A NUBIAN GODDESS OF THIS GENERATION
“Opportunities don’t come every day. When they do, you have to be grateful and practice humility”
Winter Issue Photographed by Sam Eltosam, Styled by Lauren Bailey Roach & Allison Mann, Creative Direction by Lisa K. Stephenson 2020
Black Leather Bermuda Shorts, $48.00, Glam Expressway; Cube Bootie, $435.00, Glam Expressway; BB Dakota Button Front Long Sleeve Blazer, $98.00, Express; SportsChic Women’s Vegan Maxi Backpack, $139.00, sports|chic; Lace Crop-top, Kiara’s Own; Snake Drop Earrings, $30.00, Glam Expressway
“Walk” was the simple command given to a young Kiara Smith by the first talent scouting agency ever to look at her. Young and impressionable, yet ambitious and hopeful, Smith started her stride but was taken aback by the follow-up question. “Who’s your modeling coach?” A what? Smith thought in a dumbfounded manner—she didn’t have one. Smith had chased after her dream of becoming a model, learning everything from YouTube and the beautiful work composed by none other than Tyra Banks herself. This is how it all started for Kiara, a young woman from a southern town with one dream: to be a model.
Smith, born and raised in Birmingham, AL., smiled fondly as thoughts of her childhood skipped through her mind like a Flipagram movie, “The good old country, you know,” Smith laughed. “Growing up there was great,” she stated. “There were a lot of historical events that happened here, so it’s really meaningful to be able to live here. It’s home,” Smith further detailed. Every day, young girls wake up with new dreams of what they want to do in the future, whether a doctor, athlete, actress, or even a model. “I know it sounds corny, but it’s the truth. I grew up watching ‘America’s Next Top Model.’” The profession has a striking allure for Smith. From the runways to the makeup and hair, to wearing high-end fashion, modeling became her passion. “It opened up this fantasy of what you could be,” Smith explained. “I didn’t know how exactly I was going to become a model, but it was always the dream.”
BOLDBachelorette Question (1) Where were you born and raised?
“I was raised here in Birmingham, Alabama, the good old country, you know. (Laughs). Growing up here was great. There were a lot of historical events that happened here, so it’s really meaningful to be able to live here. It’s my home."
What kind of food do they have there?
“Oh my God, we fry everything. We have Cajun-Ranch fries, fried Oreos, cabbage, greens—a lot of soul food. The food is everything!”
BOLDBachelorette Question (2) What did you dream of becoming when you were a child?
K.S. “A model. I know it sounds corny, but it’s the truth. I grew up watching America’s Next Top Model. It opened up this fantasy of what you could be. I didn’t know how exactly I was going to become a model, but it’s always been my dream.”
When did you know you wanted to become a model?
“I was really little. I wasn’t the most confident kid—I had glasses and braces and I was slim. But it was something that I wanted to do. I wanted to get into it in middle school, but I didn’t know how to. I started taking it more seriously when I was fifteen.”
How did it all start?
“A friend of my family has a talent group that was looking for models. I went and took a few headshots. They asked me to walk and when I started walking, they were like, ‘Who’s your modeling coach?’ And I was like, “A what?’ I didn’t have a coach. I was watching YouTube and learning from Tyra Banks.”
BOLDBachelorette Question (3) What do you like most about modeling?
K.S. “Meeting different people. We all have our different roles in this industry—you have makeup artists, designers—all these people have a part in it. So being able to meet people with the same passion as you is the best part.”
BOLDBachelorette Question (4) Who are some women that have inspired you?
K.S. “First, my mother. She’s my rock, my backbone, and my best friend. She’s such a caring and selfless person who works to no end. That’s my queen right there! And Tyra and Naomi—a lot of influential women you see everyday on social media—they inspire me.”
BOLDBachelorette Question (5) What advice would you give to readers who aspire to be where you are someday?
K.S. “Stay humble. Opportunities don’t come everyday. When they do, you have to be grateful. As quickly as they come, they could easily go away. Work hard. Don’t criticize or compare yourself to other people; their journey is different.”
BOLDBachelorette Question (6) What do you like to do on weekends?
K.S. “As boring as this sounds, I’m a homebody. I love to watch movies—especially horror movies. I like being a homebody, just chilling at the house, having self-care Sundays. Enjoying your weekend, because the week can be pretty hectic.”
What was your favorite movie of 2019/2020?
“Queen & Slim, by far.”
Do you have any unconventional hobbies?
“I love dancing. I’ve been doing that since I can remember. It’s a great way to express yourself. I’m a bit of a nerd—I love video editing.”
What kind of dancing do you do?
“Contemporary, hip-hop—and majorette-style is popular here in the South, so I love doing that and watching it.”
BOLDBachelorette Question (7) Are you single?
“Yes!” (Laughed, brought her finger down her cheek like an imaginary tear)
Why the tear?
“No particular reason—I love to mingle and there’s nothing wrong with mingling, but right now I’m focusing on my schoolwork. But, you know, (Laughs) someday.”
BOLDBachelorette Question (8) What would it take for someone special to grab your attention?
K.S. “I would say the way they approach me. Down here in the South, guys think ‘Hey! Hey, you! Hey, Ma! You with the purple shirt,’ They think that’s the way to get a girl’s attention, but that is not it. I’m a goofy person, so you can add a little humor in there to strike my attention, but the approach can explain who you are as a person.”
BOLDBachelorette Question (9) What traits do you look for in a partner?
K.S. “I want to see your ambition. I’m 21, so we don’t have our lives fully together at all right now. Even though we don’t know where we’re going, I would like to see where your mind is and how you’re going to get where you want to go. Appearance is great—I’m 5’10, so of course, I want you to be tall, but I want to see where your mind is, too.”
BOLDBachelorette Question (10) What is the best compliment you have received from a romantic interest?
K.S. “My hair would be number one. Some people have said my lips are beautiful at some point.”
What would you say is your favorite part of your physical appearance?
“I would say my height. There’s not a lot of tall women embracing their tallness. I’m learning to overcome.”
Read The Feminine Energy Issue for the complete interview today.
Sticks and Stones Necklace, $28.00, Glam Expressway; Shelley Hoop Earrings, $27.00, Le Chic Miami; Jenna Asymmetrical One Sleeve Knitted Crop Top, Cream, $39.00, Nikxie; Tapared Ankle Miami, $35.00, Express