There are moments in your life when you become aware of something, or someone that just makes sense. In the Caribbean, the Arts constantly struggle to emerge and in St. Lucia, the push me pull you of design, fashion, identity and statement, is no less volatile.
One of the ‘butterflies’ who summoned the courage to take his chances, learn his trade and be his own guide to his future, on a world stage, is the St. Lucian born Parisian fashion and TV celebrity, model and Next Top Model judge, Vincent McDoom.
Vincent was born in St. Lucia in 1965, into a family of twenty children, when film stars escaped the world gaze and moored their yachts in Marigot Bay and Colin Tennant had purchased the celebrity getaway, Mustique Island, only seven years before. While his early years were tough, he was a driven young man, who found his way to Business studies in the U.S.A, a scholarship offered by the Kellogg Foundation.
In 1988 he became the very first fashion designer awarded in St Lucia. He was then awarded another scholarship to study fashion design at the prestigious fashion college ESMOD, in Paris and served his internship for one year at the high fashion house of Paco Rabanne.
He went on to work at the Fashion Houses of Olivier Guillemin, André Walker, Angelo Tarlazzi, Guy Laroche and became assistant artistic director for Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton.
Vincent was the artistic director for the first African fashion exhibition in 1998 held at Printemps Galerie Lafayette, the biggest fashion Mecca in Europe.
After 10 years in the fashion industry, he embarked on a television career on channel Paris Première, where he presented a fashion program and the weather for three years.
He made history on European television becoming the first man dressed as a woman.
To be part of the arts in all corners of the planet, one must embrace the unexpected – as the French would say “Vive la difference”. It is those differences which lift our spirits, enrage our senses and give us new topics and idioms in our lives. To my mind, there is no greater characteristic for a man to embrace, than his own feminine side.
In Vincent’s case, his leap of faith, to embrace the very essence of fashion and style; to become his feminine side in life and work, expresses the depth and breadth of his commitment to his statement and true identity, in his time, with his rules. In doing so, he has set himself above and apart from commonplace attitudes and conventions. All of this, while capturing hearts in the home of fashion and style and securing a lasting place in an industry known for leaving its soldiers behind.
Inevitably, with a sojourn into acting, he appeared in his first cinema role as the lead supporting actor in Cheik Doukouré film’s “Paris selon Moussa” shown at the prestigious Cannes film festival. The film was presented in the category “quinzaine de réalisateurs” (Directors’ Fortnight). It went on to win many prizes, including the Unesco Award and best film and actor at the Fespaco film festival in Africa.
In 2004, Vincent Mc Doom was the cornerstone in a new reality show called “La Ferme Célébrités” on TF1, a leading European television channel. He donated the money earned from this show to the St. Lucian Child Sex Abuse Association he founded, The Blue Angel.
He then launched the series “Arrested Development” on TPS Star and his biography “L’homme que je suis”.
In 2007, he appeared on the reality show France Next Top Model on M6, where he was a judge and catwalk instructor for the model apprentices. He later renewed the experience as a judge on Poland’s Next Top Model in 2010, Russia’s Next Top Model in 2012 and Belgium Next Top Model in 2014.
In 2008, he presented “Myriam et les garcons” on the cable channel TF6 and appeared again in a docu tv series “La Folle Route” with Magloire. This concept was Vincent’s brainchild and ran for 3 seasons with 10 episodes per season.
In 2011, he participated in the show “Vincent Mc Doom à la conquête d’Hollywood (another of his own concept), produced by Treasury TV , broadcast on AB1.
In 2012 , he was a commentator on the football match France versus Ukraine, with Daniela Martins and Benjamin Godard on MCE TV.
For 2013, Vincent appeared on the show Paranormal Zone on TMC. He also presented the American tv show “Running in heels” on French tv AB1. The follow year he would present the UK tv show “Dirty sexy things” also on AB1. Both of these shows are about the world of fashion. The same year, he became the Artistic director for the pioneer fashion event in St Lucia, ‘Hot Couture’.
In 2014 he became the Artistic director for the 8th edition of the international fashion event in Paris ‘Labo Ethnik’.
Recently he has turned his acting skills to the newly released French movie KICKBACK, by Frank Phelizon, which premiered at the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival this year, where McDoom, as an invited guest of honor, wowed the crowds on the red carpet and about town with his always classic style.
”I was honoured to represent my country St Lucia at the greatest film festival in the world,” said McDoom, whose character Josepha also left St Lucia to go to France in the film.
In 2015 he was called upon to judge the young future designers at his former fashion college ESMOD.
Vincent lives in Paris and travels extensively within the circle of the European fashion industry and is a French favorite on Fashion and Style talk shows, as anchor or guest. He works ceaselessly to educate, inform and entertain through TV appearances, fashion involvement and engagement and in social media, with an enduring sense of fairness, outspoken indignation and all with a true sense of taste. He maintains a healthy interest in his native St. Lucia and the development of young, up and coming designers, models and artistic ventures.
Vincent McDoom is a combination of many of the things we secretly would like to be, made real in a very different and progressive world. There is no space for bad behaviour, unfairness or a lack of enthusiasm, where, in Vincent’s experience, there is fun, and chic pair of shoes for every event!
That just makes perfect sense.