Speaking Engagement @ CGS C/O ’15 Commencement: Overcoming Adversity In Fashion


Hey darlings!

Remember in the last post when I spoke about a MAJOR OPPORTUNITY I had a week or so ago but didn’t have time to blog about it? Well, uh ahem. Let me be the first to tell that I was the COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER for the Contemporary Guidance Services Training School Class of 2015 on March 19th! It was SUCH an unexpected milestone in that I never ever imagined being a keynote speaker at someone’s graduation. If you would’ve told me this was in my future, I probably would have laughed in your face! Why? Because growing up I was always afraid of speaking before people because of my speech impediment due to my hearing impairment. But, two Thursdays I proved to myself how indestructible I really am by standing before those amazing graduates with their family and friends speaking about how I overcame my obstacles and challenges and provided tools for how to overcome THEIRS. This was a MAJOR accomplishment for some of these students, if not all, because many of them have an impairment, whether it’s learning, hearing, or vision.  There are some students with a mental illness and some with a history of substance abuse, so it was an honor for me to speak to them about overcoming my adversity (my hearing impairment and suffering from low self-esteem) to pursue my dreams in modeling and music. In essence, it was an awesome moment and below you can see pictures from the commencement and a short video clip to inspire you! And of course, I brought the fashion to the commencement ceremony! Be inspired 😉

Attire: Dress – Byron Lars Beauty Mark

Shoes – Bakers

For any booking inquiries, be sure to email me at amodeloflife@yahoo.com.

Here’s a mini video clip of insight that I shared! (I’ll be uploading a longer video clip of my speech soon, so stay tuned 😉 )

| I AM AN OVERCOMER| 👑 This afternoon I taught the graduates at Contemporary Guidance Services School how to overcome their obstacles and that they have everything they need within to overcome them, for I myself have overcome low self-esteem and fear of speaking before others because of my speech impediment due to my hearing impairment. I even had the students and their family & friends recite "I am an OVERCOMER and will overcome every obstacle that may come my way." And I encourage you to do the same. 🌸 #Overcomer #MoreThanAConqueror #CommencementSpeaker #KeynoteSpeaker #MotivationalSpeaker #Video #Footage #LifePrinciples #Teacher #Journey #Obstacles #HearingImpaired #SelfEsteem #EncourageYourself #Empowerment #Inspiration #Glam #Glamour #Fashion #BLBM #IWasLowKeyPreaching #StandStill #AModelOfLife

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 Posing with some of the graduates! They were SO proud!


 What’s life without a group selfie with one of the graduates and her friends?! 😉



 The back of this beautiful dress! Stunning! Designer Byron Lars did it AGAIN! That’s why I always go to him for special occasions and so should YOU!


AMOL Designer Interview: Byron Lars Edition


IMG_1036         “Originality is….a by-product of sincerity. ” – Marianne Moore

Immediately when I read this quote, I think of American designer Byron Lars. He’s simply an original. There’s no one like him nor his label, Byron Lars Beauty Mark. A quiet storm he is, but with tenacity and confidence he captures the heart of the everyday woman. A San Francisco native, Byron Lars has been known for his exquisite taste in patterns and his ability to accentuate a woman’s silhouette for over 20 years! It was truly an honor and a privilege to interview him – a dream for so many! And I thank him dearly for opening up his world to me in order to share with you! I pray that this candid interview empowers you, encourages you, and INSPIRES you to be all that you are with no limitations and to know that we are ALL models of life 😉

To all of the new people who did you not know but do know you NOW, what do you want to say to them? What do you want them to know about you and your collection?

Well, I think one thing I like, for the ladies out there to know about me, as a designer, I’m really on your side.  I really put a lot of making these clothes to really try and make you look your best.  That’s a very high priority on my list, above fashion and trends and all that because none of that matters if you put these things on and you don’t feel like you don’t look better, don’t feel like you look your best.  So that’s what I’d like for you to know about me honestly AND my product. There’s a lot make in these clothes to facilitate your best self.  Um, it’s sounds so corny but I’m 100% for real with that.  It’s my first and foremost mission statement.

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You are amazing at placing a variety of unique patterns together.  Can you take me through your thought process as you place the patterns together?

You know, a lot of times, it’s not really a thought process at all, but like honestly, letting the pieces all come together on their own.  We start with a fabric board here, like we go on fabric appointments and pick things we like that inspire us and move us.  And then we put them all up on the board just to have them away so we can start ordering them. And so often times, things are gonna just naturally be placed to one another, speak to one another and become a garment.  And honestly, I feel like this is like divinity in this whole process where it’s like “I’m not commanding the universe to my will”.  But, it’s honestly from a higher place.  I think sometimes like those things are falling together just by chance.  Then they are falling next together because they need to be something. And I’m listening to that now.  So, that’s my process. I let the Lord do my designing.

Watch this video of Byron Lars giving the details on his Fall/Winter ’15 Collection!


What is your favorite part of the designing process before the clothes hit the shelves? What is your favorite part to do?

There are so many favorite parts of the process for me.  I love fabric sourcing.  I love seeing like what textile designers have been working on and concocting to inspire us and for designers, you know, build on.  I like, I love pattern making.  Although I don’t make the finish patterns from start to finish; I’m very involved in that process because that is what builds the shapes and the clothes that you know ultimately we sell.  Um, I love it when like I’m at the factory and there’s a sample in work in the machine and you can just see this great and you’re like “Oh can I just borrow that for a second” and just put a piece of that on.  Shoot. You know, it’s just all taking shape; it’s all just incredibly exciting.

What inspires you as an individual?

What inspires me as an individual is people living life with gratitude but on their own terms.  Being fully and proudly the people that God put them here to be, in an uncompromised way.

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Do you have faith in God? If so, how has that help you understand who you are?

I do have faith in God.  Um, there’s no way I can do this or anything else effectively without His help and  guidance.  Recognizing that fact in my life, well in my youth, well I wasn’t that young when I recognize that fact.  In fact, when I was young I thought I was doing that all on my own and I can tell you it was a lot more difficult that way.  Once I placed it all in His hands, everything got a lot simpler.  It’s not easy, but it’s a lot simpler.

In life, we have tests and trials, how have you overcome adversity to stay true to who you are?

Again, with God’s help, you can stay the course, and you put a lot of the, a lot of the load on Him. And it’s just a whole lot lighter and easier to carry through.  And when you know that like you’re moving through the world with good intentions and you know.  Honestly and fairly, you just have to know that it will work out for you and whatever your endeavors because that’s just what the design, the grand design is all about.  It may not work exactly how you envision it.  It may work out a lot better than how you envision it or completely different.  But, it will definitely work out, for the better.

Watch this video clip with Byron Lars defining what “A Model of Life” means to him!

See below for pics of some of my favorite pieces from the Byron Lars Beauty Mark Fall/Winter ’15 collection! You’ll be sure to love them just as much as I do! Also, you can view more collections and purchase items on his website at http://www.byronlarsbeautymark.com/

Can you say CLASSIC?!

Isn’t this skirt darling?! My gosh, the patterns. I actually need this skirt NOW in my closet but it won’t be available until the fall sadly! The buttons on this woven provides a twist that immediately caught my eye! And the color? Yesssss!

Umm where’s my motorcycle to kill these streets?! Mortal Kombat, eh?This dress is to DIE for!! A must need in EVERY girl’s closet!

I hope you beautiful people enjoyed and was touched by the interview as I was! But, I have Part 2 for you coming up next and you’ll be able to win FREE pieces from his collection! So watch out for Part 2!

Exciting News: The Battle of the Dresses

The Battle of the Dresses: Who wore it better?!😜 Congrats to my dear @byronlarsbm on such a stunning dress gracing the cover of @essencemag with THE beautiful @traceeellisross whom I love! Thank you so much for my beautiful dress!😘 Well, TOMORROW, I’ll be giving you darlings EMPOWERING details from my EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with designer Byron Lars on his new collection, faith, AND music on my blog! AND there’ll be FREE GIVEAWAYS from his collection! So be sure to follow and subscribe to my blog @ amodeloflife.wordpress.com for the exclusive deets and a chance to win one of his pieces!😁🌸☺️

#ByronLars #BLBM #TraceeEllisRoss #Essence #March #Model #Photoshoot #Exclusive #Interview #Press #Blogger #FashionBlogger #Inspiration #Motivation #Empowerment #Giveaways #DoingBigThings #Fashion #Faith #Music #FunTimes #Chic #Style #StreetStyle #CoverModel #NaturalHair #Curls #AModelOfLife 

Pic by: Hannah Stoudemire 

Day 8 NYFW: Papergirl

Hi darlings,

Today is the last day of New York Fashion Week which I’m super sad about and thanking God for at the same time because Lord knows I’m drained. Lol! However, I challenged myself in my attire today, tried something totally outside of my comfort zone. My look was inspired by my Papa as the hat belonged to him. I really didn’t know how I was going to put it together creatively and struggled to bring it to life this morning! But, I found my confidence in this look and decided to rock it out. Hopefully, you’re inspired 😉

Attire: Hat – Belonged to my grandfather
Coat – Calvin Klein
Blouse – H&M
Vest – Urban Behavior
Skirt – Byron Lars Beauty Mark
Scarf – Byron Lars Beauty Mark
Glove – Aldo
Silver Bracelet – Forever21
Shoes – Target

A Detailed Back: Waldorf Astoria Edition

Hey darlings, last Thursday evening I attended the The Most Powerful Women in Banking event sponsored by American Banking held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It was my first time coming to the Waldorf Astoria which was a marvel in itself! I had such a great time and I left so inspired as a woman. To be amongst such powerful women was an honor for me! I wasn’t even aware of these extraordinary women at this caliber in banking and finance. These women represent the change and leadership in this industry – many of these women are the CEOs and top executives of the banks we go to everyday and finance companies we invest in such as CitiMortgage, HSBC, and KeyCorp (these positions are all not held by men, contrary to beliefs!)!!! I commend these women for their drive and dedication to their work and I thank them for paving the way for other women to follow in their footsteps!

Now let’s get down to business.

Sooooo of course, you know it was a black tie event! Gowns. Tuxedos. Cocktails. The whole she-bang bang. I mean, it ISat the Waldorf Astoria, so of course everything has to be top notch which it was. The night before I freaked out prior because I didn’t have anything to wear, but then I remembered I had this little baby (the dress) in my wardrobe which was totally perfect for the occasion! Well, I wore this BEAUTIFUL black and gold dress by designer Byron Lars. I mean, this dress by itself is a beauty. I’m at a loss for words in describing this dress. It’s so detailed and pristine in beauty. Take a look for yourself.

For my hair, I decided to add some funk to it and wear it in a mild half up/down hairdo! I literally wrapped my hair in a bun all day and then I unwrapped it, held my head down, ran my fingers through the back of my hair while holding my head down and woolahhh! Effortless.

Oh and the attire would not be complete without my shoes! I decided to pair the dress with my velvet black 5in platform ankle strap heels! Honestly, the whole night I was getting more compliments on my attire than the actual women who were being nominated (literally – my dress just stood out!).

So for this season, I want to inspire you to not pick out a dress/gown/tuxedo that you would normally wear, try something with more details and more mystery. Don’t go for just a plain black dress or tuxedo. Go for something with multiple patterns, asymmetrical cuts, and illustrious details. Step outside of your comfort zone. You might surprise yourself.

Take a look at what I did, tell me what you think and be inspired 🙂



What would the world be like without a selfie?!

What I did to get my hair the way it was

Inside the Grand Ballroom where it was held