From Mount Spring to Milan
Elecia Gordon from the rural community of Spring Mount in St James is now living her dream.
Fresh from appearing on the catwalk for Giorgio Armani's Spring/Summer Ready-To-Wear 2019 collection at the Milano Linate Airport in Milan last Thursday night, Gordon was beside herself with excitement.
"I am so happy. It's like words can't begin to describe the joy - for a long-foot girl from Spring Mount in Jamaica to be walking for Armani - is really a big deal. I'm so grateful for the amazing opportunities I am now getting," an excited Elecia told The Sunday Gleaner in-between her show's castings for Milan Fashionweek.
Elecia was discovered last year by Saint International's CEO Deiwght Peters on a scout for fresh faces at her alma mater, Maldon High School. "I am pleased with the strides she's made on the international fashion scene, especially coming from a rural community. Elecia has truly made Spring Mount, her family and school very proud," said her principal Janet Manning. She continued, "We at Maldon High are supportive of each accomplishment she makes. I am not her biological mother, but I feel like she's my daughter and I am so happy for her. I tell the young men and women at Maldon: if Elecia can do it, so can you."
The model hopeful and her farmer mother Althea Edwards, travelled into Kingston by bus to attend Saint's model meetings, and according to Peters, she never missed one.
"It was rough, sometimes" said Edwards. "I would have to ask family or friends to help out. I remember one Saturday not having the fare, but Elecia was determined to go, and never took no for an answer, and I decided I was not going to disappoint her. I am excited by her success now, knowing that as a young woman, she can hold up her head high. She could have chosen to do bad things, but she found something she loved, and followed it through," the mother of seven divulged.
All Elecia's hard work began paying off earlier this year, as she was among eight Saint International models cast for Balenciaga's Fall/Winter 2018 collection in Paris.
That was a bittersweet accomplishment for the 19-year-old.
Moments after completing her trek down the Parisian catwalk, Elecia broke down in tears as she was flooded by memories of late stepfather Hughroy McLaren, who died the day before.
"He was very encouraging and always told me to believe in myself and follow my dreams. When I needed to get my passport, he was the one who helped me to pay for it, and I never got the chance to talk to him before I did my first international show. It really pained me to know I couldn't share my happiness with him," said Elecia.
Nevertheless, the work continues, and Elecia has already began listing her career goals. "I want to walk for Versace, Balmain, Valentino, and Blumarine. And in the long run, I want to be an entrepreneur and establish my own clothing brand," she told The Sunday Gleaner.
Beyond the catwalk, Elecia was featured in an editorial spread in the July issue of V Magazine, shot by Kacey Jeffers in Jamaica at Hellshire Beach and downtown Kingston in May. She was also featured in a look-book for the Parisian label Lemaire.
London Fashion Week
In addition to Milan, Saint International models also gave an impressive showing during London Fashion Week.
Model quartet Naki Depass, Wayne Booth, Aurelie Giraud, and Shaun Holder, booked numerous runway engagements at the Spring/Summer 2019 collections for a number of major fashion houses, including the debut of Riccardo Tisci as the new creative director at Burberry, as well as British fashion influencer Alexa Chung's label launch.
Depass made catwalk appearances for Christopher Kane, Peter Pilotto, Burberry, and Alexa Chung for LFW. Meanwhile, Giraud from Martinique, had a stellar run for her first season in London showings for designers Halpern, Marta Jakubowski and PushButton.
Closing out the ranks, the Montego Bay-born-and-raised Shaun Holder, appeared alongside Booth at the Zinko on the final day of London Fashion Week last Tuesday.