Just How Slick Woods Went from Homeless Teen to Fashion and Beauty Industry Force

In our long-running collection “How Im Making It,” we speak with people making a living in the fashion business about how they broke in and discovered success.

Glossy Woods has actually lived a life that couple of will certainly ever understand. Its the extremity of her experiences that is impressive; hers is the kind of story youd picture being turned into a biopic– and at simply 21 years of ages, its only the beginning.

In Los Angeles, about 3 years earlier, she was a homeless teenager– simply an additional face on the roads– when an opportunity experience with English version Ash Stymest transformed her life. “He discovered me eventually at a bus quit, as well as we spent the day together,” she said in Palm Springs during the very first weekend of Coachella, where Mercedes-Benz selected to introduce its #WeWonder project.

The firm got Woods as the representation of young people for its statement of belief, which brings together various voices– from vocalist Solange Knowles to developers Carol Lim as well as Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony– to go over ideas for the future as part of the unveiling of its electrical SUV, the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ.

“He found out about just how my life was and also never ever let me leave his side once again,” she continued of Stymest. “He type of took me under his wing and showed me about how life must be basically, and also I never went hungry once more.”

Born Simone Thompson, Woods was elevated by her grandmother after her mother was jailed when she was simply 4 years of ages. She left Minneapolis, where she was birthed and also increased, for LA, and also by the time she fulfilled Stymest at 19, she got on a devastating path, embroiled in medicines with a stint in jail under her belt.

Quick onward to today, and shes one of the apparel industry most desired models. Woods has actually dealt with a roster of heavyweights, from designers to photographers, yet its her appearance in Kanye Wests Yeezy Season 2 look book (her first-ever modeling gig) and her increase as the face of Rihannas Fenty Puma and also Fenty Beauty lines– combined with her strong looks and also character– that have brought her a specific degree of success and also acknowledgment.

Sure, shes understood for physical features like her gapped teeth, tattoos and shaved head, as well as her adventurous attitude, however it does not take lengthy to realize that shes a lot a lot more; shes grounded as well as wise beyond her years, something that can be overlooked if you do not get past her bluntness.

Below, our discussion yo-yos from lightheartedness to real-life problems as the version gets honest about her life, surge in the sector, her individual development, not limiting herself and the significance of joining forces to take us right into the future: “How else are we mosting likely to progress when young people don’t know crap about background and old individuals live in the past?”

What made you state yes to a profession in modeling?

I didnt claim yes to modeling. I stated yes to Ash. You understand? I trusted him and also whatever he believed that I could do; hes the very first individual that relied on me, so I resembled, Whatever you believe, I can believe that spunk, also. He took care of me like his own youngster. He had to do with my age at the time, 24 years old Im turning 22 this year. I was 19 then. He saw my potential before anybody else did.

Ash asked his representative to fly bent on meet me, and then afterwards I moved into a mansion. I lived with Ali Kavoussi, Woodss representative and his girlfriend, and he attempted everything he potentially can to get what he thought my job must be off the ground. He tried music; he tried anything that he assumed that I can be branded off of conveniently, whatever could get the sphere rolling first. He encouraged the company to place me on the board without a contract. He was like, If you people don’t want to authorize her, simply trust me, try putting her on the board just for fashion week. They did, and afterwards, showed my case. As well as here I am.

The modeling sector suches as to shape individuals, however you seem to have actually stayed true to yourself. When you first obtain involved, its very easy to attempt to please.

I enjoy being the crook.

Oh, youve claimed that, that you like being the bad guy.

I like that shit. I love it. It makes it really simple. Ill remain in the space like, You do not wan na be it? Sickness be the murderer today, fuck it. Being homeless, individuals don’t understand … when youre really on the roads, you could go years without someone speaking with you. I went two, three years during intermediate school, secondary school where individuals strolled past me on the road when I spoke to them. Said absolutely nothing, absolutely nothing to me.

Bitches kissing my butt right now, and also its so amusing because the very same people would tip over me while I was sleeping on the road sit beside my head at the bus quit, waiting on the bus. That makes it a lot easier to just do whatever the fuck … cause you understand, none of these individuals are gon na give a fuck about you. They simply want what you have. And you don’t also desire what you have, so its like, Im cool. You want it?

Its a stunning point when you can use something that a person desires so poor on a plate and also enjoy them be as well scared to take it. Yo, you intend to be me? Below. Individuals are like, Well, I didnt actually believe we were going to obtain this much, oh shit. Giggles Its just an amusing point.

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What keeps you entering this sector as well as wishing to make things happen for yourself?

When it concerns modeling, Im actually around so that I can make certain a place for a woman that actually does imagine this, and also she could simply be 4 years of ages today. I simply remember enjoying Americas Next Top Model, as well as there was this lady that Tyra Banks convinced that her void was ugly, as well as she needed to remove it. She didnt offer her dental braces or Invisalign. She fucking eliminated each and every single one of her top row of teeth and also placed them better with each other. Imagine being a kid watching that. I was like, modeling is the last thing I ever before wish to do. I was showing my grandmother like, Look what theyre doing out here to ladies!

You were familiar with modeling in that feeling?

As well as only in that sense. That was the one point. Americas Next Top Model was extra for drama. None of that crap takes place in the garment industry. Im gon na stroll down a runway and also jump into the group as well as crowd-surf, and afterwards I have to look elegant in the positions? What the fuck! I do not desire the spotlight to be gunning for me to dislike myself. I feel like thats what the apparel industry does to you. It makes you despise yourself. That’s what’s dope regarding Mercedes-Benz as well as the #WeWonder program; this had absolutely nothing to do with charm. Were talking about sustainability. Whats gon na last?

Have you seen any kind of adjustments in fashion in terms of inclusivity?

Its amusing, since Im coming with a degree where brands cant manage me. I was enjoying an industrial a few days ago, and in some cases you work a lot that you fail to remember that you did something. I was viewing this industrial, as well as there was this woman tangoing. I resembled, I didnt do that. When did I … I don’t understand exactly how to tango. As well as I was like, Thats not me. I thought it was me. I assumed it was me! I’ve got ladies sending me their emails from their agents castings stating: Eh, we require a Slick Woods lady. See to it she has Slick nails and also a cut head, dyed brows. Thats the idea. What? I require my 10 percent! Laughs

Just how do you really feel concerning that?

Its extremely unusual. You go from being the most unappealing thing in the world– damn near people constantly attempting to comprise a justification for why they were attracted to me when I was younger. Oh Slick, youre so stunning, what are you blended with? Black? That’s why … you feel me? Its constantly like, He suches as Slick maybe trigger he kinda gay, so he type of has this thing for boy/girl. It’s always attempting to reason your beauty … Its constantly some backhanded praise. Damn, thats just how you feel about on your own? Just overcome it. It’s so funny reason you experience your life sensation really unwanted, specifically growing up.

Is it a favorable point then, if thats changing?

Due to the fact that it makes being different a look, I believe its good. Also if being different is a trend, thats excellent. Its far better than being fake being a craze. Id rather genuine be a trend, then people making believe to be fake-real than being fake-fake, create youre an action better to actual when youre being fake-real. You simply obtained ta phony it up until you make it– some people obtained ta do that, especially in LA I learned that. Individuals phony it until they make it all the time.

In regards to your experiences in the modeling, exists a certain shoot or work that stands out for any specific factor?

2 huge points have been the #WeWonder and the Pirelli schedule. The Pirelli calendar was dope, since we had a collab. Its the exact same kind of situation, this collab with individuals from all various profession. Youve got me, Naomi Campbell, Diddy, Lil Yachty, Sasha Lane, Lupita Nyongo, Adwoa Aboah, King Owusu … Thando Hopa, whos a dope protestor from South Africa.

Social media site, particularly Instagram, has actually clearly come to be a part of industries such as modeling. Exactly how do you see it? Does Instagram aid the sector? Does it assist you?

Instagram helps as a networking device, and people shouldnt take it over and also beyond that. Place a restriction on Instagram but do not place a limitation on opportunities. Why would certainly you not put a limit on your Instagram usage as well as placed a restriction on what you believe you should do in life? It eliminates mind cells. You might too smoke a blunt. You cant kill brain cells doing that– you eliminate memory cells. Instagram shouldnt lead the expectations on just how you live your life, your connections.

What are you eagerly anticipating a lot of this year?

Im looking forward to even more partnerships with the much less likely team, like Mercedes-Benz. The #WeWonder program is extremely in my character yet a great deal of people do not understand that about me. I seem like the extra things that I do like this, it will certainly showcase that Im super regarding clearness. People don’t comprehend how clear I really am a lot of the time. Individuals are so made use of to needing to review puzzling touches; Im very clear, and I seem like individuals are constantly tiptoeing around my quality.

Do you often tend to shock individuals?

Element of shock is my middle name. I wish to be as multifaceted as I perhaps can be, since it comes so naturally in humans. I listened to that, scientifically, you angle multitask. You angle do two things simultaneously. Its really simply you changing what youre doing fast by going from something to an additional swiftly. Some individuals are quicker at it. Im simply trying to get better at doing things quicker, but in a smarter means as well as in a logical means– incorporating that part of myself and producing a new part that is much more complex and also can do various things.

I require to see improvement, since Im very concrete, and if I angle see enhancement, I seem like I’m fixed. Thats not cool down for me, since Ive been stationary for a truly long time.

Exists anything you would tell your younger self with all that you understand now?

Honestly, I wouldnt do anything in different ways. I do not believe in remorse, and also I do not rely on errors. Thats when people begin hating themselves as well as feeling bitter life as well as individuals around them, condemning individuals for things that took place, living in the past, house on things. Fuck it. It happened.

I still have my secondary school sweetie guy tattooed on my arm. Sickness never ever get it removed. Sickness possibly never see him once again, either, but you just have to improve your tale and also you don’t have to remove to unlearn.

I was racist as fuck. I made use of to despise White people … thats not turn around bigotry. Thats bigotry. How is it turn around? Reverse to what?

What changed that?

Just comprehending that youre not various from unlearning points and also comprehending that thats not who I want to be. And not necessarily wrong or right yet thats not the best Slick that Slick can be.

What am I mosting likely to do? Hate everybody that Im ever before going to work with? There aren’t way too many Black people in the fashion business. Finding out to unlearn and also just to move forward. Its all component of ending up being a grownup.

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