Cayman was in the grip of Caribbean's Next Top Model fever as the live casting for the hugely popular TV show arrived on the shores of our little Island. The show is part of the America's Next Top Model franchise created by Tyra Banks. Previous judge on the US show Nigel Barker recently visited Cayman's shores to host Cayman Fashion Week 2015.
In Season one, beautiful Caymanian model Traveen Stewart won out against 30 other finalists and walked away with the prize, and has since been seen in campaigns for Nike and Kohls in the USA. Cayman was hoping to put on a good showing once again.
I was extremely excited and flattered to be invited to be one of the judging panel, and our challenge was to create a shortlist from the lineup of beautiful aspiring models faces that would go on to the next round of selections. My fellow judges, some of Cayman's brightest fashion stars brought with them a wealth of experience and knowledge about the various aspects of what is required in today's fashion industry. Pearlina McGraw-Lumsden, Founder and host of Beyond the Red Carpet, Nicosia Lawson, former Miss Cayman, Stephanie Ford, one of Cayman's foremost make-up artists, and of course me, bringing the Isy B. fashion perspective.
The picturesque ocean-front deck of The Grand Old House Restaurant set the scene, with the Caribbean sea providing the dramatic backdrop. Twenty four beautiful young women all with hopes of being the next supermodel to represent the Caribbean on the high fashion runways of London, New York, Paris and Milan.
The audition process began with individual photoshoots to get test shots for each of the girls, and then each girl sashayed down the imaginary catwalk towards the phalanx of judges. The ladies won my respect for the confidence and style they displayed in walking towards the table of eagle-eyed judges. They'll need every inch of that confidence for the show, and if they win, for the modeling career they hope to pursue afterwards.
The audition didn't just focus on looks alone. In today's fashion industry, models need to be well-rounded, intelligent, and composed no matter the circumstances. We asked each model to describe herself and why she thought she could be the Caribbean's Next Top Model. The variety of answers helped us narrow the field further.
Auditions are being held across the Caribbean with live casting calls in Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. There is also online casting for hopeful who misses the live castings as the show's producers seek the 30 girls who will keep Cayman and the rest of the Caribbean Islands glued to their TVs for the next season of Caribbean's Next Top Model.
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