By all accounts, the haute couture season in Paris was a huge success and our fast rising Pulse stars, Shantae Leslie and Zan Hyde made spectacular appearances.

Leslie, the most recent winner of Pulse’s Caribbean Model Search reality TV series, presented magical high fashion for the famed Italian design house of Valentino in Rome, while it was a striking couture début for agency colleague, Zan Hyde at Jean Paul Gaultier in Paris. In true Pulse star making tradition, where two of the agency’s top talent are blazing a trail simultaneously, the Jamaican girls were selected among the world’s best models to wear stunning looks befitting their training and runway prowess.

Already special because of the exquisite work that goes into preparing each look, the couture is considered the highest artistic expression of fashion and this season’s presentation was heralded as one of the most outstanding yet. The industry’s most revered publication, Vogue describes the fall 2022 collections  as “spectacular!” The couture featured some of the world’s A list celebrities of fashion, film and music — Naomi Campbell, Nicole Kidman, Dua Lipa and Kim Kardashian to name a few. And as rave reviews came in, high accolades where given to the shows for which Zan and Shantae were selected – Jean Paul Gaultier and Valentino. The Gaultier collection was designed by the prolific young multi-talent, Olivier Rousteing of Balmain fame. And, the transformative Pierpaolo Piccoli who modernized the brand’s DNA and turned it into a billion dollar company, continues to show his creative prowess at Valentino.

Zan who glided down the runway at Jean Paul Gaultier x Olivier Rousteing, was magnificent in an elegantly cut night-black short suit accentuated by sharp gold seams hitting all the right angles to celebrate a woman’s form.  The belted jacket had a throw back feel of acutely angular shoulder pads, channeling a new space age vibe. The shoes also made a huge statement and were signature Gaultier styled, high platforms laced up ankle boots.

“It was great to be in Paris for the couture,” said the soft spoken but articulate Zan who is reading for her bachelor’s degree at Howard University in Washington D.C. “Being able to walk for JPG as my first high fashion show was amazing, I loved how fierce my look was and I did my best to represent my agents at Select, Elite and especially Pulse family.”

After her assignments in Paris including shooting Lanvin, Shantae left for Rome by private jet with the select model set who would present Valentino. Strutting the runway in her first outing for the famed Italian fashion heavyweight, Leslie was fairytale styled in a stunning peach gown on the steps of the museum city, Rome. The teenager is no stranger to the high fashion, jet set crowd as she made her explosive start in world modelling when she walked for the powerful Prada brand two seasons ago.

Shantae was just as excited about taking her first steps in Valentino, “I was over the moon”. said the shy teenager.

Pulse’s Director of Fashion and Lifestyle, Romae Gordon was pleased to have the duo making such an important impact especially as the fashion weeks get back into full gear post lock down. “We are proud of Shantae and Zan, they were placed first and second in our CMS TV series in 2019. Both made it very difficult for the judges to select the winner as they were highly competitive and showed star qualities all throughout CMS. Continued Gordon, “We are happy that they are following the tradition of excellence and also the trend that has become synonymous with Pulse where two outstanding young models are making their mark in the international space at the same time. We had this success with Gucci girl Nadine Willis and  he world number one black model of her time, Jaunel McKenzie, then with Jeneil Williams and Sedene Blake all of whom shot multiple issues and in the case of Sedene and Jeneil, Vogue covers. We expect great things from Shantae and Zan.”

Published in The Gleaner July 17. 2022


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