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Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to New York Style Guide Magazine. Today we are going to take a look at the fashion world through the eyes of four aspiring models residing in New York City. It is our pleasure to introduce you to Nia Williams, Tamika John-Boatwright, Hadassa Simmons and Kerry Ramirez.

Nia Williams returned to the modeling world approximately seven weeks ago after taking some time off to re-evaluate her professional career. Tamika is a career woman, married and mother of three. She had dreams and aspirations of walking the runway and decided one day to do it. In 2014 she performed her first modeling shoot, created a comp card and walked in her first fashion show. Hadassa started her modeling career a few years ago. She decided to put modeling on hold for a few years so that she could begin her college career. After evaluating what she wanted out of life, she decided to give modeling another try as well. Kelly finished her first photo shoot approximately one month ago and is now in pursuit of her next college degree.

NYSG: Good evening ladies and welcome to New York Style Guide Magazine. We are looking to give the public an inside look at the modeling world through the eyes of aspiring models. The four of you have been selected based on your experience levels, and lifestyles. I’m going to ask you a series of questions that we would like you to answer with complete honesty. Your insight is going to help models of all levels gain substantial information that will hopefully bring them closer to achieving their goals and dreams. Thank you for participating.

NYSG: First, why do you want to be a model?
Nia Williams (NW): I have been fascinated with the fashion world for as long as I can remember. I just love the idea of being able to physically transform by simply changing garments, hairstyles, and using different cosmetics to achieve a desired look. I feel as though my look is versatile which makes it even more interesting to see the photos after the entire creative process is complete. The best two words I can use to describe that feeling I get when I gaze at myself in the mirror before I go on set is FLAWLESS, and INVINCIBLE. I am amazed by the variety of clothing presented during a shoot as it gives me inspiration to become more innovative with my own personal style. I thoroughly enjoy meeting and collaborating with new people and always hope to form great working relationships. I view modeling as a challenge because it forces you to step outside of your comfort zone which is something I have struggled with over the years. Because my past experiences with personal issues affected my self esteem and caused me to miss out on opportunities, I am determined now more than ever to prove to myself that I can accomplish my goal of being a successful model while inspiring, encouraging, and motivating other women in my pursuit.


Tamika John-Boatwright (TJB): Modeling to me has always been a very glamorous career,being able to dress in some of the most creative fashions has always intrigued me.

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Hadassa Simmons (HS): I always wanted to model.


Kelly Ramirez (KR): Well, I have always been a little shy and self-conscious about expressing myself. When I see models in magazines wearing these fabulous and sophisticated wardrobes it makes me want to have the opportunity to try on the clothes that I don’t normally put on, a plethora of makeup, and make me feel beautiful for one day. I know that modeling is more than just taking pictures and looking beautiful. I believe it’s about accomplishing the art of expressing myself without using words to tell a story or message.

NYSG: What do you hope to accomplish in your modeling career?
(NW): I plan to accomplish plenty of things throughout my modeling career. First, it has always been a dream of mine to walk the runway in NYFW which I intend to do in February of 2016. Secondly, I will pick up major endorsements, become a spokes model for companies and or products, as well as be featured in numerous commercials. Lastly, I am going to use these opportunities as a platform for a Non Profit Organization I am in the process of establishing which is geared toward helping girls and women with low self esteem.

(TJB): My hopes are not to limit myself.. Not to far in coming out of my comfort zone to push the envelope.

(HS): I hope to represent for young girls who look like me and to inspire them (and any women) who don’t feel they can be their own unique idea of beauty without comparison, because they can.

(KR): In the past I have done other activities that slowly helped me break away from my comfort zone like dancing, acting, and being on the cheerleading squad. When it comes to modeling, I would think of concerns about my physical image: Do I have a certain look a model should have? If I do this, what would people think about me? After doing this first photo shoot, I realized that I became more confident in my image. What I want to accomplish is to have the opportunity to meet and possibly work with phenomenal people in the model and fashion world. I am an artist. I express myself through my art. Modeling is an art I get to use my physical image in which to express myself.
NYSG: How do you juggle your modeling career around everything in your lives?
(NW): I juggle my modeling career by exercising good time management skills. Currently I am working on several personal projects which includes the launch of my Event Planning Company, while attending college full-time, and bar tending part-time. While my spare time is limited, I stay focused by allotting a certain amount of time for each thing that is important to me and serves as a step toward fulfilling my dreams. Prioritizing is key!

(TJB): Well as much as I love modeling my family does come first, so as long as they’re ok anything goes.


(HS): It is about working hard, getting up everyday and really getting into character. It also helps if you communicate with those around you.

(KR): I’m a college student at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I simply manage my time to do schoolwork and projects so that I don’t get stressed out or overwhelmed. At this point of my life, I have accomplished so many things and I feel that I need to fit some interest into my spare time. Becoming a model has helped me fulfill that purpose.

NYSG: If there was one thing that you could change about your modeling career right now, what would it be?
(NW): If there was one thing that I could change about my modeling career right now it would have to be that I am free lancing. I would prefer to be represented by an agency.


(TJB): As of now I wouldn’t change anything its all been a learning experience for me that I can apply to now and the future.

(HS): I’m just beginning so I’m having a lot of fun. I really have no complaints.


(KR): Well, I have only done one photo shoot that I really enjoyed doing, so I don’t think there’s nothing I would want to change at the moment.
NYSG: Fashion Week starts in NYC on September 10th through the 17th. What are your plans for Fashion Week? Are you currently walking in any shows?
(NW): I plan to attend a few shows that I was invited to by a friend who is a celebrity designer(Jason C. Peters). I am not walking in any shows this season but you can look forward to seeing me in February!


(TJB): I’m not walking for anyone this week, but no doubt I will be in the future.

(HS): My plan is to keep an eye on models and trends and enjoy the fashion atmosphere. I haven’t booked any show.

(KR): I was planning to participate in Fashion Week, but I have some school projects that I’m starting to work on at the moment. Unfortunately, I’m not walking in any shows. Next time, I will surely sign up on time.

NYSG: What has been the best thing to happen to you in your modeling career so far?
(NW): The best thing that happened in my modeling career so far is when I saw an entire tear sheet of myself published in Hype Hair Magazine, which is the number one hair and beauty source for women of color! When I was much younger I had aspirations of being featured in that particular magazine. After browsing through the pages and seeing my childhood friend Jessica Wilson (singer from the group Muddy Magnolias) in Hype Hair Magazine, I became even more intrigued with the idea and instantly envisioned myself doing that one day.


(TJB): Well its no one thing but I’m loving my journey thus far.

(HS): I think the best thing to happen to my career is that it exists in the first place.


(KR): The best thing that has happened to me would be having a supporting and understanding relationship with the photographer who took my pictures. His name is Darryl Madison and I am lucky to have met and interacted with him because he cared enough to tell me the roles and rules that professional models have to maintain.
NYSG: What is the worst thing?
(NW): The worst thing that happened in my modeling career so far would have to be the countless opportunities I missed out on because of my fear, low self- esteem, and self doubt at the time.


(TJB): The one thing that came to mind was going to a casting for a designer and going to a fitting ..to have her not show up to the fashion show… It was very disappointing.

(HS): Nothing.


(KR): The worst thing would be was trying not to feel nervous and shy when I arrived at the photo shoot.

NYSG: If you could give someone advice about modeling, what would it be?
(NW): If I could offer advice to someone about modeling it would simply say: STEP OUT THERE! Do not be afraid to open your mind and experience new things! Be CONSISTENT! CONFIDENCE is your best accessory! Always show up prepared to WOW them so you will not be easily forgotten! CHALLENGE yourself, Be original, and lastly do not be afraid of your own success! The possibilities are infinite!

(TJB): Just do what makes u feel comfortable and have fun.


(HS): Have fun.

(KR): My advice would be for anyone who wants to pursue a modeling career is to not overthink about it. It is a true outstanding experience that will make you want to do it again. It makes you professional and confident.

NYSG: If given the opportunity, would you do this all over again? Yes or No
(NW): If given the opportunity of course I would do this all over again especially knowing what I know now!

(TJB): Yes, I met a lot of great people and established great relationships.


(HS): Yes!

(KR): Absolutely! I would a hundred percent love to model all over again.
Q10 NYSG: What model or models would you like to emulate and why?
(NW): I have always been an admirer of Tyra Banks. She is a great example of what a successful business woman is to me. Powerful, attractive, bright, self-assured, wealthy, compassionate, fashionable, innovative, are just some words that come to mind when I think about her. I absolutely adore what her Foundation (TZONE) represents and I hope to create an organization of my own in the near future that is similar in values. For those who are not familiar with the foundation, their mission statement is “The Tyra Banks TZONEFoundation invests in girls and young women to help them realize their ambitions, discover new possibilities within themselves, and approach life’s challenges with fierce determination”


(TJB): I wouldn’t at this moment.

(HS): I don’t think I could emulate anyone.

(KR): The models that I would emulate with are Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell because they have been legends in the industry and done so many exciting works for a very long time. Also, Cara Delevingne is one of the most famous models in this day and age, so I am inspired by her carefree and natural image.

NYSG: If you had to walk in any fashion designers show this year, who would it be and why?
(NW): If I had to walk in any fashion show this year it would have to be Michael Costello. Back in February of this year during NYFW, I had the opportunity to go back stage, meet him and see his designs up close and personal. Each piece of his is completely classic and timeless. I would love to model anything he creates! He never seizes to amaze me, his designs are uniquely designed to fit each of his clients.

(HS): Dior. The beauty is in the details with them.


(KR): Well, I would love to walk in any fashion show. But I guess it would be an honor for me to walk in the Chanel Haute Couture fashion show. The fashion trends are so sophisticated and timeless that it’s an event of nostalgia. I love that the styles can be old-fashioned, but it’s also modern.
NYSG: What do your friends and families think about your modeling career so far? Are they very supportive?

(NW): My family and friends are extremely supportive and they constantly push me to set new goals to achieve each day. My mom thinks that I can be a top model if I really put myself out there more. Every time she sees at a commercial she says “You should be the one I am watching up there”.


(TJB): My family is very supportive thus far..they want to see me happy and modeling makes me happy.

(HS): My parents have always been so encouraging of me to do whatever makes me happy but my family is also big on education so that is why I’m staying in school.


(KR): My family, mainly my mother, has raised me to be a person who should work hard to achieve my goals and to be grateful for what I have. They love the idea that being a model has build up my confidence and determination. As much as they are supportive of me, they are also worried about the decisions and mistakes that I will have to make in the near future. I believe that shows how much they will always be there for me.
NYSG: What is the best piece of advice that you have received so far in your brief modeling career? What is the worst?
(NW): The best piece of advice that I have received so far is to: “Be Confident, Be Competitive, Be Creative, and Be Consistent”. The worst piece of advice that I have received so far is: “Try to blend in with everyone else”.
(TJB): The best advice I’ve gotten was to carry myself the way I want people to see me.


(HS): The best piece of advice would have to be to “WORK”, The worst would have to be…….um
(KR): I was given so much advice that I can’t keep count of. The one advice that stuck with the best was whatever poses that feel uncomfortable are the ones that will look the most outstanding. So far there hasn’t been any worst piece of advice that I have received.
NYSG: Going forward, what are your plans for the future?
(NW): Going forward, my plans for the future consist of: gaining exposure through participating in more runway shows, attending more open calls, focus on branding myself and launching my Event Planning Company.

(TJB): My plans are to walk in as many shows as I can.. Which is gonna help me improve on my walk.. Also to be apart of more creative shoots and too push the envelope, but maintain my graceful classiness.

(HS): Have an education firstly and secondly to enjoy my life.


(KR): My plans are trying to finish my bachelor’s degree in fabric styling. Maybe during or after my education i would like to extend my modeling career. Traveling the world has always been my lifelong plan for the future.
NYSG: In a future edition of NYSG, we are going to sit down with you again to find out how your careers are going. We would like to wish you all of the best with your careers. What final thoughts would you like to leave the audience with?
(NW): I want to encourage people to tap into their full potential as I am still discovering mine. I have learned that being a self-starter is highly important! It is necessary to surround yourself with positive people, give positive energy, be open minded, willing to take certain risks, and be determined to be successful according to your own standards. Let your inner beauty shine outward.


(TJB): Have fun.

(HS): Thank you! And my final thoughts would be that I am thankful to be here and loving what I do.

(KR): My final thoughts to everyone are always stay positive and true to yourself. Even though there are downfalls to being shy, there are also good advantages. You can observe and decide what is the next move without any regrets. Overall, doing small things can lead to big differences. Once you do that you’ll become a more confident person.