Y: Tell us why modeling? What made you want to pursue this career path for yourself?
F: It started when I was a kid in Haiti. I liked to dress up and walk around the house, just like a model, but I realized that this was a possible career path when I came to the US. When I went to the US, I’m like, this is what you’re supposed to do? Go to school, get good grades, get a job, get a nine to five. That was what success looked like in my Caribbean household. I did the basic things, I went to school, got involved with a sport, Track, got a full scholarship to go to school, and went to college with that. I felt like there was just something missing in me. I was trying to find my path, and what makes me happy? So obviously, it’s not coding,
After graduation, I did the regular thing I was supposed to do, and I got a publishing job. I just wasn’t happy. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t pleased, especially since I wasn’t struggling financially. I had a good job. Life was good, basically, but I wasn’t happy. One day, I called out of work sick. They asked if I was okay physically? I was like, no, I’m mentally ill. I said I could not be here.
I went on a hike. I met this couple, and it was like therapy. After the walk and conversation with the older couple, I decided that I was moving. I made that decision and quitted my job. I knew I had to figure it all out since my parents don’t play. I decided I wanted to do something related to fashion. In late August of last year, 2020, I moved to New York. I participated in New York Fashion Week, which gave me the confidence and motivation to move to New York.
F: I had nowhere to sleep during fashion week. I ended up sleeping in my car doing fashion week and getting ready in my car for the runway. But, I was happy throughout this experience. After fashion week, I spent three days in New York, found a place, went to my mom, told her that I’m moving out, and I quit my job.
Y: That’s what happened to me too. Going to school, for one thing, leaving, and you’re like, this isn’t for me. Then you try something different, and you end up loving it. So that’s amazing.
F: I went to college at 16. I have no idea who I was and what made me happy choosing what makes me happy was the best decision ever. I’m happy.
Y: You look happy. My next question is who your biggest inspiration is?
F: I think my biggest inspiration is I don’t look up to anyone. I don’t want anybody’s life. I wake up early in the morning because I want to be a better me. I have goals in escalation I want to achieve. I look into my future self and think, that’s my inspiration, my future.
Y: Your future. I like that. That’s so cool to think that you’re looking at your future self as a whole other person. Like, that’s not you, but it’s the future version of yourself. That’s a great way to look at that from that perspective. See whom you want to be in the future and aspire to be that person.
So, what are some of the common misconceptions in the modeling industry? Or some challenges that you have faced in the industry that you weren’t expecting or expecting, but things always are different for everyone.
F: The misconception that a model is just pretty, that’s it. This misconception is false. I’m more than just a pretty face. A challenge I’ve faced is with my hair, as a black girl in the industry. Sometimes you have to go to set with your hair ready. Many hairstylists don’t know how to do your hair.
The hairstylist should know how to do all types of hair. So that was frustrating. But I got over it, and I try to see this is as the life that I’m in right now, and I have to make the best of it. So, I can’t let that get to me.
Y: Yes. Like also let them know whomever the stylists are, this is my hair, this is the texture, you know, things like that. Give your input. I think that’s important.
F: Absolutely, I have to be true to myself and being yourself and in this industry is hard. Like who am I? Am I the natural girl? But I now know that I don’t have to associate with a specific thing. I have to be me. We, black women, can look so different, and then it is beautiful. So
F: Oh. And one last thing, it’s a physically demanding career. It looks good, but it takes sport.
Y: Yeah. It’s a physically demanding career for sure. Like you have to get, get the proper amount of rest. You have to wake up at the right time. You have to be fit and so much more.
What are some of your goals in your career? What do you hope to achieve in your career moving forward?
F: This is a hard question because, in my life, I’m very disciplined. What I am aiming to achieve is already in work. I would love to be on the cover of a major magazine, walk-in some major shows. I want to be the best that I can be. I want to be part of the best. I want to be known as an international model. If it weren’t for COVID, I would have already been abroad, but in the next few months, I should be able to model in Paris, London, and other major cities in other countries. As I said, these plans are already being worked on, thanks to my fantastic modeling agency.
Y: Well, girl, you’re on your way. Like L’Oréal Paris? Congratulations to you on that fantastic accomplishment. I’m rooting for you, and we’re rooting for you here.
Y: Lastly, what are you looking forward to for the next year?
F: 2020 has changed my perspective on things. I think the things that I would have wanted are no longer a priority. I want better health, better health for myself and my family. I want inner peace. I want to be able to be in a position where I can help others. I can help my family and live life. You only live once.
Y: Yeah. For 2021, you want to be happy. We all want to be happy.
Well, thank you so much, Francine, and enlightening us on your life and your career goals and everything that’s been going on. This was a treat. Thank you so much.
F: It’s a pleasure. Thank you for having me.