She grew up in a small district in Old Harbour, St Catherine, Jamaica known as Bullet Tree, and while growing up she remembers her grandmother having the biggest influence where determination was concerned. She also had a passion for modelling as she could recall having a lot of the characteristics that came naturally at a young age that would giving her an edge if she decided to take modelling as a professional career.
“When I was younger I would walk around my house and imagine being on the runway or in front of the camera taking pictures” – Alicia Burke
Burke had a desire to pursue studies in midwifery before she wanted to professionally model, but that dream was replaced by her later passion for the latter. She was discovered back in 2014 by the model agency Pulse Jamaica when she entered the ‘Search for the Million Dollar Girl’ competition and won—surprising twenty-one finalists and thousands of others who never made the cut. She also won the Pulse’s Caribbean Model Search Reality TV which gave her the push she needed to boost her already booming career.
“I feel so blessed winning the competition. I was shocked when I heard my name. It’s an amazing feeling.” – Alicia Burke
Since then her ‘mother agent’, which she affectionately calls the company, has placed her with Women Management in Milan and New York, United States and Models 1 in London, Europe. She was later signed with a network of agents including Le Management in Copenhagen, Models in the United Kingdom, Elite in Stockholm and Supreme in Paris which aided in her numerous successes as a model.
Even though she is a newcomer from a Caribbean country, from there she has captivated the international runway since arriving on the circuit. She has appeared in spreads for Harper’s Bazaar to French Vogue to 1883 to name a few. She has also added to her very long list of accolades, modeling for Prada, Vivienne Westwood, Top Shop, David Simms, Schiaparelli, Lesley Goring, i-D, Bottega Veneta, Me & Em, AzzedineAlaia, Bobbi Brown, Harvey Nichols, Stella McCartney, Benetton, Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, C0ach, Versace, Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tommy Hilfiger, Style.com, and Marc Jacobs.
History in the Making
One can say that she is following in the footsteps of some of Jamaica’s top models like Kai Newman or Jeneil Williams, but Alicia Burke is a trailblazer setting the stage, bringing her own unique style to the forefront, making Jamaica a different level of proud.
Recently she made history as the first Jamaican and Caribbean model on the cover of Italian Vogue. Vogue is singlehandedly the top editorial opportunity for models so gracing the cover of Italian Vogue is an amazing achievement.
She has advice for young girls:
You have to be passionate about it [modelling] because there is so much to learn and you will have to make sacrifices. It is important to be patient, humble and respectful, but I think those are qualities you should have in all walks of life.” – Alicia Burke
A lover of adventure and reading, Burke has truly enjoyed the opportunities afforded to her as an international model and continues to amaze her audience and build her head-turning career. She has already modelled for Altuzarra’s Pre-Fall Lookbook 2017. She is in her prime as Models.com has dubbed her the ‘Perfect Canvas’. She has turned the heads of many fashion designers, directors and editors with her striking features; her versatility has put her many points above the rest.
If you want to see more of Alicia Burke’s work, check it out at www.models.com/models/alicia-burke/3/year/all.
By Alexandra Daley