A report from Jamaica’s Gleaner.
Even as the global fashion industry reckons with a new normal in the COVID-19 era, what remains consistent is the solid relationships fashion insiders have forged with the Caribbean’s leading model-management company, Saint International. An of-the-minute industry power player who recruited Saint’s fresh faces for a passion project shot on the island is Britain-born, Jamaican photographer Nadine Ijewere.
The project gained the endorsement and support from Saint-boss Deiwght Peters.
“I have been a fan of Nadine’s work for a long time as I saw her growth, and so when she reached out and expressed her vision for this project, it was an immediate yes from me,” Peters said.
Ijewere created history shooting legendary supermodel Naomi Campbell for the current July-August 2020 cover of Spanish Vogue. “This is a special cover for me as it’s the first time in my 34-year career that I was photographed by a black photographer for Vogue/Conde Nast, and it was a woman of colour,” Campbell said in a post on her Instagram page on Wednesday (June 24). “Nadine, it was truly an honour. I learned a new work ethic from you … another style of how to be … this represents more than you will ever know,” enthused Campbell about her collaboration.
Meanwhile, for Ijewere’s Jamaican-centred photo assignment, which debuted as an exhibition titled ‘Tallawah’ earlier this year at the Cob Gallery in London, the fast-rising artist shot in a number of locations last summer in Portland, St Mary, and St Ann, training her lens on Saint models Tash O’Geare, Aneita Moore, Chelsea Buggam, Ty Parkinson, Wayne Booth, and Shannon Duhaney.
VISUALLY DOCUMENT JAMAICA
Ijewere, whose mother is from Jamaica, partnered with Jawara Wauchope, a highly influential experimental hairstylist, who also is of Jamaican descent and the son of reggae artiste Sister Carol. The two set out to visually document Jamaican hair in its dynamic beauty as imagined by the creative genius of Wauchope, who drew inspiration from the 1990’s dancehall era he recalled seeing in his youth in Jamaica.
Wauchope has a long-standing relationship with Saint. “Jawara is an incredibly talented hairstylist. We met backstage in Milan several years ago and then Paris as he was always working with the top hair teams for the top shows. He has worked with several of our models. Of course I loved and celebrated the fact he was a Jamaican making his way to the top in this fashion biz,” Peters relates excitedly.
Speaking to Dazed Beauty, which presented her exhibition, Ijewere recalled of the photo project: “I was kind of nervous in the beginning because I had never been to Jamaica before, but it was such a warming experience – I’ve been back three times since, that’s how much I love it. I feel at home and happy there. I think a lot of people come to Jamaica and just shoot in Kingston, but there’s so much more to it. We wanted to get more of the ‘countryside’-type areas and people because the focus is so often on the cities. So we shot in Port Antonio and Ocho Rios and then also in south-east London. I was born and raised in London, and I felt it important to marry the two different scenarios in which Jawara and I grew up. South-east London is where I’ve been based my whole life. I was born in Peckham, and now I live really close to Brixton. It’s a predominantly Jamaican area as well, and we wanted to show that Tallawah is for Jamaicans everywhere.”
The Saint models, in addition to working with Ijewere and Wauchope, also teamed up with make-up artist Lucy Burt and stylist Nathan Klein, who flew into the island for the project.
“We were honoured to be called on to work on this exciting venture with Nadine and Jawara, and particularly happy that it happened right here in Jamaica” Saint CEO Deiwght Peters told Arts and Education. “It underscored how respected and in-demand Saint is and the reputable nature and calibre of our models. It’s yet another highlight for us as we celebrate our 20th anniversary this year.