As part of a new initiative to incorporate more Black models into the rings of New York Fashion Week, newly founded, model management company TCM has established a mentoring program that offers eligible girls a chance to reside in New York while pursuing their modeling dreams. 

Founded in October 2014, by Lisbeth Florestal and Yacoub Soumahoro, Trés Chic Model Management (TCM) was inspired by Florestal’s encounters with various models who shared a singular story of not being well-represented and not having adequate housing, among other things in the fashion industry. Thus the Bridge Program was developed to help models with housing, portfolio development, placement and adequate management services. Florestal says, “to date, we have successfully recruited models throughout the US, Canada, France and China, which proves that the Bridge Program does in fact, work. Current participants have walked in over 30 shows—and counting—for this season’s New York Fashion Week.” 

Interestingly, in between all of our scheduled shows and events, Essence spotted two, TCM participants on the NYC subway; Breanna White (21 years old), from Las Vegas, and Keneice Musgrove (23 years old), from Kansas City. These girls were headed to several castings and fittings throughout the city, and for both, this was their first New York Fashion Week. When asked about their experience, Musgrove, who has walked in over five shows this season, exclaimed, “I’m just happy to finally be here, chasing my dreams!” While White, who has walked in two shows this week, says, “This is a good experience, but when February—the next fashion week—comes, it’ll be no games!” Moreover, Essence was exclusively invited backstage at the Minnoji runway show, where we photographed Musgrove in one of the designers creations for Spring/Summer 2016. 

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TCM’s Bridge Program officially launched this past May, with 16 candidates, with White and Musgrove—now TCM graduates—both being signed to EMG modeling agency in New York. Florestal adds, “As part of the Bridge Program we offer management services and housing which are made available even after Bridge Program completion and Agency placement.” 

For more information on TCM, please visit their website,