Reggae on the Rock

Upon arriving on the Caribbean island of Jamaica, you are immediately engulfed in vibrancy. From the vivid hues of each building, lively local music echoing through the streets, and the ceaseless roll of the ocean waves in the distance, every inch of the tropical paradise teems with an infectiously dynamic spirit. To experience the unique culture of the local population is to truly experience this eternal atmosphere.

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I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the Jamaican lifestyle for a few short days as a guest of Red Stripe Beer, the leading local brewery on the island. Founded in 1928 with the slogan “born from a little island with a big spirit,” Red Stripe has become an integral part of Jamaican heritage. Our itinerary was packed with thrilling adventures from coast to coast in order to highlight the passion and beauty of the island, including an private tour of the brewery’s facilities.

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The weekend was a whirlwind of daring escapades and indescribable natural phenomenons. Our first full day began with a tubing excursion through the Ocho Rios rapids to the hidden waterfalls of the Irie Blue Hole before taking flight over Montego Bay for a private avian tour. Known for its stunning white sand and crystal clear turquoise water, the popular tourist destination appears as a breathtaking aquamarine gem from above.

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Another day was spent primarily at Rick’s Cafe in Negril, a local restaurant and bar famous for it’s breathtaking sunset views, delicious local cuisine, and live local music. After happy hour, diners can watch their fellow travelers cliff dive 35 feet from nearby rocks into the inky teal abyss. For those lacking the (liquid) motivation to take the daring leap, there are two shorter cliffs that still allow for thrilling challenge.

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Nevertheless, the climax of the trip was the three-night reggae festival Sum Fest, As this year was the 25th anniversary of the incredible event, the crowds were bursting with vigorous intensity. Attendees embraced the Jamaican spirit by wearing radiant tones and unprecedented festival styles, often inspired by the rasta colors red, green, gold, and black. The epitome of my experience was my exclusive interview with Grammy-winning artist Sean Paul, which will be published shortly.

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While my time on the island may have ended, Jamaica has forever impressed into me the unparalleled vitality and culture of its locals, and I am already looking forward to the next adventure there.

 

xx

Bukunmi

Highsnobiety Interview

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Had the pleasure of being interviewed by Highsnobiety about my personal style, what first piqued my interest in fashion, career achievements and more.

What was the thing that first got you interested in fashion?

I was a total nerd in elementary school and would spend my summers in the library. It was there I discovered Alexander McQueen in a “decades of fashion” type of book. I became so obsessed with McQueen’s genius creations and concepts that I would bawl my eyes out watching his runway show. He was my first introduction to the art of fashion.

What was your first big gig?

The first gig that I was proud of was shooting an editorial with one of my favorite models in Bo-Kaap for Elle South Africa a few years ago. It was a very rogue shoot so there was adrenaline from start to finish. I just discovered the designer two nights previously at a movie theatre and I was short an assistant when a taxi driver volunteered to help with the bounce and transportation.

Everything just fell excellently into place. Another plus was when a social media company I worked for in the past used some of the photos for billboards in L.A. It was very cool driving through the hood looking up at my work.grace-bukunmi-highsnobiety-wavy-women-08-light

Tell us about your day to day.

t all differs depending on what country I’m in or the gigs I’ve secured. My ideal day occurs once in a blue moon but it happened recently. I woke up at 5AM, wrote an article, had a styling session, photographed an editor, then went to model cool clothes for a feature. I could do that everyday! However I’m typically on location all-day or attending meetings and working wherever I choose.

If you weren’t doing what you are now, where would you work?

I would most likely start a creative agency with a few friends. It would be heavily centered on strategic content and establishing authentic partnerships. If I were to work for a company, I would love to work at Impossible Project in Berlin; they seem like a really neat company, completely dedicated to their craft. Plus, I love their cameras and films.

Describe your current style.

Grace Kelly-meets-Grace Jones, but ultimately, highly versatile.grace-bukunmi-highsnobiety-wavy-women-05-light

Who or what are you currently inspired by?

I’ve always been inspired by my parents and generally anyone who’s had a story of struggle and found success. Lately, I’ve been heavily inspired by my peers. There are some really great stories that are being shared by people such as David Yi at Very Good Light and Chaédria LaBouvier at Elle. I’m also constantly inspired by my boyfriend’s work ethic, passion and sincere curiosity about everything.

What is the greatest accomplishment of your life so far?

Getting passed my doubts and disbelief and learning to have faith in the process. I haven’t won a Nobel prize or discovered a cure for cancer, so for now, this is a good thing.

What is your most treasured item of clothing? (also why?)

My 2-piece Jackie Onassis suit that I got for a dollar during my first week in LA.grace-bukunmi-highsnobiety-wavy-women-02

Where do you want to be in the next five years?

I would love to have made major transitions in my work as a photographer and stylist, learning the ropes of art direction. It would also be lovely to create several photo or fiction books centered around migration, diversity, travel and subcultures.

Dream collaboration? (with whom and what would you create?)

I would create images that allow you to teleport into memories captured in the images. My best bet for a partner on that would be Elon Musk or Sony.grace-bukunmi-highsnobiety-wavy-women-06