America’s Top Model finalist visits Cayman

Born in New York but sporting the Caribbean vibes and love of reggae music, one successful international model recently chose sunny Cayman as her photo backdrop.

She also raised $60,000 for Jamaica’s Hurricane relief fund, and helped her mother with repairs to their Grand Cayman, West Bay home while on a break from school and her modelling career.

No stranger to the limelight and certainly not to the Caribbean 25-year-old Camille McDonald was recently chosen as one of the finalists in America’s Top Model show of which she said was a wonderful experience.

While on Cayman the successful fit model who is also a business major at Howard University studying creative design in advertising, met up with well-know photographer Patrick Broderick to shoot her first Caribbean fashion editorial.

While on Cayman she also shared with the Compass her knowledge as a professional model, left valuable tips for young girls wanting a modelling career and shared her experience on America’s Next Top Model show.

‘From the tender age of three, Camille always showed an interest for the fashion world, but my encouragement to her was, get your education first and those things will fall in place,’ said her mom Lorna.

‘My mom has been a role model to me and she has always insisted that nothing in life is easy and you have to work hard for what you want out of life and never give up. She said there will be doors that will close in your face but another one will open. I learnt this through her being a nurse and the opportunities that came her way.’

As for the show, Camille said it allowed her to meet some of the best photographers, make-up artists and hair people in the industry and it gave her a sense of what the fashion industry might be like.

She also said it touched on her emotions by just being in a house with fifteen other girls, with different personalities and backgrounds, in a very small space all wanting to be Americas Top Model.

‘On that show my character was a diva one and I felt that my Caribbean character was a bit misconstrued. Instead of taking that and seeing me as a very confident person it was looked on as being cocky by the judges, but to me it was just a Caribbean way of saying something.’

Camille said her desire to enter the contest came about from friends at college where she was studying creative designs. ‘Although I did not win, the exposure to the various environment of modelling was good.’

‘Being from the Caribbean there are a lot of fashion channels that girls can pursue to exceed on an international level. One such is Kingsley Cooper of Pulse Model Agency in Jamaica and Dwight Peters also of Jamaica.’ said Camille.

‘The competition is really high and only a few make it in the top category. So if it something that you want, you just have to be focused and determined.

‘It can also be short lived career. A fashion model’s career is a good three to four years. But times are changing and more models are returning to the stage.

‘Enter your local pageants is also a means of catching an agencies attention, even though it is slightly different from what they are look for in the modelling world.

‘Go on-line to Take a photo it does not have to be professional, if they like you they will find someway for you to come and have an interview,’ she said.

‘Modelling is a very lucrative business, you can make anywhere from $150 an hour to $50,000 an hour, if you have the right guidance and agency.

Camille said she is a fit model this means that material is scaled to fit her body. ‘It is not an easy job, I can get stuck with pins or cut with scissors it is not that glamorous and really hard work.

Camille also thinks that being a celebrity it is important that you ascribe yourself to a worthy cause.

At the present time she is working on her own design collection called ‘lingerwear’. Each year a different theme is chosen and this year’s theme is called ‘Dancehall.’ The purchase of this design comes with a certificate for a free HIV/AIDS test to spread awareness about the disease.

After leaving Cayman Camille said she will go to Jamaica to endorse her design then on to Los Angeles were she will do a Tyra Banks talk show with other successful girls on the America Top Model show.

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