One of these girls might just be the next black model to step into Naomi Campbell’s Louboutins!
Last week Oxygen premiered the first episode of their new model competition show “The Face” which features supermodels Naomi Campbell, Karolina Kurkova and Coco Rochas as celebrity judges. BOSSIP had the opportunity to speak with Devyn, Ebony and Sandra, the three black models representing for brown-skinned bangers everywhere with modeling dreams.
So far Devyn is already a team favorite, with the three judges each vying for her to join their team.
“It was a big shock,” the 21-year-old Bronx native tells BOSSIP of learning that she’d be able to choose any of the three supermodels as her coach. “I was confident in getting into the house, I had convinced myself I’d get in but I wasn’t expecting to be picked by all three coaches whatsoever. I was stoked, it definitely put a big smile on my face.”
As a single mother of a two-year-old daughter, juggling several jobs to keep her family afloat, Devyn said that she was drawn to #TeamKarolina because she felt the model mom would better relate to her own struggle.
“I wanted to be a place where people could understand my story and my struggle,” Devyn told BOSSIP. “I felt like Naomi would understand, but she wouldn’t be able to relate to it, where Karolina is a mother. She knows what it is to have a child, she knows the struggles, the everyday things like potty training. Naomi doesn’t have kids, she wouldn’t understand. My mindstate on the show isn’t about me, I’m doing it for my daughter. Karolina would be able to understand because she’s a supermodel doing it for her son.”
It turns out that Devyn quickly found good company in teammate Ebony, who hails from Indiana and is also a single mother.
“Ebony was one of the girls I got closest to,” Devyn told BOSSIP. “I still love her to death to this day, I still support and talk to her. The struggle we had was something we could relate to and we were each someone, we both could lean on, if she was feeling some kind of way and missing her kids I would comfort her. I had a panic attack over the craziness of the competition and not being able to speak to my daughter and she was there for me. Me and Ebony definitely hit it off.”
“We have a lot in common, we’re both single moms, we both work really hard for what we have, so it was easy for us to be close,” Ebony told BOSSIP.”
If you’ve been watching the show, then you already know that the reality TV drama starts very quickly, and 20-year-old Philadelphia native Sandra finds herself at the center of it from the second episode, which airs tonight.
“It’s a competition, I really wasn’t trying to make friends,” Sandra told BOSSIP. “I was there to learn from the best that have done it and I was there to win. I could be cordial, I could be nice but I’m not there to make friends, I was there to work and do business.”
We had to ask her if she at least found some comfort in having Ebony and Devyn along for the journey, but it seems that wasn’t the case.
“I’m not going to say I got along with them,” Sandra said with a laugh. “I think everybody was moreso… How can I say this, they knew it was a competition and they knew I was there to get it. The girls in the house probably thought I was crazy, but I’m not crazy, i just wanted to chase after my dreams. I wouldn’t say I had arguments with them. I didn’t feel close to them though.”
“Oh Gosh, Sandra…” Ebony said when BOSSIP asked her about her castmate. “The maturity level was different, that’s all it is. I didn’t really fight with her, we were on a different page in life. I’m a little older and didn’t have time for the added drama.”
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While Devyn and Ebony’s model dreams are motivated by their children, Sandra has a different motivation. After he brother was shot to death in April 2010, she set her sights on helping her mom retire and find a better life.
“My brother was murdered at the age of 20 and my mom being a single mother, it was just me and my brother, so it was hard,” Sandra recalled. “My mom did everything she could do for me and my brother and I just wanted to return that gift to her, like you don’t have to work anymore. It’s hard out in these streets. That’s the reason why I was on that show going through it. It’s hard out here, if you don’t got it you gotta go home. It’s not a lot of girls who can relate to my story. I was happy to be there, just to be on Naomi’s team — she’s an icon.”
While Ebony and Devyn were both #TeamKarolina, the ladies all shared stories of being inspired by Naomi Campbell.
“Hearing that Naomi was going to be one of the mentors turned me on completely, I jumped at the opportunity,” Ebony told BOSSIP. “The experience itself was awesome with Naomi, it is every black model’s dream to be able to work with Naomi Campbell so it was surreal.”
And for Sandra, landing on #TeamNaomi was a dream come true.
“When I opened my eyes [and she picked me] I was like I’m dreaming,” Sandra told BOSSIP. “Then when she ran up to me and called me Baby Bambi I was like, ‘This is really true.’ I used to watch her on tv and see her in magazines. I was always like “Mom who is she?” I wanted to be like her.”
Granted, some of the rumors that we’ve heard about the in-fighting between coaches on the show is true, according to the ladies but they each had a different take on the drama.
“I’m a people person, I don’t like judging,” Devyn explained to BOSSIP. “I play somewhat of the “group mama” even with all the craziness and drama, having all these women coming from different cultures there was bound to be drama. I tried to stay pretty neutral, when you watch the show there is craziness — between Karolina and Naomi, Jocelyn and Sandra — if I was approached with the drama I would try to get one person to see the other’s side of things, but my focus was the competition and I wasn’t going to let any drama in the house distract from that.”
As the mother of a four-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son, Ebony was intent on staying above the fray.
“I’m 21, I just got out of high school a couple of years ago, it just reminded me of that,” Ebony told BOSSIP. “It wasn’t surprising but it was frustrating at times, it was like okay, we’re doing this again. I’m talking about the judges, the girls, it was something new every day. I tried to stay above it, with girls it’s hard. For the most part a lot of girls would come to me and talk about their problems. I tried to stay level headed. I wanted to make sure when my kids watch I want them to be proud of me and think that everything I teach them i’m applying to my real life so I tried to stay away from the drama.”
Despite her own problems with some of the other girls in the house, even Sandra says the show helped her mature and that she walked away with a wealth of knowledge.
“I learned more experience and I learned how to “Woo-Sah” when the arguments appeared,” Sandra told BOSSIP. “I matured a whole lot. This was an opportunity of a lifetime and it changed my whole life. I thank God for this opportunity. Just to work with Naomi, Coco and Karolina, it was a dream come true, I really thought I was living in a dream.”
We also had to ask the ladies about how they felt they’d be able to handle the fashion industry’s infamous issues with models of color, issues that Ebony said she felt prepared to tackle after going to high school in Indiana.
“I went to school here in indiaana and I had to endure racism every day,” Ebony told BOSSIP. “No experience in the Fashion world can be worse than drunken teenagers so I’m not worried about it. It’s 2013 it’s time to be open minded, I don’t have time for people who have issues with me over something I have no control over.”
For the folks wondering how “The Face” differs from “America’s Next Top Model” Devyn probably summed it up best.
“‘The Face’ gives more opportunity than most reality shows, as you see in the first challenge we shot with Patrick Demarchelier,” Devyn said. “The first challenge, that’s insane. In the modeling world that’s unheard of. It was a complete honor. It was a great opportunity. The next challenge was a shoot for W magazine. It changes your life. Each challenge teaches you to be a better person and a better model. Everyone on Team Karolina will be in W magazine in April. It’s not just about the drama, it’s more about changing people’s lives.”
Want to see more of these ladies? Tune in to Oxygen Tuesdays at 9pm ET/PT!