Jamaica Nyce Interviews Kingsley Cooper, Global Fashion ICON

Irie Jam Media Group’s Caribbean Fashion Rocks 2010 was spectacular, held on Sunday April 25, 2010, at LQ Nightclub, New York City. It was a star-studded event with diplomats, dignitaries, supermodels, and fashionistas in attendance. Ten very talented designers presented colorful and creative designs. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to global fashion ICON Kingsley Cooper, of Pulse Investments Ltd in Jamaica, who launched the careers of numerous international models, including Vogue and Gucci models Nadine Willis, Jaunel McKenzie, Gaye McDonald, Jeneil Williams, as well as Sports Illustrated swimsuit model & Esquire cover girl Carla Campbell. Mr. Cooper was given the awarded for his outstanding contribution to the global fashion industry.

Jamaica Nyce caught up with global fashion icon Kingsley Cooper at the event for a quick interview. Here it is:

Jamaica Nyce Interviews Kingsley Cooper, Global Fashion ICON

Jamaica Nyce: Hi I am Jamaica Nyce and we are here at Caribbean Fashion Rocks, One of New York’s signature runway events. And today we are honoring Kingsley Cooper, one of the pioneers in Jamaican or Caribbean fashion…the founder of Caribbean Fashion Week and Pulse Modeling Agency Kingsley Cooper. Welcome back (to NY).

Kingsley Cooper: It’s good to be here. As I told you earlier, NY is my home. I’ve always lived in Jamaica, but I’ve been coming here since I was 17. Every year I come here several times. New York is the closest thing to a home away from home, so it is always good to be here.

Jamaica Nyce: That’s right, and you can always get good food and good vibes here in NY right?

Kingsley Cooper: I love NY. I love the energy of NY.

Jamaica Nyce: So, you started Pulse (Pulse Investments Limited) way back in 1980, right?

Kingsley Cooper: Yes, long time ago.

Jamaica Nyce: Right, but wasn’t always in fashion, what was your vision for Pulse back then?

Kingsley Cooper: Well, entertainment generally. I believe in the talent of Jamaicans and the whole creative industries. We didn’t see it quite that way then, but we always knew we had the talent and we had the potential to make our mark internationally. And so that’s how it started and it evolved from one thing to another, and it grew and developed to where we are today.

Jamaica Nyce: Yes. Excellent! Excellent! And so what was your inspiration to move into fashion with Pulse Model Agency?

Kingsley Cooper: Well, fashion was a part of it, because in the first year we also had, I remember bringing a fashion show from New York to Jamaica. And we started working with models in Jamaica. And we started our own agency and we took the girls to Paris. And it just grew. But fashion was always a part of it.

Jamaica Nyce: Fashion is always a part of music and entertainment.

Kingsley Cooper: Oh yes. Yes! Yes! Yes! We always saw it that was holistically.

Jamaica Nyce: Yes.

Kingsley Cooper: It’s more so now, because every entertainer has a fashion line and..

Jamaica Nyce: That’s right…

Kingsley Cooper: You know, the whole nine yards. It’s all about, you know, a sort of a whole catalytic movement in terms of the different things that spark new ideas and new ways of integration, and new dimensions to media. You know, it’s multimedia they say, but you know it’s more than that.

Jamaica Nyce: Right.

Kingsley Cooper: You know…yes!

Jamaica Nyce: So, ah, you have Pulse Model Agency and in 2002 you started a model search. Of the model search, it’s like you have the best models in the industry. How did you manage to tap into these fine talents?

Kingsley Cooper: Well, they say I have a good eye. But I just think that we bred on the success (bred on success). So you know, as we got successes like a Kimberly Mais and an Althea Laing in the early days, it went to Angela Neil, and Romae Gordon, and Lois Samuels, and Justine Willoughby, and Juline Samuels, and then the next generation came with Nadine (Willis) and Carla Campbell and it just kept going.

Jamaica Nyce: Right?

Kingsley Cooper: And now we have Jeneil Williams and Sedene Blake, who were the best runway girls this season.

Jamaica Nyce: Right.

Kingsley Cooper: So, it never stops.

Jamaica Nyce: So, is there a formula that you would say, when people are coming to Pulse?

Kingsley Cooper: Great girls. We identify the great girls. We give them an opportunity to be exposed internationally. Good affiliate agencies who we work with here (New York), and in Paris, and in Milan, and in London, and just the whole process of support and nurturing that results in what you see.

Jamaica Nyce: And I find it very inspiring that Pulse (Pulse Investments Limited) is actually on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

Kingsley Cooper: Yes. We are the only such company listed. We are a multi-billion dollar company now, in Jamaican dollars of course. And so it is very exciting, and the future is potentially amazing. Anything is possible.

Jamaica Nyce: What would you to young aspiring designers and entrepreneurs (business people) who are coming up in the industry?

Kingsley Cooper: Well, believe in yourself. Take your craft very seriously. Make sure you access all the training and all the information available. And plan to have a professional operation. Don’t just expect things to happen. Have a plan and work toward the plan.

Jamaica Nyce: What can we expect in this year’s Caribbean Fashion Week (Kingston, Jamaica)?

Kingsley Cooper: The best Caribbean Fashion Week ever. You know, the best designers, the best entertainers, stylists, everything is going to be phenomenal this year. It’s our tenth anniversary.

Jamaica Nyce: Oh, it’s your tenth anniversary?

Kingsley Cooper: We are pulling all the stops.

Jamaica Nyce: Alright, that’s wonderful. Well, congratulations tonight for your honor (award). And thank you so much for being such an inspiration to all of us in the Caribbean as we try to aspire in the fashion entertainment industry.

Kingsley Cooper: Thank you very much. And thanks to Irie Jam (Irie Jam Media Group), for seeing it fit to bestow this honor on me. I am pleased to be here and I am going to enjoy it.

Jamaica Nyce: Thank you.

Kingsley Cooper to Jamaica Nyce: Good job!

Kingsley Cooper Honored Photo Gallery


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