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Exclusive: Calisha Cayonne relishes NY Fashion Week event

Calisha Cayonne recently represented the Virgin Islands at the prestigious Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week at the Lincoln Center in New York. Photo: VINO
Calisha related that she received an email inviting her to attend the event and immediately called her friend and manager, Jenese Adams (right) to relate the news. Photo: VINO
Calisha related that she received an email inviting her to attend the event and immediately called her friend and manager, Jenese Adams (right) to relate the news. Photo: VINO
Calisha at Summer Sizzle BVI 2013. Photo: supplied
Calisha at Summer Sizzle BVI 2013. Photo: supplied
Calisha at Summer Sizzle BVI 2013. Photo: supplied
Calisha at Summer Sizzle BVI 2013. Photo: supplied
Calisha at Summer Sizzle BVI 2013. Photo: supplied
Calisha at Summer Sizzle BVI 2013. Photo: supplied
Calisha and Jenese before leaving the VI for the Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week at the Lincoln Center in New York. Photo: supplied
Calisha and Jenese before leaving the VI for the Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week at the Lincoln Center in New York. Photo: supplied
Calisha poses at the Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week at the Lincoln Center in New York. Photo: supplied
Calisha poses at the Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week at the Lincoln Center in New York. Photo: supplied
Calisha poses with designer Cesar Galindo following the Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week at the Lincoln Center in New York. Photo: supplied
Calisha poses with designer Cesar Galindo following the Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week at the Lincoln Center in New York. Photo: supplied
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Calisha Cayonne recently represented the Virgin Islands at the prestigious Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week at the Lincoln Center in New York along with two other local models, Kadia Turnbull and Audrey Blake.

She sat down with Virgin Islands News Online for an exclusive interview about what her experience was like and gave details about her modelling career.

Calisha was first selected by each of the five designers to model for this year’s Summer Sizzle BVI and was invited afterwards by designer Cesar Galindo to participate in the Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week held on September 9, 2013.

She related that she received an email inviting her to attend the event and immediately called her friend and manager, Jenese Adams, to relate the news.

The 19-year-old college student, who is always with a ready smile, rushed to prepare for the event by trying to secure sponsorship and building her portfolio through various photo shoots.

At the same time, she explained, she was trying to juggle her schooling which she described as being very important to her. She is currently in the final semester of studies in Business Administration at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) and plans to further her education in Accounting in hopes of one day becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

“Every afternoon after school we would get into doing the photo shoots and I’d have to get up every morning at 5:30 to exercise and get my body right leading up to the days before leaving here,” she said.

According to Calisha, leaving the Virgin Islands to attend the Fashion Week proved to be a completely surreal event for her as she still couldn’t believe she had been selected. “That is just a once in a lifetime chance,” she said, “not everybody gets that call stating that they’re going to New York for the Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week,” she gushed.

What made the experience all the more exciting, is that Calisha had only began modelling this year, with encouragement from Jenese, who explained that she had always been gently prodding her towards the arena.

She first modelled for Sheik Fashion Revolution and followed this up with an event at Leverick Bay during the Poker Run held a few months ago. “You wouldn’t believe that nearly a year ago, I couldn’t get her to wear heels,” Jenese revealed.

Calisha breezed through a number of fittings during the NY Fashion Week, packed in between meet-and-greets and go-sees (visiting model agencies for booking opportunities).

The atmosphere was all new and different for her and the young model was surprised when she was told that she would not actually be on the catwalk, but instead, had her hair and makeup done to do presentations as ‘mannequins’. “I had my own little platform and I just stood there for an hour, people came and took pictures… that was a totally different experience,” she said “in my opinion, I worked the gown.”

Calisha plans to continue her training as a model while balancing her studies and also hopes to pursue any networking opportunities that emerge. She is hoping to continue performing both locally and further abroad both in runway events and magazines if possible.

She expressed gratitude for the opportunity to model abroad and extended special thanks to Khari Adams of Khaptured Photography and Norman Allen for assisting with portfolio shots at short notice; Runway Couture BVI (Tamanta Augustine) for outfits for photo shoots; Akeema Crabbe for makeup; Elite Security and Investigations for providing sponsorship and her mom Mary Cayonne and manager Jenese Adams for support.

Body Images gym was also thanked for allowing Calisha to work out prior to the show and appreciation was extended to Terry Donovan for getting contacts and bookings from Cesar Galindo.

Calisha remains excited about the future and what prospects this holds for her.

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