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Life and Religion

‘Top Model’ hosts fall fashions
Season 4 winner lends hand to Ultimate Fall Fashion Event
Published Thursday, October 18, 2012 10:07 am
by Khalia Wilkinson

Naima Mora is pursuing her passions as a writer, recording artist, performer and model. 

Khalia Wilkinson

Mora, the Season 4 winner of “America’s Next Top Model,” is grateful to be a part of this year’s Pink Soles Inc. second annual Ultimate Fall Fashion Event. 

Tickets are $30 for general admission and $50 for VIP; 70 percent of all proceeds will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and the remainder will be used to fund Pink Soles’ 2013 initiatives in Charlotte. 

In an interview, Mora discusses her connection with breast cancer, the importance of breast cancer awareness, her career as a model, and her new book, “Naima Mora Model Behavior.”

Khalia Wilkinson:  What does it mean to you to be a part of this years’ Pink Soles Ultimate Fall Fashion Event?
Naima Mora:  I truly love being able to take part in local fashion events. I have worked in NYC’s Mercedes Benz fashion week for several years, but at local shows like the UFFE, you get to really see true innovative design. There is also so much more of a sense of love in the design work and in the community! It is especially great when the show is benefiting awareness.

KW: Has breast cancer personally impacted you in your life?

NM: It has actually. My grandmother passed away of breast cancer when my mom was really young, so I never met her. The women in my family have had to take more caution with our health and getting screened and mammograms as a preventative measure against breast cancer.

KW: Are there any other awareness platforms that you stand by or support?

NM: Yes. I have actually been increasingly interested in dietary awareness and the impact it has on health. I know that a lot of people are unaware of the actual impact that food has on our bodies and our ability to heal our selves from that regard. What First Lady Obama did for the nutrition and care of America’s youth is an amazing step in the direction of health for the future of our country. I think we should all take into account what we put into our bodies and how it affects our lives and our health.

KW: What was your America’s Next Top Model experience like?

NM: Exciting! ANTM was one of the best experiences of my life.  It really helped me attain a life-long goal of being able to inspire and encourage others based on my actions.

KW: Who or what inspired you to become a model?

NM: When I first moved to NYC a few years ago to become a ballet dancer, a very close friend of mine who is a make-up artist really encouraged me. She would often ask me to do test shoots with her and I would. It was so much fun being able to shoot with her.  She, I suppose discovered me. She is actually the key makeup artist for the cover of my new book “Model Behavior.”  Her name is Hiyiyatun MuQaribu and any aspiring make-up artist should really check out her work online at: http://www.hiyiyatun.com.

KW: What do you enjoy most and least about your career as a model?

NM:  I love to travel. As a model you get to travel a lot for work. I love visiting different countries and meeting new people. My least favorite part about modeling has always been going to castings. But that is where the real hard work comes in...booking the job.

KW: How has the fashion industry most impacted your life?

NM: In style, perhaps. I think that my style as a young woman has really developed a lot due to my years of pouring over fashion magazines. I love design; it’s one of the most enjoyable parts of life for me.

KW: So, are there any words of advice that you would give someone who is interested in the fashion industry?

NM: Yes.  Work hard, never give up, and stand by your integrity.

KW: Tell me about “Model Behavior.” 

NM:  My new book is called “Model Behavior” and it is available now on Itunes as a multi-media book for the new generation of readers. It has an amazing graphic layout full of beautiful and colorful photos from my career as a model. It has an audio feature where I read the book and an awesome music video from my band Galaxy Of Tar (www.GalaxyOfTar.com).

My book Model Behavior was written to encourage young people to follow their dreams based on my experiences in the fashion industry and life! Fans of the book can subscribe to my blog (http://naimamoraonline.com) and become a model citizen. On my blog, they can share their own stories of victory and triumph over life’s challenges or anything that they are passionate about.

KW: Is there a “motto” that you try to live by?

NM: Never ever give up. Believe in yourself.

To make a donation and/or to get more information about being involved with the Ultimate Fall Fashion Event, visit www.PinkSoles.org/Ulitmate.  Tickets will also be available for purchase online at: www.pinksoles.eventbrite.com. Contact: info@PinkSoles.org.

Fashion columnist KHALIA WILKINSON and writes a style blog:  www.UpOnStyle.com.  She can be reached at: khaliawilkinson@gmail.com and Twitter: @KhaliaWilkinson | @ UpOnStyle!


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