Jeniel Williams has been on the scene for about three years now. And though you won’t find the 19-year-old storming down every runway, her fans count in high places — like Anna Wintour, Franca Sozzani, and Mario Testino. A native of Kingston, Jamaica, her career started after she won third place in the Caribbean Model Search contest in 2005 and signed with New York Models, which led to a campaign for United Colors of Benetton shot by David Sims. Her Benetton campaign sparked interest from Anna Wintour, who requested a meeting with her along with Mario Testino. But that wasn’t even her biggest break — that came when Franca Sozzani featured her as a newcomer in the all-black issue of Italian Vogue in July 2008. Since then, Williams has also graced the pages of Essence, Trace, and French GQ, and, most recently, she stars in the Jawbone ad campaign (a Bluetooth company). And she’s no stranger to the catwalk: Vena Cava, Richard Chai, Zero + Maria Cornejo, L’Wren Scott, and Jean Charles de Castelbajac all booked her for their fall shows and Diesel also chose her to open. Lanvin also cast her for the fall show, cementing her status as a newcomer. We like Williams’s career approach: It’s not a race to the top, it’s a steady climb.
Model Profile: Jeneil Williams
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