Tomiko Fraser Hines reminisces about modeling in the 90s and shares her nostalgia with the ESSENCE family.
When I began my career as a model back in the early 1990’s, one of my dream jobs was to appear in ESSENCE magazine. So imagine my utter joy when I had the opportunity, more than once, to model for this iconic publication. You couldn’t tell me anything!
I’ve been modeling more than 20 years now and working with ESSENCE remains one of the highlights of my career. I was reminiscing about those times when I wondered what some of the other models from my heyday were up to.
I reached out to ESSENCE and my question evolved into this story.
Fast-forward to the day of this shoot: Familiar faces I hadn’t seen in years came strolling into the studio. The reconnection was instant. There were lots of squeals, hugs and “Girl, you still look the same!” exchanged between the ladies. The excitement and joy in the room were palpable.
Once we started the shoot, with photographer Marc Baptiste screaming enthusiastically from behind his camera, we all snapped into action. Each click of the camera brought shouts of “Yes!” and “Work, ladies!” It was a great day all around. One I know that none of the models will soon forget. I know I won’t.
None of this could have happened without the collaboration of Baptiste and designer extraordinaire Epperson, who dressed us all. I caught up with everyone afterward and ESSENCE captured the interviews on video. Scheduling conflicts and personal circumstances didn’t allow for all the models invited to be present. But, ladies, you were definitely with us in spirit. Thank you, ESSENCE, for making another one of this little Black girl’s dreams come true.
This article was originally published in the October issue of ESSENCE, on newsstands now!
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