Kenny Hercules was one of the up and coming models given the opportunity to walk the runway at the Pegasus Hotel during Guyana Fashion Week three weeks ago and from all accounts he made the stage his and really sold the designs he wore.
It was surprising when he told The Scene that he was once a shy boy, because he owned the stage. However, it was only after auditioning in March for the GFW, and being accepted, that Kenny’s career in modelling commenced.
As a prelude to GFW, he walked the runway in September for Style Mission, a charitable event spearheaded by fashion designer and CEO of GFW Sonia Noel.
“Modelling wasn’t my kind of thing. I was shy and worried about the stigma [attached to] guys walking the runway,” Kenny revealed. “I used to hang out with Meleesa Payne and John Gibbons [models]. It was Meleesa and John who pushed me into signing up for the audition along with Creative Director of GFW Richard Young. My fiancée [Kadia Accra] signed up and I signed up for auditions also,” Kenny said.
“Training was really intense. Model rehearsals started five to six months in advance. First it was every Sunday from three to six [pm]. Three weeks prior to the fashion show we rehearsed Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays five to eight and the week before; every day [five to eight]. Meleesa and Keron Noble were in charge of the training. I didn’t like making mistakes so I worked hard to get it right. I had a good experience though the training was tough.”
The runway opened a whole new experience for him. It was nerve-wracking while he waited in line for his turn. According to Kenny as he counted down models to his turn he sweated more as he drew closer to the runway. But after a few strides down the catwalk he began enjoying it and anticipated the next designer piece he would wear to get back out on the runway. He quickly learnt to keep his place or risk ending up at the back of the line. Since models have to remain standing from start to finish, losing your place means you’re on your feet longer.
Kenny enjoyed the GFW Runway Style Night, showcasing Nielson Nurse’s exhilarating ‘Man in the Mirror’ line; he and other male models wore underwear, ties and briefcases, leaving some of the women gaping, cheering and scrambling for their phones and cameras. This, Kenny said, gave him a bold feeling. But his all-time favourite piece to rock was a suit and he looks forward to formal occasions that would afford him the opportunity to don one.
“The best part about being a model is getting to meet new people and learning about their cultures. The models are the first also to wear these designer pieces before they hit the market. Better yet we get to do photo-shoots; the photos are great!” Kenny enthused.
The models were also given the opportunity to showcase their talents at the Performing Style Night on November 9, at the Theatre Guild which saw Kenny performing a song and participating in drama. He also did a performance of ‘Moment for Life’ alongside Saida Smith on night two of the GFW Runway Style.
Though he never paid attention to the fashion world before now, Kenny enjoys watching Meleesa, Gibbons and Alicia Bess strut the runway and says they inspire him.
Apart from persons within the fashion industry, Kenny said the support from family and friends has been tremendous.
Being a model, he shared, does not only better him through the training he has received but has taught him discipline; he works out and tries to maintain a healthy diet, mostly vegetarian.
Kenny encourages aspiring models to “never back down” in trying for what they want but at the same time to never put their education on the back burner. To men, especially, he encourages them to fight against the stigma of men modelling by getting on board.
Kenny has grooved right into the fashion industry and is certainly enjoying it. A few more years, he said, should find him better at this new skill. Although his fiancée auditioned for the GFW, she didn’t participate in the show due to pregnancy. According to the excited new dad, he’s enjoying his free time with their brand new daughter, Kylie, who is just shy of two weeks old and whom he hopes will strut the runway someday, but “Only if she wants to.”
Kenny is currently an optician at Modern Optical Services and hopes that in five years’ time he would have his own practice and be settled nicely with his family.
The Scorpio-born who celebrated his birthday on November 17, considers himself to be a quiet, compassionate, easy-going and friendly individual.
His biggest pet peeves are lying and vulgar behaviour.
His hobbies include singing (rap, R&B), playing sports (cricket, basketball, pools) and dancing (R&B and Soca).
Kenny is on Facebook as Kenny Hercules.