Thursday, June 23, 2011

Full Figured and Fab: Plus Model Nikeya Young

Yesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing Nikeya Young. She is a plus model, beauty queen, and writer.  She recently won the Full Figured Fashion Week's biggest fan contest. Here is what Nikeya had to share with us.

How long have you been a Plus Model?
-  I’ve been modeling for 3 ½ years now. I am a freelance Plus Model.  I’ve done a lot of runway and some print work as well. I am also involved in the plus-size fashion industry as a writer for PLUS Model Magazine ( and as the Chicago Plus-Size Fashion Examiner ( .

What are 2 of your most memorable moments in the industry? There have been many! Working with Mia Amber Davis as my stylist on a shoot that I did with Lucas Pictures in November of 2009 would definitely be in the top two! The second most memorable moment (and she’s gonna get me for this), was checking my voice mails one day during my lunch break and getting an e-mail from Tressa Thomas regarding a Plus-Size Modeling troupe that she was starting. The name sounded familiar, I called her back and we had a great conversation. Then, I googled her when I got back to my desk & nearly fell out when I realized who I’d spoken with! LOL! Working with the ThYck Troupe has been one of the best choices I’ve ever made.  There are SOOO many other moments I want to mention, but you said 2, so I’ll be obedientJ.

What designers would you love to work with? I am making it a goal to land more print modeling gigs as soon as possible! Of course my dream campaign would be Ashley Stewart! I came VERY close to working with them when I became a Top 10 Finalist in their nationwide model search this past fall! I would also love to work with Shavonne Dorsey Designs, Sofistafunk, Monif C., Chinoo Designs, Crescendo Apparel, Faith 21, and Torrid.

Any advice for those that are looking to get started as a plus model? Do your RESEARCH! and are excellent places to start. Find out the “who’s who” and how they’ve gotten to where they are. DO NOT sign with any agency that is asking you to pay them for representation! Also, if you’re in the Chicagoland area, you could call me upJ! I now offer one-on-one model coaching that is very reasonably priced.

How was your Full Figured Fashion week experience in New York? It was bittersweet. I had a blast, but it was tough only being there for one day. I was hating when I saw people posting pictures at the All-White Cruise & etc.! I did get some good networking in though, and the Finale show had some AWESOME fashions in it that have me VERY excited about where plus-size fashion is headed!

Where do you see the Plus Size industry in the next 5 years? Within the next 5 years, the plus-size fashion/modeling industry will be unstoppable! We’re on the cusp of greatness right now, but our buying power and beauty won’t be ignored for much longer! The state of the economy will have a lot to do with that. Retailers will have no other choice but to market to us if they want to make more money! In terms of the clothes, after what I’ve seen at this year’s FFF Week, I wouldn’t be surprised if skinny chicks started trying to thicken up to fit our clothes, instead of us slimming down to be able to shop in their stores! LOL!

How can others get into contact with you? For booking, as well as inquiries about my model coaching classes, people can call my business line at 312-834-7774, or e-mail me at . **Serious inquiries only!!

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