When I left Trinidad in September 2018 I decided that I wanted to be a fit model. I love fashion and design, I wanted to learn about fit and serve as a human mannequin working with designers. I like fit modelling because you can do it forever once your body is consistent. My plan was to get to Manhattan and apply to agencies, hoping that like a needle in a haystack I would find the right one for me.
The first week I arrived I attended the Curvy Con. I was walking up the stairs with the intention of taking off my shoes and sitting in on a panel discussion because my feet were throbbing.
On the way up I noticed a strikingly beautiful straight sized woman wearing a fabulous outfit with all sorts of fun plasticky circles on it and I told her wow I love your dress!
She said “Oh I know the designer! Let me connect you.”
I said wow thank-you that’s perfect because I am an influencer!
She connected me and my friend with the designer via e-mail and then she asked me where I was from. I said I am from Trinidad and Tobago, she said I have always wanted to spend some time in the Caribbean. I said well I want to live in Manhattan so let’s trade houses, I have a cleaning lady but you will have to take care of my small deaf dog.
She paused, looked out into the distance for a minute and said, “I have done stranger things before.” I laughed and said, “So have I!”
My friend Christine asked her what’s your name and what to you do? She said My name is Dale Noelle and I am the CEO and founder of a modelling agency.
I said to her “Do you hire plus sized models from Trinidad and Tobago?”
She said, “I sign models from all over the world! You have my contact, come in on Monday!”
During that week my model friend Gaby told me Sarah we have to get you stronger digitals to submit.
My dad passed away in January, and used to hold my dog Lola the way you would hold a baby and we used to always laugh and tease him about it.
While we were almost finished shooting the digitals I saw a lady holding a little white dog scooped up in her arms. A few moments before, Gaby literally told me that I have the perfect body for fit modelling which is the type of modelling that I want to do.
I have never in my life before been told that I had the perfect body for anything.
I started sobbing uncontrollably because I knew in my moment my dad was there with me in the form of that woman with the dog; telling me that I am on the right path and all of this is going to work out for me.
Gaby connected me with her agency, but I could not shake the feeling that I belonged at True. I sent Dale an e-mail explaining that I am the kind of woman who will always behave professionally. I understand that I am representing my agency. I told her that I am a business/ PR woman and I will be bringing new clients to the agency I work for. I also told her I am the type of person to show up at the agency in a Yup Yup Costume during the week of Halloween with a deaf dog and a bag of candy.
A week later I walked into the office on W 37th at True and for the first time in my professional career I felt like I was home.
She measured me, she said my measurements were good. We sat and talked about spirituality, modelling, unicorns, family and life.
The team at True are some of the most wonderful, intelligent and self-actualized people I have ever encountered. I loved each of them that I met instantly.
I spent most of my life feeling like I didn’t belong and had just sort of accepted it until I came to New York City. That’s when I realized I do belong in the best city in the world. I was brave and continued to pursue my dreams regardless of the horrible things people said about me or how impossible it seemed.
Now I will be working with what I consider to be the best modelling agency in the world.
All of this has taught me that when things get dark and difficult, we just have to keep holding on. I am so happy that I kept on searching for the place where I belong even though many times I felt like giving up.
I am so excited for all the magic we are going to create together.