(Video) ‘Caribbean’s Next Top Model’ Wendy Fitzwilliam Dishes All The Drama

Written by Red Velvet Sandy. Posted in Caribbean Celebrity News, Fashion, Television

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Published on February 21, 2013 with No Comments

Celebrity Host and Caribbean Mogul Wendy FitzWilliam talks about her new hosting gig “Caribbean’s Next Top Model”, ‘drazma’ on the show and culture.

Wendy Fitzwilliam is the iconic and beloved Miss Universe 1998 hailing from Trinidad and Tobago (the last Caribbean woman to hold this title) and a lawyer by trade. An entrepreneur, author, radio personality, philanthropist and most importantly a mother, Wendy is the powerhouse that will spearhead the search for the first Caribbean’s Next Top Model as the Host/Head Judge and an Executive Producer. When asked what she was looking for in Cycle 1 of the show she said: “I am looking for a true Caribbean Woman who can really take over the international fashion circuit”, and she has committed her experience, finesse and valuable time in the dedication to finding a phenomenal group of young women who represent her vision.

Wendy recently discussed the show in depth so check out what she said.

CNTM Team -Tell us a little bit about CNTM and the casting process?
WF -We conducted our casting via the internet and through social media only. The
responses were excellent regionally. We had roughly 2000 interested young
ladies from all over the Caribbean and even a few guys! We had entries from the
French Dutch, Spanish and English speaking Caribbean all represented in our final
selection of semi-finalists.
We then conducted interviews via Skype and psychological tests via a
questionnaire to ensure we had a great mix of girls for an exciting first cycle!
We definitely got what we asked for!
We start with 29 semi-finalists in the first episode and immediately cut to 12
finalists for 9 more shows to our winner. Then we cap it off with a round-up style
reunion episode.
Thus, it is an 11 episode cycle.
CNTM Team-Are there a lot of fans anticipating the show’s premier? If so, what are some
responses that you’ve witnessed or seen?
WF -The interest regionally in the show has been tremendous both online and in
person. It has been long anticipated and the buzz is loud, almost deafening.
The Caribbean diaspora in the UK and North America seem to be most excited about
this celebration of the Caribbean woman’s beauty than we are. This is the only
top model that is regional thus far and sees countries competing against each
other so it has taken on the feel of an Olympics for Caribbean beauty as it
were. Jamaica against Bahamas, Barbados going toe-to-toe with Curaçao and
Trinidad and Tobago against the rest.
CNTM Team-What can we, the viewers, look forward to during this season?
WF -Truly beautiful girls competing fiercely for the top prize, young shy girls
blossoming into confident women and enough drazma (larger than mere drama) to
fill another TV series!!!
CNTM Team -This show is the first of its kind…What kind of an impact do you see this
show having for aspiring models within the Caribbean?
WF -I expect our women who have always been beautiful and celebrated Internationally to truly appreciate themselves because they will be presented beautifully by us, not someone else’s interpretation of us. A few heads will be held higher after this show airs. Brand “Caribbean beauty” will be given renewed meaning for we are bigger than the sum of our parts. As a region we are much stronger and more beautiful and powerful than a string of pretty little islands. As a block, we rock!!!
CNTM Team-Will the show feature any Caribbean designers and/or coaches? if so, whom?
WF -The show features several Caribbean persons working in the fashion & beauty
industry. Claudia Pegus designs of Trinidad and Tobago [will impact] the cycle with a fierce bang and Micles clothing is featured throughout. Several of our young upcoming designers are also featured. Our indigenous cosmetics company, Sacha Cosmetics is heavily featured. Wherever I am, the timeless designs of Meiling are always with me. Peter Elias,designer & stylist, is also featured and our delightful
photographers such as Calvin French and David Wears hold their own with American
and Internationally celebrated photographers such as Pedro Virgil (one of our

judges) and Matthew Jordan among others.

We work with Babatu Sparrow, celebrated designer, stylist and editor, as well as
the one and only Freddy Leiber, who has been the Style Director of Vogue Bazaar,
In-Style Magazines and now Essence, originally from Belmont, Trinidad. He has
been a true mentor and friend to me and CNTM on our maiden journey. Anthony
Reid, designer of Meiling’s Men’s line, styled me throughout and did wardrobe
for the cycle. He has the best eye. He was ably assisted by Murrien Mitchell
our catwalk expert and the shoe and accessory king. Murrien can make a potato
sack in it’s natural state glamorous with shoes & killer accessories.
CNTM Team -As the celebrity host, how involved are you with the models and their
WF -I had to be a bit removed from the girls on an individual basis because of the
nature of the show. It is a competition and a firece one, but i could not help
offering advice on walking, posing and professionalism in all they do, from
showing up on time to their interface with the crew and support staff.
CNTM Team -Tell us a little bit more about your career.
WF -I am an attorney by trade but I have never practiced law in the traditional
sense (with a firm). I started modeling at the age of 11 here in Trinidad & Tobago
when our local artist, Boscoe Holder saw me with my form 1 classmates at his
exhibition at the National Museum in Port of Spain and he asked me to sit for
him. He painted me from then to roughly one year before his death at regular
intervals and it is through him that I learned a lot of Trinidad’s history and beauty…
the kind of lessons that cannot be found in books or the Internet.
I then started modeling for Meiling at the age of 15. I was in many fashion shows here and there and in between. By the age of 16 I had done 4 TV commercials in Trinidad that highlighted me as the feature.
I am a Caribbean woman, thus education is everything and my parents always have
and continue to encourage me to take advantage of every opportunity.
Thus, when my friend, Peter Elias, entered me in Miss T & T, I accepted the
challenge and one pageant later, I was crowned miss universe. My work in
fashion and beauty continued with companies like Clairol, Sacha Cosmetics,
Chopard, TSTT (cable and wireless T & T), and Clear Essence among others. I also
enjoyed work on the runway with designers like Meiling, Claudia Pegus, Heather
Jones in the Caribbean and Zang Toi Vivienne Tam among others in the US. I am
also a qualified Attorney and accepted the challenge to work with the State in
the development of a technology park in Trinidad and Tobago. I am now fully in
media and entertainment. I have just completed the 5th season of my radio show,
“The Wendy Fitzwilliam Show” on Heartbeat Radio 103.5 FM and I am one member of a three member pop group called the “BQ Girls”. We recently performed at the
Pro -Bowl in Hawaii and are set to perform a series of shows in the US in March 2013.
Additionally, I am the author of a book called, “Letters to Ailan”, an ode to my
young son and our early journey from his conception to 2nd year of life.
I make further use of my brain through my involvement with the Soca Monarch
Competition in Trinidad and Tobago in the capacity of public relations
consultant. My most enjoyable job is Mom to my bright and delightful son,
Ailan. For more details on my style of parenting see “Letters to Ailan”.
CNTM Team -In addition to CNTM, where else can we expect to see you in 2013?
WF -In 2013, I start the 6th season of “The Wendy Fitzwilliam Show” and record my
first album with the BQ Girls! We have a few standout performances scheduled
already. Ailan, CNTM, BQ Girls, and “ The Wendy Fitzwilliam Show” are keeping me very busy this year. I have been writing my second book for a late 2014 release.
The RedCarpetShelley team has spoken with Ms. Fitzwilliam in the past and she was very ambitious and still is. You go girl!!
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