Led by Wendy Fitzwilliam (head judge and executive producer), the Top Model team launched their quest to find the Caribbean's Next Top Model at the Hilton Trinidad Ballroom foyer. Executive producer Ian Royer announced that casting was officially open for young women between the ages of 18 and 27, who stand five feet, seven inches, and taller. He also announced that the permanent judging panel for the show would also include Richard Young, a fashion veteran who has carved a pronounced niche in the fashion industry across the region; and Australian photographer Pedro Virgil who has worked on Australia's Next Top Model and shot for magazines such as Australian Vogue and Sports Illustrated, with a rotating fourth judge who would be a regional or international fashion authority.
It was also revealed that the show, unlike its counterparts, would focus each season on a specific island from its more than 30 country cache (covering the English, French and Dutch Caribbean, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic). Trinidad and Tobago was chosen as the first host country for the franchise and has already received an endorsement from the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company who will support this endeavour. Executive producer Dionyse Fitzwilliam said even though the primary focus was to find the next "It" girl in the fashion world, the production was also driven to help create a booming fashion industry and a competitive film and television market place. Capitalising on the expert guidance of their partners, CBS International and the producers of America's Next Top Model, the production will use local film and supporting crews with the intent to raise the bar in local production.
She emphasised the potential of this project by stating: "The Caribbean must be effectively branded to be a significant player on a global scale and CaribeNTM provides a powerful platform to monetise the cultural value of our brand." Young defined the beauty of showcasing our talent and enforced the potential of the Caribbean market by saying: "The only way we can appreciate our Caribbean style is if we present it to them." Wendy Fitzwilliam declared: "I will be the drill sergeant." She has committed herself to ensuring the franchise produces a girl capable of being successful in the competitive field of modelling. She is very confident that talent is abundant in the region and is excited to find fresh faces while producing great television. The producers began their quest for models in Barbados yesterday when they attended the official casting for Barbados' Fashion Week where they were hosted by Barbadian fashion expert Rodney Powers.
For more about the show, entry requirements and eligibility for models visit www.cnexttopmodel.com.