Face of Grenada winner, Tiffany Evans says she has always been interested in modeling and pageantry and took advantage of the opportunity to audition for Face of Grenada.

“This decision wasn’t based solely on the modeling aspect of the competition, it was partially due to the purpose behind the competition; bringing awareness to Grenada’s Marine Protected Areas as the theme was “Promoting Marine Protected Areas and Healthy Coastal Communities in Grenada.”

Tiffany is wearing a black sea urchin inspired dress, designed and made by Kara Benjamin

She describes the experience as both a learning one and an exciting and fun extracurricular activity.

Tiffany reveals that there were many challenges throughout: sponsorship was difficult and she became very frustrated in the early stages of the competition.

“My confidence wavered during some photo-shoots and practice sessions. Ultimately, I overcame everything and was victorious.”

Tiffany talks about her platform ‘Establishing a Culinary Market to control the Evasive Lionfish’ and discusses what led her to choose this topic.

“I am very passionate about the environment, especially aspects that relate to marine ecosystems. Last year, I volunteered at a summer-camp that was held by the Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. While at the summer-camp I learnt a lot about the Lionfish and the devastation it was causing to our Coral Reefs. I became very intrigued by the creature and as a result, I thought it best to focus on an area I was knowledgeable and ardent about.

Photography by Shoulan Carter.

Progress is slow; I am still in the planning stage. However, I am certain that all, if not most, of the ideas I have outlined in my proposal will become a reality.”

She also discusses some valuable lessons learned, mainly the importance of cooperation, patience, humility and diplomacy stating that these allowed her ‘to coexist in the “cut-throat”, competitive environment’ and these lessons she says, she will take with her.

Tiffany says that despite everything, her life basically remains the same, with the only major change being the attention she receives from the public.

“Every time I am out I always get referred to as “Ms. FOG” or “the girl who won that show”. Apart from that, I occasionally receive messages via social media or comments in person saying that I’ve inspired them to pursue modeling, pageantry and even to continue their education!”

She says that “Face of Grenada” is not a regular beauty pageant and goes into details to explain why.

“The competition is dubbed “Beauty with a Purpose” and the organizers of the show seek to showcase beauty, fashion and modeling while shedding light on issues that our society is faced with. Yes, some may say beauty pageants are just like that, but I disagree.

The competition places heavy focus on fierceness, fashion and the ability to stand out in your runway walk rather than the bouncy, smiley and upbeat attitudes pageants girls portray. Apart from that, the show is set up with the competitive photo-shoots prior to the finale. The points from the shoots are awarded and used for the runway finale.

Colourful kivan by Kim Francis Designs.

I think of Face of Grenada as a modeling competition and not a beauty pageant. Each girl brings something unique. Their own ideas, styles and personalities come out in their photo-shoots and designs they come up with for the various categories of the show.”

When asked what advice she would give to upcoming contestants she stresses the importance of practicing.

“Practice, practice, practice! Practice your runway walk, different poses and facial expressions as well as public speaking skills. Once you’ve mastered most of these the competition would be easier for you and you can place more focus on the outfits that you would need to come up with for the finale.”

Tiffany also discusses her short and long-term goals.

“My short-term goals are to continue working on my platform, ensuring that everything I set out to do happens and to maintain excellent grades for the semester at school. My long terms goals are to graduate with an exceptional GPA, gain more exposure into the world of modeling, travel and inspire other young women to live their dreams. We can have it all with hard work and dedication.”

Tiffany Evans wearing avande garde dress by Kay Benjamin. Photography: Shoulan Carter.

When asked ‘what makes a woman beautiful?’ Here is Tiffany’s answer.

“There are many things that make a woman beautiful. I’m sure everyone has his or her perception of what beauty is, or what makes a woman beautiful. I think that beauty is often misinterpreted as just one’s physical appearance rather than the qualities and attributes a woman possesses that makes her physically attractive to anyone, not only a man. Confidence, humility, diplomacy, integrity, compassion, intelligence and drive are some qualities a woman should have. Those, among others, would allow her to shine and be beautiful in the eyes of anyone she comes in contact with.”

Tiffany also walked away with additional wins – Best Cultural Wear, Best Introduction, Best Evening Wear and Best Platform Speech.

Photography by Shoulan Carter

The avante garde outfit Tiffany is wearing is inspired by a black sea urchin and is designed and made by Kara (Kay) Benjamin (3rd runner up of FOG). 

Colourful Kivan by Kim Francis.

I was first introduced to Aria via the Face of Grenada Competition. She finished 2nd in the competition and I was impressed by her efforts.

Afterwards, we connected via Facebook and I began to follow her activities along with a few of the other models from the competition.

Photo by Kelon Pascal

Aria was determined to get her name ‘out there’ and soon had a “GoFundMe” / “Fund a Caribbean Model” account in hopes of getting to Caribbean New York Fashion Week.

Well, she was successful in getting there and I saw a story worth telling, so the minute Nu Woman had an opportunity, we sat and talked with this island girl about her first experience in the Big Apple.

Nu Woman: How did you get the invite to attend Caribbean New York Fashion Week?

Aria Francis: My manager, Annette Moore, got in touch with the organizer of the event, Carla Hazel, who then invited me to participate.

Photos by Kelon Pascal

NW: Whose idea was it to “Fund a Caribbean Model”? Aria: It was my Manager’s and my idea to try a crowd-funding site. With this, I take the opportunity to thank everyone who contributed towards my trip. NW:  When you realized you would actually be taking the trip, how did it feel? Aria: I was overjoyed knowing I was a step closer to my endeavors. It was a day of excitement and I felt blessed. Aria admits that  this was her  first major and international trip away from home.

“I consider this the best, because I got to experience the bigger stage, working with top designers and also experiencing casting calls and getting a call back, which was one of the greatest achievements in my modeling career.”

Aria continued, noting how important it was to show what a model from Grenada had to offer the big city.

“NYC is the world fashion stage and gateway for opportunities. because There are so many top agencies, top models, designers, film makers, experienced make-up artists and photographers, as well as other professional individuals walking in the streets of NYC.” Aria who says that she was more excited than nervous talks about her first runway experience in New York.

“My first show experience in NYC was the MODABOX runway show, which showcased fashion from that store.”

She was given a good break when she had an opportunity to model for Charles Harbison.

“Mr. Charles HARBISON (bless him), is the designer who gave me my biggest modeling break in NY.”

As a result she was featured in Vogue Italia.

NW: You seemed to be the preferred model for the Harbison show… how did that make you feel? Aria: Well I would not say I was the most preferred model for the show, but I will say that I portrayed the attitude of a model who deserves to work, a model who has the ability to cooperate and satisfy the designer and their guests. Again, anyone given this opportunity will be happy and so was I.

Aria talks about meeting Beverly Johnson, one of her idols. “Living on a tiny Caribbean Island, all I used to do was wish and work hard towards my goal. Meeting Beverly Johnson, who was the first black woman to grace the cover of Vogue magazine, was a pleasure. I knew that one day I would meet top models and superstars like her, but that very same night I felt like a supermodel.” NW: What was the most memorable thing/things about this trip? Aria: Actually, getting to walk the runway on an international stage, wearing top designers’ clothing and being able to network with key people in the industry. Aria says that she hopes to be back soon and attempts to sum up the entire experience, simply calling it “great”.

I was finally able to make it to the international level, in terms of modeling – getting to do fittings upon fittings, attend professional casting calls, improving my walk, being able to network, and experience the real modeling and fashion business – that was amazing. There were some challenging days, but I have lived long enough to understand that nothing comes easy, so at those times I had to stop, take a deep breath, relax and then move on. I must say this was an active learning experience – one where I got the kind of opportunity I’ve always wanted.”

You can see a bit more of Mr. Charles HARBISON here:

“8 Years & Eight Unique Stories”

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