Perhaps it’s the thing that first defines us. Before the heartaches of betrayal and loss, the childlike excitement of love and success; before the unavoidable challenges and triumphs of life, it is the one thing that subconsciously shapes us and establishes our place in this world – a name. It is the thing family and friends labor over to ensure that it’s just perfect for who we are meant to be. It is the first gift we receive filled with endless promise and hope. Whether it is strong and gallant like Liam, or reverent and soft like Elizabeth; it awakens some part in us that guides us on our life’s journey. If your father gifts you the name Winnielle, then perchance that in many ways connects you to the victorious woman you were always meant to be. “Winnielle is an African name meaning Victorious Woman. I cherish this name that my father gave to me dearly, it keeps me focused and it gives me great feeling every time someone calls me.” But, Winnielle Pereira has evolved into and far beyond the name given to her. She has morphed into the poised, Irie Lioness. As she stated, “Irie Lioness I gave to myself. I have overcome many obstacles, trials, hatred, hurt, but, one thing IS, I still stand strong and I keep my Light – positive, loving, humble and kind energy – it still reigns.”

Winnielle “Irie Lioness” Pereira is the woman, entrepreneur, and model behind Winnielle Model Management (WMM) and the upcoming Style Weekend St. Kitts. Born in Antigua and cultivated in Sugar City St. Kitts, Winnielle is proud of her multi island heritage. She explained, “I recognize my roots from Israel and on to Africa first and foremost, but I am very proud to be a Caribbean woman. I know the struggles my ancestors faced and grateful I have this life. Above all I am [a] Child of the Most High and so my history shapes me.” A woman with many dreams, her fashion career began at an early age after winning the first ever Rotaract Prince and Princess Pageant. Shortly after, she landed a modeling contract that allowed her to travel and build an extensive, international portfolio. She reflected on the beginning of her career, “God sparked [my interest in fashion] Since I’ve known myself as a little girl in Convent High School, the desire burned inside of me, so I drew nearer to my desire. In many things that I do I can’t explain the motivation other than my Almighty Father. He has connected me to many great humans who have been sources of motivation and strength towards my journeys.”

Photo Courtesy of Bjorn B. Bassue
Photo Courtesy of Bjorn Bassue via Winnielle Pereira

After some years abroad, Winnielle returned home to St. Kitts because her island roots have always beckoned to her –“It’s a matter of natural vibrations. I am who I am – no one can change that. Just being me is a reflection of my roots and culture for it is rooted in my spirit [and] my existence,” she expressed. It was there that she conjured WMM, where she coached, trained and promoted models, organized events, and established The Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis as a fashion contender. She continued with WMM for several years, before stepping away from it to refocus a little over a year ago. She explained, “I needed to end my journey to evolve WMM into the business I dreamed of it becoming. The constant struggle year after year became too much to bear any longer as it began to weaken my vibrant spirit. I dedicated tremendous time, energy and made many sacrifices to accomplish what I had. However it was not getting to where I needed it to be for myself or the for the awesome young women I worked with and it wasn’t providing the necessary finances I needed to care for my humble family creating a tremendous frustration and burdens for me and so the wise decision was to put my dream to rest and to seek something that would assist my family and I to survive in this life. So I got the 9 [to] 5 work force job.”

Her work with WMM did not completely end; instead it evolved into other magnificent opportunities that allowed her to channel her energies into her passion. She continued, “I was no longer able to manage models or develop that initiative to where I dreamed [it would be]. Nevertheless, I produced an event, provided my service to movements to coach young women for pageants and modeling competitions. I have now transformed WMM into myself; I will no longer be trying to evolve that business under the name WMM. It is time to evolve. I am now using my skills and energy as Ms. Winnielle Pereira. I am now the Brand and I am most comfortable and grateful for my enlightenment. I thank Jah.”



With her enlightenment, came the idea for SWSK – a weekend of upscale fashion from the Caribbean and beyond – that will be held for the first time November 6 – 8. In preparing and promoting the event, Winnielle recalled the moment she dreamed up SWSK – “after the second year of producing one of my annual fashion events back in 2005, my vision of producing an event of this nature came. A few years later I produced Nevis Fashion Weekend but went through a very tremendous life trial and relocated to another country where I resided for a few years and took that time to renew myself and focus only on my two children. My dream of hosting an event like this in St. Kitts remained with me and so it is now time to birth her – energy and focus is what brings things to reality.”


For a woman who is a spirited mother of three, was crowned the National Carnival Queen in 1997 – Miss St. Kitts & Nevis, has coached and choreographed for a prestigious West African Pageant, and proudly exclaimed that she could also find happiness “being a stay-at-home mommy and having many children,” Winnielle is the personification of victorious woman. She consistently spreads love and light while nurturing her passions and creativity, and as she reminisced on her life’s journey she summarized, “I have evolved into a woman who knows Love, who respects good-hearted people. I spread love and pray for it, same way. I am a sensitive person and have embraced that proudly through evolving. I have learnt to protect my spirit no matter what others may think, for my life is mine and only I can live it. No one is me and that is my own power. My career has evolved me into a woman who vibes with anyone in Jah world. I have traveled many places met many people good and ill hearted and I only see people and the vibrations they send.”

Photos Courtesy of Winnielle Pereira


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