Hometown: Bronx, NY resides in Westchester County
RowASeat1: When did you fall in love with fashion?
Stewella: When I fell in love with fashion I was a young girl. I would watch my mom dress up in her fancy clothes, her heels and topped it off with some accessories!! As I got older my two older sisters modeled in high school and college. I started dressing up more and watching them closely. By the time I got to high school I was in heels, dresses, suits, makeup looking like I was going to work then school. My eyes were glued to the television events covering fashion week I was amazed at all these different colors, textures, designs that were gracing the runway.
RowASeat1: Stewella, how did you decide you wanted to become a model?
Stewella: I decided I wanted to become a model in high school. I’d partake in our school fashion shows, join friends at their school and do shows there. I came across Grace Jones and I just fell in love! I would often get stopped on the street and be asked; excuse me are you a model. I would say no, in response to them saying I should be and if mom was around her response would be yes, yes she should.
I was at an event about four years ago and Glenroy D’Marsh of House of D’Marsh was holding a casting call. A friend of mine said I should go cast. I looked at him like do you not see those TALL gorgeous girls!
Glenroy looked at me. He critiqued me and said you know what I’m going to give you a chance. I did some runway classes with him, and had my sisters teach me as well.
A few weeks later I walked in his show and I was GREAT! This is it I told myself. Opportunities followed thereafter.
RowASeat1: When I’m modeling I feel like…
Stewella: When I am modeling I feel like a different person! I enjoy the benefits of being able to rock out in a designers garment!
I’ve walked as so many characters: from an African Princess to a Black Widow to a 1950’s pinup girl! It’s the Art that these designers create that allow me to be another person for a few hours (Laughs).
RowASeat1: Tell us how you prepare for a go-see.
Gather as much information about the brand/client. Is it a clothing company or a fashion show? Is it high end or commercial? Take a look at their previous campaigns/shows. I arrive as early as possible; some go-sees/castings are open so being prepared for long lines or wait is a must at times.
RowASeat1: Explain the importance of a ‘model bag.’
Stewella: My model bag! Well I have a men’s carry-on tote bag from H&M. That I absolutely love! It has been everywhere from NYC and ATL to Orlando and Paris (Laughs). I carry everything, as any model should. Carry your own so you won’t have to borrow from anyone. Better safe then sorry.
RowASeat1: Name models you admire. Why?
Stewella: Models I admire oh my what a list! There’s so many. My peers are fabulous! From Stephon Samuel to Angelina Gale-Hamber, but what I admire most about my model family: Venus Wonderland, Scott Bernard, Zoey Cross, Rico King, Eli Joseph, Love Tucker, Mateo Manny and Chanise Smith;these eight are the most talented, smart, ambitious, loveable, friendly, trendsetting group of people I have been blessed to know!
They have been a role model, have had my best interest, they’ve introduced me to some amazing people such as my fashion uncles as I call them (laughs) an amazing photographer/mentor Jadee Murphy and model coordinator Jerry Jordan Brown. I would not trade my model family for anything!
RowASeat1: What do you love most about modeling?
Stewella: What I love most about modeling is I feel natural doing it! Like it’s nothing when I hit the runway or doing a photo shoot. I enjoy meeting people like models, designers, wardrobe stylists, hair stylists, makeup artists and press. The network is just so much fun! It brings so much opportunity for great adventures. I love the transformations that take place during each show. I make money most times from it.
The compliments from the designers and audience are an extra boost of confidence to know what a great job I’ve done representing the designer’s collection. I get to challenge myself. It’s a fulfilling activity. Plus, you get amazing photos, which leaves cool memories. Then there is the travel. Overall, THIS IS MY PASSION.