One look at Angela Neil and you are immediately captivated by her enormous eyes, engaged by her soft features, instantly warmed by her sultry smile and then of course you marvel at all that hair! Cemented in fashion history as one of the Caribbean’s top models, Angela a former Guest Relations Coordinator at Sandals Montego Bay probably would have veered a different path if she wasn’t persuaded ‘to try her face’ at fashion. With nothing to lose and an unrequited ambition to see the world, Angela found herself at the Pulse office fully registered for the agency’s 1988 Jamaica Fashion Model Pageant. It’s the night of the pageant and as ordered by fate, Angela is declared the competition’s winner. With passport ready in hand, Angie prepares herself for a once in a lifetime experience and jet sets across the globe ready to pursue her passion.
Spending the first 6 months of her career in Europe, Angela entered the highly competitive New York market in style by landing two separate editorial assignments with the highly acclaimed Elle magazine and the timeless Vogue all within her first month, a feat rarely accomplished by models in those days. Signed to Click models NY, the 1988 Pulse Jamaica Fashion Model was quickly going places and soon packed up her suitcases headed for a fashion assignment in the Middle East state, Oman. While the distance and “culture shock” turned out to be overwhelming for some of the international girls, Angie, a born socialite, embraced the experience of being around ‘different people’ with open arms, “The thing with Jamaicans is that we take pride in our multiculturalism and diversity. I had no problems whatsoever living amongst different races and cultures. I spent my time enjoying the experience rather than being threatened by it.”
After returning from an extensive stay in Oman and Thailand, Angela returned to New York where she rocked several runway shows, editorials and campaigns including Nike and Duro Soft Lens. Striking gold with her second Elle editorial shot by noted fashion photographer Giles Bensimon, Angela traipsed to England for the September leg of the London Designer Collections. Striking one memorable pose after the other, she modeled oufits for famous English designers including Betty Jackson, Janice Wainwright and Bruce Oldfield as well as secured herself another invitation to the London fashion show in February 1989.
Her gorgeous face and matching effervesce earned Angela what she says was a mark of personal success and extreme happiness — repeat clients, “You had some clients that would call and request only to work with you again because they loved what you did for their last campaign. Clients such as Hanes, Champion clothing and Ebony Spiegel were some of my regulars and I was so happy and grateful that they requested to work with me time and time again.” Popping up in editorial features, advertising and catalogues including Carol Reid, Butterick and Avon with inspiring regularity, Angela charted her successful career to her Caribbean background, “It was because of my own heritage and upbringing why I was very comfortable in my own skin and being a Jamaican, I think that the desire to the best at what we do is ingrained in us, in all Caribbean nationals as a matter of fact. I distanced myself from potential negativity, stayed true to Angela and focused on the task at hand. Caribbean people are always so focused on making the best of available opportunities and achieving what they set out to do that we always get what we want in the end.”
Fully retired now from the life of active modeling Angela Neil has since jumped the marital broom and now has 2 young beauty queens of her own. Based in the US, Angela, who has a degree in psychology has ventured in real estate but has not veered too far from her fashion roots. She has worked at several US fashion shows as well as dabbled a bit of cosmetology having R&B Superstar Mary J. Blige as part of her clientele. As she reminisces on her high fashion days Angela asserts that her start with Pulse and fashion was the best thing to follow through, “The agency spawned my career and through modeling I’ve encountered many blessings, my husband for one,” she gushes, “had unremarkable opportunities and made many memories and friends”
Scheduled to make a special guest appearance at the Caribbean Model Search Final Show themed ‘Supermodel Reunion’ on September 7th at the Hilton Kingston, Angela will once again heat up the runway and seeks to relay her experiences to the 2007 CMS hopefuls, “Modeling is simple, you either get the job or not based on what the particular client is looking for. If you don’t get a particular job, never beat yourself up over it because there is nothing wrong with you. Put blinkers on and never compare or measure yourself to the other girls. All models are distinctively different. Learn to embrace your special qualities and never try to be someone else”.
Joined by her some of her Caribbean fashion alumni, the “original Pulse supermodels” including Althea Laing, Romae Gordon, Justine Willoughby, Kimberley Mais, Juliene Samuels and Lincoln Wynter, the presence of the premier ‘Pulse professionals’ as special guests, judges and slated to appear as featured runway additions will charge the Hilton with awe, excitement and reminiscence. CMS 2007 is produced by Pulse in association with bmobile, Homestyle Juices, Dark & Lovely and Ting. Media partners are Zip 103 FM, CVM TV and the Gleaner.