Jaquan W. The Wilhelmina Model Breaking Barriers

img_64971 Access photo here

Want to be on top? Don’t know how to get started? Everyone’s road to success is different and in the fashion industry, it’s hard to stay relevant once you get your big break. Learn how Jaquan started his modeling career, went to college and came back to modeling with a force and competitive edge to stay on top!

When Jaquan first had the dream to be a professional model, he didn’t have the support that he initially expected. ” I grew up with my mom as the head of the household and she really wanted me to be a lawyer”

img_64951 Access photo here

Jaquan however, never gave up on his dream. “I didn’t have a portfolio [at the time]  but I was sending photos to every agency I could find” and he found responses from  RE:Quest and others but it was time for him to go to college.

“I went to Pennsylvania State University and graduated but I was still doing a lot of photoshoots while I was there”. After graduation, Jaquan started pursuing his modeling career with a fervent and ambitious fire that made him unstoppable.

With a better repertoire of photo’s, Jaquan finally got his big break ” I finally got a call back from Wilhelmina Modeling Agency” and overnight he had his first professional shoot with an renown modeling agency.

img_64961 Access photo here

But the battle was not over. Tackling his first professional photoshoot was a different world from what he was used to but he came prepared. “They had a stylist, a Make-up Artist and everything else that I wasn’t used to but I came ready to shoot.”

The Agency had some adjusting to do as well. “They weren’t ready to a model that was so tall so in a way I was telling them how to style me as well. I was definitely a learning experience for the both of us”

So what is the style of the successful Whilhemina model? “Free. Honestly my fashion inspiration is Kanye, but it’s crazy because I don’t dress like him but he’s free!”

img_64941 Access photo here

One piece of advice that the Penn State alum offers to aspiring models is to “have a strong mindset. You have to have a strong mindset with these people in the [fashion] industry”. He also suggests to be professional in every aspect. “[When I come to a shoot] I’m not here to talk to anybody. It creates a different energy. I come in with a mindset of business and then we can talk after I kill it.”

Jaquan also offers a tip to help models keep smooth skin. “I just wash my face day and night and use cocoa butter”.

What are the future goals for the established model?

“I want to break barriers. Being black is a barrier, being too tall is a barrier. I want to bring diversity to the fashion industry” 

img_64931 Access Photo here

“Tomorrow i’m going to Philedelphia for a casting call. The producer requested for me to come so hopefully I make it!”


How do you feel about Jaquan’s journey to success? Do you think that designers should create more diverse sample sizes to portray a realistic population? Is being black and/or tall tough barrier to break in the fashion industry?


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