Erin Paviour-Smith talks to BVI homegirl turned New York-based international model, Brionka Halbert.
Photography by Stacy “Buddha” Mather, SRM Photography

Brionka is already a veteran of the international modeling industry. Discovered some ten years ago playing basketball while studying at high school in Florida, Brionka has walked the runway for couturiers such as Valentino, graced the pages of US Vogue, Elle, Grazia and Seventeen; with multiple billboards in Times Square to boot.

“After graduating high school, I moved to New York and was signed to NEXT model agency worldwide as soon as I stepped off the airplane, and my first casting was for Kanye West’s brand YZY” she says. Then it was on to London, Milan and Paris to walk the shows and she never looked back.

But even with all of this success, she is still a down-to-earth lady with her roots firmly planted in Tortola. Raised on Havers Hill, Brionka has always loved sports and being outdoors. “I played basketball, was in the BVI national swimming team and learned to windsurf and sail at Nanny Cay”, she remembers.

When asked about her favourite time to return home, Brionka says “Definitely in July and August for BVI Emancipation Festival and also for Poker Run. I travel so much for work, it’s really nice to come back to Tortola and decompress; spend time with my family and friends, go to the beach, check out new restaurants and maybe eat a Johnny cake or two!” she laughs.