Fri | Apr 12, 2024

Edwin Allen fifth-former strikes big with Prada

Published:Sunday | February 25, 2024 | 12:10 AM
SAINT International’s newly minted fashion star Dru Campbell on the runway for Prada’s Fall/Winter 2024 collection in Milan last Thursday. Campbell, a fifth-form student at Edwin Allen High School, won SAINT’s 2023 Female Fashion Face of the Caribbea
SAINT International’s newly minted fashion star Dru Campbell on the runway for Prada’s Fall/Winter 2024 collection in Milan last Thursday. Campbell, a fifth-form student at Edwin Allen High School, won SAINT’s 2023 Female Fashion Face of the Caribbean competition.
Campbell examines her look card backstage at her Prada debut.
Campbell examines her look card backstage at her Prada debut.
SAINT Chief Executive Officer Deiwght Peters and Dru Campbell backstage at the Prada show during Milan Fashion Week.
SAINT Chief Executive Officer Deiwght Peters and Dru Campbell backstage at the Prada show during Milan Fashion Week.
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Italian luxury fashion house Prada has elevated yet another SAINT International face to its canon of model stars. Dru Campbell, who walked away with the hotly contested Female Face of the Caribbean title last April at SAINT’s annual competition finals made a sizzling debut for Prada’s Fall/Winter 2024 collection Thursday afternoon for Milan Fashion Week.

The Edwin Allen High School fifth-former is giggly-happy at her good fortune making a runway turn for one of global fashion’s most successful and critically lauded labels. Her introduction to this high-stakes modelling industry was brokered by SAINT chief executive officer Deiwght Peters, which yielded an exclusive booking directly from Jamaica.

“Words don’t feel sufficient to describe the excitement and butterflies that bubbled up inside of me backstage and then walking the runway, it was an unbelievable moment and I’m still soaking it all in,” 17-year-old Campbell shared on a telephone call from the Italian fashion capital. “To be in Jamaica one minute and the next, I’m here in Europe starting off my modelling career is a big deal for me, and it just feels so amazing.”

Women’s Wear Daily fashion writer Booth Moore described the Prada Fall 2024 collection from creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons as capturing the season’s two biggest emerging trends: power tailoring and lingerie. “This was Prada back in lady mode with 1960s shifts decorated with tiny bows, and trimmed at the collars or hems in faux fur; slips with artful flocking and fringing effects; sweaters dripping crystals; prim twin sets, and pointy-toe pumps. The colour combinations were as inspiring as ever, ultraviolet with red, teal with emerald. And milliners should rejoice at the swirled velvet hats and brightly coloured officer’s caps,” Moore summarised.

Campbell is SAINT’s second model success story to emerge from Edwin Allen as one of the agency’s top models, Naki Depass, was discovered by Peters at the Clarendon high school in 2016. Ironically, Depass also walked for Prada in her very first model season, after making her exclusive debut for the British luxury fashion house Burberry.

Campbell’s model journey to being crowned Jamaica’s newly minted fashion star took shape in March of last year. The teenager, who hails from Belmont district was chaperoned to Kingston by her farmer mother Terry Ann Williams to meet SAINT’s head honcho, just a week after her daughter had entered the Miss Edwin Allen High pageant and felt crestfallen when victory had eluded her. “She swore she would never enter another competition, but I knew her potential and decided to take her to meet Mr Peters who liked her on the spot and advised that she begin the training sessions for the Fashion Face contest,” Williams recalled.

Campbell’s belated addition to the competition proved triumphant as she secured the unanimous votes of judges, visiting model agents from Europe and North America. Now signed to Elite in Milan and The Society Management in New York, the teen, who had once felt the brunt of loss before tasting sweet success, is ready to go all in on an international modelling career.

“I am here to learn and seize the opportunities. Modelling is not just about glamour shoots and walking runways, it’s a business, and I know that it’s a serious profession and I am willing to put in the work,” disclosed Campbell, a consummate bookworm who thoroughly enjoys and excels in the sciences at school.

For Peters, it’s a another watershed moment in the 24-year-long legacy of his agency. “Dru’s Prada debut is a proud milestone for SAINT. She is disciplined and worked hard during the sessions for runway walking. I applaud the support from her school family and definitely her ever supportive mom Terry Ann who always travelled with her from Clarendon for development sessions.

“Dru represents the emergence of a new exciting generation of SAINT fashion stars, with many more to come.”

SAINT has a storied history with Prada. The agency’s supermodel Kai Newman was a face for their Fall/Winter 2022 global advertising campaign while Naki Depass, Brandon Bailey and Jonny Brown have walked the fashion house’s seasonal collections multiple times.

lifestyle@gleanerjm.com