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Bermuda girls shine in designer photoshoot

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Designs on success: Aliana King, top, and Camryn Swan modelling for <I>Nylon</I> magazine (Photograph by Meredith Andrews)

The screaming started when Khadijah Shakir was asked to model for her favourite fashion magazine. She screamed again when her photo became the cover for the swimwear article in Nylon’s May/June issue.

“My colleagues at work kept asking what was wrong with me,” the 22-year-old laughed.

She had modelled before, in local advertisements and the City Fashion Festival; Nylon was a different ballgame altogether.

“I read it online all the time,” she said. “Maybe someone will see it and ask me to model.

“What I like about modelling is that it is different every time. Every design is different. It is a show and you are putting on clothes and walking, but there is always a different feel to each modelling experience.

“It is so much fun to play dress-up with your face and get your hair done.”

She is saving up to go back to university, after an earlier attempt didn’t work out.

“I went to university the first year out of high school,” she said. “I did psychology but didn’t like it. Now I am hoping to go back in a year’s time and study business.”

The shoot was organised by Bermudian Shiona Turini, and showcased swimwear, shoes and accessories by designer labels such as Versace and Gucci.

Local models Karissa Burrows, Aliana King and Camryn Swan were also featured.

“This was an amazing opportunity for an unsigned model to appear in a major publication,” the fashion consultant said. “The chance of an unsigned model having their own page in a fashion magazine is slim to none.”

She said Nylon did the final selection of photographs and she was surprised when they used a solo image of each girl.

“They didn’t tell me the layout or anything,” she said. “I didn’t know that Khadijah would be the opener. I found out because they tweeted one of the images.”

Aliana and Camryn are 16. Camryn was in the middle of studying for an exam when she received the request.

“It was only a week before the shoot,” she said. “Luckily, the shoot fell in the middle of study week and I was off school. Otherwise I might not have been able to do it.”

The exam went well despite the distraction. Camryn had a few local fashion shows under her belt but she had never been part of a major fashion shoot.

“I modelled for the city fashion show last year,” she said. “A friend wanted to do it and she told me I should try out as well. I got in and she didn’t.”

Ms Turini’s friend recommended her for the job.

“I needed a fourth girl,” she said. “I had her come in for casting. As soon as I saw her I knew she was the missing link.”

She described Camryn as a “real trooper” who juggled her commitments like a professional.

The day of the shoot at Elbow Beach was cold and windy despite forecasts to the contrary.

“We were on that beach shivering,” Khadijah said.

“We had to run back to the taxis in between shoots to stay warm.”

Camryn isn’t sure whether or not fashion will be part of her future. She still has two years left of the international baccalaureate programme at Bermuda High School.

In addition to modelling, she loves sports and plays football, netball and softball.

Ms Turini said the article was good exposure for Bermuda, which is mentioned. Moschino has already put some of the images on Instagram.

“It is exciting,” she said. “The opportunity is what the models make of it.

“If they are serious about modelling then they now have published work if they ever went to an agency. It is up to them to take the next step if they want to seriously model as a career.”

The article also featured jewellery by Rebecca Little, nails by Kot Nail Studio, and make-up by Zaurie Smith.

Read Nylon here: www.nylon.com

Cover girl: Khadijah Shakir poses for Nylon (Photograph by Meredith Andrews)
Model behaviour: Aliana King modelling for Nylon magazine (Photograph by Meredith Andrews)
Beach beauty: Karissa Burrows in Nylon (Photograph by Meredith Andrews.)
First major shoot: for teenage model Camryn Swan (Photograph by Meredith Andrews)