Mattis, David Sykes, Ebony Patterson, Christopher Irons, Ikem Smith and so many more.

9. What do you see when you look in the mirror?

I see the insecure and overthinking Natasha. I always try to have ‘mirror pep talks’ to encourage myself to be confident and positive when it comes to my work and overall career.

10. What do you see in your future?

I see myself getting better at what I do and giving back to my local design community in an impactful way through the sharing of my experiences.



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SUN.18TH 10 AM 7 PM TO




MARKET It was an enchanting affair at The Worthington at The Spanish Court as MoDA Makers showcased fashion, art, jewellery, home décor, beauty and—for the first time—food, to thousands of creative supporters, over two days. As one of the cornerstones of the MoDA Series, MoDA Market inspires growth by creating a commercial platform for artisans. Each year the event grows exponentially and anticipation is high for the now-established calendar event. In 2017 two “rooms” (including the huge tent in the rear) were dedicated to a variety of inspired work and quality workmanship, intersected by the food court (a place of epicurean delights) and children’s zone. There were over 80 designers, however as always we continue to seek out more artisans with unique products that meet our exacting standards—and invite even more wholesale buyers to the show. Raising the bar is part of what we do—to ensure that our dream of Kingston as a definitive creative hub becomes an undisputed reality!

Photography: SKAAN







M o D A R U N W AY

David Rolle



iscarded tyres were upcycled into a stage-worthy backdrop to bring the 2017 urban theme to

life for MoDA Runway. And with it there was just enough grit to welcome the street dancers, who ushered out the first looks of the night from Korto Momolu. Other designers that night included MoDA runway virgins, Drenna Luna, who wowed the crowd with floor-length gowns perfectly draped on Jamaica’s current and former beauty queens. Other newbies to the runway were Daniela Stone, and David Rolle, who were joined by Courtney Washington and Cesar Galindo. Menswear designer Carlton Brown delivered the grand finale. His cadre of male personalities included a shirtless Asafa Powell, and a performing Agent Sasco, who was “winning” on the catwalk. If you missed it, here’s MoDA Runway 2017! Photography: Tiffany Lue-Yen


David Rolle

CZAR by Cesar Galindo


Korto Momolu

Drenna Luna


Carlton Brown

Courtney Washington


DTS by Daniela Stone

JohnEli Dacosta



Ashley Moore for Redken 5th Avenue


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Fashion Notes!




Only a few parts of the world can boast a resortready lifestyle 24-7, and true to form Caribbean designers do not disappoint with inventive takes on swim style.

Shady Islands

Timber Wear Inc

The small sunglass trend took over social media this year. Whether or not the squinty sunnies are here to stay, a chic pair of sunglasses is an essential finish to any swim look. Lately there have been more Caribbean sunglass designers emerging, using sustainably sourced local materials, an eclectic mix of bright colours and experimental designs.

Fit to be Tied



Embellished Swim


Swimwear with beaded finishes, fringe accents, and lace piping have unleashed a slew of suits that are meant for lots of looking and very little water.

Shoan’s Collections

Grecian-style sandals have been dressing feet and elongating legs for millennia, and Caribbean designers make some of the best artisanal versions out there. Often one-of-a-kind and made by hand using small batch leather or inventive upcycled materials, delicately tied sandals are still the Caribbean girl’s go-to for chic steps in the sand.


Tropical Wildflower

The humble yarn has seen a significant resurgence in popularity. Crochet bikini designers add a sexy flourish with the needle, conjuring up a whole new wave of woven style. 49


Jamaican dance sensation Desha Ravers in Tribe Nine Studios by Troy Oraine

Bella Hadid in Dior Homme at the S/S 2019 show in Paris


oday humans live in an über hyperactive age, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that we’ve evolved to cope—with a newfound appreciation for slow cooking, relaxed attitudes, natural remedies, and nostalgic bliss. This season, six womenswear trends assure that—comfortable and eclectic—is the new sexy.

Dapper Dames

Judging from the street style showcased at the summer shows, S/S 2019 marked a major shift toward gender-neutralising the show-season rules. There were women in droves at the Men’s Collections, most donning the archetypal Abloh suit-with-sneakers look. The consensus is clear: menswear inspired suits, separates and accessories have become the new feminine classics. 50

Fashion historian and curator Olivier Saillard’s “Arte Povera” collection during Paris Haute Couture, 2018

Casual Cool

T-shirts, sweatpants, track jackets ... these simple separates now illustrate the chicest in couture trends, with subtle but sharp tailoring and creative fabrics elevating these casual basics until they’re anything but.

Jagger Boot by TIBI

Go West

Every couple of years, fashion sees a western moment. This time around it’s less Hello Dolly and a bit more Faith Hill. Cowboy boots are streamlined with subtle contemporary lines; the noble cotton bandana is treated like a pocket square made of the finest silk; tassels shake in moderation, and denim-on-denim has never felt more right.

Natalia Vodianova photographed by Zoe Ghertner for American Vogue July 2018

Simple Sophisticate

High glamour has gone low maintenance, elegance has gone easy and classy has gone casual. This season’s sophisticated evening looks are freemoving, soft, flowing silhouettes that allow the quality of the fabric and cut to shine through.

Get Low

Proenza Schouler

The kitten heel has long been a friend to the working woman’s feet, but few could foresee just how determinedly it would seep into cocktail hour and onwards. Satin, jewels, acrylic ... like a scene out of Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, low slung mules and courts have gotten a facelift. Not to be outdone, the sneaker continues to show its staying power as the shoe for all seasons—as snazzy updates, thick cross trainers and classic crisp white feel just right with full skirts and embellished frocks.




ontemporary trends in jewellery design show exciting experimentation with shape, cut, material and position. More is more, and bold shapes and delicate layers rule.

A still from Spike Lee's 1989 classic Do The Right Thing Lizzie Fortunato

Romany Rhapsody

Magpie trinkets and dangling baubles; knotted scarves and leather cords—who says jewellery is just about gems and metal? Gypsy chic has been popping up at a rate that would make Bizet’s Carmen proud.

The Ear Cuff

Territory Six

Like a rare bird’s plumage an ear cuff adds an exotic finish with flair. Raise the glam quotient with crystals, gemstones, studs, shells, and even feathers. 52

Champion Boys

Stirring up thoughts of Super Bowls, sweepstakes and victory at its testosterone-inducing best— precious metals infused with logos and pavé settings—this iconic chunky style has seen a resurgence on the boutique shelf with the rise of street savvy style. Make a singular statement across a knuckle or two.

The Lone Ranger

Lizzie Fortunato

The single statement earring is regal with an evening gown, adds an on-trend update to the classic cocktail dress and adds another level of glam to those jeans-and-a-top nights out on the town.

Playful Polish

Bella’s Beautique


Geometric designs have popped up everywhere lately, and nail art is no exception. Quirky drawings, fruit, catchy phrases and abstract painting also emerged as mani-must-haves. Groovy nail art has truly gone avant-garde, so talk to your nail tech and get creative. Jamaicanmade Bella’s Beautique 2018 collection, “Womans Inc.” features a range of bright hues chosen by celebrity ambassadors with, proceeds going to the namesake non-profit that offers support for women in crisis.

Gaia Glow

Interesting Eyes

Eye shadow has also gone geometric and colourful, but forget the wide swathes of colour that ruled the 1980s. The trending version sees colour and shape applied with a more artful touch. Geometric shapes, funky designs, and the Caribbean carnival staple—gems, are now everyday fair game.

Glowing skin is always in, and lately, mastering the perfect dewy look—sun-kissed, supple and boasting an ultra-hydrated sheen—has become the holy grail. With makeup, the trend is to lighten up with BB creams, tinted moisturizers, sheer cream-based foundations and a subtly applied highlight. What goes in is just as important: the skin is the largest organ in the body after all! Take your cues from the Earth goddess, Gaia, and turn to nature to maintain a fresh face. Gel from Aloe Vera (Sinkle Bible in Jamaican patois) is removed from the leaf and applied to the face making for a great purifying, poreminimizing and skin-tightening mask. Similarly, massaging small amounts of extra virgin coldpressed coconut oil helps maintain supple and luminous skin, and keeps wrinkles at bay. 53


MEN Levi’s Commuter Jeans

For the first time boring old menswear has become anything but. Skirts, kilts, bloomers, fitted tops, skinny jeans, pouches, bracelets—some of the stalwarts of womenswear—have successfully crossed over. An otherwise unlikely pairing of 21st century innovation and retroactive styling come together this season to shape the style framework for the modish man.

Active à la Mode

High performance active wear has become “a thing”. Enhanced fabrics and clever utilitarian compartments ensure that today’s gadget-loving gent is always ready to go. Levi’s Commuter Jeans are dirt-repellant, water-resistant and performance designed for cyclists and urban dwellers. The matching jacket comes with an embedded cable to charge your cellphone.

Aloha Strike

Vibrant prints and bowling shirts ruled the runways for a second season in a row, a clear indication that this louche and lazy look is here to stay. The cut should be boxy and loose, and the brighter the better as Hawaiian prints and retro colour themes are all the rage.

Prada Bowling Shirt


Man’s Not Hot

The sweatshirt, hoodie and nylon jacket are nothing new to streetwear-savvy hypebeasts. What’s interesting is that this commitment to fashion supersedes geography, rising temperatures, or time of day.

Jason Panton x Lovers Rock Hold Tight, 2018 Limited Edition Collection


As the ankle garners increased attention as the male erogenous feature du jour, trousers are having a miniskirt moment with hemlines raised to better show off this closet classic. Tassels, rich leather— or easy fabric with a charitable agenda like Toms—anyway you slip them on, the loafer is the leading lace-free solution for the style savvy man. 56

Valentino Men’s Spring 2019 Paris Fashion Week

Bucket List

From fishing trips to the front row, bucket hats are the new fitted, the new flat cap, the new pork pie ... the new everything. Be bold and pair yours with a sharply tailored suit and sneakers, keep the fit relaxed though, so it all comes together with ease.

With the Compliments of



KINGSTON 20 Hillcrest Avenue, Kingston 6, Jamaica


20 20 Hillcrest Hillcrest Avenue, Avenue, Kingston Kingston 6, 6, Jamaica Jamaica Tel: (876) 927-5552 • Fax: (876) Tel: (876) 927-5552 • Fax: (876) 927-8230 927-8230

Tel: (876) 927-5552 • Fax: (876) 927-8230

18 18 Southern Southern Cross Cross Business Business Circle Circle Freeport, Montego Bay, Jamaica Freeport, Montego Bay, Jamaica Tel: Tel: (876) (876) 953-6097 953-6097 18 Southern Cross Business Circle Freeport, Montego Bay, Jamaica 57

Bank at 30,000 feet. I travel a lot. So I love that I can use Scotia Online to: • Pay my children’s school fees • Send them mobile credit • Send them pocket money • Check my account balance from my seat It starts with you.™ #ClickScotiabank *Trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under license.


S T Y L I S TA ALEXANDRA OUTERBRIDGE Interview: Rachael Barrett Photo: Ana Ochoa


ewellery designer. Swimwear designer. And now mom; the Bermuda-born and Los Angeles-based designer, Alexandra Outerbridge, is taking her new role in stride. As she prepares to re-launch, and re-purpose her namesake brand, Outerbridge, she talks to us about a multicultural household, diamond slices, ear parties, and the best IG spot in Bermuda!


Q: You recently welcomed a son— congratulations! Please tell us a little about your family.

AO: Most recently I have taken on a whole new job, that of being a new mum to my 3-month old son, Luca Luiz. With me hailing from the island of Bermuda and his father originally from Brazil, both living in California, we are a culturally blended family—making Luca a first-generation American with a couple of very cool places to go on family vacations!

Q: What would you describe as your style philosophy?

AO: Despite being a jewellery designer, it’s quite funny that I wear minimal to no jewellery besides my everyday Ear Party piercings. I think looking at the product and handling items all day make it the last thing on my mind, as hard to believe as that may be! My style is definitely clean, classic and with minimal fuss. When it comes to jewellery I like for it to be everyday wearable and durable. Same goes for swimwear. I have my own swimwear line called Axil Swim, which is all locally made and handsewn in Los Angeles. We offer simple, everyday classic swimwear for all sizes. I want something I can throw on that is comfortable first, makes me feel confident, classic cut and good quality.

Q: What are some of your all-time favourite go-to pieces?

AO: I found a few slices of diamonds at the Tucson, Arizona Gem Show and thought that was such a cool, modern way to wear a diamond. I encased the diamond slices in 14k gold and made a ring and a necklace. In terms of clothing I would say my Goyard St. Louis tote. I use it as my diaper bag for the baby, but it also passes off as my personal handbag, making it multi-functional and perfect for everyday use.


Outerbridge Jewellery

Q: What’s the one classic piece of jewellery you just can’t live without?

AO: My mini pavé diamond gold Huggie hoop earrings! As I mentioned I have multiple ear piercings and wanted something that is timeless, good quality and looks good with anything. You can’t go wrong with mini Huggie hoops ever!

Q: What would you describe as your favourite new jewellery trend? AO: The Ear Party; I love multiple intricate ear piercings that decorate the entire ear with custom dainty earrings and studs.

Q: Are there any special projects you are working on?

AO: Yes! I am re-launching my OUTERBRIDGE line and have turned it into a site for personal custom jewellery orders. Since I get great prices through my contacts on diamonds and stones, friends have asked me to create and help with engagement rings and I have loved doing it. So I am shifting my focus more to the fine jewellery and engagement ring world, trying to offer a more personal experience, and hopefully people can save a little dough while at it!

Cliff Jumping in Bermuda

Wahoo fish sandwich on Bermudian raisin bread. Photo by @linishungry



A view of Pompano Luxury Gifts Bermuda Gombey’s Beach Bar


The local favourite, the fish sandwich! We take great pride in our fish sandwiches and if you find a good one it looks like a tower of fried fish inbetween two loaves of bread. My order is usually on toasted raisin bread with extra tartar sauce.


Cliff jumping is our thing! If there’s any high point to jump off of—with an adequate body of water deep enough to sustain a (mostly) safe landing—we will jump, 90 percent of the time!


I love Luxury Gifts Bermuda. They bring in a lot of great brands to the island and offer cool local products that a tourist or local would buy.


I love Gombey’s beach bar in St. Davids. It’s a no frills locals bar that is right by a gorgeous beach. It’s one of the few local places where you can order some fried fish and a rum swizzle and hear good music beachside. For something swankier, Mickey’s at Elbow Beach Hotel is a great romantic upscale spot where you can eat dinner directly on the beach.


Pompano! Rent a boat from Somerset boat rentals and go past the little deserted islands around the bend to Pompano. When the tide is out you can literally walk at waist level for what feels like miles in the most crystal clear baby blue water you have ever seen.



S T Y L I S TA MICHELLE FORD Interview: Rachael Barrett Photos: Michael Fernandes (portraits only)


ourists and locals alike tend to think of the Caribbean as a strictly islandbased melting pot of culture. They often forget about Guyana. Located on the northern mainland of South America, Guyana is one of two Caribbean countries that combines the best of sand, sun and sea with thick continental jungle and vast Amazon rainforest. Sharing in quintessentially Caribbean pastimes of rum, cricket and lyming, the capital city Georgetown’s quaint island charm belies the country’s sheer size. Architect, fashion blogger and designer Michelle Ford runs With Love from Guyana, an inspired blog that chronicles her life in Georgetown, and showcases an evolving network of designers, architects and artists from around the Caribbean. Ford tells us a little about herself, her style and her beautiful country, and gives us an exclusive first look at some of her architecturally-inspired classic shift dresses under her own brand, Mimi by Michelle Andrea, in the historic Robbstown neighbourhood of Georgetown. Tassel earrings by Coralie Designs


Q: Tell us a little about who you are. MF: I was born and raised in Georgetown and moved to Florida when I was 18 to pursue a degree in architecture. Guyana is my first home and there is nothing like the comfort of eating the food I grew up on. I am especially proud to be Guyanese because we are a nation made up of multiple ethnicities and religions, and for the most part we are a very tolerant people, and celebrate each other’s festivities equally. 64

Q: Tell us about your career path, as a blogger and architect. MF: I started my blog initially for my family to keep track of my journey through architecture school so that I wouldn’t have to repeatedly explain the thoughts and intentions behind my projects. It has slowly evolved into what it is today; a platform for Caribbean designers to be showcased. It also features book reviews, personal posts, outfit posts, and more recently ... my sewing tales.

The Guyana & Trinidad Mutual Fire Insurance Company Ltd. building. Construction of this building began in 1893, and the design is considered unusually eclectic as it includes neo-classical and Victorian architectural motifs. The building is one of the best-preserved structures in Guyana.

The decision to go to school for architecture had to do with my paternal grandfather, he was a lover of the arts. I always knew I wanted to do some sort of design, but it would switch between fashion, interior, and architecture. I finally chose architecture because I felt that the skills I would learn would be better able to help me should I choose to eventually become a fashion or interior designer.

Q: What would you say is the focus of your architectural practice? MF: My passion for architecture is definitely in custom homes and smaller projects. I have always wanted to work on a project from inception—from spatial layouts right up to choosing interior finishes. The sleeveless, work-friendly shift dresses featured are Mimi by Michelle Andrea, Michelle’s new line.


Q: And your blog?

MF: For my blog, the focus is to provide a forum for Caribbean designers as I felt that the new and up-and-coming designers weren’t well known; and I wanted to create a platform that would offer them wider exposure.

Q: Share with us your thoughts about the current direction of architecture in the Caribbean.

MF: I am particularly disenchanted with the way houses are being built to be fully air-conditioned lately. I always liked that old houses tended to use passive cooling techniques that enabled constant wind flow throughout. I would love to see that old technique mixed in with new construction methods—imagine a modern Caribbean house that still allowed for passive cooling.

Q: What would you describe as your style philosophy?

MF: I am a creature of habit and comfort— except for when it comes to 5-inch heels!—I do love to occasionally get dressed up.

Q: What are you favourite go-to pieces?

MF: I have favourite colours that I turn to repeatedly because I’ve gotten so many compliments in them—like white and yellow. My favourite go-to workwear would definitely be very dark denim and a crisp, white buttondown shirt. I think this is a classic combo and offers a blank canvas for stand-out accessories like brightly coloured shoes, or statement bangles or necklaces. You can wear this combo and make it different each time through your choice of accessories. For playtime, I do love a cute and comfy sundress, and I am growing fonder of playsuits now that I can make them for myself and have them fit me well. The one accessory I have worn for almost ten years straight has been a jade bangle on my left wrist—I am half Chinese and jade pieces have been a family tradition. 66

The Hand in Hand Life and Fire Insurance Company building constructed in 1879 by Mr. F. A. Conyers and known for its iconic, decorative cast iron arches and railings.

Q: Can you describe a new trend that stands out as particularly impactful in contemporary fashion? MF: I have spent the last few weeks listening to podcasts on sewing, and in months prior - reading about fabrics, [and] sustainable fashion has popped up time and time again. I think in the era of fast fashion—while I am very much a fast fashion victim (I do shop at Forever21 and H&M)—small businesses that go for more sustainable approaches and those that give back to their communities or donate towards good causes, have definitely been catching my eye. I am more willing now than I was before to spend more on sustainable fashion because I know the extra effort goes a long way. Plus, I understand that paying more for staple pieces like a well-tailored shirt-dress, denim and so on will be an investment in the long term.

Q: Are you working on any special projects?

MF: I am currently working on my sewing skills as I am launching a collection of my own. I believe that design-wise everything has been done before, and much of what is being done now is a re-interpretation of classic styles. My take is inspired by classic silhouettes and elements that I want to wear, in the hopes that if I want to wear it then someone else will too! The pieces have been very feminine and flirty, vintage-inspired silhouettes that include modern elements. I also like to play up the back; I think it’s an under-appreciated feature of the female body.

Naomi Murray Designs

Kaieteur Falls



The Synesthesia collection from Shasha Designs by Keisha Edwards


I have never been able to go home without having garlic pork or crab curry. Lately, I have been especially fond of Bistro. It’s a bar that has been around since I was a teenager, or maybe before, but it is now under new ownership and management, and the menu changes weekly so there is always something new to eat.


Guyanese designers: Naomi Murray, Quinton Pearson of House of Pearson, and Keisha Edwards of Shasha designs.


The sea-wall is definitely a standout place in Guyana. It is literally a wall that was built by the Dutch hundreds of years ago to protect the low-lying coastline. It is now a spot for recreation as you can find people setting up shop to sell food, drinks, and even find a mini Coney Island of sorts, with rides for kids.


Kaieteur Falls! This is the world’s largest single drop waterfall, and one of the most powerful flows of water in the world. It is located inland in the Potaro-Siparuni region. You can either do the hike, which takes a few days, or fly in on a small plane, but it is Guyana’s own wonder of the world.



S T Y L I S TA CHRISSY RUTHERFORD Interview: Rachael Barrett Photo: Irjaliina Paavonpera


hat started as an internship at Harper’s Bazaar magazine during college, led to Chrissy Rutherford now occupying the role as senior digital fashion editor at the magazine. Rutherford now runs the Instagram account, as well as contributes to online content, and helps produce video content for the website. She takes time out of her busy schedule to talk about her Jamaican roots, being a New Yorker, and sustainable fashion.


Q: Can you describe any recent changes within the fashion industry that stand out to you as important?

A: I think diversity continues to be a talking point in the industry and there have been improvements, but there are still many strides to be made.

Q: What would you describe as your style philosophy? A: I wear what makes me feel good, and confident about myself.

Q: Do you have any favourite, go-to pieces of clothing? A: There are a lot of staples in my wardrobe like my Citizens of Humanity high-waisted jeans, and an All Saints leather jacket that I always come back to.

Q: Can you describe a new trend that stands out as particularly impactful in contemporary fashion? A: The move towards sustainable fashion is really exciting. There are many brands out there proving that clothing that doesn’t harm our environment can also be chic.

Q: Are there any special projects you are currently working on?

A: At Harper’s Bazaar our big ICONS party is coming up; it’s definitely the highlight of New York Fashion Week.

Q: Your parents are both Jamaican, how often do you get to visit?

A: For the last couple years I’ve been going there every summer with my dad. This past June my dad took me to the house he grew up in, in Camberwell. It was really amazing to see it after hearing about it my entire life. Even though the original house my dad grew up in isn’t there, his sister rebuilt the house and now resides there. 70

Q: Which neighbourhoods in NYC would you say have changed the most in recent years?

The Lower East Side and Williamsburg (and other parts of Brooklyn) have definitely been going through many changes over the last 10 years or so. When I first moved to New York City I lived on the Lower East Side and so many of the local spots closed because they couldn’t afford the rent. A lot more cosmopolitan-like businesses popped up in their spaces.



Miss Lily’s 7A

Kirna Zabete Lil Frankie’s


What would you pinpoint as an iconic playtime activity that sums up the essence of being a New Yorker?


What are some of your favourite spots to eat?

Sitting at a sidewalk cafe with friends in the summertime enjoying some rosé.

I go to Miss Lily’s in the East Village when I’m craving Jamaican food. Supper and Lil Frankie’s are my go-to for Italian food.



Favourite fashion boutiques?

Kirna Zabete, The Webster and Barney’s are the best New York has to offer.

Where would you go to capture the best shots for posting on SM? The High Line Park, and the Museum of Modern Art.


in B&W by Walter Greene



wo lauded Jamaican journalists are celebrating the release of their long-awaited volumes on fashion, entertainment and culture.

Constance C.R. White’s How to Slay — Inspiration from the Queens & Kings of Black Style (Rizzoli), and George Wayne’s Anyone Who’s Anyone—The Astonishing Celebrity Interviews 1987-2017 (HarperCollins), hit the shelves earlier this year and the glamour-filled titillating tomes have gained acclaim for their clever, knowledgeable, and distinctly bold style. MoDA’s “Man About Town”, Walter Greene, caught up with these two industry veterans in New York City.

Constance C. R. White

is an award-winning fashion journalist, and author. Her dazzling career has taken her from WWD (Women’s Wear Daily) and Elle magazine (where she was fashion editor) to The New York Times, Essence magazine, and eBay. White is renowned for her wealth of experience and significant contributions across print, broadcast and on-line media. As an arbiter of culture and style, she has also helped steer brand and editorial direction for many companies. How to Slay — Inspiration from the Queens & Kings of Black Style, is one of the first

major surveys of black style ever published. It features lavishly illustrated overviews of African-American style through the twentieth century, focusing on the last 35 years. In a series of “conversations” around New York— and other US cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, and San Francisco—White is interviewed by fashion luminaries, or sometimes she changes the format and shares the stage with fashion personalities and discusses black style in a panel situation. At M Collection in Dumbo, Brooklyn, she shared the stage with Itaysha Jordan, the female New York photographer who shot the cover of “How to Slay,” graced by Jamaican model Gaye McDonald. It was at this event that White shared that she had to edit over 1,000 images before making the final selection for the book. “Throughout the process the model that kept popping up and ‘slayed’ in every photograph, was Naomi Campbell. ... She is so good at what she does that every image of Naomi that I saw was of pure excellence, beauty and glamour,” White said. I chatted with the author after an inspiring session at Calligaris in SoHo, NYC. Listen in: Walter Greene: Your last book, Style Noir came out in 1998-99. Why did it take so long for a second book? Constance White: I was doing other things like working for eBay, and digital was happening and very interesting. Somehow I decided that this would be a good coffee table book. WG: You’ve had great positions in fashion—style director at eBay, fashion editor at Elle magazine, fashion writer at The New York Times and editor-in-chief at Essence, to name a few. Which of your past positions would you say was your most enjoyable and fulfilling? CW: Hands down the most enjoyable was eBay. Fulfilling ... a tie between eBay and Essence. 73

team. I was very excited to work for her. It was a time when TV, print, internet and digital came together. It was like ‘Where does your print end and digital begin? And vice versa’. Tina Brown was a visionary. Different places mean different things to me. At WWD I loved the people that I worked with and learnt so much about fashion. WWD was special for that time. eBay was a lot of fun and interesting. I always loved the charity aspect of eBay; and the opportunity to bring designers to eBay—Stephen Burrows, Narciso Rodriguez, Yigal Azrouël. We put 7th on Sixth online.

WG: Which was your most challenging and why? CW: Essence was the most challenging. It was fulfilling on a deeply personal level, but the structure and the politics made it frustrating in some ways. WG: What have been some of your career highlights? CW: Some of my career highlights include working at The New York Times, real writing and real reporting, and truth, not fake news. I had an incredible boss, Claudia Payne, who was so smart and supportive of fashion. I was able to work with people like Elizabeth Stewart, and Amy Spindler (a dynamic figure in fashion), Ruth La Ferla and Bill Cunningham. Having that team around me ... to work with them ... was an incredible experience. It was hard to leave, but it was an extraordinary time. Tina Brown was starting Talk and she asked me to be a part of her 74

WG: Tell us about the book. CW: I started working on the book about 4-to-5 years ago. So far, it has exceeded all of my expectations. The conversations around the book launches have been really exciting. Talking about black people in fashion and answering questions about different topics like the appropriation of black style and black women’s beauty has been all very interesting. It’s been very different at each session. People are coming out and are very curious about [what constitutes] black style.

RAPID FIRE with Constance White

WG: Favourite colour? CW: Yellow—but my favourite colour to wear is black. WG: Guilty pleasure? CW: A great dessert or massage. WG: Binge watch on TV? CW: Survivor, Remorse or Power.

WG: Favourite New York restaurants? CW: Benoit, Asiate, The Smile, and Le Grainne Cafe. WG: Favourite food? CW: I love food. Love all kinds of food. I do love a dessert. WG: Favourite Caribbean getaway? CW: Jamaica. WG: Favourite all-time designer? CW: I am not answering that ... I plead the fifth. WG: Who is your celebrity crush? CW: LeBron James. WG: Favourite cocktail? CW: Kir Royale. WG: Favourite city in the world? CW: New York City. WG: Favourite all time style icon? CW: Diana Ross. WG: Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner? CW: Rihanna. Michelle Obama. Oprah. Bob Marley. Jesus. Angela Davis. WG: Most treasured moment? CW: I’m fortunate to have had several in my life, [in my] career, relationships, spiritual— I’m always thrilled to be around people and totally thrilled to be alone. To be able to help my mother in her final days—while it was not the happiest of times—I treasure it, because it was so gratifying to do. And, spending time with my kids is always a treasure.

George Wayne T

he man who is known for his bold, notorious, “no-holds-barred” approach to interviewing celebrities, is enjoying the attention from his first book Anyone Who’s Anyone—The Astonishing Celebrity Interviews 1987-2017. George Wayne’s “GW Q&As” in Vanity Fair (in which he interviewed everyone from Joan Rivers to Martha Stewart), was a signature must-read for over 22 years. His work in Allure, Interview, The Daily Front Row and his own creation, R.O.M.E., is well documented. Wayne has compiled some of his favourite interviews for this outrageously funny—and nostalgic book. Walter Greene: You’ve been chronicling pop culture for over 20 years. Was this book your ultimate dream? George Wayne: ‘Tis true. GW has been the astute arbiter of our popular culture for decades and counting. It’s every writers dream to have a book published. 75

some of my favourites that made it into this compendium. Of course, there were some celebrities who ran the other way when I approached ... to have them in the book. Mark Wahlberg—I will never forgive him—for not wanting to be in the book. And 50 Cent, Arianna Huffington and Jon Bon Jovi also demurred against being part of this legacy. But, I know why they said no. Those stories will be told at some other point in time.

WG: Why did it take so long? GW: As with any grand project there are moments when you feel the world is against you—and I would never get the book published. The process seemed like an eternity, mostly because I had to deal with bulldog lawyers from not only Condé Nast, but also from the publisher HarperCollins. I had to get permission from each and every person in this book, and that took forever! But as the adage goes: ‘We serve no wine before it’s time’. And, honey bunny, GW has served up the best vintage with this well-received and muchacclaimed book! So, if you have not already— the time is now to order this book. WG: Were these your favourite interviews? GW: I was happy to have many of my favourite interviews included in this book. Some of the GW ‘Hall of Fame’ classic moments with the likes of Carrie Fisher, Joan Rivers, Kate Moss and Donatella Versace are 76

WG: Your introductions were a combination of information and hilarious situations— smart and poignant ... GW: The introductions are incredibly poignant and special, and, another reason why the book took so long to write. I had to go scour all of my archives, and find all my notes and diaries from over 30 years, to make sure I had all the facts and dates correct. That was the greatest thrill. Ever since I moved to Manhattan on a one-way ticket from Atlanta, Georgia, after college at the University of Georgia, I have made sure to jot down and document everything! All those notes and archived data were so very integral to the completion of this book. I write down everything! My tiny apartment, in the West Village in New York City, is nothing but a bed, and filing cabinets containing all my valued archives! Magazines, filing cabinets filled with notebooks and photographs, a bed and a desk. This is my humble hovel! WG: What is your favourite story in the book? GW: So many great anecdotes in this book, but lately I’ve been feeling wistful and nostalgic, and being so incredibly grateful that I have that amazing interview with Donatella Versace in the book. I have been watching that FX show The Assassination of Gianni Versace, and it’s been so hard to watch—so hard. It has brought back a flood of memories of my time—being lucky enough to enjoy the most unforgettable lunches and dinner parties at Casa Casuarina on Ocean Drive, [South Beach, Miami] at the Versace Villa. Gianni was the most generous, most amazing

man. You know this fashion business is full of the most ghastly people who are so full of themselves. Gianni Versace was nothing like that. Such an incredible man ... and Gianni was the biggest gossip! He loved regaling an audience over lunch with the funniest gossip about Princess Diana, Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld. ... He was just amazing. I have been shedding a lot of tears of late. I hate to admit that I’ve been watching this FX TV show on the murder, but I have. It’s like rubbernecking a bad car accident—you hate to look, but at the same time, you just can’t look away.

RAPID FIRE with George Wayne

WG: Favourite New York Fashion Week hangout? GW: Unquestionably the iconic Pier 59 Studio at Chelsea Pier, a place that I am privileged to call my office. It’s where GW spends his days writing and taking in all the fashion whirl popping around him. Today, for instance, I’m checking out the supermodel Karlie Kloss as she swans out of the vast Studio C set, while shooting the next fashion campaign for Swarovski. And is that the fashion designer Jason Wu swinging by on his way to his own studio shoot? Yes, it most certainly is my home away from home. WG: What is your guilty pleasure? GW: My favourite guilty pleasure is the oxtail and rice and peas from one of my favourite restaurants, Negril Village in the West Village, New York. That, and the fact that I love champagne way too much!

WG: What trait do you like least about yourself? GW: What I like least about myself is that some days I do not want to leave my bed. I love to sleep. I love my beauty rest. I hate being out of bed. WG: Which celebrity who is deceased would you have liked to interview, and what would you have asked him or her? GW: I wish I had interviewed Coco Chanel, and, I would love to have asked her about her love affair with the gorgeous Nazi she supposedly not only had an affair with, but also spied for. Were you a Nazi sympathizer Coco Chanel? That would have certainly been one of my first questions to her. WG: Who is your favourite fashion model and why? GW: Unquestionably the latest fashion superstar Kaia Gerber! I am so happy and proud of my friends Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber; and this beautiful girl they have gifted to the world, who will undoubtedly be the post-millennial supermodel for years to come. WG: You have fun doing your interviews. Has this always been a conscious effort? GW: I love my job. Of course, I love doing interviews. I would like to think that George Wayne is the modern master of celebrity Q&A. I have re-mastered, reinvented and refined the art form of the celebrity Q&A. I have no equal. WG: What’s next for GW? GW: What’s next on the agenda you ask? I have been approached by a legendary television production house in Los Angeles, who want to create a documentary TV show revolving around GW. So far, that initial conversation and such has begun. I am also well into working on my first novel and my third book, which will be my roman à clef novel. I have not sold that to a publishing house yet, but I hope to have great news on that front soon. 77









HER She dances to the songs in her head, Speaks to the rhythm of her heart, And loves from the depths of her soul.


Pat McGrat h

Perhaps the most influential makeup artist of her time, Pat McGrath is a true artist. This English-born daughter of a Jamaican single-mother is the creative mind behind Pat McGrath Labs. The extraordinary makeup mogul sees the face as her canvas. Inspired by the facial contours, lines, and the texture and luminosity of the skin—her use of bold palettes, and unexpected accessories, transforms faces and creates trends, and has made her a fixture in the fashion world. Makeup lines by Armani, Dior, Max Factor and Cover Girl have all been defined by McGrath. And as her own personal brand continues to flourish (recently valued at close to US$1 billion), she continues to break barriers and set new boundaries. Celebrity make-up artist and fitness enthusiast Loni Jones-Walsh, shows her appreciation to Pat for showing her how to live a life of bold colour.

Hi Miss P,

I hope you don’t mind if I call you that! You don’t know me, but I know a little bit about you enough for me to say, that you inspired me from day one! I remember my early days as an impassioned artist, some 14 years ago. I’d jump on Yahoo! to search [for] images to save in my ‘inspiration’ folder, and your works would frequently come up. They were so enchanting and added so much dimension … I only dreamt of performing like that, and to this day I still save your work! Because of you, I won’t ever think twice about my executions with any medium. No thing or colour is off limits. You have assured me that I can trust my own creative processes from inception to conclusion and made me fearlessly burrow into my originality and imagination. You are at the crux of ultimate beauty, fashion and runway makeup and you have continued to contribute to the global trade. You are the essence of genius and indisputably a trailblazer of cosmic proportions, creating a path for many aspiring artists to follow. Thank you!

Loni Jones-Walsh 80

Kristina Newman-Scott


reshly assuming the role of president at BRIC (Brooklyn Information and Culture)— the non-profit arts organization most wellknown for its Celebrate Brooklyn series— Kristina Newman-Scott, is preparing to pack up her family as she departs from her previous role as director of culture and state historic preservation officer for Connecticut. In her own words, she shares what it is like to be the first immigrant and first woman of colour in that position.

Pt. 1

“When I look in the mirror ... I see someone who is so excited about the journey that she’s on. I see a person that knows that if you believe you are the smartest person in the room, well something is deeply wrong with you. There is a certain amount of joy that I take to all the jobs that I’ve had, and that is the joy of knowing that I don’t know it all. Mentorship is at every level—from interns and CEOs that I come across in my daily life, to small business owners. No matter their background, or walk of life, they are all teaching me something. And I know I bring something to the table as well. I see a woman who has a lot of ambition, but also insecurities and I lean on the really wonderful group of friends that I have, to lift me up when I’m down. And to whom I turn

when I need advice. I see a woman who is not afraid to take risks. Who is not afraid of leaping, or daring to be great. I’m pretty happy with who I see when I look in the mirror.”

Pt. 2

“To the next generation of fierce females ... I would just say—you will know it when you feel it. Trust your instincts. Always go with the gut feeling, with what you know and feel is the right thing. I would also say, be humble and be kind. Keep the noise of any detractors at bay, and know who you are. Believe in yourself. Once you are good to people, they will be good to you—and those who are not, excuse them from your path. I think that bringing joy and happiness to work is always a good thing. I love being happy and I love when my staff are happy. Creating a joyous environment doesn’t mean that people aren’t working hard. ... I think creating a positive environment is really important as we continue to do the work that we do in our communities. Don’t forget where you came from, wherever that may be. And remember what sisterhood feels like. Whether a sister, related by birth, or a friend who feels like a sister. Sisterhood is really important. We need to have each other’s backs. We cannot see each other as competition, there is space for everyone. And so let’s support each other. Let’s lift each other up. And that will make us all in the end much stronger than if we were divided.”



A woman who needs very little introduction, Rihanna is much more than the international singer we know and love. MoDA MAG’s Contributing fashion editor, Rachael Barrett, salutes Robyn Rihanna Fenty.

Dear Rihanna,

Rihanna receiving the 2017 Harvard Humanitarian of the Year Award

Your rise to the top of the world as a global pop phenomenon is a narrative of epic proportions that will now, and for years to come, provide inspiration for the next generation of Caribbean youth. From humble beginnings in Bridgetown, Barbados you have become a beacon of light, not just because of the success you have achieved but more importantly because of what you have chosen to do with it. Your domination of the pop charts, reinventions of self and attitude, influence on fashion, and your role as arbiter of Caribbean culture on the world stage, have cemented your status as an icon of this age. Like Poitier, Marley, Belafonte and Carmichael you stand alongside other phenomenal Caribbean superstars who have had significant impact on greater human history and culture. Emerging from an era of bubblegum pop princesses, a new crop of strong, bold women continue to be inspired by you Ms. Fenty. As elegantly sartorial as you are shrewd, just last year your Fenty Beauty line racked up US$100million in the first 40 days! Time Magazine hailed the brand as one of the world’s best inventions that year because the notably inclusive range features the largest number of product shades, model shapes and ethnicities of any cosmetics company. This was not your first foray into merchandising as you had previously helmed several major fashion campaigns—I mean, you were the first black spokesperson for Dior!—as well as embracing several design collaborations ranging from venerable jeweler, Chopard, to a collection with Manolo Blahnik, and successfully parlaying a Creative Director appointment with Puma into your own full-fledged (and fully funded) line. Your business acumen is super impressive, as you clearly demonstrate that ‘living the dream’ is only truly maximized when one achievement is used as a platform to launch 10 more. This lesson in business is perhaps the greatest gift you can give to your impressionable fans. Behind the scenes, your Clara Lionel Foundation and partnership with the Global Partnership for Education have shown that like your head, your heart is in the right place. Your philanthropic work has quietly committed over US$7 million towards providing critical disaster relief, and created multiple opportunities in cancer research, treatment and education. What I especially love is that the Foundation ensures that successful Caribbean scholarship applicants who wish to study overseas, to explore opportunities that the region may not be equipped to provide, can do so unencumbered and on a level playing field with their peers in the rest of the world. As an underdog-done-good yourself, you know all too well that sometimes a level playing field is all one needs to shine! Thank you for showing young women from the Caribbean that sartorial savvy and strategic business go hand in hand. You continue to inspire, impact and lead by example. I salute you, the iconic Rihanna Robyn Fenty; mogul, muse and philanthropist.


Rachael Barrett

Kamilah Taylor

For minority women in the technology world, there seems to be a double-paned glass ceiling. So it is a pleasure to celebrate Kamilah Taylor, an entrepreneur, engineer, writer, and a public speaker who hails from Kingston, Jamaica. At just 34 years old, she was recently named as one of Business Insider’s 43 most powerful women in tech in 2017. Having worked on mobile apps and robotics at Krikey, LinkedIn, Wolfram Research and the University of Illinois, this UWI graduate is also an advocate for minorities in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, and co-authored the book, Women in Tech. And what does she do in her free time? She tells MoDA MAG that she tries to eat at all the restaurants in San Francisco; buys too many books; watches too much TV; and loves to plot out how to do more of her shopping in Paris.


I see someone who gets to live a pretty great life being creative, while living in an amazing city— despite having failures in my past and I’m sure [there will be] failures in my future. And also hair with a mind of its own!


Don’t worry about being labeled bossy. Stand up for yourself in all aspects of your life. Embrace your curly hair. Don’t be afraid of not being perfect.


Most definitely, but it isn’t a single person. In some ways I feel like I’ve always been drawn to strong women, and I have close female friends going all the way back to elementary school who are living amazing lives—lawyers, designers, doctors, fellow engineers. Even though we all have busy lives, we keep in touch digitally. It’s so necessary to have that trusted circle to share your joys, fears and struggles with.


So much! I’ve been working on an app, Swaay, with some friends, that facilitates thoughtful conversation online. I’ve also been consulting for startups. Right now I’m working with an augmented reality startup. I’m excited to see the third year of TechBeach Retreat (a tech conference in Jamaica). And then, always more travel!


Erica Lall


rica Lall grew up square and line dancing, as a resident of Cypress, Texas; daughter of a Jamaican mother and a Trinidadian father. And while the rhythm of dance may have been in the blood of this “squirmy” baby, it was her elder sister, Alissa Gipson, who inspired Erica, and made her fall in love with dance. Now, as a member of the Corps de Ballet at ABT (American Ballet Theatre), Lall is one of only two black female dancers—the other being Misty Copeland. Lall has embraced her colour, her culture and her heritage to define who she is as a woman and a dancer. Here she honours the woman in her life ... her mother.

Dear Mom, As a child, I remember how tuned into everyone’s spirits you were. You said I was born with the strongest will and sense of identity. One of the first things you got to know about me was that I did not tolerate long car rides. I was only content with rides over 10 minutes when it was the hour-long drive to take my big sister to dance class. You laughed at my crankiness going to swim lessons, taekwondo, piano, guitar and art, while encouraging me to develop my own interests. You realized from something as simple as my limited tolerance, that there was nothing more precious to my soul than ballet. Looking back on that now, I can truly see how much I have to be thankful for. You understand me so well without me having to say a word. I am so grateful to have you in my life, and I don’t tell you “thank you” enough. I know you know that I love and appreciate you, but I want you to know a few of the reasons why. Thank you for giving me the gift of music, song and movement every day of my life. Thanks for the spiritual guidance that keeps me grounded in the fact that giving of me and my talents is the purpose. Thank you for being such a huge supporter of my dreams. No matter how crazy it sounded, you were there for me. Thank you for driving the 84

grueling hour commute to and from Houston Ballet every day. Thank you for picking me up from school with a million snacks and a meal for me to eat on the way to class. Thank you for also packing a SECOND dinner for me to eat on the way home. Thank you for doing my curly hair for so many years and then teaching me how to work with my curls and put them into a classical bun. Thank you for bringing me up when I was all the way down. You always know how to make me feel better about life and work. Thank you for allowing me to pursue this career in the arts. I know how badly you and dad wanted to pursue careers in the arts, but weren’t allowed to. So I thank you so much for that. Thank you for coming to every single open class I had growing up, making me feel like I had a constant support team behind me. Thank you for traveling to see me perform every year, whether in New York or California. Thank you for taking so much time out of your own life to be such a huge part of mine. Thank you for all the confidence you give me. You are the perfect example of a strong woman, owning your own business and triumphing over countless struggles. Thank you for making sure that we knew about our relatives who did great things. I wouldn’t be confident in everything I do without you constantly telling me that I’m ready and that I’ve worked hard for it. Thank you for allowing me to move to New York City at the age of 15 by myself. I now know how difficult that decision must’ve been, to let me move across the country, so young, with no chaperone or host mom. This is just to name a few things, experiences and opportunities you have given me. It only scratches the surface. I know that I will never be able to thank you enough for all that you have done. Thank you for everything. Especially for simply being, you, Mom. Love Always,


Erica Lall

Nina Compton


Photo: Denny Culbert

hat a year 2018 has been for Chef Nina Compton! She won a James Beard Award and opened a new restaurant to rave reviews. Not that 2017 was bad either, when she was named by Food + Wine as one of the Best New Chefs. This St. Lucian native has certainly made a name for herself after her appearance in the Bravo television show Top Chef. However, it is her imaginative take on the historic relationship between New Orleans and the Caribbean that has defined the cooking at her iconic restaurant, Compere Lapin (an “essential American restaurant” according to Reflecting her heritage as well as that of her adopted city—bold, and spicy flavours with delicate and skillful cooking techniques—has set her apart from her contemporaries. Her new venture, alongside her husband, Bywater American Bistro pays homage to the city (and building) she now calls home. Simple eclectic American food that redefines what it is to be American, crab fat rice, rabbit curry and faro risotto are just some of the highlights. 85

Carly Cushnie — By Leisha Wong

“Carly Cushnie never ceases to amaze me. Yes, I may have a biased view of Carly. She is my little sister after all. So let me, just for a moment, assume the part of journalist. Having recently stepped into the role of creative director and CEO of her namesake brand Cushnie, Carly is cementing her position in the fashion world, as a young and extremely talented fashion designer committed to her creative vision of delivering exquisitely tailored pieces that make women feel confident, feminine and powerful. The first woman of colour to be nominated for a Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Fashion Award in 2013, Carly has embraced that which makes her different, and used it as her strength. But her


colour does not define her. In an industry that faces a conundrum as to what it is to be black in fashion, Carly has subtly created a space for her brand that is more so defined by the artful co-existence of architectural and freeflowing lines, silky textures, vibrant patterns and bold silhouettes. Her designs embody the many sides of what it means to be a woman and delivers it in a dress. I always knew she would be a trailblazer. I always knew that she would command the attention of whatever “world” she was in. Fiercely determined, and strong-willed, her artistic talents and fashion sense grew out of our mother’s dressing-up box. Born in London, raised by Jamaicans, and nurtured by the energy of New York, she has gracefully arrived at a place in time that is truthfully her own.”

Naomi Campbell & My Mot her

— By Carly Cushnie

“When I was growing up, there were two women that shaped my fashion identity. My mother was the first. Her ‘discarded’ clothes were an endless source of inspiration, and her dressing-up box a place of boundless possibilities. She told me that it was always better to be overdressed than underdressed, and that was something she lived by. She was always ready, never without her lipstick! She instilled in me a pride, not only in how I should carry myself, but how I should believe in myself. She supported the ‘rebel’ in me, as I was never one to conform, and encouraged the dreamer. The foundation of who I am as a woman and a female designer is down to her graceful guidance, and personal inspiration.

Naomi Campbell was the other. That moment when I saw her on the cover of Essence magazine, wearing my design was the most unbelievable. As a young girl, of Jamaican parents, growing up in London, England, she was the only woman of colour the ‘young me’ saw in the the media; and she represented everything that I try to instill in my designs today—being strong, sexy and empowered. Let’s not forget her Jamaican heritage, which is the foundation for her sass—as well as mine—and the many “firsts” she has assumed throughout her career. While the fashion industry today still struggles to embrace the black experience, it is women like Naomi that charted these seas long before we set sail. Thirty years after she appeared on her first cover (British ELLE in 1987 followed by British Vogue the same year) she still remains one of the most iconic faces in fashion today.” 87

Grace Jones One of our culture's most iconic personalities and faces, Grace Jones has been a bold inspiration for MoDA's creative director, Fidge Fletcher. And where imitation is the greatest form of flattery, Fidge recently recreated some of Grace's most iconic poses. Here she tells Grace, thank you.

Dear Grace, The goddess of originality, the ultimate muse, fashion icon, the incomparable—Grace Jones. Grazie mille! Saying you made an impression on me as a child would be an understatement. Your voice on my record player or your presence on the television helped birth my creativity and took it to where it is today. Singing your songs Use Me, Slave to the Rhythm, Pull up to my Bumper or watching you in movies like Vamp, Boomerang or A View to Kill was simply life-changing. How could a young child at 10-years-old feel so close to someone whom she had never met? Were you a creative soulmate? I didn’t know what it was ... HECK! Whatever the feeling was, I wanted more! Nonconformity, the idea of self, loving yourself, laying your insecurities out on your arms like arm candy, you taught me about being true to yourself as an artist and appreciating my sexuality as a woman. I have produced and creatively honed many bodies of work, and you have been my muse for the past 30 years. I am indebted to your extraterrestrial greatness. I knew you even before I knew myself. Thank you for allowing the wardrobe in your films or music videos to have their own voice, have a life and purpose of their own. 88

Photography: William Richards Stylist: Fidge Fletcher Model: Aalec “Patasha� McClean Makeup: Paul March

Everyone has their own preconceived idea of what and who Grace Jones is. To me, you are more than a larger-than-life and unpredictable personality, an artist, actress, singer, songwriter, producer or fashion icon. You are Grace Jones. I prefer to call you a muse of creativity of mythical proportions. Your strength radiates like a light beam that has illuminated an entire generation.

Grace, you are the innovator and inventor of a movement that has resonated with my generation, and has transcended beyond, to many artists who now grace our stage or TV screens. Thank you! I owe you more than you can imagine.

Fidge Fletcher 89

Mia Mottley Few women stand among the political elite as country leaders, especially in the Caribbean, so when Mia Mottley became the Prime Minister of Barbados recently the circle of admittance widened just a bit more. Former Jamaica Senator and Chief of Staff of the People’s National Party (PNP), Imani Duncan-Price expresses gratitude to the new Prime Minister for her steadfast commitment, contribution to nation-building and for paving the way for the next generation of female leaders.

Dear Mia, Many people admire you for your many firsts! First female Attorney-General in Barbados, the youngest ever Queens Counsel, the youngest Bajan woman to hold a Ministerial post at 29. And of course, becoming the first female Prime Minister of Barbados in May 2018. And in achieving that success, making the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) the first Party ever to secure all 30 seats in the House of Assembly and with 72.8% of the popular vote – the highest share ever achieved by a Party in a General Election in your country! Yes, all those achievements are amazing – especially for a woman in politics given all of the systemic biases that exist in people’s mindsets, as well as embedded in Party structures and decision-making processes around what a leader looks like. All these factors, and more, contribute to the relatively small percentage of women advancing in political leadership, even though they are as capable as, or more so than, their male counterparts. However, for me Mia, there is a more fundamental reason why I admire you. I have the utmost respect for you given the veritable political crucible that you withstood between 2009 and 2013. 90

When the former leader of the BLP and former Prime Minister, Owen Arthur, returned to the political fray and through various manoeuvrings ousted you as Opposition Leader in 2010, I was in shock and as a young politician I was angry. No one is perfect. No organization is perfect. However, at age 34 I believed that principles should guide fellow compatriots. I believed in the principles of fairness. I believed that elder statesmen, like Owen Arthur, had a duty to guide the next generation not to interfere in this way. I’m older now and more experienced but I still believe in those principles, even though I see them only used for convenience at times. Persons outside the political party structure may have seen all of this as just a part of the process – it happens, one leader in, one leader out. But as the saying goes, “he (or she) who feels it, knows it”. So I want to salute you for your resilience and tenacity, having walked through the fire and emerged like a phoenix from the ashes of political desolation. I can only imagine the loneliness, the feeling of betrayal and the despair at seeing your life’s dream to build your country through politics almost evaporate in one swoop. You, Mia Amor Mottley, returned to leadership stronger, better, even more ready. When I had the pleasure to meet you last year with Dr. Phillips, as Leaders of the Opposition of your respective countries, I was magnetized. Not only were you solid in your progressive mindset, but your grasp of the depth of the economic and social issues facing your country and inclusive ways to approach the solutions were inspiring. Your past experience as General Secretary of your Party also shone through as you shared critical groundwork that you and your team were pursuing to reignite a sense of hope in the population, for a better Barbados, inspiring the citizens to know their power to create change. You are a phenomenal rebel woman. You are and will continue to be a shining example for many girls and women in Barbados and indeed, the wider Caribbean. Keep doing your thing! One love,

Imani Duncan-Price Chief of Staff, Office of the Leader of the Opposition, Jamaica Former Senator





ho would have thought that it would be a woman that would change the face of Jamaican rum? And a Jamaican woman who would be the first female master blender in the world? In an industry that is driven and dominated by men, it is refreshing to have the grace and elegance of Joy Spence at the helm of Appleton Rum. And while the Appleton Estate has been making rum for almost 250 years, Joy's presence has elevated the production, presentation, and experience of Appleton Rum. It is no longer the rum that is simply chased with Coke, but instead, a world class drink that competes with internationally revered whiskeys and cognacs. In fact the complex, sophisticated and bold notes of this “liquid gold” are what mesmerized this former chemist, and inspired her to take up a position as a chief chemist at Appleton 35 years ago.


And to hear Joy speak about rum is simply that ... pure joy. It is poetic. Lingering on her tongue the same way the notes of the 25-yearold blend do. As the new namesake of the upgraded Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience, at the home of Appleton Rum, on Jamaica’s South Coast, Joy continues to invest her energy in educating and redefining the expectations of rum. A trendsetter and innovator in the spirits world, Joy continues to inspire a whole new generation of rum drinkers.



Fashion Features


Vintage beaded blouse (worn as dress), KzK Clothing; Miah straw belt, Flowerchild 1999; suede booties, Necessits.


Memento Moirai



nown in ancient mythology as ‘the Moirai’, three goddesses were believed to personify the inescapable destiny of man, spinning a loom that wove the threads of time and mortality itself. The daughters of a stern Queen, the Goddess of Divine Order and a fiery King, the God of Thunder, the goddesses were assigned the task of dispensing each man’s fate forever. Few people bother to think of how the goddesses felt about their own destiny, or wonder what they would do if they could snatch a precious moment of time for themselves away from the loom ... In Jamaica we find the goddesses incarnate. A 17th century great house tucked away in St. Ann sets the scene.

Photography: Adrian Mcdonald @lexonart Stylist: Kaysian Bourke @originalflowerchild1999

Lace dress, KzK Clothing; nude corset and booties, Necessits; calabash tote, Flowerchild1999


L-R: Gold robe and white lace lingerie, Necessits; white lingerie and pearl-embellished cover-up, Necessits: silver bustier, Necessits; gold lame skirt, KzK Clothing



Lingerie and sheer pearl-embossed coverup, Necessits


Sheer top, Necessits; blush pantaloons, Kadian Nicely; neoprene jacket, Di Trends; lucite block sandals, Necessits



Blouse, Kadian Nicely; tropical print trousers, KzK Clothing; clutch, KzK Clothing; Christian Louboutin wedges, Di Trends (not shown)

Sequined mini dress, KzK Clothing; knee high stockings and shoes, Necessits


Hair: Latoya Ann Reid @latoyahot for Redken Makeup: Kim Goodall @brushedbykay.Ja for Revlon Models: Emily Sara Claire, Diedre Mckenzie, Cindy Wright @emilysaraclaire @mz_xeri @thewrightwalk Special thanks to Jakes Hotel for the use of the magical Itopia villa.


Lace dress, Di Trends; feather collar and rhinestone necklace, KzK Clothing; blush satin sneakers, Di Trends




Bo y i s h

Sweatshirt & briefs, Xperience Clothing; wraps, Everlast

"There's an old saying. Never send a boy to do a man's job, send a Lady." - John F. Kennedy MAN UP WITH THIS SEASON'S MASH-UP OF FEMINIST TWISTS ON ALL THINGS SPORTY, URBAN AND DAPPER. Photography: Wade Rhoden @waderhoden Stylist: Tamo Ennis @thetamoennis 107

Sheer tank, Hombre Eccentric; floral suit, Carlton Brown


Trousers, Keshon; fishnet top & bralette, stylist’s own


Sleeveless sweatshirt, Hombre Eccentric; black and gold sweatpants, Di Trends; white mini tote, Kehs Kenitra; black booties, Necessits


A selection of men’s printed button-up shirts & white tuxedo trousers, Club Diamonds Co; floral platform sandals, Di Trends


Blouse, Keshon; trousers and high top Vans sneakers, Di Trends; bandana and socks, stylist’s own.


Fringed bikini, Hose; de-constructed denim jacket, stylist's own.

Photography: Wade Rhoden Stylist: Tamo Ennis Makeup: Loni Jones-Walsh Hair: Brittany-Rae Brooks Model: Roginea Dixon for Sway Caribbean Model Agency











ike the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes, so too has Abby-Sade Brooks overcome the odds to tell her story and rise as a true pioneer and survivor. A badass, powerful and strong survivor in the age of the #MeToo movement, Brooks is one of the co-founders of the anti-abuse movement in Jamaica, The Tambourine Army. Founded in 2017 by eight extraordinarily brave, and very different women, The Tambourine Army is committed to uprooting the scourge of sexual violence and safeguarding the rights of women and girls. They offer a voice for those silent suffering survivors. Brooks’ story isn’t new, or rare, but by sharing it she hopes it will be a story that motivates other women who have had similar struggles —empowering the survivors, whether through emotional, physical or even legal support. It is about shifting the blame, and through the “SayHisName” hashtag, placing the shame at the feet of the perpetrators. Here is Brooks’ story, in her own words, as taken from her journal—an honour that she entrusted and shared with me—and now you—with words that have never been shared before. “I never told anyone—who would I tell? He was my friend. The husband of the woman

I was closest to and I loved him. He would never do anything to hurt me, right? After all, he said I was his soulmate. I was 13 and in third form in high school when he began teaching music, and the high school choir was formed, well rebirthed, not long after. He was no stranger to me as we attended the same Seventh Day Adventist Church. He was very close to my mom and brother. Mommy often referred to him as her ‘big’ son. I saw him at church, I saw him at school. He visited my home freely, our bond was inevitable. He was a musical genius and singing was my life. I told him my biggest secrets, he told me four (yeah, mi jus quote India Irie, lol) and he didn't seem bothered when I said, “I think I like girls.” It was easy to talk to him. But he held me a little too close and a little too long. One evening after the usual drop home from choir practice, he came into my room while I was changing out of my uniform and my life was never the same. I cried and he comforted me. He said it was OK and that he loved me. I sobbed more and said no, but he assured me that everything would be just fine. This continued until I left Savanna-la-Mar for Northern Caribbean University, seven years after. We had sex everywhere and anywhere he wanted. In


his car, in his office, at school, at church ... everywhere. I left high school with only one subject and if you know me, then you would have guessed it was English. My mom was livid, but mostly disappointed. She couldn’t understand how a once brilliant little girl just didn’t seem to care. And honestly I really didn’t give a !@#&. I didn’t want to live. The hurt, the pain, the recurring nightmares, the sleepless nights, that constant state of feeling dirty. The relationship between my mom and I became non-existent. I was rebellious, and quickly chose the sting that came from cutting to overshadow the turmoil I felt internally. I was abused by him. What the !@#&??? I knew deep down it was wrong but I kept my secret close. No one knew but me. Until #saytheirnames and the rise of Tambourine Army.


On the 8th of January 2017, I sat in a Moravian Church along with seven other women to show support for a little girl who was sexually abused by the-now-convicted Rupert Clarke. I cannot forget the horror I felt. When a group of girls, presented their rendition of Kirk Franklin’s Lean on Me, tears streamed uncontrollably down my face as I remembered how I was once that same little girl singing so sweetly in the choir. I was her. I am her. I thought how while in high school it was rumoured—oh so many times—that the girls on the choir were ‘sleeping’ with the choir director, yet not one teacher, or any of the vice principals, or the principal, or even the guidance counsellor reached out to any of us to query if the rumours were true. I went to Nazareth and returned feeling vulnerable and conflicted. Did I encourage him? Did I enjoy it? What about his family? How could I encourage survivors to say their names when I couldn't say his?

I felt so broken that I, Abby-Sade Brooks, asked for help. Once again, if you know anything about me, then you would know that I rarely reach out to anybody, for anything. But, I was reminded by a set of warrior women, my Tambourine Army, that I am not at fault and whenever I was ready to speak they would be right there with me. Ladies, I am eternally grateful to you all. I had no idea what was gonna happen and I was truly afraid, but I was armed and ready. Ready to break the silence. Ready to speak my truth, because I was her. I am her. So on the 11th of January 2017, I finally mustered up enough courage and said his name on Facebook. I wanted him—my former music teacher and choir director in high school; resource officer (or former mi-nuh-know) at the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission; Lieutenant in the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force; and Justice of the Peace in Savanna-laMar, Westmoreland—to know. I wanted him to know I wasn’t afraid anymore and it was no longer our little secret. I stand here this evening, my heart and mind filled with an array of different emotions and a furious desire to control my own future and path forward. I stand here sharing my own story in hopes that one little girl might feel empowered enough to say ‘I will no longer protect him’. I stand here hoping and praying that one survivor may finally realize that it was not her fault and she did nothing wrong. They exploited our vulnerabilities and took our personhood. You were never wrong and the shame is not yours. We believe you. ... I believe you, and you will not have to walk alone. It is possible to heal. We will fight for you and out of the pain, shame and hurt you will rise as we continue to try and create a better Jamaica for our women and girls, leaving no one behind.”



You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard.


You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I’ve got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.



Big Bad Bakes It’s a “summer summer summertime” vibe in this Williamsburg backyard. Picnic benches are filled with tightly-packed Brooklynites sitting under colourful umbrellas, drinking buckets of cold beer, enjoying the summer sun. So when we order the bake and shark, and it arrives, fluffy and light and packed with flaky fish and sweet slaw, we are immediately transported to Trinidad, to Ariapita Avenue, at 3am, when bake and shark tastes the sweetest. These authentic Trinidadian flavours are exactly the reason why Fallon Seymour decided to open Pearl’s, a cosy neighbourhood Caribbean restaurant inspired by Seymour’s grandmother. “Pearl … my grandmother … has influenced my cooking tremendously,” says Seymour, “she taught me how to cook at a very young age. I was very close to her.”

t h g i r , s e k a b h s e fr , y Fluffy, flak rooklyn. in the heart of B Pearl’s is Seymour’s third sojourn into the restaurant business. Along with her husband John, the culinary couple opened Pop’s (all about the burger) 10 years ago; followed by John’s opening of Sweet Chick (all about the chicken and waffles) three years ago, and Seymour’s opening of Pearl’s also in late 2015. “I have always wanted to open a restaurant and Pop’s was my first,” says Seymour. She calls it the “safer concept”. “Williamsburg offers so many different types of food, but was missing Caribbean food,” she says. “I wanted to introduce the neighborhood to my culture 123

Fallon Seymour 124

Owner of Pearl’s

and cuisine.” Having met Trinidadian DJ and music producer, Jillionaire (best known for being a member of the electronic music group, Major Lazer), Seymour partnered with this creative mind and opened Pearl’s. So who is the powerhouse behind Pearl’s? Even though Seymour went to culinary school in Trinidad, where she focused on pastries, it was a career in modelling that drew her to New York. After she met her husband, (who was a bartender at the time), the couple decided to open a restaurant, and so began their culinary journey. “I was planning on having a little stand and doing the bakes at the outdoor food market Smorgasburg,” Seymour says. But it seems there were bigger plans in store for her. “When the space Pearl’s is in became available, I just decided to go for it.” Pearl’s was a more personal journey for Seymour. I love to cook and food has always been a big part of my life. I wanted to create something different and put a twist on Caribbean food while still offering traditional options. I wanted to offer dishes for Caribbean people, as well as people that may be trying

Caribbean food for the first time.” This explains the true authentic flavours of bake and shark, served with chadon beni and mango chutney on the menu. However, she adds an international twist by adding bake and short ribs, and even bake and pepper shrimp, served with avocado and arugula—a true fusion of flavours. Seymour says it is this that makes Pearl’s different from other Caribbean restaurants. “We specialize in bakes, which you don’t really see other Caribbean restaurants doing. We have taken the bake and put a twist on it by offering a variety of fillings.” And it doesn’t stop there. Jerk ribs is one of the most loved dishes at Pearl’s—served with roasted corn slathered with chadon beni mayo—elevating predictable Caribbean restaurant choices with the simple addition of authentic Trinidadian flavours. So how does Seymour manage it all? Wife. Mother. Business owner? “The restaurant business is a 24-hour-job, and at times being a mother, wife and restaurant owner can be very challenging,” she admits. Throw in a husband who doubles as a business partner, and we 125


have to ask ... how easy is it to distinguish work and family life? “Having good staff is very important,” she shares, however she adds that she focuses on the strengths of this dynamic. “My husband and I work great as a team. Being able to talk to your partner about situations and have them understand the struggle and give advice is great, but also separating work from home is very important.”


Crab & Dumplin Ingredients 6 whole crabs, cleaned and cut in half 4 heaping tbsps. green seasoning* 3 tbsps. Chief curry 1 tsp. Chief geera 1 tsp. black masala 2 blades chadon beni diced (also known as ricao, cilantro or coriander) 2 pimento peppers diced 1 whole Scotch Bonnet 6 garlic cloves (3 diced) 2 packs coconut powder or one can of coconut milk 3 tbsps. oil Salt and pepper to taste

Method • Season crabs (preferably overnight) with green seasoning and 1 tbsp. of curry mix. • In a small bowl, place the remaining curry powder and mix with about 3 tsps. of water, to create a paste of medium thickness. 128

• Heat oil in an iron pot over medium-high heat and add 3 whole cloves of garlic. Cook garlic until dark. Remove garlic and add curry paste. Cook for one minute and then add the marinated crab. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until well coated, then add 3 quarts of water, diced garlic, chadon beni, pimento, salt and pepper, geera and masala, and bring to a boil. • Add coconut powder or coconut milk and whole Scotch Bonnet pepper. Lower to mediumto-low heat and cook for about 45 minutes. Liquid should have reduced and thickened a bit. • To make the dumplings, use 4 cups flour and 1.5 cups of water. Add a pinch of salt. Mix, and once dough isn't sticky, it’s ready. Separate the dough into balls and roll into disks about 5" wide. Boil in water until cooked. *Green Seasoning — A traditional Trinidadian blend of onion, garlic, chadon beni (or coriander), thyme, scallion, pimento pepper and ginger.

Your dream dress is in Kingston. Luckily, you can have it the next day, in Mobay.

For your local and overseas dream fashion deliveries, choose... 129



One-on-one with

Debbie Solomon Rihanna’s personal chef


o how does one become Rihanna’s private chef? Let’s ask Debbie Solomon. Charismatic, creative, and passionate about her art, Jamaicanborn Solomon has held the enviable position for over five years. Solomon is tasked with cooking for the superstar daily whilst she is at home and whilst travelling. She also plays an integral role for her private events and family functions—both domestically and internationally.

Photography: Anthony Prince


QUICK FIRE: Solomon was born in Jamaica, but raised in Brooklyn, New York. Initial plans to go into fashion were overcome by the pull from the culinary world, and her resume features some of the most exemplary kitchens in the United States. Educated at the prestigious French Culinary Institute, Solomon headed across the country upon graduation, and secured a job at the iconic Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas, in Los Angeles, under celebrity Chef Guillaume Burlion. It was whilst here that her unique fusion of cuisines— American classics reimagined with Caribbean flavours—drew the attention of British socialite, artist and fashion editor for Genlux magazine, Amanda Eliasch. This would be Solomon’s first private client. From menu planning to full-fledged Hollywood A-List events, Solomon worked with Eliasch to oversee all aspects of the family’s meals and entertainment. Since 2010, she has also catered all of celebrity photographer Michel Comte’s photo shoots, and has cooked for many celebrities, from Academy Award nominated actors and actresses to the world’s most famous supermodels. A shared Caribbean heritage was just one of the things that brought Solomon and Rihanna (who hails from Barbados) together. Solomon’s intimate knowledge of Caribbean flavours, paired with a heightened awareness of culinary techniques, created the ideal package for the international superstar. She is also motivated to create meals that are healthy, and has spent time exploring and developing vegan and gluten-free recipes. Passionate about cooking, her time with Rihanna has enabled her to travel the globe whilst learning new techniques and exploring different cultures. She takes a few moments out of her busy schedule to talk to MoDA MAG about missing home, cooking on the road, and what she has planned for the future.

Q: What are some of your earliest food memories? A: Some of my fondest food experiences growing up in Jamaica were going to Tastee Patty and Kentucky Fried Chicken. I was so excited, because we did not have much fast food back then! Q: What does food mean to you? A: My food philosophy is ‘eat what makes you happy’, coupled with moderation and exercise. Q: Did you always want to be a personal chef ? A: Yes, I did. I always wanted to be a personal chef. I am a people person and love making people happy through food. Q: What’s one of the biggest challenges and one of the greatest highlights of your job? A: One of the biggest challenges in my job is travelling and being away from my family. The greatest highlight is meeting new people, learning and experiencing new cultures. Q: How different is it ... cooking on the road, while on tour? A: Cooking on the road is no different than cooking at home for me. But, the major perk is that I get to experience cooking in many different environments—in different hotels and kitchens around the world, for example. Q: Do you miss Jamaica? A: I miss Jamaica—most of all because of my family, the culture, fresh fruits and native foods. But I love Los Angeles, the weather is beautiful. Q: What is your favourite soul-warming, go-to dish? A: My favorite meal is oxtail with rice and peas. I also love Chinese or Thai cuisine. Q: What does the future have in store for you? A: My future is looking bright. Career-wise I would like to open a Jamaican restaurant in Los Angeles. A milestone objective for me is: starting a family in the near future. 131


Come Fly with Me

Interviews: Leisha Wong

Let’s fly, let’s fly away… There's a bar in far Bombay Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away…


he adventure begins now. ... With these fierce Caribbean female travellers who are taking on the world. They have us fantasizing about street food in Thailand; strolling along Paris’ Left Bank; and chasing waterfalls in El Salvador. But what does it really take to make travel your living? We talk to three different travel aficionados, at various stages in their travel blogging lives, to help inspire the wanderlust in us ... 133

@theworldupcloser Yasheika Powell

For this professional blogger—whose love affair with travel truly began five years ago— travelling really is her life, and she is in love with every moment of it. Hailing from the hills of Clarendon, Jamaica, Yasheika truly does bring the “world up closer”. Where and how did your love affair with travelling begin? A: This is probably one of my most asked questions, and every time I’m asked, I try to be as transparent as possible. Travelling is always something I wanted to do—I have always had the urge to explore. I studied Tourism Management in university and during my very last semester, 134

an opportunity arose for me to have a hands-on experience in Ecuador. I had less than two weeks to prepare. I knew no one there, neither did I speak the language, but I still embarked on the journey, a journey which has led me to where I am now. What was it that inspired you to take the ‘leap of faith’ to follow this travelling path? A: I don’t know if there’s just one thing I can put my finger on. ... It’s a collection of things and emotions. But, I think the biggest thing is curiosity. I’m curious to see what is happening outside my own country. I’m curious about different cultures, people, food and languages. Everytime I visit a particular place or country, it fuels my energy to keep going.

When you are away, what is it that you miss most about home? A: The food and the language. Whenever I’m travelling, I miss being able to quickly spit out a few words in Patois. When I'm abroad, I constantly have to think about what I want to say. And as for the food—I miss it! What is your advice to someone who wants to make a living travelling and blogging? A: When I started travelling, I had no intention of getting into blogging, or even thought it would be a job I could be doing full-time. My advice: Don’t take it too seriously. Make it fun, but be determined, persistent and clear about what you’d like to achieve.

From the pictures, you have an enviable life, travelling to all these exotic places ... what would you say is the biggest misconception about your life? A: The biggest misconception is that since I get the chance to travel for a living, either I have a lot of money or my work is not ‘real work’. But, I work very hard, in fact I’m constantly working. My work is what I make it to be though, and through travel, I bring joy to people's lives. What has been the highlight of your travels thus far and why? A: I have different highlights as I go along. I get to meet people from all over the world, try new things and live outside of my comfort zone. I think a constant highlight is that I get to do what fulfills my soul and that to me is very important. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? A: (Laughs) This is such a difficult question. I love the islands. I love the Caribbean. So much energy, culture and vibe. But, I have a thing for South America. I love Brazil ... and Mexico. Also, I’ve never been, but believe Portugal would be a place I would want to stay for a very long time. The culture is rich, music is important to them and the Portugese have this energy that makes you feel so alive.

Blog: Instagram: @theworldupcloser Facebook: @TheWorldUpCloser Twitter: @theworldcloser


@Royannedesilva Royanne DeSilva

This air hostess, based in the Middle East, relishes her job, which has enabled her to pursue her passion for travel. It has also led to what promises to be the next step in her very exciting travel life—Dream Aloud Travels, a curated online travel company, which offers personalised itineraries for any country on your bucket list.


What is your advice to someone who wants to make a living travelling and blogging? A: When I was 19, I did a student ‘Work and Travel’ programme in New York. I lived with ladies from Brazil, Russia and also Bulgaria (at that time I didn't know where on the map this was!). They taught me how to appreciate different cultures, from learning Brazilian samba, to uttering phrases in Russian, to simply drinking tea with no sugar. I loved every second of it and I knew that one day I'd have to see all these countries first hand.

What was it that inspired you to take the leap of faith to follow this travelling path? A: I'm a pretty fearless woman. My parents always supported my dreams so when a friend recommended that I apply to be an air hostess, I just did it! One of my biggest tips to anyone reading this right now is—just do it!Whatever it is that speaks to you is speaking to you for a reason. From the pictures, you have an enviable life, travelling to all these exotic places ... what would you say is the biggest misconception about your life? A: That it's easy. Whilst I feel very blessed to have this lifestyle, it is physically draining. Sometimes I get to an amazing destination and I literally have to drag myself out of bed to go sightseeing. But while I'm still young and able, I can't complain.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? A: I plan to return home to Jamaica whenever I decide to give up this ‘wanderlust life’. However, if I had to choose somewhere else, it would be Spain. I've always wanted to master another language and the best way is through immersion so why not move there? Being based in the Middle East, what is it that you miss most about home? A: Don't get me started! The food (fried chicken with ‘nuff ’ gravy), the people and the overall energy of Jamaica. No one knows how to enjoy life like Jamaicans.

What has been the highlight of your travels thus far and why? A: When my mom and I went to Dubai in 2017. Her face when she saw the camels was like a child on Christmas Day. I will never be able to repay all her sacrifices, but that trip was a good start.

What is your advice to someone who wants to make a living from travelling? A: It is definitely achievable if you do enough research. There are so many avenues—whether it's through teaching English abroad, being an au pair, content creation for hotels, and the list goes on. Google is your best friend. Instagram: @royannedesilva @dreamaloudtravels Facebook : @DreamAloud Travels Website: 137

Gabrielle Agostini

This former travel blogger started travelling young, and while she still has a love affair with exploring new destinations, she now focuses her energies on growing her family business, as well as taking the time out to truly enjoy the beauty of her surroundings. Where and how did your love affair with travelling begin? A: As most of my family resides outside of T&T, I have spent almost every summer of my childhood abroad whether it was roaming the streets of Paris, or the glaciers of the Rocky Mountains. I am deeply appreciative of my parents who presented my sister and I with the opportunities to explore the world at a young age. Before the age of 21, I had travelled to all the continents, which in turn fueled my drive to become a travel blogger!


@thetrinitraveller What was it that inspired you to take the leap of faith to follow this travelling path? A: I have travelled since I was a kid but, I started blogging in 2016, when I decided that I wanted to share with readers and followers an idea of the best places to stay, eat and visit on their upcoming trip! One day in May 2016, I just randomly woke up and decided to create my website and Instagram page, and in just over one year it grew to almost 50,000 followers. Unfortunately, I had stopped my posting on Instagram in October 2017, but came out for a few weeks in February 2018 to promote one of my favourite events, Trinidad and Tobago Carnival! However, I still continue to write articles on my website, so who knows what is next in store for my blog!

From the pictures, you have an enviable life, travelling to all these exotic places ... what would you say is the biggest misconception about your life? A: I do love travelling and when I had started my blog, I realised that travelling was no longer the same, as travel blogging—especially on Instagram—requires a lot of work. Even though most of the photos on Instagram may look like I am totally relaxed and having fun, it may not be the case. On work travel trips, I am up early, taking photos and moving around all day and then at night editing photos. Travel blogging provides many opportunities, so it’s best to find a way to balance work with pleasure and take a few extra days to just enjoy the country!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? A: That is a tough question! I have visited 47 countries and would love to see so many more. But of what I have seen, I would say France, Australia or Brazil. I am obsessed with French food and love the differences in scenery across the country. Whereas Australia and Brazil remind me of my home country in terms of having a relatively similar climate and terrain, leading to a fun and outdoor-living lifestyle. When you are away, what is it that you miss most about home? A: Too many things! Which, of course, always reminds me why I love living in Trinidad. But, I would say my family, friends, loved ones, the beaches, warm weather, food, music. ... This list can go on and on!

What has been the highlight of your travels thus far and why? A: I absolutely adore learning about new cultures and languages as well as tasting new types of dishes and meeting the locals! Every country has its own unique character and travelling allows you the opportunity to learn so much more than reading about them in books or seeing photos. My favourite adventures were actually those in Brazil, Central America and Turkey as travelling in those countries is very different from what your expectations may be and they were amazing.

What is your advice to someone who wants to make a living travelling and blogging? A: Travel blogging has always just been a hobby for me and I actually haven’t made very much of a living from it as I have a full time day job. But I can advise that if you work hard, produce content regularly and keep driving collaborations with brands, hotels and other bloggers, it can be very much achievable. To be successful, travel blogging will have to become a full time job as balancing other work with travel blogging will not allow you to grow as much as you could if you were to give it your all. Social media has become an integral part of our lives and it is amazing to share our experiences with the rest of the world, but always remember to sit back and really enjoy what is around you when you are travelling. Instagram: @thetrinitraveller Facebook: @TheTriniTraveller Website:




By Leisha Wong


here’s something special about female partnerships. A synchronicity. A bond built upon a shared understanding of experiences. And while design can often be a solitary pursuit, when the collaboration is on point, the result can be magical. And so it is at the female-run Antrobus + Ramirez Design firm. Jamaican-born Alison Antrobus puts their success down to “design sisterhood”, based, designed and built on trust. Ruby Ramirez defines the partnership as a conversation ... a conversation between friends. “Those are the lenses we use to manage the practice as well as speak about design. It is the ease and casualness of friendship that brought us together in the first place and is what keeps every design project akin to a conversation.” This “conversation” began socially in Miami, but the two were drawn together professionally

through YOO Ltd.—a design development firm based in London and headed by the legendary Philippe Starck. Antrobus was heading the Miami office when Ramirez joined the YOO team, and when the Miami office closed in 2008, Ramirez moved to London to continue her work with YOO, while Antrobus stayed in Miami to develop her personal practice. Two years later, Ramirez returned to Miami, and joined forces with Antrobus to create a powerhouse of a design company. They deliver a stunning combination of luxury residential, multi-residential towers and commercial spaces, predominantly in South Florida. Antrobus calls their portfolio a “mixed bag”, as the diversity contributes, and is key, to their creativity. The diversity also extends to their approaches to design. Where this may cause conflict, the ladies draw strength, and have developed a new creative process and aesthetic that 141

resonates through each of their projects. They will diversify this process by launching a rug collection at the Westedge Show in Los Angeles, this October. “Over the years, we have designed decorative pieces unique to every project,” Antrobus says. “We decided to take these musings ‘on the road’. ” she adds. And talking about the “road”, anyone who has stayed at The Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston will be intimately familiar with their work within the lobby and restaurant to design a strong modern look for the hotel, which opened in 2009. Currently they are working on The S Hotel in Montego Bay, which is set to open later this year. The ladies share more with us about working in a female environment and lessons learned along the way.

What lessons have you learned from previous projects? AA// Memorable moments come in all 142

forms. Our favourites are those that involve a personal reaction to a finished product, or in opening an existing wall to an incredible view. The lesson learned here is that you should never be afraid of exploring the possibilities three dimensionally. RR// With every project that we design we always select a feature that we like to innovate. These elements are dreamt up without us really knowing how to build them, but therein lies the excitement.

How are you able to honour your individual design philosophies whilst uniting seamlessly to create the Antrobus + Ramirez design philosophy? RR// I would define my design philosophy as adventurous. I love a good challenge and never like to use the same details twice! The conversation of design is an ever evolving

one. The merging of the two individual philosophies is the advantage we have to create an international aesthetic that is uniquely our own. AA// Whilst Ruby and I have very different personalities, our insatiable design curiosity offers a common platform from which we share and evolve the design process for all projects.

How does working in this female environment contribute to your growth both as individuals as well as professionals?

RR// Life and business has its individual and sometimes conflicting challenges. Forming the partnership through friendship has made the transition into business owners extremely positive and continues to propel us as we work towards the future of our company. AA// My life as a creative soul, wife, and mother of two young children actually helps to inform my life as a professional and vice versa. Having a strong female partner to share the professional world with is a massive bonus.

How involved are you when it comes to inspiring the younger, up-and-coming generation of women in the interior architecture and design world?

RR// Our studio is pre-dominantly women, with each of them coming to us at varying stages in their career. We like to say we are a ‘teaching studio’ —in as much as navigating the motions of industry—we also like to focus on empowerment and positive self-image in a male-dominated industry.

What keeps you inspired?

AA// Anytime an emotion is triggered it can translate into an inspiring design. Music, colourful cultures, landscapes and art, are all of the obvious triggers, however when designing a private residence, the client is often the spring board for the design inspiration. After all, it is their home, not ours. 143





ne of our favourite online personalities, Jessica Hylton-Leckie from Jessica in the Kitchen, shares her advice on how to grow your online brand!

1. Be relevant and useful. The top mantra on my

office wall is ‘Solve a Problem’. How will this be of tremendous value for my readers?

2. Choose a niche. What area are you an expert

in, that you can share and change the world? Don’t try to do it all—you’ll end up not being able to excel in a particular category, and instead attracting no one.

3. Be professional. Even if you follow a

YouTuber who does hilarious videos, remember that a lot of work goes into making those videos. The script, photography and videography, editing, promotion and the relevance of it. Keep all these layers in mind with your brand. You won’t make it online and stay relevant by poorly executing an idea. Be noticeable, memorable and professional.

4. Do what you love. I know, we hear this all the

time right? But if you’re doing something solely because you think it’ll make you money, you will fail right from the start. In this online-influencer, tastemaker and entrepreneur world, you have to be at least a bit obsessed to make real headway, so it has to be something you love. I have dreams about recipe development, and wake up scrambling for my phone to write down ideas! It’s got to be something that you can do forever through the good times AND especially through the hard and trying times.

Wanna up your game online? Wanna know how to be a success online? Jessica in the Kitchen shows you how!

5. Be consistent. This is actually my number one

rule, but it’s last for emphasis. I wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t start somewhere seven years ago. A quote from one of my fellow colleagues in this industry says, ‘1 percent, everyday, forever. Broken down, it becomes easier to move forward on those little things.’ You have to work on your craft every single day to get better at it. That is the key to making this work. 145



Kingston, Jamaica Montego Bay, Jamaica Miami, Florida, USA







’m sitting at a sidewalk café in Paris, having a glass of wine and a charcuterie platter with a new friend I’ve just met on our free walking tour. Her name is Ryan, and she’s on a solo trip to Paris from Hong Kong. She has a precisely planned agenda, and I have none. But somehow in this moment, there’s no rush. We’re simply soaking in the culture of the city, and watching Parisian life stroll chicly by. Afterwards, I tag along with her for the rest of the day, checking off each remaining item on her agenda. It’s her last day in the city and we part ways that evening, exchanging numbers and promising to meet up again somewhere in the world. This is what solo female travel is all about ... not loneliness, not fear, but enriching experiences. A few days later, having ended up in Madrid a day early due to train strikes in Paris, I check into my Airbnb. I normally book an entire apartment, but this time I decided to take a chance on a new experience and book a room in someone’s home. It turned out to be the best decision of my entire trip.

My host Clara is an exceptionally kind and gentle soul, living alone in Madrid and working a full time job in addition to being an Airbnb host. She immediately welcomes me into her home as a friend, not as a guest. As we chat, I notice a corkboard behind her. On it was a map of the world, the countries all but covered with pushpins and thank-you notes from past guests. When I left, a pin on a tiny island would remain behind. The next morning I woke up, groggily made my way to the dining room, and stopped short. Before me was a table neatly laid out with a staggering amount of dishes: an enormous plate of uniformly cut fruit, cured Spanish meats and cheeses, croissants, bread, cookies, and a pitcher of orange juice. I nervously looked around to see if anyone else was joining me in my pajama’d glory. But no, this was all for one small Jamaican tourist. I was up to the challenge. Later that afternoon, having had an unplanned siesta, I rolled out of the apartment and leisurely made my way to the main sights in Madrid, walking around until my feet were sore. This city has an indescribable energy, and I felt an inexplicable and instant sense of belonging. 149

Eventually, I ended up at the bustling tourist hotspot Mercado de San Miguel, stopping to nibble tapas at several stalls. I settled into a seat at a small bar, nursing a small glass of vermouth, while sampling the unlimited savoury olives, and eavesdropping on conversations in several languages. For me, this was the best of both worlds—being in this vibrant, noisy, boisterous setting—and yet at the same time sitting in a perfectly comfortable silence, watching an endless flow of people pass by. That night, I ventured out to a popular tapas bar to have dinner. I sat at a table, ordered a few dishes and a glass of wine, and leaned back to enjoy and observe. I was seated beside a family of Canadians, a father, mother and two adult daughters. By the end of the night, I was at their table ordering a third bottle of wine to share. They all “adopted” me after I helped them decipher some menu items, having discovered that I was there on my own. The girls told me all about their plans to travel on their own later on in their trip, while their 150

parents continued on a different itinerary. As the restaurant closed around us, we paid the bill and they walked me home. By this point in the trip, I had noticed a trend. I had been encountering strong, independent, fearless women, in charge of their travels, making the most of their lives. Ever since my first solo trip to Beijing in 2015, I’ve made it a point to try to do one trip alone every year. There’s something absolutely liberating about not being in total control of every aspect of your travel, going with the flow and stepping outside your comfort zone. Solo travel enables you to rely on yourself, and to trust your instincts. Solo travel is also all about self-discovery. After I returned to Jamaica I recapped my trip to my parents. I mentioned initiating a conversation with an older couple in a restaurant in Madrid (again, this started from me helping them with the menu, as the waiters spoke no English).

My mother paused and stared at me. “But, how is it that you manage to talk to all these people when you travel? That’s so unlike you!” she exclaimed. The truth is, I don’t have a clear answer. I’m introverted by nature. So it genuinely came as a surprise to me that when I travel alone, I end up being more friendly and outgoing than I am in my everyday life. I don’t feel like I am a different person when I travel, but I feel like every trip is an opportunity for growth. I had an amazing time in Paris, and Madrid has officially stolen my heart. I came back from that trip feeling as if I would move to Madrid in a heartbeat. But sitting now in my apartment in Kingston, sipping a glass of Spanish wine and typing this article on a hot summer night, I have come to the realization that this narrative is so much more than the cities themselves. This isn’t a story about sightseeing, tours, history or food. This isn’t a story about what to do or what not to do on a solo trip. This is a story about exploration, about taking chances, about strength, about fearlessness, about inspiration. It’s a story about the people you meet, no matter how briefly, who change your life in ways that they may not ever know. It’s a story of self-discovery. Most of all, it’s a story that is constantly being rewritten. This is my story ... what will your story be? 151

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