Muse: Tierra Jenae
Photographer: Ian Ribail
Stylist: Amanda Taymor
MUA: Destiny Nicole
Hair: Sed B. Hair
Creative Director: K.G. Graham
So for those who don’t know who is Tierra Giles?
Tierra Giles is a six year expert in the world of fashion & entertainment as a professional model and actress.
How and why did you get into modeling?
I began modeling in high school after being scouted for a fashion show from backstage. As an extremely shy and clumsy adolescent at that time, modeling allowed for me to overcome my low self confidence and truly tap into my creative side. Coming up in an era where people were looking for self esteem and empowerment through social media, I decided to use my platform as an expression as everything a woman should be as far as confidence, self esteem and growth.
What kind of model would you consider yourself?
I would consider myself abstract and concrete. Physically defined concrete but abstract because the magic is created in the moment based on the mood and energy of the set.
What models do you look up to? Who inspired you and what about them motivated you to model?
Iman, Beverly Johnson, Grace Jones, Leyna Bloom, and Naomi Campbell to name a few. These women have inspired me drastically with the legacies and impacts they’ve made in the industry- from Leyna being the first transgender woman of color to be featured in a Sports Illustrated Swim issue to Naomi being a strong activist for models of color. Those factors motivated me to use my platform in impactful ways throughout modeling.
Who was the first person and/or brand to #COSIGN you when you began modeling?
The first person to #COSIGN me when I began modeling was my fashion & marketing professor in high school, along with celebrity fashion designer K.Daniels.
What was your first modeling gig and how did you feel before and after the job was done?
My first modeling gig was a fashion show in high school. At the time I was a fashion designer, had extremely low self-esteem and never modeled before. I was obsessed with watching America’s Next Top Model and remembered all the tips and tricks Tyra taught the models on the show. Unfortunately that night, a model backed out of the show at the last minute and I was the only person backstage that could fit her garments. They threw me in the show- I was terrified! But I haven’t stopped modeling since!
You’re known for being an amazing model on set, great with poses, easy to work with, and doesn’t require much direction. How did you learn posing?
There’s a saying that says, make the person in the mirror your best friend. I took it a little too seriously. Every time I walked by a mirror I practiced poses to see what worked best with my facial expressions and body. Being good at posing also came with the growth of my self confidence.
What advice would you give to models who struggle with posing?
Make the mirror your best friend! Practicing in the mirror or in front of timed iPhone pictures makes perfect. Learn how you photograph the best.
You host boot camps and 1 on 1 modeling workshops. What made you offer these services and what can models learn from working with you?
There are a variety of things/skills to be learned from a published model with extensive experience. I offered these services because I believe modeling is a gift that continues giving and I wish I knew someone who was offering these services when I began my journey. Modeling is an endless world and I love teaching what I know about the craft.
What advice would you give to models who want to get booked but haven’t had much luck?
Have a strong mind and remember the goal! There are no small roads. Every shoot is an opportunity. Free or paid. I’ve been turned down by the same people who are asking to book me now. Take small gigs, make connections, attend local events and lastly, pitch yourself to brands you want to work with!
We know you’re way more than a model, so outside of modeling what do you like to do and what other endeavors are you in?
Outside of modeling, a lot of people don’t know that I’m a registered nurse. I absolutely love healing, caring and saving lives. I also have a community service cape. I participate in local public outreach and mentorship nonprofit organizations such as Develop Y.O.U, CAWP Cares, Black 2 Life and Yes Thrive. I’m also a strong advocate for African American rights and equality. I love being a foot soldier.
Do you believe modeling is an art? If so, why?
Modeling is definitely art. I believe the best modeling tasks are the ones that tell a story by the end or developed shots. Images that last forever are the ones that make people feel when they are observing. To me, that is art.
Who would you like to work with in the future that you haven’t worked with yet?
I would love to work with Brother Vellies, Rosen, Teflar, Pyer Moss, Pat McGrath, Akilah Townsend and so many more.
Last but not least, what models do you #COSIGN?
I #COSIGN Adaire, August, Chasity Samone, Sukii, Saige, Namena, Mariska, all of my model students, any model who’s ever reached out to me for advice or has given me advice.. too many models to name!