S3E6 Wokie Zaria: Professional Model

Greetings, my name is Wokie Zaria Kiamue. Born in Monrovia, Liberia, I relocated to the
Commonwealth of Dominica with my parents when I was just five years old. My mother and I
immigrated to the United States when I was six; my father joined us two years later.

We initially resided in a very crowded extended family home in Philadelphia. Once my father moved to the
US, we lived in a rental home and then moved to our own purchased home in Yeadon, a suburb
just outside of Philadelphia. I recall my mother cutting my hair when I was six years old, giving
me more of a “boyish” look. After that, people commented that she should consider having me try
modeling and to go to New York City to pursue these possibilities. As an African mother,
modeling was not on her radar. It was not a priority. Her main concern was ensuring that I receive
a good education. I attended Catholic schools for the majority of my educational career, focusing
heavily on my studies. Yet I still had a burning desire to become an international super model one
day. When I was very young you could oftentimes find me daydreaming and drawing countless
pictures of me modeling on fashion show runways. I entitled one “MODEL WOKIE.” (I still have
this artwork today and cherish it as an important motivator.) During my teenage years I continued
to express interest in becoming a model. My parents fortunately agreed to sign me up to take
runway classes and to learn about “demeanor” and “poise.” I was afforded the opportunity to
work as a model at local malls, stores, and in fashion shows. As the years progressed, I continued
to focus on my schoolwork, putting modeling on the back burner due to the increasing demands
of high school then college work. Yet while in college I could not ignore my never-ending desire
to model professionally. I promised myself that after graduation I would move across the country
to Los Angeles to pursue my modeling career full time. After graduating from college with a
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, I made the move to Los Angeles. For the past two years I’ve
been very fortunate to work on international campaigns with companies such as Benefit
Cosmetics and Anastasia of Beverly Hills. I have appeared in Kendrick Lamar’s Black Panther
Movie music video “All the Stars,” and have been featured in award-winning photography series
at art shows in Los Angeles. I was featured as a primary model for the UCLA traveling art show
entitled “ African Print Fashion Now” and wore the same dress that Lupita N’yango wore for her
shoot with Vogue Magazine. Recently I worked with Snoop Dogg and designer Joy Rich at one of
their fashion shows and in one of their fashion campaigns. I am very grateful and fortunate to
have been a part of these modeling experiences and I am excited to see what comes next. My
overarching goal is to leverage my growing modeling career as a platform to help give back to
my community, to Liberia, and to other initiatives close to my heart.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *