Supermodel Lois Samuels was a shy 14-year-old when Pulse Chairman Kingsley Cooper visited Hampton School in the company’s first model search in the late 1980s. Another star, Kimberley Mais, had made a big breakthrough for Caribbean modelling when she was selected in Japan for a Kirin beer campaign, becoming the first Jamaican model to be selected for an international promotion for a major brand. Her success then, followed by quick inroads into the Paris market, made Mais an inspiration for young Jamaicans. This was the catalyst that launched Pulse’s Model Search and Lois was an early ‘find’.
Samuels was a Hampton student, a young starry-eyed native of St Elizabeth and the child of a schoolteacher mother. She was struck by the prospects of international modelling. After her discovery by Pulse, Lois completed high school and despite a tough time getting an international agency, during visits to London, Paris and New York, she would later succeed as a model. Lois was eventually signed to Beth-Ann Models on a “go see” to New York City in 1992 after Pulse was able to convince the agent of the young model’s special potential. After a slow start to her international career, Lois’ big break came with her selection for the iconic Calvin Klein CK1 campaign, one that introduced the waiflike, grunge ‘look’ to the world. Her face was everywhere: on buses, subway displays, department stores and all the major fashion magazines around the world.
Samuels subsequently became the first Caribbean model to make the cover of Vogue. Today, she continues to be one of the most enduring models of all time, featured as recently as this year in campaigns for important brands.
Equally important, Lois has established her widely acclaimed fashion line The Vessell, first shown at Caribbean Fashionweek four years ago…
Read more: The Gleaner