The clack of high heels and dress shoes on tile, militant dress code, and impressive posture can only mean one thing; the Models of the Mecca (MOTM) are back.
Models of the Mecca was founded in 2018 by Deja Davenport, Peyton Kinchen-Reed, and DeAnte’ Massenburg. These three founded MOTM with the intention of promoting inclusivity in all aspects of fashion through creativity, community, and passion. They preach an overall message of self love, along with having love for others around you.
The group hosts regular recurring showcase shows, as well as photoshoots, producing nothing short of jaw dropping. Models go through weeks of training, coaching, and practice, all for their moment on the catwalk.
The 2021-2022 president, Jaylen Barrett, is a junior Supply Chain Management major from Maryland. He is a Class 3 model, as well as the group’s former model coach. Other executives include Sanei Whilby, the vice president, Janée Jenkins, secretary, Leanne Waldron, treasurer, and Faith English, the membership liaison.
Alongside the executive team are multiple department heads who come together to create the leadership team. Model coaches teach members runway and other forms of modeling techniques. The photography and videography teams manage archives of all portfolios and photoshoots related to MOTM. Members of the creative direction team assist in planning and executing concepts for shows, photoshoots, etc. The glam team, based around styling and design, is tasked with the coordination and design of outfits, alongside the creation of hair and makeup looks. Other departments of the leadership team consist of the fundraising and community service team, collaboration team, and marketing and public relations team.
Recently, MOTM held an interest week from Sept. 20-24, training prospective members for membership applications. Events included a virtual interest meeting to kick off the week, followed by a walking clinic, a meet and greet with the leadership team, and a behind the runway event for all creative departments outside of modeling. They ended the week with an all department fashion show, where those interested were free to showcase anything they had learned throughout the week.
Throughout the week, each in-person event had a dress code assigned. Some were labeled more specific, requiring a white shirt and denim bottoms, while some were slightly more vague, such as fashion chic, giving participants room to express themselves and their style.
Prospective models have a lot to gain from working with MOTM. The opportunity to collaborate with Black creatives containing a multitude of talents from various backgrounds can have numerous benefits. And if modeling isn’t your thing, they also have opportunities for behind the scenes work on one of their leadership teams.
Applications for the 2021-22 academic year opened Friday, Sept. 24. They will remain open until Sunday, Sept. 26, and prospective members must submit a $5 application fee to be considered. The link to applications can be found in the MOTM instagram, @meccamodel, and membership is open to any undergraduate student attending Howard University.