CA: How did you get into modeling?
NP: I started modeling after I graduated high school, I was taking pictures with my friends. Everyone said I should model and I appreciate fashion so why not contribute to both? I would style my friends in shoots and started doing my own stuff. I have done fashion shows as well in colleges and fashion weeks. After graduating from college with my Associates degree, I decided to take a year off from school to pursue my modeling career. Now I am focusing more on my image and how it comes out.
CA: Let’s go back to your interest in fashion. What started that love of fashion?
NP: For me, I enjoy clothes that are vintage. My fashion is very different in comparison to my friends. I would dig through my mom’s clothes from the 80s and I wear all of her stuff. Growing up I didn’t have a lot of money to buy new outfits so I would wear her stuff. People started to like it and I continued to grow with my style
CA: If not modeling, what else would be your main passion/hobby?
NP: Art. I love to paint and draw. I used to do it a lot back then. I used to play the guitar too. I just enjoy the arts and I am a creative person. I would probably doing something in that area.
CA: Who can be an example for a source of inspiration for you in the modeling industry?
NP: Urban Bush Babes. Erykah Badu. Lauryn Hill. Kendrick Lamar. Iman Adulmajid. Naomi Campbell of course. I met Naomi in my first year in college and was able to hug her twice.
CA: What do you feel when you get in front of the camera?
NP: When I get in front of a camera, I feel rush. If I feel it’s lit, all right it’s over *snaps fingers* I’m going to kill it right now. I also reflect back at shows I have done in the past. I get this feeling being on stage and it pumps me up. I rely on the environment as well and it affects my output based on the ambiance.
CA: Explain a crucial learning experience you were taught because of modeling?
NP: I learned to accept myself in regards to how I am when it comes to my hair, weight, and complexion. The modeling industry can be cutthroat when it comes to hair and weight. I did Couture Week last year and the hair stylist looked at me with no clue on how to do my hair. I’m awesome the way I am and I look good. I shouldn’t hide my hair or change it because people don’t know what to do with it.
CA: What do you wish your younger self had known about modeling that you know today?
NP: Be confident and be yourself. There are so many females competing with you for the same title. Before I would doubt myself because I felt that I wasn’t good enough. I grew up in a Haitian household, so I was expected to go to church, and become a doctor. When I told my mom that I would pursue modeling, she was furious and that broke my heart. But as I got older, I realized that there is only one Nehemie and she is perfect. I am a kind person and have a big heart. Sometimes you have to learn how to block that negative stuff out. I would tell the old me to man up and block it away.
CA: Do you have a favorite shoot or fashion show?
NP:My favorite shoot was with Morgan Kitchen from 7th Village. It was quick and it was fun. I styled my fur coat, how I wanted my hair to be, and styled how I wanted to look.
I did another shoot after I cut my hair and went natural. My friend Shantelle did my make-up and my friend Raven styled me. I had this high waist bell bottom shorts and a colorful blazer top. I loved how it came out. It looked like it was me in the 80s.
CA: How do you push the boundaries? How do you incorporate new pieces?
NP: Right now the shoots I do are based on how I want my image to be, but I don’t let that limit me. I am willing to try different things and grow as a model. I do a great job adjusting to different types of styles and to me variety is important.
CA: What has been your greatest accomplishment in modeling?
NP: I would say being in Couture Week because you have to know people to get up there. I applied for it through Craigslist and it was a legit post. It gave a list of everything you needed to bring for the tryout. I went there with my hair, black tank top, and forgot my heels! The guy liked me and found me funny.
CA: How many pairs of shoes do you have?
NP: I would say about 40 pairs of shoes.
CA: Damn! How long did it take for you to master walking in heels?
NP: I would say about a year and a half. I feel like my walk was weak. You have to make sure you can walk on slippery surfaces and don’t look awkward while walking. This is why I practice in all sorts of shoes.
CA: What type of impact do you want to have on the modeling world?
NP: I feel that our youth undergo so much pressure through the media, school, home etc. I was that kid that was shut down by my Mom when I would show her a painting I did at school or a song I recorded. I wish I had someone to remind me that its fine to be me when I was younger, you know? Not everyone can be a doctor or a rocket scientist. The arts is what makes the world go round. Everyone is unique in their own away, embrace that! Embrace your ups and downs, embrace the love and hate you receive. Spew out good vibes because it always come back, just have fun!
Follow Nehemie on IG @Aoewnaymie