Name: Jessica Fennix
Agency: Crawford Models
Claim to Fame: Fennix was one of the featured faces who brought to life Harlem’s Fashion Row collaboration with Lebron James and Nike.
Before she was walking for a historic collaboration with Lebron James and striking a pose for ESSENCE street style events Jessica Fennix’s modeling experience didn’t extend any further than a jungle gym. In an exclusive interview with Hello Beautiful the fresh face explained how she went from watching on the Midwestern sidelines to strutting down Manhattan runways.
“Oh, my goodness I was beyond nervous! I had no idea what I was doing at all any type of previous modeling was as a kid my mom was just taking me around shooting pictures of me at like a park or something.”
It was a chance meeting at a Starbucks that thrust the 5’10 beauty into the fringes of the industry. The Kanas City native had been sitting with a friend enjoying their drinks when a local formalwear designer named Shelley Woods came up to her raving about her look. Not long after she was meeting with professionals about the possibility of signing to an agency.
“I was a volleyball player at that time, so I was just kind of tough tomboyish a little bit. I was just so nervous! I didn’t know any type of poses I didn’t know, you know any angles. I didn’t know any technique that a model should know they just kind of threw me in the clothes threw me in hair and makeup my first photo shoot I look so awkward you can tell that I was really nervous.”
Despite Fennix’s feelings about being in front of the camera the proofs from the shoots told a different story. Her appeal was undeniable.
Even before she was working her family saw her potential. “I was always very tall and skinny,” says Fennix. “They used to always call me Naomi Campbell. That’s what my cousins would call me they wouldn’t call my name.”
She says the moniker peaked her interest and she enjoyed the glimpses of the field she caught on television, but she never worked towards the goal of seeing herself on the runway because she wasn’t quite sure how to do so. “As young girl I loved modeling I always wanted to get into it, but I never actually knew how so I never pursued it myself.”
She says she would watch every episode of America’s Next Top Model and always found herself rooting for the underdog.
“Oh my God I loved Danielle she was definitely my favorite girl. She beat the odds she had a lot going against her on the show and she conquered that,” she stated. While she says she loves her pictures her respect for Danielle was spawned by the perception of the model’s commitment presented on the show.
“She was sick at one point in time and she killed the photoshoot sick! I was like dang I love the way that she goes after everything she doesn’t let anyone, or anything get in the way of what she wanted to do which was model.”
Fennix says she “100%” took that approach when it came time to take her career to the country’s modeling capital. She didn’t just admire Danielle, she saw herself in her.
“My purpose in moving to New York was to further my modeling career and one of my major goals was to get signed to an agency and I actually just got signed to Crawford Models so that actually was a huge goal that I reached.”
Another goal she has for herself is to connect her background in nutrition and sports medicine to the modeling industry.
Her high school in Kansas had college track courses and she’s recognized many of the things she was taught are hazardous in the habits some of her fellow models use to maintain their weight. Her advanced understanding of nutrition allows her to take a calculated approach to succeeding in a field where she has to maintain her measurements. Instead of flash dieting she’s been able to rely on staples like berries and fish to create a reasonable routine.
She says, “I like to eat healthy, but I don’t do it to an extreme. I try to find the healthiest, easiest, route for me. I would love to help other models incorporate healthy eating habits in a sustainable way, so they can be living that model lifestyle but also staying healthy.” She’s already thinking about ways to make that happen.
“I’m definitely an Aquarius we just have an ambition like crazy we just don’t take no for an answer. My parents are very ambitious driven people they both are entrepreneurs. My dad he has a car dealership and my mother is an interior designer so I kind of always grew up watching them do their thing, helping them do their thing so I just had that drive and will to be successful at what I do, nothing keeps me from my goals.”
If her past tentpoles are any indication, we will definitely be seeing more from her soon.
“I feel like I ended 2018 on a huge roll and I feel like I want to continue that momentum into 2019.”