IN 2003, her story sent the modelling world on both sides of the Atlantic in a tailspin.

Fast forward a dozen years later and the story of Nadine Willis, the Jamaican supermodel, who was an exotic dancer who made it from the ghetto to Gucci model, is set to make it to the big screen.

According to a highly placed source, negotiations are currently underway to bring the modern-day Cinderella, rags-to-riches story to life.

The Sunday Observer could not ascertain whether or not the interest in making a film version of Willis’ meteoric rise up the modelling ladder was local or international.

“Once the paperwork is completed, an announcement will follow,” said the tightlipped source.

Kingsley Cooper, chairman of Pulse, declined to comment when the Observer questioned him about the project.

Willis, who no longer models and lives in New York, walked into local modelling agency Pulse back in the summer of 2002 during their annual model search. Prior to that, she was a regular performer at a number of clubs including the renowned Gemini Club, which was located along Half-Way-Tree Road in St Andrew.

Her sass and can-do attitude earned her a spot with the batch of Pulse hopefuls selected by Pulse boss Kingsley Cooper to head to London for go-sees with the agencies in that market.

But not even Cooper could have foreseen the full-blown category five hurricane that Willis would cause, not only in that United Kingdom fashion capital but other global cities. Within weeks, she was booking editorial spreads in major glossies in Paris, Milan, and across the pond the American markets of New York, Miami and Los Angeles would soon get wind of Hurricane Nadine.

Her coup de foudre would come in 2003 when designer Tom Ford and his team at the power brand Gucci selected Willis as the face of their fall/winter campaign.

Her look for this campaign saw her being compared to Jamaican supermodel and entertainer Grace Jones. She is listed in the history book of modelling for making the fastest climb in the industry.

For many insiders, this success was not only phenomenal but also unsustainable.

Pregnancy and weight gain would halt the ride for Willis.

This year, Pulse celebrates its 35th anniversary and the 15th staging of its flagship event Caribbean Fashionweek. At the launch of the event this week, Cooper advised that Willis will be a special guest during the celebrations in June.
JamaicaObserver