EASY MAGAZINE: Shamique’s a top model
SHAMIQUE SIMMS had a big secret to keep from her family and friends. She had won the 2017 Caribbean Next Top Model (CNTM) edition, but per her contract couldn’t reveal it until the night of the announcement.
At FLOW’S headquarters in Charlton’s Avenue, Kingston, Jamaica, it was all anticipation and nerves as the final three stood waiting on April 3.
When CaribeNTM co-executive producer, host, judge and former Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwilliam called her name, her supporters screamed with delight.
The finale ended in dramatic fashion as the remaining two contestants, Nkechi Vaughn of Guyana and Samantha West from Trinidad, tied for second place. In addition to being named the Caribbean’s Next Top Model, the 5 foot 9 inch, 23-year-old Jamaican beauty has also been awarded US$25 000 in cash; an international modelling agency contract with Mint Model Management, NY; a cover feature and editorial spread in SHE Caribbean magazine; and the latest generation iPhone from Flow.
“I was so overwhelmed with joy it made me speechless and the entire time I was shaking, probably in disbelief, as I am never the one to really win anything,” she told EASY magazine about being the winner of the second edition of the competition.
Shamique got her first taste of the modelling industry was when sister Shanna-lee Simms signed her to a modelling agency.
“I have always wanted to be a model and a nurse. However over the years I’ve had a change of heart where nursing is concerned and went on to pursue my studies in hospitality and tourism management at the International University of the Caribbean,” said the past student of Goshen Primary Tacky High, Iona High and Brown’s Town Community College.
“I was a country girl, born in St Mary and moved to St Ann’s to live when I was 12.”
Shamique is from a big family – mum Winnifred Hamilton and dad Melton Simms, with brothers Jennard Simms, Jevon Simms, Jerome Simms, Richard Simms, Kharim Simms, Mushtaq Habib, Vencott Habib and Dwayne Jeffrey.
Entering CNTM was just the next step for Shamique.
“I felt the [competition] would be a big step to take in my career as a model, if I am I to make a name for myself.”
Shamique said it was not an easy road with shooting of episodes lasting about ten to 12 hours per day. Each episode came with its own make-up; for example the underwater shoot “as I cannot swim at all.
“I normally avoid big bodies of water whether it be a pool or the beach. On top of that I had a stepbrother who was a lifeguard and he drowned a few years ago, so the fear of the same thing happening to me is always in my mind.
“At this same shoot I was also told that my mum was in a critical accident, so that was a double whammy,” said Shamique solemnly.
“The biggest challenges were the elimination round . . . the long time standing,” she said laughing.
“I was never entirely nervous about going home; however I was nervous for the week of the underwater shoot and the shoot we did at the stadium because I knew I didn’t fully deliver at those two shoots for different reasons.”
Shamique said she took the judges’ criticism seriously each week, and what pleased her was the one where she was told that they had seen her as a model from the moment she was picked to be in the competition.
“This critique meant a lot because I have always been very conscious when it comes on to my overall attire, as I always want to ensure I look the part at all times.”
Speaking on looking the part, Shamique said that while she follows fashion trends sometimes, she plays by her own rules most times.
“My fashion sense changes every three to five years. I’m always up for trying new things and new ways of dressing, so I don’t even shy away from any colours, even the ones that I am not very fond of like orange, red, green and purple.
Definitely a heels girl, Shamique’s fashion staple are rompers [“I love rompers”] and she likes to shop at H&M and ZARA.
Shamique laughed when asked to recall some childhood memories, only revealing that her childhood nickname was Miss Matty or Matty.
“Even today family members and close family friends still call me that.”
Shamique told EASY that her biggest fear in life “is not being able to live out my truest potential . . . my purpose. My daily mantra is just be true to yourself and strive for what you believe in.”
If she had to moonlight at a job, what would she choose?
“No idea (laughing) . . . . Maybe a superhero (another bout of laughter).”