Fri | Aug 18, 2017

From Waterhouse to the runway

Published:Sunday | June 19, 2016 | 6:00 AM
JD for JW Anderson
JD for Wales Bonner
JD for Grace Wales Bonner
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At last weekend's London Collections - Men, Saint International's new face, Jermaine Downer (JD) caused a major buzz.

JD made his international runway debut on the JW Anderson runway, one of the most influential runways on the London schedule. On the same day, the Jamaican teen walked for the much-acclaimed English-Jamaican designer, Grace Wales Bonner.

JD was discovered in the Waterhouse community in St Andrew and was a finalist in Fashion Face of the Caribbean 2016. He placed third in the competition. "JD had several challenges, especially finances, throughout the training period and often felt discouraged, but we kept encouraging him," said Saint International's CEO Deiwght Peters.

"He was a confident young man who was passionate about the opportunity and dared to dream, as we encourage all our models to do," Peters said. JD placed third from a competitive batch of about 30 male models. Judges included leading agents and casting directors from New York, Miami, Paris, London and Milan.

Shortly after the competition, Peters arranged a series of digital photoshoots and started proposing JD to major agencies in Europe. He was soon signed to D1 Models (London), WHY NOT Models (Milan) and Premium Models (Paris).

 

CASTING CALLS

 

JD departed the island for Paris last week, where he did a few days of show casting, then took the Eurostar to London for the shows and then went on to Milan.

In London, JD's appearance in the JW Anderson show was a celebratory moment, and when he was chosen to be the last look at the Wales Bonner show, it was a definitive moment for the rising Saint International star. "JD will have a phenomenal show season," said Peters.

For the past several years, Saint International has been seeing its new models making attention-getting breakthroughs on the most powerful runways.

The 16-year-old agency, founded by the former banker has an enviable list of models, including Tafari Hinds, Colet Buckley, Kibwe McGann, Kirk Headley, Kanhai Condison, Mario Miller, Doren Bailey, Simon Bowden, Korey Rowe, Richard Fuller.

In recent times, Saint International has spawned New-Age superstars such as Brandon Bailey, AndrÈ Doyley, and Brad Allen who have worked for clients such as Calvin Klein, Prada, Balmain, Givenchy, Ralph Lauren, Hermes, and Mulberry.