Socks n' Heels

Some of my friends think I'm crazy for this but I really love the new trend of wearing socks with heels! I tried it out a few weeks ago, what do you think?

Socks- Dallas & Company

Velvet Skirt- Forever 21 +

 Cardigan- Old Navy
Striped Shirt- H&M
Scarf- Forever 21

By the way, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I haven't posted since the new year started...I pray everyone has a wonderful year this 2011. I'm excited to be creating new memories =) This time next year I hope to have joined a modeling agency and have job secured post-graduation amongst a few other more personal goals. Feel free to share your resolutions =)


Teen Vogue Fashion University Conference

When I got the call that I won the competition for Torrid I was ready to drop all other opportunities that I had lined up but fortunately, I was able to still go to the Teen Vogue Fashion University Conference held directly after my time in LA. I was extremely excited to be going back to New York City!! I was flown in a day early but I got together with some of my friends and one of them had arranged a meet-up with twin eyewear designers, Coco & Breezy. These girls were sooo sweet and as you can see from the picture below, they also have amazing style! Check out their website to see some amazing futuristic styled designs!

Pictures by Grace Ajanaku

The first day of the event included a private shopping event at Juicy Couture. They had cute little h'orderves being offered by some of the finest male models as well as concert performances.

This year's conference included speakers from many key people in the industry. Editor in Chief of American Vogue, Anna Wintour, was the opening speaker, bridal designer, Vera Wang, was the key note speaker, and seminars included designers Rachel Roy, Jason Wu, Alexis Bittar, Zac Posen, Charlotte Ronson, Richard Chai, Justin Guinta, Erin Fetherston, Prabal Gurung, models Stacey McKenzie and Ali Michael, president of J. Crew Jenna Lyons, and the editors of Teen Vogue, along with many other fashion leaders.

 President of J. Crew-Jenna Lyons (I loved her outfit)

Jenna Lyons shows us her first clothing items she made while in school.

The last day was very inspirational with speakers that included Rachel Simmons, Ali Michael and Stacey Mckenzie who talked about the struggles of being a model and shared with us their personal stories. Stacey Mckenzie's story really touched me...so much so that I'm going to dedicate a separate post for her!

Overall, this trip was a great one...I have to make NYC-the nation's fashion capital- home to me one day.

Torrid House of Dreams 2010 in Los Angeles!

Hey everyone, today is the day when our pictures go up on the Torrid website, so be on the look out! I'd just like to share with you all a few of the behind-the-scenes photos as well as my overall experience in LA!

On Tuesday, I flew from Chicago to LA pretty excited to meet all of the girls. When I landed, I didn't know what to do. I didn't see any signs but I eventually noticed Melissa from the pictures I saw from the contest. She was so sweet! We both were still a little confused as to what was going to happen next, but we quickly worked things out. Isabelle spotted us standing outside and shortly after we met with our limo driver and started heading to our luxurious hotel where we would be staying for the next couple of days--The Standard Hotel.

When we got to the hotel, we were greeted by the front desk. They gave us Torrid gift bags and told us that during our stay, everything was on the house! We were in store for a great pampering session. 

Before heading our for that evening's festivities, I got to meet all of the rest of the model winners, including Krystal, the winner from Torrid's Puerto Rico Model Search. We all chatted in the diner before heading to KIIS FM Studios. When we went to KIIS FM we didn't get to meet Ryan Seacrest BUT we did meet some amazing people including famous LA DJ JoJo, Karli Henriquez and Nelson. After touring the building, we sat down with Karli and talked about the struggles of body image in society and specifically, the media. Karli used to have her own realty show, Karlifornia, on MTV Tr3s and as a curvy latina she felt pressured by producers to be something she was not. It got really emotional in the room but was a great way for us to open up and hear each others stories. 

 Us w/ JoJo

Us w/ Karli!

Immediately after leaving KIIS, I got a chance to experience the infamous"LA traffic." It took us about an hour and a half to get to our next stop, but was well worth it. We went to Beso, Eva Longoria's restaurant in Hollywood. We were there for hours eating, laughing and talking with some of Torrid's best models as well as Torrid executives that made all of this happen. I made sure to talk with Nikki and Germaine to get any modeling advice they had. Ashley Holliday, actress from ABC's Huge was also there to join us!

 Gantry, me and Becky....lovely ladies from Torrid's marketing department!

 Model Nikki, me and actress Ashley Holliday

2010 winners with 2008 model winner Germaine

 When we got back to our hotels, I wanted to explore the city and even the hotel but I was so tired. I had been working on just about 4 hours of sleep the whole day so I crashed. We had to wake up bright and early and be out of the door at 7am the next day for our photo shoot at Torrid/Hot Topic Headquarters. When we reached our destination, we started right away with hair & make-up by some of Torrid's top celebrity make-up artists.

the set!

Later, we met with celebrity stylist Art Conn--For any American Idol lovers, he's the one who styles all of the singers! He interviewed us on a behind-the-scenes video that is now posted on Torrid's YouTube Channel!

Then came the shooting!

They called us Torrid twins! What do you think?

Jennifer and Mia were the other set of Torrid twins! 

I was so in love with Jakoy's outfits! Perfect for the holidays:

After the shoot, we were hit with a surprise that made us all smile. We were told by the creative directors that we could take all of the shoes home with us! So, I walked away with about 3 new pairs of shoes. The airport almost made me throw them away because my bag was 12 pounds over limit! Somehow, I managed to work it out and took my new shoes, new clothes from the Torrid gift bag and my experiences on with me to New York where I attended the Teen Vogue Fashion University Conference (post coming soon).

Overall, I had such a great time! ALL of the models were so sweet and energetic and I love Torrid for being so supportive in helping jump-start our modeling careers. I see this as only the beginning! Once again, thank you to you all who voted for me in this competition. I had an amazing time!



Go Girl, It's Your Birthday! (Late)

This post is long overdue.
Last month, I joined the dub club and turned 20! (go LIBRAS!)

One of my friends had a birthday the day before mine and happened to be throwing an event the same weekend so some of my old friends and I decided to go support her and the artists featured in this Underground Hip Hop Expo as we celebrate!

I have to admit that I agree with indecisiveness being one of a Libra's bad traits. I debated what I was going to wear for quite a while and decided that this outfit screamed "birthday!" a little louder.

Shoes: Steve Madden

MAC and Clinique products on my face.
Lips: MAC's Freckletone (Lustre).... I've been addicted to nude lips lately!

Dress: Forever 21-Faith 21 

(Picture by Onasis Stoby)
Birthday girls: Candice & I


Rachel Roy uses "Real" Women in Fall 2010 Campaign

In my opinion,  instead of being labeled as "plus size" it should be titled "real" size...or in an even perfect world, be labeled simply "models" or "fashion" without the addition of extra titles. After all, the average woman in America is a size 14. And even "straight size" women get upset seeing models size 00-2 constantly used in major campaigns. At the end of the day, it's all about FASHION. From size 00 to 44, why create different sectors when EVERYBODY wears clothes?  It causes many problems including eating disorders, anxiety, depression, etc.

...Which is why I give props to Rachel Roy for using "real" models in her new campaign!

Photo: RachelRoy.com

I love the idea behind her campaign. RR is holding a You Tube contest in which applicants had to answer the question: "If you could say one thing to the world, what would it be?" Some of my favorite answers from the lovely ladies above include:

Love your flaws...
Be happy, but unsatisfied.
live your life...
The world is a book
When you're eating an orange, know you're eating an orange.

She is choosing 5 winners that will be featured on the website and will a $150 giftcard. Check it out if you'd like to share a video with Rachel Roy!

If things work out as planned, I'll be attending Teen Vogue's Fashion University Conference next month in NYC where Rachel Roy will be hosting a seminar. Exciting! I love her ultra feminine and modern sense of style.

Plus Size + New York Fashion Week.... REALLY?!

Well sorta...and it's about damn time!
Though not officially apart of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, One Stop Plus will be holding a fashion show event, hosted by model Melissa Aronson (better known as Emme) that will take place on September 16th at Lincoln Center in the midst of the shows by some of the biggest names in the industry.

Toccara Jones and Lizzie Miller are only some of the beautiful ladies we will see showcasing some of the e-tailers clothing. Get excited!

Photo: Getty Images

It's been great to see an increase in the industry being more accepting to the plus size sector. We've been seeing more plus size models on and within top magazines like Elle, Vogue and Glamour. Designers and retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Forever 21 have also caught on to the recent trends and even Marc Jacobs has been in talks about expanding his line.


So if you voted for me within the past two weeks, you should've gotten an e-mail with the good news already but I wanted to tell you myself that I WON! I'm 1 of 6 winners that get to go to LA next month to be a part of some amazing events! I just want to personally THANK YOU all for supporting me as I know I was pretty much....annoying... to say the least. And though my photos and application were a part of the criteria, the votes were a large portion of what the internal judges relied on to choose the winners.

I won't be going on this trip until the end of October but when I do I'll make sure to keep you all posted!

Picture from Torrid.com