INTERVIEW: International Top Model Lee Kholafai

Standing 6″1′ feet tall and 165 lbs. and of Cherokee Indian, Persian, and Irish descent, Kholafai quickly began to book jobs working with a lot of great photographers. He has been featured in numerous editorials magazines, such as Genre and Vogue. His clame to fame came after doing high profile campaigns for Calvin Klein and International Jocking; and runway shows as well as a commercial.
What is your full name?
Lee Kholafai
When and where were you born?
I was born in Mobile, Alabama
How did you get into modeling?
I was scouted while vacationing in Miami when I was eighteen, while walking on the beach. I never pursued it until I broke my ankle playing football. I wasn’t sure if modeling was for me at first because I never really looked at myself as a pretty boy.
Was there always an interest in modeling?
No, not really. I was more into sports and cars.
Are you an independent model or are you signed with an agency/ies? If so, please name.
Yes, I’m pretty much represented internationally. I’m with Major Model Management in NYC, Vision in LA, Elite in Milan, Fashion Cult in Greece, and No.23 in Miami.
How long have you been in the industry?
I’ve been in the industry for a little over two years now.
Do you specialize in any particular area of modeling? (fitness, commercial, editorial etc.)
To be honest with you, not really. My book is very diverse with everything from high fashion editorials to Target print ads.
What are some of the major jobs you have done?
I like to think my major jobs are the ones where i appear on tv.

stills from Kelly Clarkson’s ‘I Do Not Hook Up’ music video
What do you see yourself doing after modeling?
I always plan on modeling and acting as well. I also want to play with real estate a little bit.
What is your advice to aspiring models?
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison.
Lee for Dolce and Gabbana
on the runway..
Lee walking for Russell Simmons


Lee Kholafai
Height: 6′ 1″ (185cm)
Waist: 31″ (79cm)
Shoes: 11
Hair: Dark Brown
Eyes: Brown
Inseam: 32″

How To Wear The Up-coming Fall/Winter Trends When You Live In The Tropics

Trend Alerts

Some of this season’s hottest Fall/Winter ’09-’10 trends; over the knee boots, capes and cloaks, leather, chunky knits, ripped tights & stockings, single-shouldered dresses, tops & bikinis, military fashions, ripped jeans/torn denim and see-through clothing.

Women's Autumn / Fall / Winter 2009 / 2010 fashion trends

Now, I understand that we live in a tropical paradise, therefore resulting in a little something we call.. heat. So, either one is going to have to NOT wear these trends or find ways of wearing them suitably for our climate.

And that’s why I’m here, to help you. :)

According to; “Over-the-knee boots are the must-have item for Fall 2010.” But you’re probably wondering, how on earth can I wear these in Barbados. Well, you can, despite all the strange stares and odd expressions. During our ‘wet season’, the climate tends to get MUCH cooler, and it generally rains alot. Why not wear these on a rainy day, not only will your legs be protected but they’ll look 100% fabulous!

I’ve already seen the ripped tights, stocking and jeans trends in Barbados, so I don’t need to tell you all how to wear that! (please do keep in mind that these trends are usually better suited for the skinny person, my plus-size ladies, please dont wear ripped ANYTHING).

 However, military fashions were slowly making their way to Barbados in recent times and it’s something that if done, MUST be done well (or could end up looking tacky). It’s hot, it’s unisex and whether feminised, rocked up or worn with sexy androgyny, it’s a winner! And there are different ways of wearing this; Rock Chic, Feminine and Bohemian Luxe. I think that Bohemian Luxe suits Barabados more. For example, over-the-knee fringed boots with skinny pants, foho prints, and a strict military jacket for a sexed-up bohemian look (giving the modern sexed-up version of the artistic expression).

eg. of Bohemian Luxe

I personally believe that most of these international trends could be worn in the Caribbean, BUT it takes guts, confidence, and personality. If you’re not a true fashionista, this CANNOT be pulled off. And timing, let’s not forget timing, timing is everything. One has got to know when and where! For example; I would hope that noone reading this article would wear the Bohemian Luxe trend to.. let’s say, school. THAT, I assume, would be a little inappropriate in any given Caribbean territory.


Feminine eg. of the Military fashion

Fashion Statement Alert: Rihanna

Spotted, exiting her manager’s wedding.

Donning a fabulous Alexander Wang dress and rocking her new do!!!



You go girl, work it!! ;)


END NOTE: [Thought sparked by a little somthing on Facebook, please take nothing from this personal]. To verify that I DON’T just copy and paste, let me explain to my readers. I knew that this dress was DEFINITELY Alexander Wang because as a true fashionista, I watch the runway shows. Here’s the piece in the Alexander Wang Fall/Winter Ready- To-Wear ’09 Collection.

worn here by model, Maryna Linchuk
worn here by model, Maryna Linchuk (IQ Models, DNA Model Management, Why Not Model Agency & Models1 Agency)

Dre DeCarlo’s Top FASHION Photographers of Barbados

If you can’t handle it……



Please note: the list is in random order..

Enjoy! :)

Jaryd Niles-Morris (


Khalil Goodman (


Logan Thomas (


Adrian Richards  (


*All photos are examples of the artists’ work


Vita and the lead singer of Cobra Starship on her FIRST tour!!!

Vita finished her tour with Cobra Starship!! But, look out for more.

Vita is scheduled to go on tour with A Rocket To The Moon from October 2nd ’til October 10th! :)

Then she’s gone again to tour with Forever The Sickest Kids from October 25th ’til November 5th.

Vita signing autographs for fans


Keep it locked and keep following Barbados’ most recent and most promising star. And speaking about following, you can follow Vita and her career on her Twitter.




  What is your full name?

Mario Robert Epanya.
Where and when were you born?

I was born on 29th July 1975 in Douala, Cameroon.
Did you grow up with a constant interest in beauty/fashion?

Oh yes, I grew up with an architect & esthet  father and a good looking mother (model looking) who loves fashion and magazines, my parents like fashion and art.


Tell us about your journey in the fashion industry. How you made it, from start to finish.

Honey, it’s long, it was not easy for me when I arrived in 2000 in Paris, I didn’t know anyone and had to fight to survive, but I’m tough , thank god, and I never stopped working and improving, constantly, even now. I never took anything for granted and always asking myself if my work reflets my personality …  How i made it, I personally think it’s all about WORK, 20 hours per day, seven days per week , there’s no secret you know.


For those oblivious as to who you are or how great your work is, drop some names and some of the majors achievements in your career.

Honestly don’t like to drop names, because personally, I’ve worked with very unknown creative people, and learned a lot from them, and I don’t think that you have to be famous to be creative or talented. But as a make-up artist, I worked with Denzel Washington , I like this man ,very smart and spiritual, I really admire him after spending some days with him.
Majors achievements….honey, I’m 34 years old, there’s a lot to do(laughs) …trust me, I never look back ..what I did yesterday belong to the past and I just try to make it better tomorrow.


What is your input on racism within the fashion industry?

Racism is something that you find everywhere ….even in the fashion industry but I still try to be the best in my work and the rest will follow.


How hard would you say it was for you as a make-up artist and a photographer?

I will not say it was harder than others, that would be a lie. I must say, I’m really lucky and talented because I decided two years ago to stop hair & make-up and bought my first nikon camera and 3months later I had my first cover in GREECE , for Crawford magazine…and still I’m building my book as a beauty photographer and the future will tell.


Africa is known for its striking beauties (eg. Iman, Kiara Kabukuru, Liya Kebede, Katoucha Niane, Alek Wek etc. etc.), yet it’s hard to make it as a black model, no matter where you’re from. How would you say African VOGUE has impacted on the fashion world?

Gosh, well to make this clear, Africa Vogue is a project for now and im doing my best to make this happen (try to convince Condé Nast for a license and investitors ..very tough…) but i think it’s an everyday fight, we must fight to have our own space, I’m just trying to contribute to that, it will be a huge success if this african edition sees the light inthe future.. :D


How did you feel when you were called upon for this project? (African VOGUE) [this question is to help people understand the miscontrued comments about Epanya’s role in African VOGUE]

I WAS NOT CALLED IN THIS PROJECT ……IT’S MY PROJECT , VOGUE AFRICA IS MY BABY ..i grew up looking at my mother’s magazines with all these blonde blue eyed beauties, I used to cut my mother’s photos and glue them on the models faces, because I thought she was stunning and dazzling enough to be in those magazines, so I said that when I grow up, I’ll  have a magazine with alot of women of colour, that’s it.


What does African VOGUE mean to you, on a personal level?



What is your advice for up-coming fashion professionals. (especially photographers and make-up artists)



What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion is for me something cultural, it reveals the evolution of mentalities and the research of new fabric, materials, and also bring a touch of dreams to this cruel world :D

What does fashion in Africa mean to you?

RICH, luxurious, diversity, brilliant, creative, and so much more ….i think having an edition of Vogue Africa will bring into the light, THE AFRICAN CREATIVITY,the world will be amazed by it …trust me.


And what does Africa mean to you?