African-American Fashion Models in Detroit Pt 2

We recently had the pleasure of interviewing several models from the Metro-Detroit area. These models will give us a glimpse into their lives as an African-American fashion model. If you liked our first post which included an interview with local model Lamara Hand in “African-American Fashion Models in Detroit”, you’ll love this one too.  Allow me to introduce to you Brianna Ali.  Another Detroit beauty making a name for herself.

Brianna Ali

Name: Brianna Ali
Age: 22
Hometown: Saginaw, MI
DFN:  What got you started in modeling?
Ali:  I was in the 10th grade when I was approached by a runway instructor at a mall in Saginaw. The runway instructor wanted me to audition for a local show. While I was at the audition, they asked me if I had any prior experience or interest in modeling because modeling came so natural to me.
DFN:  Tell me about your modeling career, are you a full-time model? Are you in school?
Ali:  Currently I am in school part -time at Wayne State University and Oakland Community College. I am signed to two agencies and I am a freelance model.
DFN:  What is your favorite part of modeling and what is your least favorite part of modeling?
Ali: I love being able to travel and meet new people. However, I do not like the pressure to maintain a perfect physical appearance.
DFN:  How has it been being an African-American model in the industry?
Ali:  Initially starting out in the industry I did not encounter any immediate backlash from being a woman of color. However, overtime when I started applying for more high-end modeling jobs I noticed that designers preferred caucasian models. I also noticed that the fashion industry generally prefers models with European features who are also very thin.  For example, the fashion industry likes models to have straight hair, no curves, be very thin, and have lighter skin. In addition, there are also a lot of token black models used in the runway shows. Out of twelve models in a show one may see only one or two black models at the most. Most of the time there are no black models at fashion shows.
DFN:  Do you ever have issues with makeup artists not being able to do your makeup?
Ali:  I have thankfully never encountered this issue because all of my makeup artists have been African-American.
DFN:  What would you like future African-American models to know about the industry?
Ali:  To be realistic with yourself but never feel that you cannot do something because you are black. My biggest thing is that you stay true to yourself and do not downplay your African features.
Do you ever have issues with your hair being styled?
Ali:  Almost every time I am asked to do a shoot, I am told to come with my hair straightened. This kind of feedback comes from designers and photographers from all different types of backgrounds. This is an issue because after so much heat being added to my hair I am slowly getting heat damage.
DFN:  Where do you see yourself headed?
Ali:  I would like to sign with international agencies. I would love to experience living in Los Angeles because it is so beautiful there and the vibes are so different than anywhere else. I want to model as long as I can but long-term I need to have my own brand and/or business.  I am considering owning a luxury spa and salon with an attached gym.
DFN:  On your Instagram page you have pictures of yourself with no makeup where you are showing problems you have had with your skin. What made you go ahead and be so vulnerable?
Ali:  Honestly it was seeing other women going through the same thing and not knowing where to turn. When I was going through acne issues as a model it was killing my self-esteem. I wanted to be able to help someone because I am all about female empowerment. I knew that someone would see the post and know that they have nothing to be ashamed and that they are not alone. Real girls exist!
DFN:  What else would you like the readers to know about you?
Ali:  I would like the readers to know that I am not just another model, there is more to me. I am a real girl and a real person and I do everyday things just like everyone else.
DFN:  How can the readers connect with you on social media?
Ali:  My Instagram is: @Brianna.Ali my Snapchat is: @Brizbriii
Brianna Ali and Kelechi Uchendu

Keep an eye out for “African-American Fashion Models in Detroit Pt 3”. We have more beauties and more interviews to share with you. Thank you Brianna Ali for your time. We simply adore you!
Written by Kelechi Uchendu

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