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V.I. Models, Singers to Get a Shot at the Big Time

Oct. 10, 2006 — The territory's top female models and singers will have a unique opportunity for stardom when New York and Los Angeles' fashion and recording world comes to the U.S. Virgin Islands later this month.
Thanks to Manhattan-based EMG modeling agency, the islands' most talented songstresses and models will be participating in a showcase similar to UPN's "America's Next Top Model."
The showcase, entitled "EMG and ISW Presents: Model and Singer of the Year 2006," was EMG Vice President Manaca Allen's idea to "offer the future young women of the Caribbean a magnificent opportunity to be discovered" by top agencies in New York and Los Angeles. Allen said "the showcase will link the Caribbean islands to the fashion capital of the world — New York City."
Allen is a native of St. Thomas, and it is her connection with the island of her birth and the territory that is the driving force behind the showcase. Allen has been in the modeling industry for 15 years. She started out as a model herself, then worked as a booker for Thompson modeling, and then as an instructor for world-famous Barbizon models.
In her years in the industry, Allen has worked for numerous magazines —Essence, Ebony, GQ, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride — and has done ad campaigns for Leggs hosiery while also hitting the runway.
EMG Management works closely with other management companies in the industry, like Click and New York models. They have also worked abroad in London with Premier models. The showcase will be supported by two agencies with locations in New York and Los Angeles: Q Management, and ID Models.
Q Management also has a web-based virtual agency, Q Online, which was born in 1999.
ID Models is managed by Darrin Judkins, who has worked with models like Angela Lindvall and Brigitte Hall. Judkins' client list also includes Vogue, Glamour, Guess, Cosmopolitan, and Elle.
The showcase is not only about models. EMG is also teaming up with Island Sound Works, a St. Thomas-based recording studio and record label, to find a female chanteuse. ISW, responsible for the hit R & B artists All The Way, is set to offer the winning lady a demo, music video and CD cover shots.
The model chosen will receive a campaign with St. John Bay Rum fragrance, roundtrip airfare to New York (courtesy of either Q or ID), a photo shoot with a fashion photographer and local prizes. The photographer chosen for the winner's shoot has worked with Elle and Today's Black Woman magazine.
The singer and model are not the only ones benefiting from the showcase: EMG has found a way to also help the community by donating a portion of ticket sales to the Family Connection (TFC), a community organization that is part of the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands.
The showcase, open to young ladies ages 13 to 23, will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 at Palms Court Harborview Convention Center on St. Thomas.
Prospective contestants will be interviewed Oct. 20 by Judkins. After the interviews, 24 finalists will be chosen to participate in the showcase.
To purchase tickets, contact the convention center at 774-5292; on St. Croix, tickets are available at International Records and Tapes 692-5700.
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