10 Questions with Tesheena Marie
"The world is your runway. So always walk tall and strut your best stuff."
How would you describe your professional interests?
Being that most of my career I haven't fit the typical fashion model measurements, my professional interest is to build a resume of great work as a model that will aid my interest in building a women's fashion brand to empower women of various backgrounds. The experiences that I've had being a proportion in between the standards, has made me pay attention to the fit accommodations in women's clothing. I hope that my example will lead more women to shine against society's boxes of what is beautiful in the fashion industry.
What's your background in modeling? When and why did you get started? Was it for the glamour? The money? Pure kicks?
I started out in h.s. at a modeling club after school. I was an artist and designer working on sets and was dared to hit the runway. Id been in heels since 6th grade and my mom is a diva, so it was nothing. Lol. During college for fashion design, I really started to pursue modeling because everyone told me I had the height and look. I found that I had a natural gift for runway. I Spent my first year of modeling doing trunk shows for department stores in downtown Chicago, and for designers coming out of the Merchandise Mart. That's where I was approached by a rep for Ford Models who suggested I submit to become one of their plus size models. I didn't get their attention the 1st 6 times I went to their office, but that's what motivated me to pursue this industry. It was not until my 7th audition, I got called into their office for a development contract. I worked with Ford for a year and a half. I completed two seasons of fashion shows, the Magic show in Vegas, and learned a great deal about the fashion industry. Since then I've worked as a freelance model for various production companies, trade shows, and a touring company.
Who are some of your favorite models and designers, and why?
My favorite model of all time is Naomi Campbell because she has broken so many barriers in the industry and has proven to be absolutely timeless on the runway. Everyone loves Tyra (Banks) as their model idol, but I love her more as a business woman. She is a prime example of how to show the world that there is no barrier for what women are capable of. Tyra exudes diversity, versatility and an essential perspective. However, this new comer Kate Upton has me in awe! Im happy, that as a model with curves she exists at her level. That woman is finally giving us "MEAT" in fashion!
My favorite designer would have to be Diane Von Furstenberg. Her brand embodies the image of a strong, sexy woman with many roles to play in life. She designs for real women, not just fashion models. Others, like Zac Posen and Marc Jacobs just understands a woman's body and how women want to be sexy yet classy. Every season I always want Bebe and Louis Vuitton's entire collections.
Which fashion magazines, websites, blogs, and catalogs do you visit most often?
Im obsessed with Women's Wear Daily. I want to know what the editors, buyers and fashion Gods of the industry deem the hottess, latest, before the public. Also Vogue, W and In Style magazines. Blog wise, I like Fashion Bomb Daily and Ford Model's blogs.
Where do you generally shop?
I love target because I'm a mom, but Zara, Express, H&M ,and im also a huge thrifter. I go nuts in thrift stores. I tend to find a lot of great designer label pieces just unworn, with tags still on them. There is nothing worse than wasted fashion. Dont buy it, if you're not going to wear it. You must love or need it, lbs.
What's your fashion mantra?
"The world is your runway. So always walk tall and strut your best stuff." Lol. Something my Diva Mom has always told me.
How would you describe your style? Consider anything and everything from color to historical eras and more.
My style is a sexy but classy type. A Dorothy Dandridge meets artsy hippie. I like to mix a little classic beauty elements with my urban artist vibe.
Out of all of the photos the photographer took of you, which is your favorite and why?
Thats hard to say and not fair, I have so many, lol. Umm.. ok, Shining Armor... the whole sunrise shoot, and the Butterfly shot. All were ART. They could also be brand ads in my opinion.
What makes "Chicago" fashion unique?
Chicago fashion tends to pull from a multitude of influences. We're never just on one track, we aim to be different and have a lilttle shock value.
What advice do you have for other aspiring models?
Study your craft. Practice. Everyone has to practice. Mirror time and walking practice. It builds confidence. It shouldn't be about vanity but angels and perspective. Know how you look at every angle. Y'all can thank me later, lol.
How do you prepare for a modeling shoot?
I try to get sleep at least 8 hrs. Water, lots of water and eat a large, but healthy meal at least like 12 hours before the shoot. I will do tear sheets from magazines, help with posing ideas on the side to keep the shoot fluid. A short workout for like 30mins.
How would you describe working with the photographer?
I think we vibe well together. He's technical but will catch you in the moment from an artistic eye. It's always a pleasure working with him too because he gives you good direction when he wants something specific but lets you do you. Phil provides a great deal of balance. Fun but serious.
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