The 2nd annual Caribbean Fashion Awards was held at the Barbados Hilton Hotel on Saturday, April 11th 2009. Founder and producer of the Caribbean Fashion Awards, and President of Unique Productions Worldwide (a Barbados-based fashion event production company), Rodney Powers, made sure that everything was running smoothly and went according to plan. The pre-show cocktail party started with a cultural display of the popular Land ship group and the playing of steel pans and drums.
The lovely Ria Borman opened the award ceremony with a dynamic performance, singing the official song of the Caribbean Fashion Awards.
Hosts, international model Bobby Roache and correspondent for BBC radio Alex Jordan, made way for international Barbadian top model Leah Marville and local model Dwayne White to present the first award, Best Female Runway Model which went to Jamaican supermodel Jaunel McKenzie.
One of the most memorable moments at the awards ceremony, was when make-up artist Miyako Johnson won Best Make-Up Artist. Johnson was so overwhelmed and filled with joy, she started to cry. After giving a riveting and emotional speech, she left the stage hopping and skipping with glee.
Mary M. Rose and guest
Local model, Liane Clarke (left) and mum, Senior Business Development Manager for the Caribbean and Latin America at the Barbados Tourism Authority
Special appearances were made by 2009 Miss St. Kitts & Nevis WORLD Venetta Zakers, SHE Magazine publisher Mae Wayne, former model Candi Nicholls, Mary Rose, the Quality Service Officer of Barbados Conference Services with guest Detlef Ferhmann, local model Liane Clarke and mum Linda Christian-Clarke, the Senior Business Development Manager for the Caribbean and Latin America.
All awardees were as follows:
Best Male Runway Model–Oraine Barrett
Best Photo Models- Luck Rebeiro (Male) Gaye McDonald (Female)
Best Fashion Photographer- Calvin French
Best Hairstylist- Craig Carter
Best Make-Up Artist- Miyako Johnson
Best Female Fashion Designer- Claudia Pegus
Best Male Fashion Designer- Mill House
Best Fashion Magazine Cover- SHE Caribbean
Best Fashion TV Programme/ Fashion Show or Fashion Week- Barbados Amateur Model Search
Best Fashion Show or Fashion Week attended- Islands Of the World Fashion Week
Upcoming Designer Award-Toni Thorne
Country Designer Awards
Barbados-Pauline Bellamy St Vincent-Kimya Glawslow
Leah Marville, known to put the ‘marvel’ in marvellous, has represented Barbados well by making significant strides in the international modeling industry. Marville, who was first noticed by Saint International Modeling Agency in Jamaica, has made her mark in ad campaigns such as Dunhill cigarettes and American Swiss. However, do not be mistaken and assume that she’s just all looks. This double threat has a law degree under her belt.
The Bajan supermodel has taken time out of her extremely hectic schedule to allow me to interview her. Read her interesting story.
Dre: What is your full name?
Leah: Leah Janine Marville
Dre: Where did you grow up?
Leah: All my life – St. James Barbados!!!!!
Dre: Do you think the way you were raised or where you were raised has played a significant role in your decision making as a model?
Leah: I do think the way I was raised impacts both my decisions as a model and in life generally. My dad died unexpectedly when I was 11 and my mum raised me on her own. Life changed drastically.. but she always reminded me that Life IS unpredictable and most times it wont go as planned, so treasure every moment, thank God for every opportunity. She also reminded that just as Life gives something to you it can take it away so be prepared and always have a plan B. The life of a model involves taking risks and making strategic decisions and in so doing, you must always be prepared for the unexpected and make sure there is a Plan B – an alternative direction.
Dre: When did you start modeling?
Leah: My first modeling experience was Barbados Fashion Week 2006.
Dre: What agency or agencies are you currently signed with?
Leah: I am signed to Saint International in Jamaica (my mother agency), Base Model Agency in South Africa and East West Models in Germany
Dre: How old (or young lol) are you at present?
Leah: I am 23 years young lol
Dre: Were there any pressures when you were going into the international arena?
Leah: There was one pressure going into the international arena and that was the issue of my height. I am 5ft 7″ and the international height standard for a model is 5ft 9″. My agent therefore had to be strategic about my placement. Luckily, most agencies overlooked my height because they liked my look and so it has not effectively held me back…so far, so good. However, it still is an issue we have to bear in mind and be strategic about.
Dre: What was it like working with Dunhill cigarettes and American Swiss?
Leah: It was such a great experience working for both campaigns. The Dunhill shoot took place at a gorgeous five story glass house overlooking the ocean. The styling was only the best couture in Cape Town which made the whole experience very glamorous. American Swiss was similar styling and setting but I definitely did not have the time to bask in the glamour of that shoot. In fact I think that shoot is still the hardest I’ve worked to date. I had to be at location by 6 in the morning. The shoot started at 8 and was scheduled to finish by 6 in the evening before the sun set. There were 24 shots to be done. That is 24 different outfits, shoes, hairstyles, make-up, nails…Between hair and makeup after every shot it seemed impossible that we would finish on time. However hard work did pay off.. We finished before the sun set and the shots were great! The client was very happy..so i was very happy. It was a great experience and I finally felt the pressures and hard work that go into the job of a model.
Dre: Are there any particular jobs you would like to be booked for?
Dre: What about in the near future, anything in the works?
Leah: I have a new campaign that is supposed to come out in April. There is BET J’s Wick’d Style Television Programme and maybe a project on the national level.
Dre: What are your hobbies?
Leah: Dancing, reading and watching movies.
Dre: Beach or cinema?
Leah: Difficult choice…hmm…both 🙂
Dre: Bar or club?
Leah: Lounge 🙂
Dre: Finish the sentences. You are…
Leah: ….truly a humble and appreciative soul
Dre: Fashion is…
Leah: ….the way of the world.
Dre: You would like to……right now.
Leah: I would like to….go swimming….right now.
Dre: You are craving…..this very moment.
Leah: craving….lucky charms…this very moment.
Dre: If you were not a fashion model, you would be a …..
Dre: What are your plans after modeling? Planning to put that law degree to good use?
Leah: I actually plan to go back to Norman Manley this September to finish my Legal Certificate. Law is very important to me and it is something I have to finish…so before I get caught up in a world wind of modeling and 5 years have passed before I realize where I’m at…I will finish and be called to the Bar. After that anything can happen..I do ultimately plan to use both my fashion experience and my legal degree after modeling…who knows, I may find some niche career…lol
Dre: Finally, if you could say anything to the world right now, what would you like to say to them?
Leah: Sometimes the going gets tough…but continue to focus, Hold on TIGHT and DREAM ON!!!!!!