For quite some time now, Howard has been known for its modeling troops and models. Each modeling troop takes time to mold the model to prepare them for big stages like New York Fashion Week (NYFW). This past season, two of the models from Howard had the opportunity to participate in one of the most significant fashion events of the year.
NYFW is a spontaneous and exciting time in New York City. Designers from all over the world showcase and sell some pieces from the collections they have worked on during the year.
AJ Taylor is a civil engineering major from Miami, Florida, and with little to no experience at first, he walked in his very first NYFW event this past fall. Taylor modeled for the brand A Fairy Tales End, based in Atlanta, Georgia. He believes that Models of the Mecca prepared him for this opportunity.
“[Models of the Mecca] gave me all the tools needed to walk for NYFW and the attitude and confidence to shine at NYFW,” stated Taylor. “They taught me sound techniques and runway etiquette to be professionally well-rounded and ready for anything.”
Taylor remembered seeing the call for the NYFW show, not thinking he was experienced enough, he applied anyway. He recalled the feeling of getting the invitation to walk in the show.
“When I learned I was selected, I was truly ecstatic and felt so honored to be able to make such a jump early on,” stated AJ.
AJ Taylor is not the only model from Howard that got the opportunity to walk in this year’s festivities. Nyasia Ashford is a junior fashion design major and psychology minor from New Jersey. She had the chance to represent the brand Friskmegood, who was a featured designer on HBO Max’s “The Hype.”
Friskmegood is a sustainable streetwear fashion brand known for its unique pieces and diverse models. Ashford applied through a casting website and was ecstatic when she got her call.
“I’m pretty sure I cried tears of joy, this was my first time being able to walk in NYFW, and it’s been a goal of mine since I put on my first pair of stilettos,” said Ashford enthusiastically. “It still kind of feels surreal and like a dream.”
Ashford is a part of the modeling troop ELITE, another one of the four modeling troops on Howard’s campus. ELITE is known for its editorial shoots and collaborations with big brands. One brand that the troop has been sponsored by is IVY PARK. Ashford was one of the models featured in their school girl campaign. She believes that her modeling organization prepared her for photoshoots.
“Howard has taught me how to function successfully in stressful environments,” said Ashford. “It’s taught me to always stay on my toes and be prepared for changes at any moment.”
Howard is often regarded as the center for creativity and new, upcoming talent. Both models were not experienced, but were willing to try, and their attempts paid off. AJ has the perfect advice for people looking to enter the industry early.
“Get out there, learn sound technique and practice as much as you can before applying so that you are ready to walk anywhere and anytime,” stated AJ excitedly. “Apply to things you find and see what you hear back, and always do your research into the company you’re applying to.”
Copy edited by Chanice McClover-Lee