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Model of Excellence

News day / The award is being given to her by Karib Nation at the Silver Spring Civic Center, downtown Silver Spring, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

A veritable who’s who’s was awarded, over the years, at the event among them designer Claudia Pegus and model Soowan Bramble.

De Peza began modelling at 15 with the House of Jacqui. She said to Newsday: “From a young age, I always really liked modelling. After the Miss Universe pageant that is when I really decided to do it.” She said Fitzwilliam had been an inspiration for so many people including herself. “Ever since I was a little girl I would tell my mom I want to get into modelling.” She said she was at her hairdresser and someone there said to her, “You look like a model.

You should get into modelling.” That is when she signed up with the House of Jacqui, who at the time had a Port of Spain branch. The Belmont resident has done a number of projects, being the face of ad campaigns for major telecommunications companies and other major brands De Peza is currently employed part-time as a fashion sketch model/ demonstrator at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) and is also working on developing her own braiding and waxing business called More Style. She is also a final year student reading for a BSc in Psychology at the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTATT).

Karib Nation, she said, sent her a Facebook message in March, informing her of the event and the award. So this presents for De Peza the step that she requires to internationalise her modelling career.

“I want to really expand and get out there…as a person I want to develop. I probably want to see myself on an international stage modelling for a couple of international designers,” she said of where she ultimately hopes to see herself.

For De Peza, modelling is not her final career choice. “I don’t see it as a career in Trinidad.

I don’t know if it is my background or upbringing. My father [Randolph De Peza] would always push us academically.

“It was always go to school and get an education…so when I started modelling, at the age of 15, I was not taking it seriously.

I was in form three or four so it was just a hobby back then. But I have gotten older and grown in the fashion industry.” Many people, she said, began to take notice of her after she entered the 2012 local leg of the Miss Universe pageant. She was then the first runner-up.

“I am hoping through this award I would be able to network and meet some people. I hope to one day do New York Fashion Week,” she said.

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