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Deal Sealed: Caymanian Teen Signs with Regional and International Modelling Agencies

Arts and Culture 30 May, 2024 Follow News

Sai Sankoh Design (Photo by Gerome Bodden)

Adrian Alicea Design (Photo by Gerome Bodden)

Adrian Alicea Design (Photo by Taneos Ramsay)

Cesar Galindo Design (Photo by David Goddard)

Paulette Cleghorn Design (Photo by Wil Bignal)

Paulette Cleghorn Design (Photographer Wil Bignal)

Alana with Designer Adrian Alicea (Photo by Gerome Bodden)

1-Alana with Designer Uzuri (Photo by Christopher Tobutt)

Uzuri International Design (Photo by Christopher Tobutt)

Norma Ebanks Design (Photo by Christopher Tobutt)

Local high school student, Alana Tooker, has recently achieved a significant milestone in her burgeoning modelling career. She has signed contracts with Brown Entertainment Group, in The Bahamas, and HÓP Models and Talent Agency, based in Atlanta (with additional offices in Chicago IL, Dallas TX, and Seattle WA).

 “Alana is a star on the rise. We are excited to be a catalyst in her journey”, stated Agency Director of HÓP Models, Lyndon Winchester.

HÓP Models, established over 26 years ago, is renowned for representing and developing top talent in fashion, runway, commercial, advertising, film, television, and voice-over work. As Alana’s international agent, HÓP Models will work closely with her to hone her skills and connect her with its extensive network of acclaimed photographers, designers, brands, and publications, maintaining its legacy of cultivating the next generation of fashion models.

In November 2023, Alana auditioned at The Cays Conference scouting event, held at Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in The Bahamas. This event, founded by former Elite model Stephanie K. Nihon, drew in around 150 models. Alana’s talent caught the eye of Sonia S. Brown (founder of Carib-Link and Brown Entertainment Group), a retired model who facilitates the placement of Caribbean models in international markets including Europe, the U.S., and Asia. Carib-Link Model and Talent Expo aims to bridge the gap between Caribbean talent and global opportunities.

Instrumental in Alana’s successful audition was her modelling training, since July 2022, with P.S. O’Brian Consulting’s founder, Chantel O’Brian (a Miss Universe 2021 top 10 finalist) and training received, in early 2023, by international runway coach, Alva Page.

Reflecting on the day she scouted Alana, Ms. Brown recalled, “I wanted to sign her from the moment I saw her walk on the runway. She has it, that thing that no one can define but cannot deny when they see it.”

In April 2024, merely five months after discovering Alana, Ms. Brown successfully secured international representation for her with HÓP Models, within a few weeks of initially submitting Alana’s comp card and portfolio to the agency.

The past 15 months have been eventful for Alana, who has walked in nearly 25 designer shows on runways in New York, Miami, London, and Milan. Modelling in these fashion hubs was made possible by the runway shows’ producer, The Fashion Life Tour (TFL), whose CEO is Kiara Belen, first runner-up of America’s Next Top Model - Cycle 19.

Alana also showcased her talent in Cayman InStyle Fashion Week’s 2023 and 2024 runway events, wearing styles by Caymanian designer, Norma Ebanks and international designers Paulette Cleghorn, Cesar Galindo, Sai Sankoh, Adrian Alicéa, and Uzuri International. Notably, she was chosen by Alicéa and Uzuri to close their shows, highlighting her appeal to top-tier designers, such as those she has walked for, whose creations have been worn by A-list celebrities such as Beyoncé, Zoe Saldaña and Madonna.

Ms. Brown now aims to continue to turn the young model’s dreams into reality by securing representation for Alana in Europe or Asia, in her capacity as the European Model Showcase (EMS) Approved Scouting Director for The Caribbean.

Looking ahead, Alana expressed her elation, saying, “I am thrilled about what is in store for me as a HÓP model. I feel so blessed and am grateful for these amazing opportunities.”

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