Featurette with Shahaida Lynch

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Shahaida Lynch is a Barbadian fashion model who just last year was one of the young women vying for the Miss Barbados Universe crown. She has been on the cover of Living Barbados and Easy Magazine, worked with Kadooment band Baje International, Nikki Beach, Chefette and Butterfly Boutique. She recently participated in the “4 Photographers Shoot The Same Model” video with Kyle Babb, Kamilah Ellis, Ansuni Hall and Shane Leacock.

Learn more about Shahaida, her career and her goals and aspirations in our interview with her below.

Photo provided by Shahaida Lynch. Photography by Shane Eastmond.

Zeitgeist: How long have you been modelling?
Shahaida Lynch: For three years consistently. However, my first ever photoshoot for a designer was in 2012.

Z: When did you first become interested in modelling and what drew you to it?
SL: I was eight at the time and I was watching America’s Next Top Model and they had a runway challenge. From there I was drawn to the way you can add personality and style to how you walk and carry clothes.

Z: So modelling has essentially been a lifelong dream for you.
SL: No, it’s been something I wanted to try. [Because] you know as a child certain things peak your interest for a while.

Z: What do you love the most and what do you like the least about being a model?
SL: I love working with new people in the industry. It creates new connections and opportunities. The dislike: fashion is seen as something serious in Barbados, but it’s not capitalized economically. We could do so much more.

Z: Are there any fashion designers and brands – local or international – that you would like to work for someday?
SL: Chanel, Versace, Victoria Secret, Vivienne Westwood to name a few. In regards to locals; I don’t have anyone in mind [to be honest], because everyone I’ve thought of working with, I have. That is, until someone else comes along.

Photo provided by Shahaida Lynch. Photography by Jaryd Niles.

Z: What about photographers and models?
SL: International; as long as they’ve done great work for clients like Vogue, Porter and Elle magazine, why wouldn’t I want to work with them?

Z: Speaking of, who are some models you look up to and whose careers you would like to model (pun not intended) yours after?
SL: I’ve always looked up to Joan Smalls because she [represents] from the Caribbean islands and [I] enjoy her background story. Karlie Kloss because of her extremely tall physique. I also look up to Doutzen Kroes; Her look and body type remind me of my own, so I try to look onto those who are quite similar and stand out to me in the industry.

Also, must add [that] I love Gisele Bündchen. The way she commands the runway and captures the attention of those looking on…She is my all-time [favourite].

Z: You were a Miss Universe Barbados delegate last year, has that always been a dream of yours?
SL: No, it wasn’t. But it was something I was willing to challenge myself to do.

Photo provided by Shahaida Lynch. Photography by Ultimate 411.

Z: How was your experience as one of the delegates?
SL: It was okay.

Z: Did you make any friends or learn anything about yourself or had any myths about pageants and the pageant world dispelled?
SL: Of course I made friends. In regards to learning about myself, it wasn’t a learning experience for me: it was rediscovery. What did I conclude? As long as I continue to believe in myself, I am fearless and fierce and anything I set my mind to, I do it well and do it darn well at that.

Z: You finished fifth overall in the Miss Universe Barbados pageant, although you didn’t win, are you still proud of how you performed?
SL: I didn’t place fifth, I just made it to the top [five]. Of course I am proud, not because of the decision made that night; I’m proud because I worked hard and I did something that I honestly never thought I would do and that’s pageantry.

Z: How did you become involved in the “4 Photographers Shoot The Same Model” video with Kyle Babb, Kamilah Ellis, Ansuni Hall and Shane Leacock?
SL: Kyle posted on his [Instagram] story about doing the concept and he asked for a [make-up artist] and a model. Akeem Francis accepted the challenge and because I know him, somehow I felt encouraged. So I took up the challenge as well.

Photo provided by Shahaida Lynch. Photography by Ansuni Hall.

Z: What was it like doing the video and what did you enjoy the most?
SL: [Oh my God] it was amazing and it was a challenge which I loved. Each photographer was given five minutes for the first three outfits and the last was three minutes. So as a model I had to ace those shots within the given time and it was so exhilarating!

Everything was running smoothly until my eyes began to water and my sinuses began to drip. It was awful, but I knew I had a job at hand. So zero distractions. No circumstance should stop you from finishing what you’ve started.

It was absolutely weird. It never happened before so I thought it was the makeup, but then I realized [that] I was in Speightstown. That [Speightstown] air man. Lol.

Z: Was it all done in one day?
SL: Yes it was.

Z: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
SL: It’s been everything I have done [so far], because I haven’t done anything excitingly major, but I have done things that make what I do worth doing.


Photo provided by Shahaida Lynch. Photography by Rohan Bullen.

Z: What are some dreams of yours you have yet to realise?
SL: Becoming a well-known person universally in the [lines] of business, fashion and honestly anything I can get my hands.

Z: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned, as a model and otherwise?
SL: Be confident enough to grab the attention of others, yet humble enough to seem approachable. And my manta for life; “Dare to be different.” You’re better off molding yourself to become a better you than to become someone else.

Z: What would you like to achieve in your career as a model and what mark would you like to leave on the modelling and fashion industries?
SL: The opportunity to cast for major fashion houses and be seen as one of the greatest runway models to have ever hit the fashion world and in general to bring back the true being of the word SUPERMODEL.

Z: What advice would you give to young Barbadians who would like to enter the modelling world?
SL: Do not become weary when things aren’t falling your way. It’s fashion. So the key principle to remember is: one minute you’re the talk, next minute you’re not.

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About The Author

An avid reader who accidentally discovered her love and talent for writing and has loved movies for as long as she has been watching them. Stumbled into film-making and found her second love because she decided to read for a degree in it on a whim - kind of.