A decision about what graces the cover of the Style Observer is sometimes a weekly challenge for our crack staff at the lifestyle desk. Then there are the moments when images prove so defining, the cover chooses itself. Here's our take on our best covers of 2012.
Get Set, July 22, 2012
No star shone as bright as Usain Bolt at the XXX Olympiad in London last summer. So assured were we of Bolt’s eventual dominance, that we snagged Mark Zibert’s portrait (permission granted, of course) of the superhuman athlete all set to take on the world.
'Hope' Springs Anew, January 15, 2012
Others quickly followed our lead after we trekked to Hope Gardens to see the revamped- Hope-Zoo-in-progress. Overseen by animal lover Kenny Benjamin, the zoo's restoration project is a collaborative effort between the Hope Zoo Preservation Fund and the Guardsman Group. SO shared the vision for the facility and gorgeous photos of the zoo's occupants by photo editor Bryan Cummings.
From Dad, With Love, June 17, 2012
Our Father’s Day issue cover featured Carreras Managing Director Richard Pandohie and his sons Nicholas, Sebastian and Nathaniel — in comfortable family mode — breaking from a game of Monopoly to greet our lens. Picture-perfect!
Miss Universe On The Rock, May 20, 2012
The utterly charming Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes graciously allowed SO to shadow her during her weekend stay on The Rock. Hair and makeup session in her luxe Spanish Court Hotel suite, check. Beach trip, check. Lunch date, check. Our male reporters' hopes for a romance with Lopes, unchecked!
Destination London Part I, February 5, 2012; Destination London Part II, February 12, 2012; Destination London Part III, February 19, 2012
Knowing fully well that the world's eyes would be trained on London this past summer, we ushered in a three-part London-centric series the first week of February. Creative Director Rorie Atkinson vividly illustrated the British-Rock connection in his trilogy of covers that served as an ode to inter-continental style.
A 'Choo' In, November 19, 2012
Chocolate beauty Jeneil Williams was already having a banner year on the catwalks of Milan, New York and Paris. However, the proverbial icing on the cake came after she was selected as a campaign model for Jimmy Choo's lookbook. The fashionable results could not be denied.
Surf's Up, July 29, 2012
Photographer Marlon Reid was truly in his element, as he snapped a series of brilliant images of amateur and professional surfers riding the waves with ease at the 6th staging of the Jamaica Surfing Association/MAKKA Pro Surfing Tournament at South Haven beach in St Thomas. After deliberating over several striking options, we chose Jensen Callaway’s slice of a wave as our cover.
Sanya Hughes In 10, April 29, 2012
Once we laid eyes on this flawless black and white shot of Pulse model and Pirates of The Caribbean star Sanya Hughes, nothing else stood a chance of making that week's cover.
SO In… SO Out, January 22, 2012
It was a changing of the guard for the nation's powers-that-be at the beginning of the year. Naturally, SO could not ignore the seismic social and political shift at hand, and seized the moment to look at celebrity comebacks, locally and internationally.
SO Africa, November 25, 2012
Visiting the Motherland back in October, Mykal Cushnie and Donisha Prendergast filmed their journey to various countries on the continent for a documentary titled 50 Days in Afrika. After a serendipitous meeting with Kenyan-based, Scottishborn designer Ann McCreath, the two Jamaicans were instantaneously recruited for a photo shoot showcasing the designer's Kiki Romeo line. We settled on this striking image of Prendergast from said shoot for our cover.
Styled By Arise, October 7, 2012
Striking SAINT International model Kim Gordon (who, we're reliably informed, fashion luminary Karl Lagerfeld has taken a shine to) had her model breakthrough moment when she made the cover of Arise magazine. Thanks to our dear friends at the mag, we shared Kim’s spread, which included the haute couture image above, styled by Arise's editor Helen Jennings and shot by Micaela Rossato.
Keyshia's True Colours, June 24, 2012
Rock-born Keyshia Ka’Oir went from video vixen to CEO of the multimillion-dollar Ka’Oir Cosmetics brand. The St Thomas native, whose company creates neon lipsticks and lacquers, took our breath away with her natural beauty and the candy-glow-like pops of her lipstick brand. Whittling down a final selection for our cover, we arrived at the above shot.
Mozart To Meet Marley, September 9, 2012
Ahead of their visiting on the invitation of the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s conductor Benjamin Pope spoke with SO about plans for the orchestra’s two billed performances in Mandeville and Kingston. Creative Director Rorie Atkinson created a simple but elegant caricature of a conductor in performance.
D'Marsh: Jamaican On A Mission, July 1, 2012
Hailing from the cool climes of rural Mandeville, Glenroy Marsh’s quiet ascent to becoming an in-demand stylist and couturier has not gone unnoticed. Operating under the moniker D’Marsh, the designer’s high-fashion looks gave us cause to applaud. We simply couldn’t resist this stunning shot of a model in his fabulous sweeping red gown seated next to a nattily attired toddler as our cover.
RSVP (Chris Blackwell), May 27, 2012
Business mogul Christopher Blackwell and Haute Hippie designer Trish Wescoat Pound hosted an ultra-exclusive dinner party to introduce her design line at the ohso- chic GoldenEye. Candlelit dinner was set beachfront, on a looooong table, complete with name cards. Our beloved ‘wine guy’ Christopher Reckord snapped an artsy photo of the table setting.
Harry Rocks, March 11, 2012
To bookend the Prince's visit, SO conceived our version of a royal keepsake edition. We spotlighted scenes from the State dinner in his honour; his invite-only private party at Sandals Royal Plantation’s private island; Harry's seeming affinity for Russell and Bromley shoes, and even snagged British tabloid magnet-cum-major Harry fan, Nancy Dell' Olio for our Cocktails With column.
SO Welcome, March 4, 2012
Ahead of Prince Harry's muchanticipated trip to The Rock, we dedicated our cover to the redheaded royal. Illustrated by Creative Director Rorie Atkinson, the image features a faded King’s House in the background as a fabulous NMW curtsies to His Majesty.
ANTM Does The Rock, October 28, 2012
Nineteen cycles into her hit reality show America's Next Top Model (ANTM), model mogul Tyra Banks was on The Rock this summer to film her show's recently concluded season. The Martha Brae River, Yendi Phillipps, Dunn's River Falls, Cedella Marley, Half Moon Hotel and articulate Jamaican male models all figured prominently and beautifully in ANTM's episodes.
The Ones To Watch In 2012, January 8, 2012
Our forecast of faces to keep an eye on was quite a doozy. Why? Names we chose made major accomplishments in the next 12 months. Usain Bolt became the only athlete to repeat triple success at the Olympic Games. Model Jeneil Williams bagged a Jimmy Choo lookbook campaign. Model Shena Moulton made the cover of Elle. Danville Walker lost his bid to be a Member of Parliament but won an executive chair as our managing director. And Chef Collin Brown was hired by Chris Blackwell to revamp his Island Outpost restaurants. We had our eyes on all of them.