Oct. 14, 2007 — A casting call from the national magazine Bridal Guide netted one lucky teen from St. Croix a full page shot in its November/December issue.
Rhea Jenkins, a junior at St. Joseph's High School, was chosen from six local models who answered the casting call.
"She is one of the lucky ones," said Cyndee Frontal, owner of the Cyndee's Models agency.
Jenkins is the 16 year-old daughter of Jenny Martinez Perry of Grove Place. She has only been with Frontal's agency for a year.
"Rhea is a natural. She has the looks, the height and she catches on quick," Frontal said.
This is the first really big break for a model from St. Croix and Frontal's agency, she added.
In June, the V.I. Department of Tourism referred the editors of the magazine to Frontal. Frontal got the specifications needed for the models and six of her clients tried to fill the opening. Two were chosen to do the shoot, but one young lady was not available at the time of the scheduled shoot.
The island theme layout is titled "Paradise Found" and "Fantasy Island." Jenkins is featured in a bridesmaid section titled "Shades of Sorbet." Jenkins was photographed at Fort Christiansvaern in Christiansted. She is shown wearing a sea foam-green cocktail-length dress from David's Bridal.
Shots were done at The Buccaneer Resort on the beach, the golf course and at the sugar mill. Local youngsters in school uniforms were used in a shot surrounding a bride and groom at the Buccaneer sugar mill. Shots were also done at Carambola Beach Resort, Rumrunners Restaurant and throughout Christiansted. Margie's Blossoms located in Gallows Bay provided tropical floral bouquets. "Bridal Guide" is sold locally at Kmart, Pueblo and the Plaza Extras store. The editors of the magazine were so impressed with the beauty of St. Croix they are planning on doing more photo shoots in February 2008, according to the department of tourism.
Sasha Phillips, also with the agency, has signed to do ads and a webpage for Slip N Go luggage protectors, a locally owned Christiansted business.
Jason Gardener, formally of St. Croix and graduate of Cyndee's Models, is the owner of JG Model Management in New York City. For two months in the summer of 2008 models from Cyndee's will be going to New York to work with Gardener. They will get a feel for the business, be sent to castings and get experience on how marketable they are in New York.
"The goal for the models is to be marketed abroad with major agencies and hopefully on to Milan where top models start," Frontal said.
Frontal has been running the agency on St Croix for 18 years. This month she is starting classes on St. Thomas at Palms Court Hotel with 20 new students. Not all of Frontal's students are planning on careers in modeling. "Some parents sign their children up for classes because they want them to be refined and not act so much like tomboys. Some come to learn poise, posture and presentation," Frontal said.
Frontal has an after school program for juniors and seniors at St. Croix Central High and St Croix Education Complex on dressing for success. The students learn grooming, how to dress for job interviews and present themselves in a professional way. The class is under the Safe and Drug Free Program funded through the St. Croix Department of Education.
Monifa Steel, a French teacher at Central and a student of Cyndee's, assists with the after-school program.
Jenkins has been trained by Frontal to help with training in the dressing for success class. Jenkins plans on going to college and studying psychology and modeling any chance she gets.
"I am certainly proud of how far Rhea has come and I look forward to bigger and better things to come," Frontal said.
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