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Caribbean Fashion Week Kickoff: Power Players Behind Sizzling Style

The Caribbean fashion industry is on fire. With a reputation for producing some of the biggest names to grace the catwalk, all eyes are on Kingston, Jamaica as Caribbean Fashion Week kicks off. With more than 50 designers from 20 countries showcasing their latest designs, CFW 2012 is gearing up for its biggest year yet. Meet the power players who will be turning heads over the course of the week and find out why they are the hottest to come from the Islands. —Octavia Goredema

Above, a model wears a design by CFW designer Arlene L. Martin. (Photo by Andre Rattigan)

ORIANE BARRETT

The Wow Factor: As the face of Polo by Ralph Lauren, Barrett also has campaigns for Abercrombie & Fitch and Pepe Jeans under his belt. The model was recently featured as Rihanna’s love interest in her “Man Down” music video.The Inspiration: “I became a model after my brother’s girlfriend asked me to accompany her to an audition at the Pulse agency in Kingston,” Barrett says. “I was 18 years old and my response at the time was ‘Are you crazy?’ I went along and I was introduced to Kingsley Cooper. That’s where everything started.”The Advice: “If you want to be a model the blatant truth is you have to be extremely strong,” Barrett advises. “Stay true to yourself. If you like it, go for it fearlessly. Only look forward, never look back.”

 

JENEIL WILLIAMS

The Inspiration: “I grew up in the ghetto in Maxfield Park, Kingston and decided to go after my dreams,” Williams says.

The Advice: “Don’t give up, even if you hear ‘No,’” Williams says. “If you stop, you will miss the one ‘Yes’ that could have been your big break.”

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