Jamaican actress launches shoe line
Jamaica-born Los Angeles-based author and actress Dorcas Bennett has launched her shoe line called KTYLER Beverly Hills.
"Since I was seven years old and living in Jamaica, I had this dream to make shoes. Of course, I was laughed at because a lot of persons thought I wanted to be a shoemaker, but I guess they thought I meant I would open a shoe repair shop," she said.
KTYLER Beverly Hills was officially launched last week in time for Bennett's birthday, and items are available online for purchase with prices ranging between US$150 and US$300.
"They are stylish and, most importantly, very comfortable. Each pair was custom-built, and I do anticipate the brand to become popular in Jamaica," she said.
Bennett, who is more commonly known as Belle Angel, is known for roles in Two and a Half Men, The Neighbours, and Rizzoli and Isles.
Her journey into fashion and entertainment was not an easy one, though, as she said she entered the industries against her parents' wishes.
Her dream to pursue a career in the arts was delayed as her mother refused to send her to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
"When I migrated to the States, I was raised in the suburbs (Westchester County)... and I attended a private all-girl Catholic school. My mother was very strict and conservative and refused to send me to FIT, so I ended up going to Syracuse University. At age 17, a modelling agency in New York wanted to sign me, but she said no also," she said, laughing.
Bennett said that she was determined to pursue a modelling career, so she applied to study in France.
"After college, I worked on Wall Street but knew that one day I would become the person my parents didn't support. Now I act, write, and design fashion and shoes," she said.
She is also author of Queen Dolphin of Love and Diary of a Virgin: An Angel Cured Me.
Bennett said she migrated to Westchester County in New York when she was 15.
While in Jamaica, she also developed a passion for performing, making her debut on the popular variety show, Ring Ding, which was hosted by folk icon Louise Bennett-Coverley.