THE ZEE THE SUPERMODEL INTERVIEW
How long have you lived in Philadelphia? What does the local art community mean to you?
I was actually born in Savannah, Georgia, but I have lived in Philadelphia since I was a baby, so Philly has always been home. My favorite thing about Philly is the art community built inside of it. We host a city of people who love to apologetically be themselves which ultimately leads to raw expression in art. The impact that growing up in Philadelphia has made on my life is the reason I do what I do. I am so grateful that my city built me to hustle and always believe in myself. Most importantly, I could never forget about any creative or business acquaintance I’ve met along the way. I analyze every experience and relationship in my life, so I can always grow and learn no matter the outcome.
When did you know you wanted to become a model?
I started modeling in March 2017. If you would have asked me if I was a model in February 2017, I would’ve laughed it off and told you to stop playing around. I never had intentions on becoming a model, but as long as I can remember, fashion has always been they key to my motivation. When I feel like my outfit expresses my personality the best, I know I am going to have a great day. I really got into modeling when I realized how powerful it is to be able to express yourself honestly, especially through art. I hope to become a very influential woman for people who do not believe in themselves or their capabilities. Modeling was just a gateway to finding myself and how I can share myself with the world.
How has modeling impacted your body and self image?
Without modeling, I would not have half of the confidence I am today. The most obvious change to recognize in a model’s confidence is usually their confidence in their physical appearance, but that was not the case for me. Ever since I’ve been in the fashion industry, I have become more confident in my talents, going after what I want, and believing that I have the worth ethic to make things happen for myself. Since 2017, I have owned two businesses, published my own book, and taught myself how to do graphic design, website design and html, music production and rapping, painting/drawing, creative direction, wardrobe styling, photography/videography, and this is just the beginning. Modeling helped me build as woman and a brand. It helped me realize how important my decisions are, from who I choose to work with, to what I choose to post. While I maneuver in the industry as a model and business owner, my self image is key to my success.
You discuss being of mixed race on your platforms. Have you ever faced prejudice in the modeling community, or in the art community as a whole? Were you generally accepted as a member of Philadelphia's art community?
I would say that I am generally accepted as a member in the art community. I know a handful of people who would swear that Philly does not support Philly, but I have not experienced that. Maybe I have been lucky, but I do think it is very important to take the support you get, return it, and not worry about who does not support you. Philly does not support Philly that EXPECTS support. But Philly definitely supports Philly.
How did 215fashionmag come to be? What are your hopes or goals for the magazine? Are you looking to collaborate with other artists/models/designers?
215fashionmag is an idea I came up with while trying to figure out how to help creatives that contact me for assistance gain professional exposure, as well as, getting published. I want to collaborate with as many creatives in Philadelphia as possible. I hope this magazine becomes a gateway to putting Philadelphia creatives on the map. We should not have to go to New York or California in order to participate in out of the box productions. I want to take our creativity and push it past the limits.
Tell us all about your upcoming events!
My next event is Monday, April 8th 7-9pm at the bar Tattooed Mom on south street. The Mannequin Mystique is a fashion presentation where Kings and Queens join the freak show. Prepare to be amazed and join us!!!!
June 22nd is my 24th birthday. This year, I want to spend the day celebrating the life of my best friend. Last March, I lost my dear friend, Daniel Strawbridge, to suicide. This loss has been very impactful on my relationships, as well as, the way I handle business. This year on my birthday, June 22, 2019, I will be hosting the Z Expression Experience. This is an extravagant show that will trigger all of your senses. We will have high fashion runway shows, music and spoken word performances, vendors, dancers, and more! As creatives, we come together to show the beauty in pain and life. Join us as we spread awareness to suicide and engage with a night of art.
You recently modeled for Dirty Politics. What was that experience like for you?
My recent shoot with Dirty Politics was definitely a success. As I said before, I learn and grow from every opportunity set before me. I was asked to model, but once I was at the event, I knew as a new photographer that it would be beneficial for me to learn from the other photographers in attendance. Benji, the president of Dirty Politics, made sure that every creative got to benefit in their own way while also getting amazing content for his brand. I also was able to network with talented music artists, models, photographers, and more! Overall, it was an amazing experience.
What are some of your goals for 2019?
2019 has already come with so many blessings and goals completed. My biggest goals for the year are researching to gain knowledge and experience, building the right connections, and going harder everyday. I can never stop wanting more for myself and the people around me.
Instagram: @zeethesupermodel @zeethestoryteller @215fashionmag
YouTube: The Drawn Show