Being a plus size model is no easy feat. There are plenty of people who will tell you what you need to look like and what success means to them. It is up to you to decide who you want to be in the industry.
When it comes to Ebony Walker, everything clicked in June 2015 when she decided not to just be the “normal” wife and mom of three kids. She decided to live. That meant doing something she has always wanted to do since she was 15. She decided at 33 that she wanted to be a model. Ebony started researching local events coming up in the DMV area that she could attend and network in. She also reached out to local models that she searched for on Facebook and starting sending them messages for guidance. The first and only lady who responded to her was Monica Day. She welcomed Ebony with open arms and took her under her wing to show her the ropes. Once Ebony had a mentor she started working on a plan to expose herself to the right people. She found local photographer Robert Jacobs to help her with a few looks and shots. Once she got the pictures she started her journey.
Ebony knew from the beginning that she wanted and needed support from her family and friends so it was important to keep them up to date with her process. Next it was time to learn master the walk for the runway. At first, she started off by going on YouTube and typing in “learn to walk a runway”. From there she walked up and down the floor in her kitchen to come up with her own unique walk. She did just that. Once she was comfortable in her walk it was time to put it to use. She found a local fashion show in Richmond, VA, her hometown, and was chosen as a runway model. Once she stepped on the runway, that was it. She instantly became a favorite and people could not keep their eyes off of her. The confidence she possessed on the runway was undeniable. She then realized she did not want to just be a local model. It was time to make weekend trips to NYC and get in the face of the game changers.
Believe it or not when she went to NYC for the first time for a small event and NYC models recognized her from social media. She was excited about this. This must have meant she was doing something right. Next thing you know she started going to NYC often. These trips included going to the Liris Crosse Life of a Working model boot camp. This class taught Ebony what needs to be in a model bag, top agency to submit to if you wanted to become a signed model and improving your run walk. Learning from the “Naomi Campbell’ of plus was something she was humbled by. It did not stop there. She also took Jeannie Fergusons “Walk this Way” runway class and was hooked. There was something about Jeannie that Ebony connected with. She respected the criticism and used it to make her walk even better. Jeannie became like a model mother to Ebony and helped to make sure she did the right things to be successful in this industry.
At the end of her one-year anniversary as a model, it was clear that she accomplished far more than some models who have been in the industry for much longer. She has walked in Curves Rock Fashion Week, The Great American Hat show and District of Curves. She was one of the chosen models for the 2016 official Kurves Calendar created by Francie Maupin. Ebony also made “The Wall” for Full Figured Fashion Week. The most prestige accomplishment Ebony achieved in 2016 was being crowned the 2016 Face of Kurvacious. The completion has opened up so many doors for her including becoming the campaign model for The Fashion Ave fragrance “Fabulous” as well as making the November 2016 of the magazine Fashion Ave Magazine. Ebony has received several messages from people telling her how they are inspired by her pictures and her journey and they have started their own journeys that they thought that could never accomplish. So far, this entire journey has been so humbling and she is not done. 2017 is going to be bigger and better for her. She is definitely someone to watch out for.
Want to know what motivates Ebony? She continues to model for the women who feel invisible and do not think they have a voice. She wants them to know they are beautiful and can accomplish anything.
P.S. Look out for Ebony at Full Figured Fashion Week this summer.