Model Highlight: Mika Schneider

Our Model Highlight goes to Mika Schneider

This French-Japanese beauty is making her mark on the fashion scene. Described as tranquil, self-disciplined, and sure, Mika Schneider debuted at Prada Spring/Summer 2020 last Fall. Make no mistake, although a newcomer on the scene, she is no stranger to modeling. Schneider’s mother modeled in Japan.

Schneider began modeling in Japan but was not scouted. Schneider was discovered on Instagram after her mother took pictures of her and sent them to the agencies she knew had good reputations. Her father works for an international company so she has moved most of her life and has adjusted to traveling. She learned to speak Japanese, French, English, and Russian! 

She’s already landed opportunities with Tom Ford and Louis Vuitton and has done a few editorials. She is currently signed to Bon Image. Here are a few words of wisdom from the model regarding her life in the industry, “It’s not stable – you travel, you can work hours and hours one a day and not work four days after. It’s unpredictable. But it’s also exciting because you never know.” (Twenty Minutes with Mika Schneider-Paris Edition).

Follow her on Instagram: @mikascnhdr

Photo Credit: The Fashion Spot, Anne of Carversville, & Leah Cultice

Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls

Model Highlight: Alexis Ruby

Our Model Highlight goes to Alexis Ruby!

 

This freckle-faced beauty made her debut on the runway at the Marc Jacobs 2020 Spring show. Alexis is Kentucky born and Atlanta raised and is of Irish and African-American descent. At the tender age of 23 years-old, this songstress turned model, is making waves in the fashion world. Many models begin their careers as teenagers but there was something special about Alexis Ruby!

Aside from her love of singing gospel music, Ruby decided to help a friend a pose in front of the camera. Her photos ended up on social media and were discovered by an agent who invited her to New York City to meet several agencies; she was signed to IMG models! She is very astute and aware of her role as a curvier model. She credits fashion model, Ashley Graham as for paving the way for models like her. Ruby says her mental and physical health is paramount and recognizes that she must put herself first; this makes her a better daughter, and person. Designer Marc Jacobs describes Ruby as professional and witty; she is a necessity in today’s industry! 

Follow her on Instagram: @lexpfromthevill

Photo Credit: www.fashionista.com
Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls

Model Highlight: All Breast Cancer Heroes

Our Model Highlight goes to all Breast Cancer Heroes

This month we celebrate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 276,000 women get breast cancer annually and 1 out of every 100 breast cancers diagnosed in the U.S. is found in a man.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women. Supermodels like Naomi Sims and Janice Dickinson (pictured below) battled the disease. To date, there is no known cause of breast cancer however there are numerous risk factors to include: age, gender, race, family history and genetic factors, diet, and lack of physical activity to name a few. 

2020 has been a powerful reminder of just how important it is to take care of one’s own health. I implore everyone to  educate themselves about breast cancer. “The best protection is early detection”-National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.

To find out more about breast cancer visit: The Mayo Clinic

Photo Credit: People, Getty Images, InStyle
Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls

Entrepreneurship Highlight: Madam C.J. Walker (Sarah Breedlove)

One of our three pillars at Pearl School of Modeling is entrepreneurship. We challenge our Pearls to create a business plan, implement it, and begin their business in their semester. We felt it important to add an entrepreneur highlight to the newsletter” to bring awareness to the numerous business owners that could positively influence our readers.

One can conclude that Madam C.J. Walker was one of the first mainstream entrepreneurs. Born into poverty, and to former slaves, she built an empire. Although she was orphaned and did not have an comfortable upbringing and became a widow at age 20, Madam Walker was determined to survive. She married her second husband Charles J. Walker and shortly after, her hair began falling out due to a scalp disorder. She created her own concoction, Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower. Her products made her the first American woman and first black woman to become a self-made millionaire. She organized the National Negro Cosmetics Manufacturers Association in 1917 and offered cash incentives to those who promoted her values. Even though she passed away in 1919, her products and her influence still live on today. Her mansion was purchased by the nonprofit organization, New Voice Foundation, to become a “think tank” for women of color entrepreneurs.
 
There are various articles, books, and a Netflix film, Self Made, that highlight the life and success of Madam C.J. Walker. Expand your knowledge-base and read a few of them so that you can form a well-rounded perspective of just how powerful her story really is.
 

Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls

Photo Credit: Diverstiy.Inc, Allthatisinteresting.com

Entrepreneurship Highlight: Myriam Taylor of Muxima

One of our three pillars at Pearl School of Modeling is entrepreneurship. We challenge our Pearls to create a business plan, implement it, and begin their business in their semester. We felt it important to add an entrepreneur highlight to the newsletter” to bring awareness to the numerous business owners that could positively influence our readers.
 
Myriam Taylor, of Portugal, is the daughter of Angolan war refugees who sought asylum in Europe. Taylor found it to hard to fit in Europe especially as a black child with textured hair. Only in recent years has it become trendy for women of color to wear their hair naturally. Taylor had a vision for women of color to wear their hair with confidence while embracing it and without compromising it.
 
When Taylor became pregnant, she decided to refrain from using chemicals in her hair.  She found it challenging to find good products for her hair type. In 2016, Taylor decided to create a luxury hair-care business, Muxima and a biotechnology company, Muxima Bio. Her product line includes caviar-based shampoos, conditioners, and oils made from bio ingredients to nourish the hair. Each product was made with love and from her heart; Muxima in the Angolian language of Kimbundu, means “heart”.
 
Her products have been featured in Essence and Forbes magazines. Myriam is not just an enterpriser,  she is an advocate for social humanitarian causes! She believes in being a voice for inequality especially for victims of domestic violence and war orphans in Angolia! She continues the fight for social justice by giving her time to these causes in various European cities.
 
View/purchase her products at https://www.muxima.net/
 
Follow her on Instagram: @muximaofficial
 
Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls
Photo Credit: Kazanuba, Instagram: @musximaofficial
 
 

Model Highlight: Joan Smalls

Joan Smalls Rodriguez was born in Hatillo, Puerto Rico, USA. She began her modeling career after graduating from InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2007. At the young age of 19, she was signed to Elite Model Management and began modeling for department stores such as Nordstrom’s. She then moved to IMG models and landed brands such as Givenchy and Victoria’s Secret. In 2012 she was named, Model of the Year!  Smalls appeared on 11 international editions of VogueHarper’s Bazaar, i-D, Interview, Porter, Love, American ElleT Magazine, and more. Aside from print advertisements and runway, she took a leap of faith and made a small business venture; Smalls partnered with Estee Lauder. She still enjoys modeling but feels that it is important to contribute to her community. She is involved with various non-profit organizations and is very socially cognizant of the issues all of over the world. One of her favorite organizations is the Garden of Dreams Foundation; an organization dedicated to helping children facing obstacles such as homelessness, extreme poverty, illnesses, and foster care challenges.

Joan always remembers the words of her mother, ” Joan remember, you’re the star…not star as in celebrity star, like a bright star.”

Follow Joan on Instagram at: @joansmalls

Photo Credit: IMG Models, Getty Images
Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls

 

Designer Highlight: Iyishia Jones

Our designer of the week goes to Iyishia Jones. As a little girl, Iyishia Jones’ mom owned a boutique in downtown Detroit Michigan where she grew up. She remembers her parents getting dressed up and going downtown to shop. The seed was planted at an early age. Iyishia started her career in corporate American but it was fashion that fueled her. It was her husband Greg (an entrepreneur himself) that encouraged her to take her passion and turn it into a career.

Her first boutique opened in 2015 in Florida’s Rosemary Beach. She noticed a lot of clients were in Alabama, so in 2015 she opened a second store in Homewood, Alabama. She has a location in Montgomery, Alabama and a fourth location in Mountain Brook, Alabama. This store carries custom designed apparel. The pieces there can be customized or tailored in-store.

The shopping experience is unique. Instead of hiring salespeople, Iyishia employs stylists. You are greeted by a stylist who will dress you based on your eye color, body shape, and personality. So many clients have come in talking about what they can’t wear and leave with something totally unexpected.

When you think of ISHI, think elegant, casual, and everything you dare to be. Her clothes are FUN, FLY, and Fabulous!!!

Follow her on Instagram: @ishiboutiques

Photo credit: ISHI? Boutiques

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls

Entrepreneurship Highlight: Stephen “Seven” Hudson

One of our three pillars at Pearl School of Modeling is entrepreneurship. We challenge our Pearls to create a business plan, implement it, and begin their business in their semester. We felt it important to add an entrepreneur highlight to the newsletter” to bring awareness to the numerous business owners that could positively influence our readers.

Stephen “Seven” Hudson began producing fashion shows and dance shows as a senior in high school. His creativity and eye for detail continued on as he honed his skills in the salon. For the past 11 years he worked in the salon but also in editorial fashion, the film and television industry, commercial advertisement, at personal events, and weddings. He is continuously building his brand Beauty by Stephen. He most recently appeared in Essence Magazine promoting his CTRL Edge edge control and tamer.

Hudson is talented, ambitious, and ready to conquer the world. He is the senior stylist at Suite Life Salon and Spa in Freeport, Long Island, NY.  He is a platform educator, his skills are top-notch, and soon, he will be the most sought after creative in the industry!

Follow him on Instagram:@sevenknows

Shop his beauty products at: https://www.beautyxstephen.com/

Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls

Photo Credit: Essence Magazine, Beauty by Stephen

Model Highlight: Liya Kebede

Liya Kebede was born and raised in Addis, Ababa, Ethiopia! Kebede was discovered by a film director while attending school at Lycee Guebre-Mariam and was introduced to a French modeling agent. Once Kebede finished her studies, she relocated to France to pursue her modeling career through a Parisian agency. Her career in the fashion industry skyrocketed when Tom Ford presented Kebede with the opportunity to have an exclusive contract for his Gucci Fall/Winter 2000 fashion show. In May 2002, she graced the cover of Paris Vogue in which the whole  issue was dedicated to her. From there, she has been on the covers of Japanese, French, American, Italian, and Spanish Vogue, V, and many more! Kebede has also been in campaign ads with Gap, Yves Saint-Laurent, Victoria’s Secret, Revlon and more! In 2003, she became the face of Estee Lauder Cosmetics and was the only Ethiopian to do so!

Kebede is not only a model, actress, and entrepreneur, she is also an activist. Her activism is dedicated to reducing the maternal, newborn, and child mortality in Ethiopia. She founded her non-profit organization called Liya Kebede Foundation: https://www.lemlem.com/pages/lkf

Kebede is a true inspiration who does it all!

Contributing Writer: Jeysika Henry, Fashion Show Production Manager/Social Media Manager

Photo Credit: Annie Leibovitz

ENTREPRENEURSHIP HIGHLIGHT: RIZOS CURLS

One of our three pillars at Pearl School of Modeling is entrepreneurship. We challenge our Pearls to create a business plan, implement it, and begin their business in their semester. We felt it important to add an entrepreneur highlight to the newsletter” to bring awareness to the numerous business owners that could positively influence our readers.
 
Julissa Prado struggled finding the right hair care products growing up as a Latina. She was determined to one day create the perfect formula for girls like her.  After years of working on her formula, she created the all natural Rizos Curls, one of the first Afro-Mexican hair care lines. Her products have been featured in Glamour, People en Espanol, Hip Latina, Teen Vogue,  Target, Cosmopolitan and many more. Prado believes in paying it forward and launched her first Latina Entrepreneur Summit. Prado attributes her entrepreneurial spirit from coming from the hood and  her father who started as a dishwasher and later became a restaurateur.
 
“Rizos Curls is created from the heart and is my perfect formula for defined, bouncy, shiny, frizz-free, soft, voluminous curls.”- Julissa Prado
 
Shop her product line at: https://rizoscurls.com/ and follow her on Instagram: @RizosCurls #RizosCurls