State / Region
I grew up in the South Bronx, yet I still had the courage to follow my dreams of becoming a fashion model. I made a conscious decision to journey to Europe. My first stop was Paris. And, yes, I faced a lot of rejection, but I put my ego aside and continued to soldier on in my pursuit of becoming a working model. I finally got signed by Elite Paris, and from that point on, it was a domino effect. I started to work in Paris, Milan, London, Amsterdam, Germany and Austria. I appeared in magazines such as German Elle, German Max and Italian Amica and became the face of Absolut Vodka Africa. Blessings continued to come, in which I graced the catwalks and showrooms of Yves St. Laurent, Issey Miyake, Veronique Leroy, Thierry Mugler, Christophe Lemaire, Paco Rabanne, Armani, Raphael's Curial, Azzedine Alaia, Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galliano. And, now at 52 years old, I'm reentering the fashion business that I love. I do find it hard because it's a youth-driven industry. But, I haven't let that deter me. I even tapped into other creative aspects of myself...the writer, actor and director. I've written two psychological thrillers titled, "No Rhyme...No Reason" and "The Blattaria Mind"; and, I have studied at HB Studio under Instructor Sam Groom. And, I do believe that it's so important for me to continue to explore many realms of self-expression in order to grow in this beautiful world of creative life. Please visit this link below for more information on my bio: http://thegarnettereport.com/uncategorized/exclusive-model-dawn-leak/
Dawn, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Model?
I always had a passion for living my life to fullest while being inspired by beauty and design. I was discovered on the streets of New York City. A top model of Elite Model Management chose me. So, my first encounter with Elite Model Management was when Karen Mulder, a famous Dutch model and her photographer husband, Rene Bosne, invited me to an Elite party.
Who is your inspiration in life Dawn? How do you keep inspired?
My Mom and sister are my inspiration in life. They have instilled in me the determination to keep pushing forward in this strong affinity that I have for fashion. I take time to absorb all the beautiful things that this life has to offer.
We all make mistakes Dawn; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Model; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I wish that I had more catwalk experience before doing my first show in Paris with Christophe Lemaire. Seriously, I was a walking nightmare, but I later received my catwalk training from Jay Alexander. He was phenomenal.
Dawn, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Model, how do you go about prioritising your clients’ needs?
Firstly, through meditation, I've managed to keep focus. And, by keeping focus, that requires doing my homework by going through magazines and reviewing past shows of what different clients expect from me as a model.
Please tell us, Dawn, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Model?
As a model, I always had to be strategic in order to separate myself from other models. For example, I decided to shave my head when I first got signed by Elite Paris. And, I can tell you that it definitely worked for me. I immediately shot for German Elle with Christophe Kutner and Richard Avedon for the New Yorker Magazine.
Dawn, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
Well, I convinced Elite Paris to take the leap of faith by signing me. I asked them to give a trial period of proving myself as a model. They gave me six months, and I did very well.
Dawn, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Model. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
The proudest professional accomplishment as a model was a mannequin made of me by Axel Rootstein.
Dawn, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I was inspired by this Rock Band Skunk Anansie, so I incorporated the lead singer's, Skin, moves in the way I moved in front of the camera. Italian Amica captured that well... My falling technique.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Model?
Always remain disciplined, tenacious and optimistic.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I am always looking for collaborations with fashion talents, brands and creatives. That's what keeps me vibrant.
Photographer:: Itaysha Jordan@itayshajordanphotography