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JNBS promoting ‘models’ of good Investment

Published:Monday | December 21, 2015 | 12:00 AMJanelle Oswald
Deiwght Peters
President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards.
SAINT International model Brandon Bailey.
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'Lights, camera, mortgage' is the new slogan advocated by Jamaica's next top models who strut their stuff down international runways.

No longer seen as just pretty faces, models are being taught how to broaden their horizons and see beyond magazine editorials and catwalks in order to secure a successful and lasting career in managing their lives.

"Strut and save," states banker-turned businessman Deiwght Peters, CEO and founder of Saint International Model Agency - the singular largest exporter of Afro Caribbean/Jamaican models, currently holding the highest employee rates of models from the English-speaking Caribbean.

Peters advocates the "importance of saving while earning", as he books and jets his models from New York to London, Paris and Milan and secondary diverse markets such as Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Cape Town, and scores of other cities. His models are the choice for fashion houses and labels such as Fendi, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and a host of others.

Peters and his team recently celebrated the agency's success at their 15th-anniversary gala held at the Devon House mansion, St Andrew. The event attracted scores of fashionistas, including British-Jamaican businesswoman, philanthropist and patron to the arts, guest speaker Theresa Roberts.

In celebrating the modelling agency's success, Roberts said, "I am so excited about all these young Jamaican men and women who are promoting Jamaicans in the international fashion world. They are proud ambassadors of Brand Jamaica."

Saint models were awarded sponsor cheques by Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) to kick-start their savings towards securing a home. Gavin Beckford, JNBS' executive marketing and brand manager, told The Gleaner that rather than simply give cash, the company awarded each successful Saint model with a cheque to open an account to save towards a mortgage.

"Jamaica National salutes when young people are inspired and can build towards their dreams," he said. "What Peters has accomplished by taking these models many from disadvantaged backgrounds, is to work with them individually, while bringing out their natural beauty.

"He has taught them grace and poise, thus grooming and teaching them how to compete on an international scale, which broadens Brand Jamaica," he said.

Explaining that JNBS wants to help showcase what young Jamaicans can do, Beckford added, "Our participation with Saint International is to recognise what these young people have been able to achieve with focus and dedication. This is the same principle we try to inculcate in terms of saving towards a goal and having that discipline and focus to achieve your goals."

CASH-SMART

And the models are thinking cash-smart. Each one who was awarded a cheque has matched the sum with their own earnings. Diane Edwards, president of JAMPRO, told The Gleaner, "We see the exports of services, as the future opportunity for Jamaica. Saint International has had a phenomenal year booking all the models into the best fashion houses in the world."

"What we want to see behind this breakthrough now is Jamaican designers getting on board, bringing their designs to the world. Peters and the models have opened the door to the runways of the world," she added.

One of Saint International's current head-turners, Brandon Bailey, who models Prada, was out at the event. He was excited about his future.

"What I love about modelling is being able to travel, meet people and invest in property," he said. "I look up to my parents as business professionals, and likewise, I want to become successful."

janelle.oswald@gleanerjm.com