“The best part of being part of the Afro-Caribbean community is being crafted in and embodying the rich history and culture of various world regions in one blend of celebration and unity.
I love Afro-Caribbean culture for our pride in embracing our African heritage, and the unique expressions in language, dance, music, food throughout the various countries, island nations. It is joyous to be able to connect with the land and spirit through these aspects of culture.
Lately, I’ve seen a misconception amongst ourselves, namely Caribbean companies and brands in showcasing the culture through the prominent use of fairer complected models, as opposed to dark skinned models, with the reasoning that this practice the will garner greater profit margins. By presenting versatility and cultural images in my body of work I hope to be a compelling resource and influence for change.”
Before starting her full-time modeling business, American-St. Lucian model Marie Claire Frederick engaged in a number of exciting corporate professional careers. Ultimately, her entrepreneurial spirit prevailed – and Luciagel is happy to feature her as a self-made businesswoman.
Born in the US, she spent her childhood in New Village, Castries. She attended the Anglican School and spent her summers in Dennery.
Marie Claire’s list of careers is a long one. Her original background being PR and journalism, she used to write press releases in relation to the Points of Light award as part of the team of Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida. She further worked as a paralegal, dealing with foreclosures and workers’ compensation, and can still act as notary public! She also worked on immigration cases and is a keen sportswoman, including being a former gymnast.
She recognizes moving from the corporate world to her own modeling business entailed tradeoffs, such as being prepared to accept lower pay in the short run. But since she describes fashion as her passion, the choice was obvious. Now she manages her own career and markets herself via social media and other channels.
Her modeling talent clearly made her choice easier. She prides herself with having a look that is versatile from bridal to sportswear. Her work speaks for itself.
Cosmopolitan as her career may be, she is still proudly Saint Lucian and Caribbean: ‘My image was used in Unitransfer’s Haiti calendar. It holds special meaning as it couples my image with Creole language. One of my goals as a model is to work with companies that support my Caribbean cultural heritage, and the Unitransfer calendar image showcased that completely.
She is always happy to visit Saint Lucia and is keen on working on improving her patois. She misses the connection with nature she feels when on the island, and hopes to return one day for to pursue business opportunities in St. Lucia.
Author: Jennifer Wilder
Jennifer Aria Wilder-Boynes is a passionate, heart-centered illustrator supplying art, fashion and decor around the world. Her original designs are saturated in influence from travel, culture, and well-being.
Jennifer concentrated on contributing to a global understanding and appreciation of Caribbean culture, traditions, lifestyle, and identities and how that extends to Africa. At Her Leisure celebrates the entire Caribbean region and its Diaspora. At Her Leisure brings Afro- Caribbean culture to diverse audiences both on and offline in addition to keeping the Diaspora connected with their cultural heritage.
Developed in the U.S. and designed from inspiration around the world. For life, travel and leisure through love, travel and wander!