Sat | Jan 25, 2020

Open call for Pulse’s International Model Search - Agency celebrates 40 years

Published:Sunday | January 12, 2020 | 12:16 AM
Alicia Burke, beauty campaign for Laura Mercie.
Miqueal Symone
Pulse model Francine.

As Pulse celebrates its 40th year this January, the standard-bearer and pioneer of the modern modelling industry in the region continues to create new avenues of opportunities for young people.

The agency’s 2019 flagship model development programme, which concludes Saturday, January 18, will take the form of an International Model Search with judges coming from New York, London and Paris. These judges, who are model agents representing some of the biggest names internationally, will choose winners who their agencies will represent in their respective markets.

This new opportunity for young women 5’9” and taller is another turn in the rich history of Pulse’s four-decades-long tradition of creating major platforms from which bright young talent can launch global careers, Pulse stated in a release.

According to Pulse Chairman Kingsley Cooper, “Our corporate social responsibility is inextricably interwoven with the development of young people, whether they are from the highest end of society or from humble backgrounds. At the core of the company’s raison d’être, is the belief that Jamaican and Caribbean talent, given the right platform, can realise never imagined dreams by reaching for the highest levels of success on a global scale.”

In recent years, the Pulse Model Search has intensified its outlay of talent with the Schools Model Search, whose first winner, Kamaria Powell of Alpha Academy, began her career shortly after in Paris with Premium Models. Since then, global interests have grown even stronger with the victory of Shantae Leslie in the recently concluded CMS TV show which aired on TVJ in Jamaica. Leslie has caused an uproar with several agencies in the market vying to represent her in London, Paris, New York and Milan. The confident 16-year-old is being represented by IMG, the largest model agency in the world. IMG is also home to Pulse superstar, Jeneil Williams.


Spanning more than a generation, Pulse has consistently produced world-recognised talent. Achievements include breaking new ground with Althea Laing being the first major Jamaican to grace the cover of Essence magazine, to launching one of the most successful careers in Japan and later worldwide, with Kimberley Mais, to being the only agency in the Caribbean to celebrate the Vogue covers of four of its star models – Lois Samuels, Jeneil Williams, Sedene Blake and Alicia Burke.

In fact, Pulse’s impact has resonated in the global fashion industry with Vogue declaring two of its star models – Jeneil Williams and Nadine Willis – as being among five Jamaican talents who changed the face of fashion. The three other personalities, including Grace Jones, were developed outside of the Caribbean.

CNN declared that Nadine Willis’ iconic Gucci campaign “shook society and changed the world”. The Pulse imprint can also be seen in major movies through Pulse Model Search winners Sanya Hughes ( Pirates of the Caribbean) and more recently, Parisa Fitz-Henley, whose television and film career has grown to new heights. Fitz-Henley’s credits include Midnight Texas, Harry & Meghan and the soon-to-be released Fantasy Island.

Come January 18, another cluster of stars will begin to sparkle when they are selected as the current standard-bearers to step into a new decade.