Ashley Wiggins, represented by Wilhelmina, LA models and Maggie Inc. has been modeling since she was just 17. She has walked the run way for Victoria’s Secret and appeared in campaigns and spreads for BCBG. Get to know Ashley in this exclusive interview with Dirty Water News.
1) How did you get started in the modeling industry?
Since I was a child, my mother was constantly getting random people and scouts coming up to her about putting me in modeling. I was an athlete and only wanted to play sports until I had my first photo shoot for Polaroid. I instantly fell in love with the camera and put the softball bats away and took out the high heels!
2) Who/what do you draw inspiration from while shooting?
It depends on what I’m shooting. If I am shooting bikini and lingerie I think of the Victoria’s Secret models for inspiration. If I’m shooting a high fashion editorial I think about Gisele, Naomi or Kate Moss and I mix it in with my own style.
3) What do you enjoy the most about modeling?
Unfortunately in today’s day and age, not a lot of people can say they love their job. I can honestly say modeling feeds my spirit. I love my job from the glitz and glamour, the competition (because of my athletic attribute), the fashion and of course being able to travel to amazing exotic places for shoots and shows. I truly enjoy going to work, it makes me happy!
4) How do you stay in such great shape?
Maintaining a lean healthy diet and exercising daily. Some people may hate me for this but genetics has been a blessing for me as well!
5) Any unique talents?
I can throw a football like Tom Brady!
6) What sets you apart from others in the industry?
My exotic look sets me apart from other models in the industry. I can be perceived as African American, Latin, Caucasian, and I’ve even been booked as Sicilian. The fact that I fall under those categories is an advantage for me in the industry and it keeps things interesting for me as a performer.
7) Who is your favorite designer?
I have a passion for fashion and love some designers for different reasons. For example, Alexander McQueen makes the baddest dresses. I would totally rock one of his dresses for a red carpet event. I am a total shoe fanatic for designers like YSL, Tom ford, Giuseppe Zanotti, and of course Christian Louboutin. For an average day, you can catch me in a nice pair of citizens of humanity blue jeans with a flowy top, BCBG has the best jackets, and a pair of heels.
8) This industry can be very harsh, how do you deal with criticism?
I’ve always had the extra confidence and stability to take on constructive criticism. It comes with the job. I know it isn’t anything personal so it shouldn’t be taken that way. I’ve had a client tell me to my face that I was too fat and I walked away with a smile. You can’t let the criticism define you as a model because there are a million other clients who will fall in love with that “fat face” of yours!
9) How would you describe your personal style?
I like to look expensive, so if I had to describe my personal style I would say it is a mixture between Kim Kardashian and Rihanna.
10) What accomplishment are you the most proud of thus far in your career?
My dream goal is to be a Victoria’s Secret angel! Last year I got a once in a life time opportunity to walk in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show! I felt like I was one step closer to accomplishing my goal! It was such an amazing experience!
11) Who influences you in the modeling industry?
Tyra banks has been a real inspiration for me in this industry. She knows the ups and downs and she’s been through so much as a African American model trying to make it in a “white America” market. She has fought through all the criticism and never gave up! She is so powerful in many ways and I want people to look up to me as they do to her.
12) What advice do you have for those looking to model?
Expect to invest a lot of time and maintaining your body in the best way possible. It’s not an easy ride as most people think, it takes years of practice but if you have confidence and are willing to compete with the sharks then I’d say do it! Always believe in yourself because anything is possible!
13) What is the best way for someone to get in contact with you or see more of your work?
I have a website that is currently under construction but it should be up and running again soon! You can look at some of my shoots and shows on www.modelashleywiggins.com . Also, follow me on twitter @theash_wiggins and Instagram @ashwigs
14) Any final thoughts or comments?
Always follow your dreams! Everyone was born with a unique talent or dream it’s your job to go after it!