St. John’s Antigua- With vital statistics 34-22-34 and 113 pounds to her 5’9” frame, Xiea Hull definitely has got the look of a model. Add her exotic appearance of black and Portuguese ethnicity and she’ll stand out wherever she goes. It’s probably the reason she attracted the attention of Caribbean Top Model recruiters, who, after perusing her photos online and chatting with her via Skype, invited her to join 23 other contestants in the regional competition.
She didn’t get past the first phase but it was just as well because her position as an Antigua Girls’ High School visual arts teacher required her fulltime presence.
But Xiea’s not daunted by that. She’s got plans to take her modelling career on the international scene and she doesn’t want to join any agencies just yet because she wants to maintain her international appeal.
“I want to be independent for now because I don’t think the fashion or modelling industry down here is too elite. It’s not to my liking,” she told OBSERVER Entertainment. “I want to get into like The States the UK, Milan, Tokyo those types of places. I also want to be a Victoria Secret Model; that’s my main goal.”
Meantime, Xiea’s focus is on building her portfolio. Thus far, it includes a part in Jamaican reggae artiste Jah Cure’s latest video for his song Kiss Me Girl.
“I was the main girl in that video. I was Jah Cure’s girl really… There was also Drastic and BV, so we did that video I think it was two weeks ago Saturday. And there’s another video coming up that I’m doing with Logiq…”
Her experience also includes an appearance in a Birkenstock television ad filmed earlier this year by Nigel Trellis of Working Girl Fame. The locations for that stint were Turner’s Beach and Jolly Beach Resort.
Eighteen and only in the business a year, Xiea, one could say, “stumbled” into modelling when taking photos with a friend poolside.
“It all started out when I went to a pool in Jolly Beach…Me and my friend… she brought her camera and we started taking pictures and we’re like wow, these pictures actually look good. So I posted them on Facebook and people were like wow you should totally be a model.” she recalls.
The scout encouraged her to attend Mike Beaty’s Model and Talent Expo in Texas, an educational and career-building event for people interested in the modelling and performing arts fields. Present would be internationally recognised agencies like Elite, Ford and Wilhelmina.
“I was like ‘oh my gosh. This is the it thing,’” she said. “So we went up there…and attended the expo. I got some agencies that called me but because I’m not an American citizen, it’s kind of hard to get the papers to work there; it takes like three years.”
It’s a stumbling block, yes, but not one that will stop Xiea but rather serve as experience to inform future moves. Since then, she’s been getting the attention of many photographers who want her image in their portfolio. It works out for her because she too is working on hers.
“I just want to branch off, try and get my portfolio started so I can really apply to a proper agency. I don’t want to apply to an agency now and I’m not prepared ‘cause it’s kind of hard in the modelling world. Most people think it’s just posing but it’s not. It’s hard work.”