CA: How did you get into modeling?
DJM: In the 4th grade I got my first pair of heels and I could never make it outside while walking in them. This was to get ready for going to my little sister’s kindergarten graduation. A few years later, I watched America’s Next Top Model and started practicing in my heels again. I really wanted to be like the women on the show.
CA: For how long have you been modeling?
DJM: I started doing modeling from back in high school and photo shoots for the past two years. I would say about 7 years I have been doing modeling in some shape or form.
CA: Which models do you idolize?
DJM: Heidi Klum. She is amazing and you never hear anything bad about her in the media. How can you get mad at Heidi (haha), she has a family and is doing so many things. Tyra Banks is next. Her birthday is a day before mine. I feel people call her fake but she knows how to adjust to her surroundings to excel. She is doing so many things and it is something she wants to do. Her walk is such a fun walk. I love watching her work.
CA: Where do you want to take your career?
DJM: I always wanted to be a high fashion runway model. That field is very difficult to get into. I have been enjoying being apart of a lot of print work. I feel working with a photographer brings me the feeling of doing modeling for the first time (novelty). It isn’t about the money to me. I enjoy making great pictures and I would love my work to showcase this aspect.
CA: How do you choose shoots/shows to do?
DJM: I used to do any and all shows. Until I had my brand manager, my brand was not going in the direction I wanted. I had to be more selective on the events I would put my name on. I will work with some of my friends who I feel are doing something positive but I have to be mindful of the end goal in regards to my career.
CA: How would you describe working with the photographer?
DJM: I do research on the type of photographer I am working with. Their portfolio is important because if I decide to work with them, their work is also reflected on my brand. I need photographers who are great with lighting and have a great camera. I can be on my A game but if they are not solid with the lighting and their camera is not up to par, it would be a waste of a shoot. I enjoy people who are dedicated to their craft because I am dedicated to mine. Good light and camera!!
CA: What is the process for preparing for a shoot/show or runway?
DJM: For a photo shoot, the day before I am drinking lots of water. Probably around 2 liters of water. I get a paste two days from the shoot to get my face ready. I have to do some prep time to make sure my face looks the best for the shoot. Practice, practice, practice. I have my walk but I have to make sure I am ready. If I am responsible for the clothing, I make sure everything is ready to go. I know what poses I will do with each piece. If someone else is responsible for the shoot, I will do some prep work on the designers clothing in the past. It helps me get ready to have an idea coming into the shoot.
CA: Do you have a favorite shot/shoot? Why?
DJM: I have three favorites. Frank Antonio earlier this year was one of them. He has worked with some big name celebrities and he has so much experience with the camera. I went with my friend and sister to the shoot. It was a great experience. Court Mitchel is another one, who had me outside in the South Street Seaport area. I loved the attention I was getting from the tourists that day. The last one was Demarco Couture during a New York Fashion Week. I was given some clothes and I did the best job I could with them. In fashion, the best clothing usually go to the models who seem to work it the best. I don’t think he was able to read if I would have done a good job. After I hit the stage, I got into my zone and received a great response from the crowd. He reached out to me after the show and I have worked with him in a few other events afterwards.
CA: What is fun and rewarding about modeling?
DJM: I love doing it which makes it so much fun to me! I love how people react to you on the stage or on the runway. It feels so great the rush I get up there.
CA: Outside of modeling, what are your interests?
DJM: Still in school and I work full time. Finishing my Bachelors hopefully in a year or two. I run a lot in my free time. My goal is to stay slim and running is a great way to stay in shape. I do some core work but I don’t want to get them too developed. I might be categorized as a fit model which is not the direction I desire to go towards.
CA: Typical compliment on your body?
DJM: Legs have always been my strongest part of my body in regards to the compliments I receive.
CA: What is your ethnicity?
DJM: Born and raised in Haiti!
CA: How do you describe your style?
DJM: I like comfortable things to wear during the day. At night, I like to bring out the sensual side out of me in my attire. If I am wearing short shorts, my stomach is not showing. If I am showing my stomach, I won’t showcase my legs. I don’t enjoy feeling like I am showing too much.
CA: Which fashion magazines, websites, blogs, and catalogs do you visit most often?
DJM: I am more of a blogger. I love checking tumblr for visuals on things. Vogue and Cosmopolitan are the only ones outside of tumblr I check on a regular basis.
CA: Where do you generally shop?
DJM: I shop at Forever 21 and H&M. I also love Banana Republic for work. They make my work attire more colorful. Ann Taylor would round out the stores I would go to in regards to adding pieces to my wardrobe.
CA: Who is your male celebrity crush?
DJM: Idris Elba (I love his accent and he is sexy). I think he is close to my mother’s age but don’t judge me. Boris Kordjoe will always be on my list. Matthew McConaughey. Bradley Cooper. Chris Hemsworth (he is so gorgeous).
CA: Who is your female celebrity crush?
DJM: Erykah Badu (I love me some Erykah), Jill Scott (I listen to her all the time), Nicki Minaj (I respect the business moves she makes inside and outside of music), Keke Palmer, Beyonce (Can’t believe I almost forgot Beyonce!)
CA: What do you want your work/portfolio to be remembered for?
DJM: Growth and amazing (breath taking). Every shoot has to keep getting better. My first shoots I was stiff and my eyes were very dull. Now I am more comfortable and smizing (smiling with your eyes). You will see how I have changed over the years and I love that process.
Follow Dayana on IG @dayana_jeanmarie