Thursday, June 2, 2016


Image Credits: Photographer: Syranno ( MUA, Ashley "Kitty" Callaway ( ; Post production: Kier Rossi

Here are some interview interludes:

How did you get your start as a model?
Overall, my journey has been filled with ups and downs, but I will say that through the downs I found ways to pick myself back up and go harder. I received a few no’s here and there, but that is what ignites the fire in me, the need to get better.
I got my start when I heard about this casting in Baltimore, MD for a plus runway show. Looking back on that casting, it was really a humble beginning. When I got there, I walked into the audition room where I met Teronce Styyles and Kionne T. Agent. I came to the casting with a printout of a selfie–not even a decent headshot– and some 2-inch heels I bought from Walmart lol. I’m sure they were giving me the side eye. As nervous and intimidated as I was, I gave it a shot and got my first “yes.” Not only that, they gave me a great foundation to start with, of which I’m still grateful. I also started shooting with Jeff and Aisha Butler in Baltimore, who also gave me great insights. I like to call them my fashion family back home. From that point on, I used every experience to absorb as much as I could about the industry.
Fast forward to when I moved to New York. It was scary at first, but at the same time, I was so excited to get to know new people. One of the first castings I attended was the NYC Plus Model Network casting hosted by Joy Ashley. This was essentially the beginning of my career as New York-based model. From there I began to network and attend many castings, which helped me to learn the ropes and meet a lot of great people. One thing I will say is that from the beginning of my journey now, I will never forget those who helped me.
Which models do you look up to and who do you think paved the way for you?
There are quite a few plus models that I admire, including Ashley Graham, Fluvia Lucera, and Denise Bidot. As an African American plus model, I feel that the ones who have had a more direct impact on me are Gwen DeVoe, Sharon Quinn, and Wyinnetka Aaron, and Liris Crosse. The ambition, humility, and business mindset of these women are everything. Gwen and Sharon are veterans in the game who I appreciate simply for their realness and willingness to help others in this industry to flourish. Wynnetka, who has worked for some of the most well-known brands, is one of the most humble and warm people that I have met, which is what I love about her. Liris, which I’m sure she already knows, is someone who is also very influential to me because her grind is serious. In addition to being a model, she uses her platform to educate and motivate those in the industry who need it, and a bonus is that she’s from Baltimore.
How does modeling allow you to express yourself creatively?
I love the fact that modeling is essentially like acting and through either print projects or runway, you have to become that “actress” and channel the right energy to be in character. Sometimes I consider modeling as a challenge, but in a good way. If I am going through stress in my personal life, I am able to challenge myself by overcoming it and turning negative energy into positive energy. If I were doing a shoot that would be typically out of my comfort zone, I challenge myself by just going for it and having fun.
You also have experience as a stylist. What made you decide to pursue an additional career as a stylist?
I had been styling myself for a few years, but never credited myself much for it because many models style themselves for shoots. After taking a look at my port and noticed how much of I styled I knew I wanted to keep doing it. I thought to myself this is something else I could pursue in addition to modeling once I get more in depth into it and learn more about the art of it.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I was close to quitting modeling a couple of months before I even moved to New York, around November 2012. That feeling of quitting was only temporary of course because I felt I had so much more ahead of me to experience and I know in my heart I’m not a quitter. I promised myself I wouldn’t let anything or anyone deter me from doing what I love.

Image Credit:  Rick Jones (; MUA, Tyiesha Dorsett; Styled by model.

Image Credits:  Photographer Zakiyah Caldwell; Mua: Nia Taniel; Hair: Catherine Ashly; Wardrobe: Corrinn Chishimba of BeautyBoxStyle

Image Credits: Photographer: Syranno (; MUA:  Ashley "Kitty" Callaway (; Post production: Kier Rossi

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