My New Interview In The Examiner
I love my hometown and I think they just might love me back. During my recent visit home I had the honor of doing a radio and newspaper interview. Both interviews were done by Camille Shavon, who is an absolute pleasure to work with. Thanks to everyone who showed loved while I was home (J town!!) I’ll always be proud to be a southern belle and Jackson, Tennessee will always be special to me.
The West Tennessee Examiner is a weekly newspaper geared toward the African-American community. Check out the article below:
In this week’s edition of Hair Talk, I present to some and introduce to others Wakeema Hollis. She has worked with the best in the fashion industry: Vivienne Westwood, Marc Jacobs, Diane Von Furstenberg and Tracy Reese. She has landed campaigns for Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Moschino, Target, and recently, she was honored to be chosen as the spokesmodel to launch the Au Naturale line of hair products by Dark & Lovely.
At any given time you can go into a store that retails Dark & Lovely and see Wakeema’s face on the box, or simply turn on the television and see her strut with her natural locks on the Dark & Lovely commercial.
Wakeema Hollis is doing BIG things and Jackson, TN, should be very proud of and embrace our “homegirl”!
What high school did you attend?
I attended Jackson Central-Merry (JCM) before it was divided into two different campuses to make way for Madison High School. I have very fond memories of that school during those years.
How did your modeling career begin?
I’ve always been drawn to theater and the performing arts. Even as a small child, I loved being in church plays and dramas. I attended Jackson Middle School and further cultivated this interest by taking advantage of the theater and dance programs offered there. When I entered the theater program at JCM, I met Miss Rebecca Fly. She saw something in me that made her take a special interest in my future as an actress. She then introduced me to my manager, whom I still work with today.
What has been your most favorable modeling experience?
I don’t know if I can pick just one! The best thing about my career is that it has allowed me to have so many amazing life experiences. I’ve been to countries like Argentina, Brazil, France, Italy, U.K., Austria, Switzerland, and Africa. I’ve done a runway show for the Queen of England and worked with some of the top designers and photographers in the world. All of them were memorable, breathtaking experiences.
Accolades and Achievements?
I’ve been blessed to have success I never imagined
with my career. I’ve walked the runway for names
like Marc Jacobs, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne
Westwood, Diane Von Furstenburg, Tracy Reese and
Paul Smith. I’ve been featured in media campaigns/
adverts for fashion labels such as Moschino, Paul
Smith, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ralph Lauren and American Eagle. I’ve been featured in magazines such as Glamour, Cosmo, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Vogue. You can also catch me in commercials for Hershey’s chocolate and Bank of America, as well as print and TV adverts for Dark and Lovely Au Naturale. I will also featured in an upcoming episode on the new season of HBO’s “Girls.”
Why did you transition to natural hair?
The demands of working as a model really took a toll on my hair. I experienced a lot of breakage and heat damage in an effort to blend my own hair with straight extensions. It wasn’t until I tried to take my career to the next level and work internationally that I realized the importance of accepting and unveiling my natural beauty. One of the best agents in Europe told me that I was only covering myself up with long extensions. As soon as I let that go and went natural, my career jumped to new heights and so did my self-confidence. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I haven’t looked back since.
“Great things come out of Jackson and West Tennessee. Regardless of age, race, gender or social status, it’s important to set your personal goals so high that they might seem impossible to others. Your future is not defined by your current situation, but in order to move on you must look beyond where you are to where you want to be.
I would also like to thank my mother, Frances Hollis, for raising my brother, Elvis Hollis, and I into the successful, well-rounded people we are today. Parents should never forget how important it is for children to be loved and supported by a parent who truly believes their child can achieve anything.” - Wakeema Hollis
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