Prominent fashion designer and model trainer Kingsley Thorne is dead.
Thorne, known for his radical and biting critique as a regular guest judge on the Barbados Amateur Model Search CBC television programme series and various beauty pageants, passed away yesterday afternoon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, after a prolonged illness.
Founder of the Ebony Modelling Agency, he was also responsible for launching or inspiring the modelling and fashion careers of many young people across Barbados. On his Facebook page where he wrote a series entitled Casting Calls with Kingsley Thorne – This Show Isn’t Normal, he once posted “I make models, models never ever made me. I have been all over the world and worked with only the best of what is models.”
Oral Welshman, founder of the New Horizon Models, producer of the Mother Daughter Pageant, professional dancer, choreographer and model trainer said today Thorne’s death was a shock to him.
“He has been a great inspiration to the fashion industry. He trained a lot of models,” he said of Thorne, with whom he worked closely. He expressed sympathy to the family of his late colleague on behalf of his models.
Dramatist, actress and stage management official, Merle Niles, was one of those people to whom the former fashion designer turned for advice.
“The fashion industry has lost a designer and fashion guru. Kingsley took the industry to another level. If you got pass Kingsley, you were good to go as a model. His comments might have hurt them at first, but in the long run,
left them in good stead,” Niles asserted. She said a big hole has been left in the fashion industry.
“Kingsley will be missed. He would ask me my opinion about drama,” she added.
Producer of the Barbados Amateur Model Search Sharon Sergeant lamented that Thorne’s death was a sad time for those in the business of fashion and modelling. “He was a great person. He started my career in modelling and fashion. He trained many good models in Barbados and throughout the region,” she noted. “He was also instrumental in I starting my own thing. He was the person who started sending Barbadian girls to the Miss Easteral pageant in Union Island,” the Model Search producer pointed out.
She told Barbados TODAY, she was planning to bring back the Model Search project this year and Thorne was part of those plans to do so.
Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Barbados Amateur Model Search, Corey Marshall saw his death as a tremendous loss to the industry.
“We are behind the scenes planning to bring back the Model Search and Kingsley was involved in those plans. He is irreplaceable. Because of his impact on the industry, it would be very hard to replace him,” Marshall declared. “He took modeling to another level. We could call on him for his ideas, not only for the Model Search, but many other pageants. He is very good at ideas. Anything late in the show and right away he makes an impact,” he recalled.
Founder and Executive Director of Sparkles International Modeling Agency, Clairmonte Grazette remembered his late colleague as having made a significant difference to the sector.
“Myself and Kingsley had the longest existing modelling agencies in Barbados … over 30 years. Kingsley worked on my last Miss Teen Barbados Pageant and we were looking forward to him working on the Miss Teen Barbados Universe this year. Kingsley had his ways, but he made a difference. I can’t say anything bad about him,” Grazette asserted.
“I worked with Kingsley on some shows. He trained models. He showed at my third fashion show at Royal Pavllion. He referred Barbadian and regional designers to international model agents for their products and services,” remarked Executive Producer of the former Absolute Caribbean Fashion Show, now known as BB Fashion Week, Rodney Powers. He, too, acknowledged Thorne as having made a significant contribution to the fashion and modeling business in Barbados. (EJ)