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‘Dreams came true because of Kingsley’

Fashion world mourns passing of Pulse founder

Published:Thursday | June 20, 2024 | 12:51 AMYasmine Peru/Senior Gleaner Writer
Former Pulse model and Miss Jamaica 1991, Kimberley Mais-Issa, says Cooper will be greatly missed by models and designers. She noted that dreams came true because of him.
Former Pulse model and Miss Jamaica 1991, Kimberley Mais-Issa, says Cooper will be greatly missed by models and designers. She noted that dreams came true because of him.
Miss Universe Jamaica 2017, Davina Bennett, says she is forever grateful to Cooper for starting her modelling journey and the opportunities he afforded her.
Miss Universe Jamaica 2017, Davina Bennett, says she is forever grateful to Cooper for starting her modelling journey and the opportunities he afforded her.
Kingsley Cooper
Kingsley Cooper
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The world of fashion and entertainment is mourning the passing of founder and chairman of Pulse Investments Limited, businessman and lawyer, Kingsley Cooper.

The fashion and modelling luminary died Tuesday night in Florida where he had been receiving medical treatment. He was 71.

Leading the tributes was Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, who described Cooper as “a patriotic and committed Jamaican who never hesitated whenever he was called on to serve his country and he served unconditionally”.

In a press release, Minister Grange said, “I spoke with his daughter, Safia, who confirmed his death. He earned my love, appreciation and respect, and that of many Jamaicans from all walks of life. He served for many years on the Entertainment Advisory Board which falls under my ministry.”

She added, “Kingsley was for many years the leader in the modelling business in Jamaica as well as a renown events promoter. The records will highlight Kingsley’s spectacular contribution to the world of fashion and entertainment from which resulted supermodels and other international stars. Pulse created new opportunities for local and international talent in fashion and music. The company brought us international events such as Caribbean Fashion Week and Reggae SuperJam and later established the Peter Tosh Museum.”

Former Pulse model, Kimberley Mais-Issa, Jamaica’s original top model, who created history in 1987 when she was selected from over 1000 local and international models to be the campaign model for Japan’s Kirin beer, told The Gleaner that Cooper “will be greatly missed by models and designers”.

“Mr Cooper was a pioneer in developing Jamaica’s models and the modelling industry in Jamaica. In the early days, we never knew where this would go – if this could be developed into a livelihood. He was very supportive of me and saw the potential in me that I never saw in myself. Dreams came true because of him,” shared Mais-Issa, who was crowned Miss Jamaica in 1991.

Miss Universe Jamaica 2017, and also a former Pulse model Davina Bennett, noted that her “modelling journey began with Kingsley and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity he afforded me”.

“He not only saw potential in me but also nurtured it at the time, believing in me even when I doubted myself. I vividly remember our first trip to London together, seeking an agency, and his unwavering support especially on that train ride back after not being signed (he comforted me as I cried the whole way back). His encouragement and guidance helped me walk the runways of Caribbean Fashion Week, a dream I thought was far-fetched until he made it a reality. Kingsley was a trailblazer in Jamaica’s fashion industry, gave a lot of young women and men opportunities.

“For the years we worked together and he believed in me, for the hope he instilled, and for the icon he was, I will always remember and cherish Kingsley Cooper,” Bennett said in a tribute posted to social media.

Pulse became the first company of its kind to be listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, and Minister Grange, in her closing statement, hailed Cooper as “a visionary, innovator and leader of exceptional quality”.

In 2007, Cooper received the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander for pioneering, defining and developing the modelling industry, locally, regionally and internationally. He is survived by his partner Romae and children Safia and Cole.

yasmine.peru@gleanerjm.com