African-American Fashion Models in Detroit Pt 3

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. Our first two posts celebrated Lamara Hand and Brianna Ali.  Now we’d like to share Jalita Esen with all of you. She’s an ER nurse with a big heart, rockin’ style and a hell of a bright future.

Jalita Esen

Name: Jalita Esen
Age: 27
Hometown: Detroit, MI
DFN: What got you started in modeling?
Esen: My friend called me one day and told me that they got invited to lunch with some photographers. The lunch was a model-mixer and I came along and did an amateur photo shoot in Downtown Detroit. I fell in love with the photos once I saw them! Seeing myself look so good was motivation to pursue modeling.
DFN:  Tell me about your modeling career, are you a full-time model? Are you in school?
Esen:  I am an ER nurse and I am always working and looking for new opportunities in the modeling world.
DFN:  What is your favorite part of modeling and what is your least favorite part of modeling?
Esen:  My favorite of modeling is meeting new people. I love to network! Networking opens up doors for all kinds of opportunities and helps you meet new people. However, I do not like being around people that do not really have your best interest at heart. I have been contacted by people that have pretended to be photographers and thankfully I have never actually met up with these people. While communicating with the “photographers” via email they always slip up and show me that they are not genuine professionals.
DFN:  How has it been being an African-American model in the industry?
Esen:  I feel like when I go to casting calls I stand out because there usually are not a lot of African-American models. This is not necessarily a bad thing because my happy personality also helps me stand out.
DFN:  Do you ever have issues with makeup artists not being able to do your makeup?
Esen:  Yes, there are a lot of makeup artists that do not know what they are doing when dealing with darker skin. These makeup artists will leave your face looking unnatural. This is a huge part of why I learned how to do my own makeup myself.
DFN:  What would you like future African-American models to know about the industry?
Esen:  That you will come upon lots of setbacks, drawbacks, and people that tell you no. You will also experience a lot of rejection but don’t let that deter you from your dreams and your goals. You have to keep looking for work and putting yourself out there and eventually something will happen.
DFN:  Do you ever have issues with your hair being styled?
Esen:  I have natural hair and I found that a lot of hairstylists want to press or flatiron my hair and I say no to that. A lot of hairstylists will also try to add products to my hair that will damage it.
DFN: Where do you want to see yourself headed to?
Esen:  I want to be able to be happy with what I am doing. I don’t have a specific goal in modeling I just want to be able to be myself when I model and do what makes me happy.
DFN:  On your Instagram page you spoke about the police brutality and stated that #blacklivesmatter. How do you feel about using your platform to spread important messages?
Esen:  I think that it’s a great idea. I posted that important message to show people not only can I be a pretty face, but I can express myself and my beliefs and represent the African-American community.
DFN:  You have a really fun, interesting, and unique sense of style! I love the different hairstyles you rock and I love your clothes. Tell me about your style and what influenced it? 
Esen:  My style can’t be classified because I express myself with my clothing. Also, about 95% of my wardrobe comes from the thrift store. I feel that when you buy your wardrobe from the thrift store you are more likely to find unique pieces that no one else has and it is a lot of fun!
DFN:  How can the readers connect with you on social media?
Esen:  My Instagram is: @JalitaEsen my website is:

Written by Kelechi Uchendu

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