Prada début for Pulse Star Shantae Leslie
Pulse and Caribbean Model Search TV winner Shantae Leslie is off to a spectacular start after flying to Milan, Italy, earlier this month to make her international début for haute couture powerhouse Prada.
Leslie’s incredible launch comes as no surprise to Pulse and her bookers at IMG. The lanky teenager who was discovered in Pulse’s School Model Search has shown exceptional promise from the start. “That walk landed her an exclusive for Prada at Milan Fashion Week,” said the news from her team at IMG earlier this week. Leslie is signed to IMG Milan, Paris, London, and New York. With offices across the globe, IMG is considered the biggest and arguably the best agency in the business.
With her star set to explode after such a great start, the next stop for Leslie is Paris, where a long list of the world’s best designers are lining up to have her walk their collections. Already, her chart is packed with options for shows and campaigns and designers are ready to get first dibs on the new model.
“This is very significant for Shantae,” said Pulse Chairman Kingsley Cooper. “Shantae is a special talent, and starting off with a brand like Prada is substantial for her career,” continued Cooper, who discovered Pulse stars like Lois Samuels, Jaunel Mc Kenzie, Nadine Willis and Francine James, to name a few.
The 5’11” teenager was scouted by Romae Gordon, Pulse’s managing director, Fashion and Lifestyle, at Clarendon College in 2019. “Her outstanding qualities shone from the day I met her. She has amazingly striking features, long limbs, and I was confident then, as I am now, that we had discovered a star,” shares Gordon.
After her discovery, while still a student in fourth form, Leslie completed her high school diploma before stepping into the world of modelling. She gained seven subjects at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate level and is now awaiting Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination results for mathematics, information technology, and animation and gaming. When asked about her studies, the shy but confident Leslie said that she is an excellent student and shared her love for creative subjects. “I like art and design, and I can draw very well, but I always want my work to be perfect, so it takes me a little while to complete them.”
At the end of her graduation year, Shantae enlisted to be a finalist in Pulse’s Caribbean Model Search TV show in what was a very competitive field of contestants, which included another big talent, Zan Hyde. Leslie won a number of the challenges and took top honours in 2019. And it would not be long before the top agencies around the world began showing an interest in her. “We did a shoot in the middle of Half-Way Tree as part of the TV series, and her photos from that challenge blew everyone away,” said Gordon, who produces and hosts the show. As the photos went up on the PulseWorld360 social media platforms, the competition among the best agencies began. Agents in New York, London, and Paris were keen to enlist the new model, and after many discussions, Pulse went with IMG, the agency that also represents Pulse Superstar Jeneil Williams.
The stunning Leslie says she is ecstatic about the opportunities for her career. “I have been patient through these COVID times. I went back to school and completed a year of sixth form while I waited. I prayed for this day to come, and it is here. I practised my heels off to get to that Prada runway. I am ready!”