For quite some time now, Howard has been known for his modeling troupes and models. Each modeling troupe takes time to mold the model to prepare them for big stages like New York Fashion Week (NYFW). Last season, two of Howard’s models had the opportunity to participate in one of the most important fashion events of the year.
NYFW is a spontaneous and exciting time in New York. Designers from all over the world present and sell certain pieces from the collections they have worked on during the year.
AJ Taylor is a civil engineering student from Miami, Florida, and with little to no experience at first, he attended his very first NYFW event last fall. Taylor modeled for the brand A Fairy Tales End, based in Atlanta, Georgia. He believes Models of the Mecca prepared him for this opportunity.
“[Models of the Mecca] gave me all the tools to walk for NYFW and the attitude and confidence to shine in NYFW,” Taylor said. “They taught me sound techniques and track etiquette to be professionally well-rounded and ready for anything.”
Taylor recalled seeing the call for the NYFW show, not thinking he was experienced enough, he applied anyway. He recalled the feeling of having received the invitation to walk in the show.
“When I found out I was selected, I was really ecstatic and felt so honored to be able to take such a leap right from the start,” AJ said.
AJ Taylor isn’t the only Howard model to have had the opportunity to take part in this year’s festivities. Nyasia Ashford is a junior fashion design student and minor in psychology from New Jersey. She had the chance to represent the Friskmegood brand, which was one of the featured designers on HBO Max’s “The Hype.”
Friskmegood is a sustainable streetwear fashion brand known for its unique pieces and variety designs. Ashford applied through a casting website and was thrilled when she got her call.
“I’m pretty sure I cried with joy, it was the first time I could walk in NYFW, and that’s been my goal since I put on my first pair of stilettos,” Ashford said with enthusiasm. “It still feels a bit surreal and dreamlike.”
Ashford is part of the ELITE modeling troupe, another of four modeling troupes on Howard’s campus. ELITE is known for its editorial shoots and collaborations with major brands. A brand by which the troop has been sponsored is IVY PARK. Ashford was one of the models featured in their schoolgirl campaign. She thinks her modeling organization groomed her for the photo shoots.
“Howard taught me how to function successfully in stressful environments,” Ashford said. “It taught me to always stay on my toes and be ready for change at any time.”
Howard is often seen as the center of creativity and new talent to come. Both models were inexperienced, but were willing to try, and their attempts paid off. AJ has the perfect advice for people looking to enter the industry early.
“Go ahead and learn the sound technique and practice as much as you can before applying so you’re ready to walk anywhere and anytime,” AJ enthused. “Apply to the things you find and see what you hear, and always do your research on the company you’re applying to.”
Copy edited by Chanice McClover-Lee