INTERVIEW: BARBADOS BORN MODEL CHICO HUGGINS

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TELL US ABOUT YOUR WEST INDIAN CONNECTION.

– I was born in Barbados and I was raised in St. Vincent. My mother was born in London, England but she grew up in Barbados. I think it was Harrison’s College that she attended. My grandmother also grew up in Barbados, but she was born in St. Lucia. My dad is from St. Vincent.

 

HOW DID YOU GET INTO MODELING?

– Some friends of mine back in St. Vincent invited me to a fashion show called the Fashion Caribbean Show and I was just magnetised by the environment. The atmosphere was so alluring. The way the models expressed themselves on the runway. I knew that’s what I wanted to do.

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HOW WERE YOU DISCOVERED? WHO SCOOPED YOU UP FIRST?

– I was initially signed to Image Model Agency in St. Vincent which is where I really got my foundation as a model. On a trip to London I was signed by two agencies on the same day, W Athletic and Fusion Models. I was booked pretty quickly for London Fashion Week where I walked for street wear brand Elevate London.

 

WHAT SAY YOU ON RACISM IN THE MODELING INDUSTRY, IN LIGHT OF THE RECENT RESURFACING OF THE CONTROVERSIAL INTERVIEW FEATURING SUPERMODELS IMAN, NAOMI CAMPBELL AND BETHANN HARDISON ADDRESSING THE ISSUE?

– I have never directly experienced it but I think, as most things do, it stems from the outside. It’s a much larger problem. In 2016, the fact that there is still racism in general, it’ll trickle through everything. Once there is still overall racism, there will be racism anywhere there are racists. Instead of constantly whining and talking about it, we need to just fight harder to push ourselves and each other. Focus on us, not them.

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WHAT DOES FASHION MEAN TO YOU?

– Fashion is a means of expression. What you wear should be an outward extension of who you are or your mood that day. Be confident and comfortable.

 

HOW WOULD YOU THEN DESCRIBE YOUR OWN PERSONAL STYLE?

– Hmm.. Definitely more urban/street wear, but with a preppy twist on occasion. Depending on where I’m going.

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YOU’RE KNOWN FOR YOUR SLIGHTLY RISQUE FITNESS PHOTOS ON INSTAGRAM BUT ALSO FOR YOUR BIG CURLY HAIR. WHY DID YOU CHOP OFF THOSE CURLY LOCKS?!

– Haha.. Well my agency is in charge of the direction of my image and my agent wants to take it in a slightly different direction. So, looking forward to it!

 

WHO WOULD YOU SAY WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE OR MOST RECOGNIZABLE CLIENT?

– I once did a Kit Kat commercial. That was a hell of a lot of fun. Definitely memorable. But also walking for House Of Byfield at NYFW, because as far as fashion runway models go I am only 5’10” which is quite short. So, it was quite an accomplishment in my eyes that I was chosen for that. I was the shortest guy at the casting. Lol

 

I KNOW YOU’RE BASED IN CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA. I FIND A LOT OF BLACK AND CARIBBEAN MODELS GO THERE AND DO QUITE WELL. WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT IS?

– Cape Town is very different to most fashion hubs like Milan or Paris. It’s all about personality. They love vibrant personalities and you know us Caribbean people are full of personality! Haha! Cape Town also provides great fashion and commercial print opportunities. Most people don’t know but a lot of campaigns are shot here, which gives the models here the great opportunity of getting connected with those fashion houses/companies directly.

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DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE DESIGNER?

– Not really. I’m not the type that is exactly hell bent on a particular designer. I would look through many designers on a rack, big brands or not, and if there’s something I like then there’s something I like.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING IN YOUR CLOSET?

– A pair of brown boots from H&M!

FAVOURITE MAGAZINE?

– GQ! Or my second choice would be Men’s Health.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE RISE OF TRANSGENDER MODELS WHO ARE COMPETING SERIOUSLY IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL AND SUCCEEDING?

– Great for them!!! The first that comes to mind is Isis King from America’s Next Top Model. I remember seeing her and thinking, ”Alright!!” Beautiful. Look, I say if you know for sure this is who you are, and this is what you should be.. Kudos! No problem with that at all. We have NO place to judge anyone.

 

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YOU’RE ALSO A PERSONAL TRAINER. THAT MUST COME IN HANDY TO STAY IN SHAPE FOR MODELING. WHAT’S YOUR REGIME LIKE?

– I work out six days a week and I like to mix it up. Sometimes do CrossFit-like exercises, cardio, weights or swimming. In terms of diet; everything in moderation. NO FAST FOODS! Lol. No bread or fried foods either.

 

WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR ASPIRING MODELS, ESPECIALLY THOSE STRUGGLING TO GET OUT OF THE CARIBBEAN?

– It may seem tough, but you HAVE TO PUSH. You can’t sit and wait for something to happen or drop in your lap. The industry is not as glamorous as you may think. That’s the end result. You MUST have thick skin because you will be ridiculed but it is not to be taken personally. Yes, we are all human and you may take some things to heart but this is a business first and foremost. Do research and know what you’re getting into. You have to understand what being a model is really about, what to expect of the industry and what the industry expects of you. Especially for those in the Caribbean, go online and see what it takes to apply to agencies online and just do it! You have nothing to lose anyway. Don’t think about how you are going to get there yet, if they accept you. Just do it and work for what you want!

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