INTERVIEW: BARBADOS BORN MODEL CHICO HUGGINS

tumblr_o1o9vitNdu1tntzxzo1_1280

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WEST INDIAN CONNECTION.

– I was born in Barbados and I was raised in St. Vincent. My mother was born in London, England but she grew up in Barbados. I think it was Harrison’s College that she attended. My grandmother also grew up in Barbados, but she was born in St. Lucia. My dad is from St. Vincent.

 

HOW DID YOU GET INTO MODELING?

– Some friends of mine back in St. Vincent invited me to a fashion show called the Fashion Caribbean Show and I was just magnetised by the environment. The atmosphere was so alluring. The way the models expressed themselves on the runway. I knew that’s what I wanted to do.

tumblr_o0qwy3gJ3z1tntzxzo1_1280

HOW WERE YOU DISCOVERED? WHO SCOOPED YOU UP FIRST?

– I was initially signed to Image Model Agency in St. Vincent which is where I really got my foundation as a model. On a trip to London I was signed by two agencies on the same day, W Athletic and Fusion Models. I was booked pretty quickly for London Fashion Week where I walked for street wear brand Elevate London.

 

WHAT SAY YOU ON RACISM IN THE MODELING INDUSTRY, IN LIGHT OF THE RECENT RESURFACING OF THE CONTROVERSIAL INTERVIEW FEATURING SUPERMODELS IMAN, NAOMI CAMPBELL AND BETHANN HARDISON ADDRESSING THE ISSUE?

– I have never directly experienced it but I think, as most things do, it stems from the outside. It’s a much larger problem. In 2016, the fact that there is still racism in general, it’ll trickle through everything. Once there is still overall racism, there will be racism anywhere there are racists. Instead of constantly whining and talking about it, we need to just fight harder to push ourselves and each other. Focus on us, not them.

tumblr_o04mz2ArQQ1tntzxzo1_1280

WHAT DOES FASHION MEAN TO YOU?

– Fashion is a means of expression. What you wear should be an outward extension of who you are or your mood that day. Be confident and comfortable.

 

HOW WOULD YOU THEN DESCRIBE YOUR OWN PERSONAL STYLE?

– Hmm.. Definitely more urban/street wear, but with a preppy twist on occasion. Depending on where I’m going.

tumblr_nyfaqqnzwS1tntzxzo1_1280

 

YOU’RE KNOWN FOR YOUR SLIGHTLY RISQUE FITNESS PHOTOS ON INSTAGRAM BUT ALSO FOR YOUR BIG CURLY HAIR. WHY DID YOU CHOP OFF THOSE CURLY LOCKS?!

– Haha.. Well my agency is in charge of the direction of my image and my agent wants to take it in a slightly different direction. So, looking forward to it!

 

WHO WOULD YOU SAY WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE OR MOST RECOGNIZABLE CLIENT?

– I once did a Kit Kat commercial. That was a hell of a lot of fun. Definitely memorable. But also walking for House Of Byfield at NYFW, because as far as fashion runway models go I am only 5’10” which is quite short. So, it was quite an accomplishment in my eyes that I was chosen for that. I was the shortest guy at the casting. Lol

 

I KNOW YOU’RE BASED IN CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA. I FIND A LOT OF BLACK AND CARIBBEAN MODELS GO THERE AND DO QUITE WELL. WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT IS?

– Cape Town is very different to most fashion hubs like Milan or Paris. It’s all about personality. They love vibrant personalities and you know us Caribbean people are full of personality! Haha! Cape Town also provides great fashion and commercial print opportunities. Most people don’t know but a lot of campaigns are shot here, which gives the models here the great opportunity of getting connected with those fashion houses/companies directly.

tumblr_nv2jm38dZY1tntzxzo1_1280

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE DESIGNER?

– Not really. I’m not the type that is exactly hell bent on a particular designer. I would look through many designers on a rack, big brands or not, and if there’s something I like then there’s something I like.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING IN YOUR CLOSET?

– A pair of brown boots from H&M!

FAVOURITE MAGAZINE?

– GQ! Or my second choice would be Men’s Health.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE RISE OF TRANSGENDER MODELS WHO ARE COMPETING SERIOUSLY IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL AND SUCCEEDING?

– Great for them!!! The first that comes to mind is Isis King from America’s Next Top Model. I remember seeing her and thinking, ”Alright!!” Beautiful. Look, I say if you know for sure this is who you are, and this is what you should be.. Kudos! No problem with that at all. We have NO place to judge anyone.

 

chico

YOU’RE ALSO A PERSONAL TRAINER. THAT MUST COME IN HANDY TO STAY IN SHAPE FOR MODELING. WHAT’S YOUR REGIME LIKE?

– I work out six days a week and I like to mix it up. Sometimes do CrossFit-like exercises, cardio, weights or swimming. In terms of diet; everything in moderation. NO FAST FOODS! Lol. No bread or fried foods either.

 

WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR ASPIRING MODELS, ESPECIALLY THOSE STRUGGLING TO GET OUT OF THE CARIBBEAN?

– It may seem tough, but you HAVE TO PUSH. You can’t sit and wait for something to happen or drop in your lap. The industry is not as glamorous as you may think. That’s the end result. You MUST have thick skin because you will be ridiculed but it is not to be taken personally. Yes, we are all human and you may take some things to heart but this is a business first and foremost. Do research and know what you’re getting into. You have to understand what being a model is really about, what to expect of the industry and what the industry expects of you. Especially for those in the Caribbean, go online and see what it takes to apply to agencies online and just do it! You have nothing to lose anyway. Don’t think about how you are going to get there yet, if they accept you. Just do it and work for what you want!

My Favorite Great Supermodels Of All Time – MOUNIA

My readers, who are largely from the Caribbean, must have been wondering when I would mention a black or Caribbean supermodel on my list. Well, the moment is here! The first black muse of Yves Saint Laurent, fashion pioneer, the incomparable 1970s supermodel, Mounia!

Born Monique-Antoine, Mounia is a native to the beautiful French Caribbean island of Martinique where she worked at the airport in Fort-de-France as an announcer & she was also an on-ground hostess at Orly airport in Paris. After being hired by Givenchy as a model, in 1976 an important American client walked out of Givenchy because Mounia modeled a suit in front of her. One of the many racist moments she will experience. After that incident, Mounia began to work with other designers such as Emanuel Ungaro & Karl Lagerfeld. Lagerfeld hired her to do Chloe & his own line. When he took over Chanel, he hired Mounia for that house as well. She became the first black model to present the Chanel collection.

She was then chosen by YSL for her exotic features, flawless complexion & poise. She was also the first black model Yves Saint Laurent used in his haute couture shows, & was considered his favorite model. In fact, Laurent had an extreme liking for black models. He was one of the first designers to employ them, giving opportunities to other black models such as Iman & Naomi Campbell who both would also become icons in their own right.

In a 2008 article in W Magazine, Mounia recalls, “I was his first black muse…He helped open the door for black models. Sometimes I was his confidante, and I would sometimes inspire his creativity. He called me Moumounn. The collection that made me a celebrity was the one inspired by Porgy and Bess. I wore a pink pantsuit and a boater hat. I walked to ‘Summertime’ and really took on the character of Bess. Catherine Deneuve stood up and started clapping. The everyone stood up and called out ‘Bravo!’ Yves Saint Laurent peered around the curtain – a thing that he had never done before – to see what all of the commotion was about. The people were shouting ‘Bravo, Yves Saint Laurent!’ and ‘Brava, Mounia!’ He took me in his arms, and we kissed. This for me was history.”

After that, Mounia booked her first cover with WWD (Women’s Wear Daily). She would continue to book 14 other magazine covers & 27 pages in French Vogue. This was unheard of for a black model at that time! She was even a favorite with Versace, but Mounia would be YSL‘s muse for almost a decade & working almost exclusively with him. She retired from modeling in the 80s & became an acclaimed artist, having had her works displayed in galleries across France, the Ivory Coast, Monaco, Japan, Guyana & her homeland of Martinique. Mounia also became the first black model to write a book about modeling, entitled ‘Princesse Mounia’.

Mounia getting ready backstage with Yves Saint Laurent

Mounia getting ready backstage with Yves Saint Laurent

An ad campaign Mounia did in 1979 for YSL

An ad campaign Mounia did in 1979 for YSL

Kesia Estwick: KISS+Girl 2013

 

Barbadian fashion designer Kesia Estwick does it again!! She’s whipped up another fab collection of KISS+Girl!

I don’t need to tell you who Kesia is if you frequent my blog & keep track of the local fashion scene. If you don’t know who she is, you better get with it. Kesia is the biggest thing when it comes to fashion of the youth in Barbados, with her edgy sexy looks & that Caribbean bad gyal attitude. Her ‘KISS Girls’ bring it right!! ALL are models from Barbados.

 

For all posts on Kesia, click https://dredecarlo.wordpress.com/tag/kesia-estwick/

Check out the new stuff. Here’s the link so you may view more of Kesia’s work😉 – http://www.facebook.com/wearKISSGIRL

 

Photo: What is this crazy little thing called streetwear?

See anything you like? DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE FACEBOOK PAGE TO SHOP! http://www.facebook.com/wearKISSGIRL