It’s a name that you’re going to be hearing a lot about. Naomi Chin Wing, 17, has been dubbed Trinidad’s next top model by Vogue after appearing at Yves Saint Laurent's Spring 2018 showing during Paris Fashion Week.
It might be hard to believe that when Chin Wing first decided to model she was shy, as Coco Velvet International Fashion and Model Management’s chief executive Christopher Nathan said in a phone interview with Newsday yesterday.
If you’re unfamiliar with the name, you need only to look at Vogue’s September 26 article by Janelle Okwodu which says: “For tonight’s Spring 2018 show, designer Anthony Vaccarello and casting director Piergiorgio Del Moro honed in on the current It crowd, with Kaia Gerber, Mica Arganaraz, and Liam Gallagher’s handsome son Lennon all making the rounds. Those big names may get the bulk of the attention, but Vaccarello and Del Moro also introduced a series of newcomers, among them Naomi Chin Wing, a striking 17-year-old from Trinidad and Tobago. By making her debut at Saint Laurent, Wing fulfilled a wish she’s had since childhood—of heading to Europe and conquering the runway like her favourite supermodel and fellow Caribbean, Joan Smalls.”
Chin Wing was first discovered by Nathan when he held a fashion workshop for youth interested in a fashion industry career, July 2015. He said: “In 2015, we had conducted the workshop at the National library, NALIS, Port of Spain. We usually screen candidates and during one of the workshops she came into the session with her mother’s boyfriend, who I knew from long ago. He introduced me to her and at the time she was extremely shy and just 15-years-old...very raw but I saw some potential in her so I included her in the workshop even though she missed the casting.
"At the end of the workshop we had a screening for the finalist of Top Model Trinidad and Tobago 2015. She was selected for the finals...Naomi won the contest and one of her prizes was an international management contract with Elite Latin and South America. In January, the international agent John Bilboa [director of Elite Latin and South America] presented her to IMG Model Management and they were very happy with her and signed her to a global contract [in January 2016]."
Chin Wing is now represented by all six IMG offices which are based in Paris, Milan, London, New York, Sydney and LA. The Providence Girls secondary graduate, who got eight CXC subjects this year, then began her modelling career. At her international debut at Paris Fashion Week, she was selected by Saint Laurent and Rochas.
For Nathan, Chin Wing’s success has been a journey aided by many such as designers Claudia Pegus and Meiling Esau.
For Pegus, Chin Wing’s success speaks to TT’s beauty. But Pegus said the country needed to tip its hat to Nathan who was the driving force behind Chin Wing getting the opportunity. “This is not the first time Christopher has put one of our girls on the map...he has been working tirelessly to put Trinidad on the map.”
Pegus said she felt honoured to know she walked for two of her shows prior to leaving for Paris, Dougla and Pegus’ collection for UWI Instyle. Brian Matthew, public relations and branding practitioner said of Chin Wing: “I had the opportunity to work with Naomi at Claudia Pegus’ Fashion showcase 'Dougla' in April 2017. From the first time I met her, I knew, off the bat, that she had the prefect personality and demeanour to be an international model. "She had a modern look, fantastic legs like a gazelle and a unique captivating stare....Trinidad and Tobago has always had models that are signed to international agencies such as, Ryan Rocke and Michelene Auguste and Crystal Noreiga but Naomi is definitely positioning Trinidad and Tobago to becoming a large exporter of models to the international fashion industry like our counterparts in Jamaica.”