As soon as Anita comes into view, there’s that bewitching stare the woman has perfected over years of modeling. She recently learned how to pedal on tall a bike in order to shoot the cover of Darling magazine, but it’s not just a flurry of swaggy gigs. The buzz Anita’s scoring heralds the coming of more models offering young women the choice opportunity to see people they relate to for a change. Anita, who very publicly has talked about once getting rejected for being “too big,” has a strong conviction about where she deserves to continue going with her career. She recently personified confidence for Penningtons, Elloquii, and Forever 21 plus. Though wherever you see her, the hazel eyes, defined by nearly invisible black liner or just blazing on their own, suck you in.
An unapologetically ferocious model with her head firmly in the game. she’s unafraid to say that some brands just won’t become more inclusive unless they feel like it. Vibing out in a jumpsuit with a deep plunging neckline or jumping in her sneakers, it all adds up to her slinky persona.
RunwayRiot asked Anita about supporting brands that cater to her size, being asked to bring a wig for her modeling gigs, and why the fashion industry needs to be more about embracing differences.
What’s the most fun you’ve had on a modeling job?
I have had a lot of fun modeling so far. One of the coolest experiences was learning how to ride a tall bike. It took me about 5 minutes to master it, by the end of the shoot I felt like a natural.
What are you wearing this spring?
This spring my theme is comfort. Between running around for castings and working I can already predict that time will be of the essence! The best thing I can do to prepare myself is to make sure I’m ready to go!
What do you do on the days when you feel less confident or glamorous?
When I feel less glamorous it is usually because I am neglecting myself. It is important that I exercise consistently, eat healthy and take some “me” time through out the week.
What’s your dream gig?
My dream job is to land a huge beauty campaign. Makeup was one of my first loves, before modeling I was a makeup artist for four years.
What would it take for more luxury brands to make more sizes?
Honestly the only thing that will change luxury brands and their sizing is their outlook on fashion. Until they feel a need to extend their sizes, they won’t. We can petition and suggest all we want, but they will not change unless they want to, which is why it is important for me to support those brands that do cater to my size.
In what ways do you feel models on the “curvier” side are treated differently in fashion if at all?
I feel that we may not be given the same opportunities such as campaigns and editorials. I don’t think it is just a conversation about curves, but ethnicity as well. When you throw race into the mix, the odds become even slimmer.
Anything you’d like to see more of in the hair or beauty realm?
I would like to see more acceptance of natural hair i.e. Afros. It is rare that I am allowed to wear my natural hair for work. The majority of the time it is requested that I bring wigs instead. The fashion industry should be more about embracing each other for our differences.
We just spoke to another model who talked about fashion’s reluctance to show and properly care for natural hair. How do you think being asked to wear a wig so many times affects you personally?
I notice with some clients they are resistant to use my natural hair. Unfortunately, our hair takes a real toll in the fashion industry whether it’s straight or curly as there are lots of hot tools being used and some clients request color services etc. It’s really important that we give our hair the extra TLC (conditioning treatments, hair masks, sun protectants etc.) it needs on a weekly basis, and I do look forward letting my natural locks shine when the occasion arises.