Alright guys, it’s here! Thank you SO much Anais for taking time out of your busy schedule and answering all our questions, and thank you guys for sending in your questions!
1.What is your favourite editorial to date? What is your most memorable career moment and runway walk (for who)?
I have many favourite editorials. I love leopard print so any of my shoots with leopard print (Vogue Paris by Giampaolo Sgura, Nov 2013 and Lucky Magazine by Patrick Demarchelier, Sept 2014), but I have to say I’m very happy with most editorials I’ve done! Favourite runway walk: Victoria’s Secret of course
2. What designer do you dream of working with?
3. What do you like the most and the least about your job? What advice would you give to young girls who aspire to model as well?
What I like the most about my job is that I get the chance to travel to places I’ve never been before, the least is that I don’t really have control of my schedule so it’s hard to plan stuff I want to do on the side. If you want to be model, you have to think twice. It’s a really hard job and fashion is a tough industry, so if you have a soft heart, think twice.
4. Where was the nicest place you’ve traveled to for a job?
The nicest places I’ve been are Singapore, Turks and Caicos, a lot of places in the Caribbean (I love the Caribbean)
5. Are you single or in a relationship?
I’m in a relationship
6. What do you do to stay fit?
I do a lot of boxing
7. Which models do you consider to be your closest friends?
My closer model friends are Jourdan Dunn, Cat Decome, Magdalena Frackowiak, Ataui Deng and Arlenis Sosa.
8. Being in a business that can have highs and lows, how do you keep yourself happy independent of your career or personal life? How do you deal with fear of trying something new or insecurity?
The only think you can do to stay happy in this business is actually having other things to do, so you don’t wait after anything. Keep yourself busy, create stuff, try to change the world.
9. What products do you use on your skin?
I use all the new Dolce & Gabbana skin care products
10. What would you be doing now if you hadn’t become a model?
If I didn’t become a model, I would maybe be a vet, a lawyer… An activist (I already am)
11. If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I’d love to go to Bali
12. Is there a specific model you look up to?
I don’t really look up to models, but my queens are Linda Evangelista and Stephanie Seymour
13. How did you and Jourdan Dunn meet? What is your relationship with her and other coloured models?
I think JD and I met at a show. I do support other black models, but like everywhere there are some idiots. I love Nyasha, JD, Sharam Diniz, Herieth Paul, Atauti Deng, Ajak Deng, Arlenis Sosa, Jeneil Williams, Joan Smalls and Sessilee Lopez. I love and support all these beautiful girls!
14. What is your favourite dish?
I can’t say I have one, I have 100 favourite dishes. Anything French and Italian.
15. Oftentimes, you hear rumors of black (female) models feuding and not getting along but you have lots of friends within the industry. How important is unity to you & what message (if any) do you want others to take from seeing all of you ladies come together and support each other?
Great question! Unity is important to me but after seeing and living in the situation, I was disappointed by some girls. Respect is one of the important values to me and when I see a disrespectful girl, it pisses me off. Some girls seem to have no brain and, excuse my french, are dumb - but that’s what it is. Unity is for everyone, not only because we’re black, everyone should be united: black, white, asian. Women should be united, and this all starts with RESPECT.
16. In your Vogue Black interview with Bethann Hardison, you briefly touched on racism within the industry & how certain designers refused to work with black models. That was 2010. How have things changed since then, if they’ve changed at all?
I don’t know if that changed a lot. I see a bit more colored women but at the end of the day the change is not that different…
17. Does you find it hard navigating the fashion industry because of racism? Do you see models who are darker (particularly black women) have a harder time succeeding vs their lighter skin sisters?
Yes, definitely. Light black women are more exposed because they have white features. I’m one of them, but at the end of the day I’m half white. But look at Ajak and Ataui, are they getting more jobs than us? I don’t know, these girls are true beauty and I want them to get as much work as light girls do. I want to see african black girls on beauty campaigns and in the front of the scene.
Zelda Wynn Valdes was the first black female fashion designer to own her own boutique. Her famous, figure hugging silhouette was worn by stars such as Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Joyce Bryant, Maria Cole, Edna Robinson and later superstars like Gladys Knight and opera diva Jessye Norman. She also designed dresses for legendary figures like Marlene Dietrich and Mae West.
Valdes came up with the costume for the Playboy Bunny which remains the same to this day.