It was a battle of the beautiful people at the second annual #Cargo Man Show, Cargomania held on the last Sunday in May. The competition seeks to find the man with that certain je-ne-sais-quoiwho will then become the icon of the brilliant and funky Cargo/#Psychotherapy line for the next year. This year sixteen fine men made it to the final stage, setting themselves apart from the original thirty of the preliminary stages. Now it was time to choose just one- the One.
This year’s new, smaller location, the Almond Bay Centre, lived up to its task manfully, with the sound of the Caribbean Sea surging in the background creating a fabulous ambience for the show, which had previously been held at Sherbourne Centre. An elegant and bohemian crowd gathered to see who would me the Man in 2001.
The show started promptly on West Indian time, fifty minutes after the scheduled start. But, star, it was worth the wait!
The Contestants: Ian, Christian, Paul, Wayne, Olo, Jamaal, Barry, Hampden, Andre, Jerome, Joel, Matthew, Pedro, Michellan, Geoffrey, Greg.
The contestants burst for the onto the stage in the designs of the Funk Tee collection, one of the six put out by Cargo for summer 2001. The collection was made up of casual, sharply coloured, fitted t-shirts and crisp white pants cropped in different lengths. From the start of the show, it was clear who were the crowd favourites. The confident, sexy Pedro Arthur and Olo Simmons got big cheers and screams from those assembled. With their lionesque afros and dazzling smiles they were the hot properties for the night. Not to be left out of the crowd’s affections were the boyishly charming Paul Hutchinson who seemed to have his own posse in the front rows lining the catwalk and the red-headed cutie Geoffrey Barrow.
The next collection to be strutted across the stage was the Shade of Sand, a collection in earth-toned linens. These were modelled by the Cargo models, and the Cargo contestants. Screams greeted the next collection, called Rituals in Blue, which featured gorgeous eye-candy of the dark chocolate variety… and swimwear in various shades that seemed to be inspired by the sea rushing up outside. The models sported huge, retro, two-toned shades, blue plaid pants and button down shirts. Two more collections followed- Island Safari, which featured colour blocking, eccentric colour combinations and precise attention to detail. The next was the edgy Cargotini, a collection inspired by Finlandia Vodka’s martinis. It featured earth tones spiced up with hot colours like bright yellow, sharp green, orange and apricot.
Then it was time to announce the final six. Among them were the favourites, former Queen’s College boys, Olo Simmons and Pedro Arthur to the obvious delight of the crowd. The eldest contestant, the 32 year-old #Ian Boyce and the youngest contestant the 18 year-old Jamaal Darlington also made the cut, along with Joel Regret and the future Dr. Geoffrey Barrow, a medicine student at the Mona campus of the U.W.I.
The final collection for the evening was modelled and there they were- gorgeous men all in a row made even more so by the dynamic designs of #Andy Niles and #Rupert Piggott. Summer Symphony consisted of clothing in classic black and white with luxurious chocolate browns and shocks of red thrown in for extra sizzle. It was the ‘dressiest’ collection of the evening, a departure of sorts from the rest of the more casual wear, but still fitting in with the Cargo-esque easy, breezy was of dressing.
After this collection, which crowned the night of elegance and style, the time had come to announce who was the Cargo Man 2001. The final three were announced- Geoffrey Barrow, Ian Boyce and Olo Simmons. The second runner up was surprisingly, the popular Olo, the first runner was Geoffrey Barrow and the winner the unassuming Ian Boyce. Boyce struggled to control his emotions as the result was announced, clasping his hands feverishly in thanksgiving as tears filled his eyes.
Afterwards, Boyce admitted to being overwhelmed and surprised at his success, saying he was “full of emotion and…still trying to get over it.” Particularly since this was the first time he had ever done anything of the sort, the achievement was even sweeter for the novice, who had no previous modelling experience, unlike some of the other men in the competition. Boyce simply sees modelling as another avenue to “express yourself”, and he has experience in this, being a part-time musician. His victory has another, sweeter joy to it- the reaction of his six-year old daughter, who he said was his biggest supporter throughout the competition. Asked how would he let her know ‘they’ had won when he reached home, he smiled widely and said simply he would give her “one big kiss.”