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Muse Model Search Competition sets a positive tone for IWFW 2009; Bahamas, Curaçao take titles

11/6/2009 12:00:00 AM
By Reva Sharma

Nassau, Bahamas -- The grand finale of the Muse Model Search Competition, sponsored by Mode Îles, Ltd. in conjunction with Models 242 International, marked the launch of the second edition of Islands of the World Fashion Week (IWFW).

The competition began in September with its first casting call. Dozens of applicants submitted portfolios in hopes of being chosen. In the end it came down to seven females and eight males representing eight Caribbean islands including Antigua, The Bahamas, Barbados, Curaçao, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Nevis and Trinidad.

Judging the event were fashion veterans Susan Stein, Louis Sarmiento publisher of IMG Fashion DAILY Magazine, modeling industry VIP Wayne Sterling, Bobby Roche and Kirk Brown.

After one week of rigorous challenges and preparation, the models strutted down the runway to give their best final impressions before the winners were announced. The Female Muse Model was awarded to Curaçao native, Giovara Geertriuda, who was sincerely humbled by the event.

“I am so honored,” said Geertriuda after being announced the overall winner

Bahamian Kendrick Kemp snagged the title of Male Muse Model, standing out as the only male model that took his crisp white jacket off during his walk. Kemp later said that he had been modeling for four years and was now trying to break back into the Bahamian modeling scene.

Both Geertriuda and Kemp will both receive a grand prize of $10,000 in addition to their titles and other prizes.

Just as IWFW was created for designers in developing island states, the Muse Model Search Competition is meant to provide the finalists with opportunities in the fashion industry that they might not have come across otherwise. The winners will not only get the chance to participate in the IWFW runway shows, but they will also able to travel in the promotional tour of designers under the IWFW label.

“When we think of a muse,” said Mark Humes, chief executive of Models 242 International, “we think of anything that can inspire us. This is what we want our models to be – an inspiration to the fashion industry. We would like for the designers to be able to see them and be inspired by their looks; we would like to have a magazine see them and be inspired. We’d like to see photographers see them and be inspired.”

These sentiments stroke the heart of this competition, which will no doubt inspire future models and give rise to a new generation of high fashion models from developing island nations. The hope is that they will gain international recognition and have opportunities to sign international contracts outside of the competition. The hope for next year is to expand the search to other island states globally, beyond the Caribbean.
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