Ask any top fashion model their advice for reaching the top and they will say work hard, stay focused and connect with other models before you. Top fashion model Raelia Lewis reveals how being on the America’s Next Top Model (cycle 21) changed her life forever and what she learnt from the whole experience.

Raelia+Lewis+Interview+Zen+Magazine (2)Meet 23 year old fashion model Raelia Lewis

Zen: How did you get into modelling?
Raelia: I was always interested in modelling since childhood. My first official photo shoot was when I was about fifteen years old. I was scouted by a local agency in Philadelphia and I started pursuing my career from there.

Zen: Who are the models that inspire you?
Raelia: Tyra Banks and Gisele Bundchen definitely inspired me growing up.

Zen: You were on America’s Next top model show, how was the experience?
Raelia: America’s Next Top Model was an incredible journey. It was the hardest thing I have ever done but it taught me so much about myself. I learned so many things about life, and modelling of course. It was very challenging but very beneficial as well.

Zen: How did it feel meeting Tyra Banks?
Raelia: Meeting Tyra was a cool experience. I was always a fan so it was great.

Zen: What’s the one thing you learnt from the ANTM show?
Raelia: One thing I learned from ANTM is to always work harder than you did before.

Zen: What’s the most difficult part about being a model?
Raelia: The most difficult part about being a model is branding yourself correctly and being successful.

Raelia+Lewis+Interview+Zen+Magazine (3)Raelia has walked at LA Style Week for Betsey Johnson
and Altaf Maaneshia, and also at New York Fashion
week for Dom Streeter and KiKi KITTY

Zen: Do you think racism exists in modelling?
Raelia: I definitely think racism still exists in modelling. Just turn on a huge runway show or flip through a magazine.

Zen: Have you ever experienced any form of racism since you started modelling?
Raelia: I have experienced indirect racism. No one blatantly said my skin color was a barrier but sometimes designers are only looking for one black girl.

Zen: What can be done to end this or what attitude can be changed to end this?
Raelia: I think the best way to end it is by not allowing your skin to limit you. You have to change your mind and make sure the “unspoken ideas” of the industry don’t imprison you. I continue to strive for greatness by not allowing anyone to tell me what I’m able to do. You just have to keep going, keep being better, and keep working harder. Educate yourself and build your brand off what is working right now in the industry.

Zen: What memories stand out for you since you started modelling?
Raelia: The memories that stand out to me since I first started modelling is my very first shoot. I was very nervous and insecure. I didn’t know at the time how I should look in photographs.

Zen: What do you think about African fashion?
Raelia: I think African fashion is beautiful. I love the bold prints and vibrant colors. It’s art!


Zen: Describe your style to us. 
Raelia: My style changes constantly. I wear things according to how I’m feeling. I can go from the Bohemian look to the sexy, bold look in no time.

Zen: Do you have any diets? Exercise routines to keep your body looking tone. 
Raelia: I just try to eat as healthy as possible. No fast food or soda. Barely any junk food, and very little meat. I work out sometimes. I’m no fitness junky but I try to stay active.

Zen: What do you do to keep your skin looking radiant?
Raelia: I love Black soap! I also drink tons of water.

Zen: What’s the next chapter in Raelia’s modelling career? 
Raelia: The next chapter in my career is bigger things. I kind of cringe when I’m asked this question because there’s no definite answer in my opinion. I don’t limit myself and I know that I can do anything. I just moved to LA so I’m definitely setting myself up for something huge.

Zen: Any inspiring words for aspiring young models?
Raelia: My advice would be to keep trying! Have patience and keep God first at all times.

Follow her on Instagram @raelialewis | On Twitter  
For more information on Raelia, click on her website for more
For bookings email