Soon Trinidad and Tobago’s island breezes, sun-bleached beaches, and rum concoctions will be a nice respite from the frantic hustle and bustle and wintry chill of an exhaustive holiday season. On November 5, Antilia, Inc. gave New Yorkers a sneak peak of the revelry, pageantry and celebration that can be experienced at the second largest street carnival in the world. Although Trini Carnival may not be the ideal location to get a lot of R&R with its all night partying and bacchanalian fervor, you will definitely forget the blues of credit card charges and alleviate holiday malaise.
Hosted by supermodel Tyson Beckford and former Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwilliam, this annual high-end event has a broad Trinidadian base, but also attracts lovers all of things Caribbean.
The witty banter of Tyson Beckford and Wendy Fitzwilliam and the pulsating rhythms of soca king Machel Montano kept partiers frisky and frolicking. However, the highlight of the evening was the salacious, bejeweled carnival fashions modeled by several former contestants of America’s Next Model (ANTM) and Sandhurst, last season’s runner-up of Make Me a Supermodel.
I got a chance to briefly chat with Tyson Beckford, Make Me a Supermodel’s Sandhurst and some of ANTM’s lovely ladies during this fun night of food, fashion, and island rhythms.
Tyson, how did you become affiliated with this event?
Tyson: My booking agent scheduled me for this event and I thought it was pretty cool because I always wanted to go to Trinidad for carnival, and I haven’t as of yet. My friends keep inviting me, but every time it comes up, I am shooting a movie.
Is Make Me a Supermodel coming back for another season?
Tyson: Well, we are in discussions now. Half of the network wants to go back to the audience voting process, and others involved do not. I personally like the show the way it is now. When you put that control in the hands of the audience it becomes a popularity contest and not a modeling contest. I never had to deal with a voting contest when I began modeling so I want the show to be as close to what models really experience.
Do you have any new projects in the works?
Tyson: I am in production now for a film called 305 Outlaws, referencing the 305 Miami area code. We will start shooting in Miami in a few weeks. This is a big budget film, and the third film I have produced and starred in.
Who is starring in 305 Outlaws with you?
Tyson: We have Terry Crews, Scott Caan, and some other great actors.
Are you still modeling?
Tyson: Not so much. The last ad layout was for D-Squared Sunglasses with Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista. Actually, I do more modeling in Europe. In fact, I am flying out to Italy soon to do some print and modeling work. The money in Europe is much better. Right now, the euro is much higher than the American dollar, so if I get paid 50,000 euros translated into American dollars – well, you do the math. Sometimes, when I do stuff over there, it does launch again in the States. The Pirelli ad I did with Naomi was big in Europe, but didn’t launch here. Right now, as a model I think I am more popular in Europe.
Sandhurst, what have you been doing since Make Me a Super Model?
Sandhurst: Since the show I finished my degree at Temple University. I just did Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Week, which was like a hero’s welcome because I am from Trinidad. I have also been doing a lot of hosting since Make Me a Super Model. Since doing the show, I realized I like interacting with the audience and meeting people so I have been hosting for Bravo and their websites and other television networks.
Which agency are you signed with?
Sandhurst: Well, the Fashion Spot will be the first to get the inside scoop. Right after the show, I was signed with New York Models. However, I decided to move on and get different representation. Nothing bad happened there, it was just a personal choice.
So, let me get you right. You are now transitioning to celebrity hosting and acting?
Sandhurst: Correct. I am trying to diversify my talents. I think of myself as a stage performer. I am auditioning for Broadway musicals and other stage work where I get to use my dance training. I am trying to do everything.
Sheena, you were on ANTM Cycle 11. What have you been doing since ANTM?
Sheena: I have been doing so much since the show. I am currently signed with MMG in New York and I have two different managers there. We are redeveloping my career and I am focusing on being an all-categories entertainer.
What campaigns have you done since the show?
Sheena: I have done a commercial for Ballys, modeled for BET’s Rip the Runway, and 1800whoopass. I have also shot a couple of television pilots and I have completed my own DVD, which is juicy and scandalous. So, watch out, there is lot coming from me.
Aminat, what have you been doing since ANTM Cycle 12?
Aminat: I just graduated from William Paterson University and I have been modeling full time. I just did NY Fashion Week and Boston Fashion Expose and Tyra has been calling me up for the Tyra Banks Show.
Which agencies are you with?
Aminat: Right now I am not signed with any agency, but I do work with Axis Models and they do send me out on castings. It is turning out to be a win/win situation.
Photos by Ernest Green