Pearl of the Week goes to Lena Ford.

Lena Ford graduated from Pearl School of Modeling, and entered the Sisterhood of Pearls in Fall of 2017.

While at PSM, Lena secured a modeling contract with Andre Walker Hair, Oprah Winfrey’s former hairstylist. 

When Lena Ford was only seven years old, she launched the idea of “ARTing for You.” The mission of “ARTing for You” is to give away art kits to children who are in foster homes, shelters or transitional homes. 

She later created “Positively Lena, LLC” a company which focuses on handmade, custom key chains for any age. The designs include motivating words or messages such as “Shine Bright,” “Stay Fabulous,” and “Positive Vibes Only.” Lena dedicates a portion of sales from the accessories to purchase art supplies to support “ARTing for You.”

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: positivelylenallc
  • Facebook: positivelylenallc
  • Twitter: positivelylena_

Photo Source:


As a model, do you have to alter your appearance to make it in the industry?

This past Tuesday, I interviewed my wonderful model sister, Deonna Leigh, on our platform ‘Model Talk Tuesdays.” 

I met Deonna, when I went on tour as an Ebony Fashion Fair model. We traveled to hundreds of cities together, as we walked the runway in couture gowns. Deonna is an All-Star Ebony Fashion Fair model, walking for 6 seasons, and one of my favorite models. She lights up the runway!

Deonna modeling for Ebony Fashion Fair

“I find myself always saying tour, when I talk about my journey as a model. I miss Ebony Fashion Fair, it was one of the highlights of my life.”

Deonna was born in California, and modeled in her first event when she was 3 years. As a teen she competed for Miss Kansas, and received 3rd runner up. She later modeled for Ebony Fashion Fair, and then went on to New York. 

‘As I was going to different agencies, they liked my photos, yet, when I came in for an interview, they would say we like everything…but my nose. I heard this time and time again.’

‘After years of hearing this comment about my nose, I decided to get a nose job. I know I was born to be a model, and I was not going to let this one thing stop me.’ says Deonna.

Deonna also mentioned a story about a model, her agent was representing, that received a comment from an agency, that they did not like her ears, and that she should do surgery to correct them. Oppose to doing surgery, the model shaved her head, and made her ears more apparent as a part of her beauty. Shortly after, she was signed to one of the top agency in the world. 

As Deonna mentioned these stories during our interview, I thought about Dani, the winner of America’s Next Top Model. I just saw a clip of her discussing Tyra Banks telling her to close her gap. 


Deonna has model for Ebony Fashion Fair, ELLE Greece, Century 21, Teri John, Teen Vogue, Betsey Johnson, just to name a few.  

Deonna’s Pearl of Wisdom: Never give up on your dreams. 

What do you feel about the pressure models receive to alter their look?



Miguel Wilson is a celebrity fashion designer. He hails from Washington, DC. An educated man, he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from our very own Clark Atlanta University and an MBA from Campbell University. An Army veteran, he served as a 2nd Lieutenant is the US Army Reserves in the Military Police Corps.

Mr Wilson began his career in fashion as a customer clothier, making suits for many notable people in sports, business, politics and religion. His style is best described as conservative with a splash of excitement. They are fun, functional and classy. His clothes are a must have for the well dress man.



He is also the author of a book titled “ Because It’s His Day Too “

Groom love stories ! There is also an on line bridal company.

His collections have also been worn by many celebrities including but not limited to Hollywood Producer Will Packer, Reality TV personality Peter Thomas and Rapper 2Chainz. Nothing like a well dressed man.

Store will be reopening on June 1st at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta, GA!


IG : @miguelwilsoncollection

Store locations : Phipps Plaza

3500 Peachtree Rd NE

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy


Did you get a chance to catch our Model Talk Tuesdays Live IG show, featuring Jeyza.
I am friends with a lot of remarkable people in this world. Some that have been call ‘legend’. So you would think, that I could keep my cool around everyone, yet, not this particular guest. After, speaking to her for our pre-call, some would say I lost it, by screaming; really, I just wanted to let this model know how much of a fan I am.
Jeyza Gary, a 21 year model based in Fayetteville, North Carolina, is the first to model with the skin condition called Lamellar Ichthyosis. 
Lamellar ichthyosis can be caused by mutations in one of many genes, responsible for providing instructions for making proteins that are found in the outermost layer of the skin, or the epidermis. Most often, lamellar ichthyosis is caused by a mutation of the TGM1 gene, which serves to help form a barrier between the body and the environment around you.

Jeyza Gary

MMT: Tell us about your childhood?
Jeyza: I was born with a skin condition called Lamellar ichthyosis. It’s rare and effects about 1 in 100,000, and I was the lucky one.
Once my family realize they did not want me to feel like a victim, that’s where everything started. I had to go to school, if I wasn’t feeling it, I had to go to school, unless I was sick, I went to school. There was no pity from anyone.
I get a lot of strength from my family, and they instilled in me this confidence and boldness I have to pursue modeling. 
Jeyza is signed to We Speak Models. She signed a contract in April 2019.
Jeyza: ‘I am so glad, I allow myself to led, before I do things,’ says Jeyza. 
MMT: Is being led, being still, and listening to your intuition?

Jeyza: Absolutely. You know that still small voice, your mind will try and make you feel like you don’t know it, but you definitely do. And, sometimes we go for things, that we know aren’t really for us, and then try and act bummed out it doesn’t work.

So I wasn’t really impacted when those agencies, did not reach back out to me (the first agencies Jeyza pursued). I looked on their boards, and I did not want to be a token. I want to go somewhere, where I can fit in, and stand out at the same time, and that’s where being led comes in. 
MMT: Did you have training in modeling, prior to getting signed? Or did you learn after?
Jeyza: I received my training after. I had to adapt. It’s ok if things don’t come in order, often times we think it has to, but sometimes it happens completely out of order. For me, I try and stay authentic. I don’t like looking at other models, I want to critique what I do. That keeps me grounded, because comparison kills. And in this industry there’s a lot of that, and I just don’t want to do that. Down to the way that I pose, take pictures, and to the stylistic quality I bring, I know its my own, and I want to keep it that way. 
MMT: How did you get the national Target Ad, and get on the cover of Glamour UK?
Jeyza: My agent submits me for different jobs, that she feels embody me. I had 15 that I did not get before I booked Target. I had no clue that it was going to be a national campaign. It was so well received that they asked me to come back for the second wave. It happened very fast. 
For the Glamour UK cover, I went to NYFW, for castings, and got a call from my agent, and she said Glamour UK, wanted me to be a part of the Self Love issue. I know I was coming to New York for a purpose, but I thought it was something completely different. In that short amount of time, I booked another job, and I got my first cover.
*Model Talk Tuesdays is produced by Pearl School of Modeling, a nonprofit organization, with a mission to shape the confidence of girls and women to become future leaders through modeling, leadership and entrepreneurship. 
Tune into Model Talk Tuesdays every Tuesday at 7pm on IG Live @ALadyNamedPearl


Pearl School of Modeling was honored to have top model Fatou Jobe as our special guest speaker, for our ‘Model Talk Tuesdays’ on 4/14/20!

Fatou Jobe, was born in Bronx, NY, and moved to Gambia Africa, at the age of 1. She came back to New York at age 11. She has model for brands such as Givenchy, Hermes, Valentino and much more! She has also appeared in Vogue Arabia.

Fatou Jobe, Photo courtesy of Vogue Arabia

Check out her interview:

Clip 1:


Clip 2:

Clip 3:



Pearl and Markuann at Art Basel for showing of ‘Godfather of Harlem’

It was such an honor to meet Markuann Smith, the executive producer of ‘Godfather of Harlem’ at Art Basel in Dec 2019. Thank you to my acting coach and friend Cedric Pendleton for the invitation.

3 TV Networks passed on the film, before he got the green light to tell a story, which took 18 years to make. Did you hear me …. 18 years to make. As I sat in the audience, at the Art Basel premiere, I had to sit up, to hear this journey.

Sometimes, we get caught up in things happening overnight, yet Mr. Smith, gave me perspective in telling his story.

Markuann’s godmother Margaret, is the grand daughter of the legendary gangster, Ellsworth Raymond ‘Bumby’ Johnson, played by Forest Whitaker. Margaret would often tell young Markuann stories of her grandfather, and he promised her, he would tell the truth about who Bumpy really was through film. Bumpy, an intelligent man, was studying to be an attorney, yet was denied financial aid to pursue his studies, so he took a different route. Bumpy was also a man who read Shakespeare and Nietzche.

As I watched the premiere, the series is set in a background of the 60s, and gives you a look at the major players in Harlem, including Malcolm X. They illustrate how they all intertwined to protect their neighborhood and territory.

The show can be seen on EPIX, YouTube, Google Play, Sling, and Amazon Prime.

Go check it out!…

Designer of the Week – Kerby Jean-Raymond

Our Designer of the Week goes to Kerby Jean-Raymond!

Kerby Jean-Raymond working on his capsule collection for Hennessy

Kerby Jean-Raymond is a Haitian American fashion designer and founder of the menswear label, Pyer Moss. At the age of 14, he started working directly under Kay Unger at Kay Unger New York while attending the High School of Fashion Industry.  At 16, he moved to Marchesa, a brand specializing in high end womenswear, while it was launching its first collection.

Kerby Jean-Raymond first came to the spotlight for his presentation of Pyer Moss Spring 2016 Menswear Collection during New York Fashion Week. He is recognized for his pioneering approach to fashion that fuses the personal and political. He sees himself as an artist mixing fashion, music, and social issues.
Pyer Moss men and women’s wear and can be purchased online. Follow him on Instagram @kerbyjeanraymond

NYFW | Model, Caleb McLaughlin, and model at Pyer Moss Masato Onoda/WWD/REX

Mr. Jean-Raymond also has a giving spirit. In response to the influx of messages he was receiving from medical professionals on the front lines who have been treating the pandemic and talking about the shortages of basic supplies such as the N95 masks and latex gloves, he converted the Pyer Moss office in New York into a donation center for essential items.
If you would like to donate, items can be sent to :
             Your Friends in New York
              242 W 27th St.7th floor
              New York, NY 10001
 Those who need those supplies, can email: wanttohelp@yourfriendsinnyc

Photographed by Corey Tenold

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls



We are excited to announce that we have launched ‘Model Talk Tuesdays’ an Instagram Live platform where we interview top models in the industry, as a way to educate upcoming models.


Our first interview was with Czech model Denisa Moodie. Deni has modeled for brands such as Chanel, L’Oreal, and 4Tailors, just to name a few. 

During the interview Deni shared tips on the ‘Art of Posing’ and how quality over quantity is most important when building your career. Tune in next Tuesday, to see who we will have next on the roster. 


NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 08: Linda Pearl Fils-Aime (pictured third from the left) founder of the Pearl School of Modeling surrounded by her students, recipients of an IMG scholarship to attend New York Fashion Week, at Christopher John Rogers’ runway show at Gallery I at Spring Studios on February 08, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Shannon Finney/WireImage)



Pearl School of Modeling traveled to New York Fashion Week during the days of February 7 – 9, 2020.

We would like to thank IMG Models, the producers of New York Fashion Week for providing 4 tickets to Pearl School of Modeling to attend some of the most prestigious fashion shows!

Congratulations to the following students selected to attend: Makenzie Bowman, Jeniah Dukes, and Kelsey Johnson. 

These students were selected from our Sisterhood of Pearls that have crossed over. Moreover, these students achieved high scores overall during their time at Pearl School of Modeling in the areas of modeling, leadership and entrepreneurship.

At the airport headed to New York

Pearls doing community service at YMCA, giving a free modeling class, during NYFW

At the LaQuan Smith Fashion Show

Makenzie discusses her experiences at NYFW

Jeniah discusses her experiences at NYFW

Kelsey discusses her experiences at NYFW

Photos with attendees of NYFW 


Pearl shoots with Celebrity Haitian photographer Richard Lecoin.