Highbrid (online magazine) recently featured 17 year old international runway model from Trinidad and Tobago, Crystal Noreiga:
Crystal’s journey to grace to New York Fashion Week runways started matter-of-factly when Christopher Nathan, the Fashion Director of University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) discovered her at a local charity fashion show called Contagious 7, held at St Mary’s College. He convinced her to enter the local leg of the Top Model competition where the first prize was a trip to Shanghai, China to compete at an international level for modeling contracts. She didn’t place in the top 15, but was awarded a five-year management contract with Elite Latin and South America. From that moment, Crystal never looked back. [. . .]
Growing up in the residential area of La Horquetta [Trinidad], New York is a much different pace for the young model, who spends her time attending castings and doing a number of photoshoots. Beauty and brains, the young model also has her heart set on Princeton: “After being a successful model I would like to become a chemical engineer,” she said. Coming from a cultural background where education is highly valued, nothing less is expected from this young dreamer who has set her sights on extremely high goals. Crystal mentions her mother and her aunt as being her mentors in a family that has been extremely supportive of her dreams. She speaks with pride as she recalls two of her aunts who traveled to China when she participated in the Elite model competition.
With the recent achievement of Trinidad fashion designer Anya Ayoung-Chee on Lifetime’s “Project Runway,” the fashion industry on the island seems to be taking a new turn as the government vows to support the budding talent. As Crystal is currently on the international stage as well, she is adamant to assist in the development of those she left behind: “I think that it would be helpful if I can share what I know about modeling and competing with girls that are going to represent Trinidad and Tobago in the future and give them useful tips about the modeling industry.” She believes they need to understand the difference between their expectations versus the reality of the industry. This is important information when transitioning from the small island to a larger, more diverse international industry.
As Crystal prepares for another exciting year of modeling, she is hopeful to take her career to a higher level. She will like to work with Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs once again, as well as luxury brands such as Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton. Soon we will see her making her mark in Europe as well as she will be travelling to Milan, Paris and London this season to attend castings and participate in fashion week.
[. . .] With NYFW a few weeks away, Crystal should once again be gracing the New York runways. In the meantime, look out for Crystal’s editorials in Roller Coaster Magazine, Tangent Magazine and SAKS online.