Davina Bennett, 2017 Miss Universe Jamaica and 2017 Miss Universe second runner-up, is visiting Cayman in the lead-up to the Brunch + Fashion Show taking place this Sunday at Eating House 1503 in Margaritaville Beach Resort.
Bennett is assisting with the event, using her extensive knowledge of the industry to train, style, and guide the models, who include Miss Universe Cayman Islands 2019, Kadejah Bodden; Miss World Cayman Islands 2019, Jaci Patrick; and the current Miss Teen Grand Cayman, Ashley Gooden.
Drive to succeed
Bennett has dreamed of being an international model since childhood, although her first forays into the industry were challenging.
“I went to London twice and New York once, and was rejected by over 20 different agencies, and so after these failed attempts I went back to the University of the West Indies to pursue marketing,” she said. “I was later signed up to the Miss Universe Jamaica pageant – behind my back – by my best friend, Jermaine Dyer. He saw the potential in me even though he knew I had no interest in pageants due to a lack of confidence in myself and my abilities. This is why it is important to surround yourself with positive people who believe in you even when you are in doubt.”
These positive people include her family and friends, and partner Dimitris Cosvogiannis. “He has been by my side throughout and remains my strongest support system to date,” said Bennett. “I don’t know where I’d be without him today.”
Through her experiences on the international stage she has learned valuable life lessons.
“I have learned to have thick skin, that all success comes from extremely hard work, drive and believing in yourself as an individual – even when no one else can – and being confident in showing that to the world.”
Her success has also enabled her to give back to the community through her foundation, The Davina Bennett Foundation for the Deaf.
“The foundation came about after I was inspired by a deaf model I was training at Sway Caribbean Model agency back in 2017. I was very fond of her, her abilities and her will and drive to thrive as a deaf model,” Bennett explained.
“I was inspired and empowered to start a foundation to do more for deaf people like her. Since then I have done a total of four projects in deaf schools across Jamaica, including partnering with the popular Sigma Run (a run, walk, wheelchair 5K event) in Jamaica as an ambassador to donate millions to a deaf school to aid in their needs.”
Bennett is hopeful her visit to Cayman will extend further than the brunch event.
“I hope to stay for a while to do more on the island, helping girls, mentoring and spreading positivity, and seeking opportunities to brand and give back to this beautiful Caribbean island,” she said.
She also hopes to continue to impart her knowledge to Miss Cayman titleholders and future beauty queens. “I hope to pass on my knowledge to guide them along the way in their upcoming pageants to be better versions of themselves.”
As for wider aims, next year will be heavily focused on the Paris modelling agency she has partnered with investors to start. She also hopes to continue the training and grooming of girls for future pageants, travelling and establishing herself in the Caribbean and beyond, and to continue accepting and maximising the benefits of the opportunities as they come her way.
Sunday Brunch and Fashion Show
Sunday, 3 Nov.
11am – 2:30pm
Eating House 1503 by Roy Yamaguchi
This event launches the resort’s weekly bottomless champagne brunch and highlights Margaritaville Beach Resort’s retail shop pieces, Live Life Like A Song.
Buffet style brunch. Cost is $60 with unlimited bubbles; $50 without bubbles. Reservations can be made by emailing [email protected] or calling 345-640-6441.