Fri | Nov 17, 2017

Strutting in fine fashion - Nini Amerlise takes over Canada

Published:Monday | July 24, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Nini Amerlise
Nini Amerlise
Nini Amerlise
Nini Amerlise
Nini Amerlise
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Why fit in, when you were destined to stand out? That's the sentiment echoed by Jamaican supermodel Nini Amerlise, who has been taking the world of style by storm, strutting in fine fashion. Flair had a one-on-one with the winner of Supermodel Canada on her journey to success.

"Fashion truly is a dynamic language, which can be expressed through your personal style and the surroundings that may inspire you. Style is fashion, fashion is art, and art is expression," Amerlise explained of her first love. Born in Canada, but raised there and in Jamaica, fashion came naturally to the talented toddler, who at the age of six, emulated her mother's style, an amazing seamstress, and eldest sister, a fashion designer graduate from George Brown College. It was through their expertise that she learned fundamental principles of how patterns, colours, and textures can effectively convey a story.

Adorned in bold colours, artsy, one-of-a-kind pieces designed to make a statement and in doing so, bring her quirky, spontaneous personality to life, she was met with criticism so blunt, it caused her to revert to her shell. "I got picked on for being over-the-top, extra, and the attention-seeker, all because I wouldn't assimilate to mainstream standards. Over time, they went on to say more hurtful things, 'she belongs in the ugly book', 'is she a man?', 'do you eat?', 'you're so skinny', and 'Oh, while we're at it, let's not forget to connect the acne dots on her face'. You name it, they said it. Slowly, but surely, I began see a monster when I looked at the reflection in the mirror," she said.

It was through modelling, which many would perceive as a very superficial and vain industry, that Amerlise conquered the intense blows of bullying and overcame her low self-esteem and insecurities.

Her modelling career started in the summer of 2014, when she went for a casting call in Canada, "They were looking for the face for the African fashion week, and I was intrigued but extremely reluctant to audition as thoughts of my childhood experience came rushing to the forefront of my mind. I battled with the thought of not meeting up to the possible standards, but a very persistent 'yes I can' kept me going. Lo and behold, as soon as I applied, I was selected to compete. All very nerve racking and even though I didn't get selected in the top five, a new passion and fire had awoken from within, causing me to keep pushing and to never give up."

Since then, a new confidence emerges every time she stands in front of the camera. According to the model, the butterfly within began to awaken from her cocoon, an enamoured illumination was captured in every image that was ever taken of her and she can now look at her own reflection with all humility and see a bright light shining, leading her to a great destiny ahead. "It was in fashion that I found my identity, and it became my main outlet of expression. As an added bonus, my unique look and fashion sense are now my most loved characteristics, appreciated by my peers in the industry," Amerlise revealed.

Motivated by God, she also gives major credit to her mother for encouraging her to stay strong. The mother of five, Amerlise highlighted sacrificed her dreams and aspirations, just so her children could live comfortably with a roof over their heads, food on the table, clothes on their backs and an education. "It was through the connection with the word of God, where I began to understand that Jesus was the foundation that had been sustaining her all along. Fortunately enough, in 2015, I began to apply these same principles to my own life and it was in this adjustment and application of virtues that I saw my career exponentially take flight. The less I was concerned with planning every second of my life and actually taking the time to pray and hand life situations over to God, the more my life became clear and the alignment with the right people, the right opportunities and the right lifestyle fell perfectly into place," she added.

So what's next for the winner of Supermodel Canada? She is prepping to go international, aiming to expand her horizons to Africa, The Caribbean, USA, Europe, South America, and the United Kingdom, "I know, in due time, the right agencies come along, and will be willing to truly invest in my potential."

Her advice to aspiring models is to take on the trials as they come because they help to build character and prepare you for even greater things in life. "Remain task-focused and passionate about what you do. Continue to develop your skills in the particular niche you are called to pursue. Increase your faith by reading the word as it creates the solid foundation to propel your destiny in the right direction. This also prevents negative and toxic thoughts. As our destiny begins in the mind, what we meditate on is what we become and turns into the desire of our hearts. Positive thinking and dwelling on good intentions will enable the power to keep us moving forward. Each day will come with its own challenges, but as long as you remember your purpose and why you are on this journey in the first place, you will do excellent!"

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com