Nikki Carter is an American Indian plus model from the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina. Active in her tribal community among youth promoting body positivity and self acceptance at any size. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, a historical college found by the Lumbee tribe. She has experience in several aspects of the industry former fit model for Belk, runway model, and print/catalog. Nikki plans to share these experiences with aspiring teen models through workshops later in the year.
Congratulations on all of your success as a Plus Size Model. How did you get started modelling?
I started modeling as a student of Barbizon Modeling School of Raleigh, NC as a teen.
What has been your favourite experience thus far – the one you are most proud of?
Honestly, it’s hard to chose I have been so fortunate I work with celebrity brands, retailers, and award winning indie designers that the favorite lists is pretty large. Being hand selected by the show producer for Pulp Fashion Week in Paris 2016 then being asked to return in 2017 is pretty awesome.
Just like any craft there is a learning curve – how did you learn how to model – both print and runway if applicable?
Barbizon School of Modeling sparked my interest where I originally learned to walk on the catwalk however over the years I have studied models that I admire on the runway and in print. Always taking notes and critic in every gig I have been assigned and adding them to my collection of mental notes.
Did you have mentors or role models who helped and inspired you along the way?
Contributing model coaches/mentors at different times throughout my career have been Theary Sim, Debbi Shannon, and Jeannie Furguson. Others in the industry that I admire and look to for inspiration are actress and plus model Liris Crosse, the Curvy Fashionista Marie Legget, and Pulp Fashion week producer Blanche Kazi.
The Plus Size Industry has changed and continues to evolve – how do you think as a model you are able to help make an impact in how the world sees plus size women?
I think my story is a little different than some models being that I still live in my small community in North Carolina. A lot of my friends have moved to larger cities (New York, Atlanta, etc.) to get more work as a full time model. However, I have been so blessed to continue to stay in my hometown and travel to and from gigs regularly. I think it gives others from small towns hope that they too may find happiness in their career without having to move far away from their family. In my small town people identify Ashley Graham as the face of all plus size models and notably so with all of her wonderful accomplishments however since I have been modeling I feel they see someone from their community as a success story therefore diversity within the plus community as a whole.
You exude confidence with every step you take, were you always this confident? Tell us a little bit about the journey to confidence.
I come from a family full of beautiful confident plus women, my sisters, aunts, my grandmothers, and most definitely my mom. I experienced a period when I allowed someone to convince me otherwise however after that marriage ended I decided to love myself unapologetically. Showing the world every chance I got to own your body and love yourself without doubt even if you have to fake til your make it.
For our readers who are interested in starting a plus model career, what would you suggest are some top tips to get started?
- Set realistic achievable goals by researching areas of interest.
- Invest in yourself through education in model classes and workshop from reputable coaches to become knowledgeable on topics trending to be a successful model, updates on runway techniques, and etiquette. 3. Quality well planned images over poorly planned quantity for a working portfolio are a necessity.
- Use social media outlets as a marketing tool for you as a brand to connect and network with potential clients.
- Find people in the plus industry to mentor you as a new model. There are several that go unnoticed yet make the biggest impact on others.
As a model you’ve had the opportunity to wear a variety of different styles, but what would we catch you in on an ‘off duty’ day? What would you call your fashion sense and how has this evolved through your modelling career?
Comfy chic is all me with a cute maxi dress and complimenting sandals with my hoop earrings. Overtime my personal style has matured to a more classic look that compliments my best features while keeping up with trending looks. I have noticed over time a more polished look demands respect and leaves a last impression.
What are you some of your favorite places to shop your style?
Ashley Stewart, Fashion to Figure, ASOS, Forever 21, Yours Clothing and Old Navy
What does life look for you outside of the modelling world?
Recently engaged, my Love and I are very adventurous. We spend our weekends hiking, zip lining, canoeing, biking, etc. Anything we can think of to keep us active. I’m also an auntie to four amazingly handsome boys (sorry, young men, lol) we exercise and play together as often as possible. Family time for me is therapeutic.
Thank you for taking time to chat with us today! What is one message you would like to leave with our readers today?
Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to share my story. My advice out me to live your best by deciding what you want in your modeling career, writing down those desires as goals, create a plan for achieving them, and refuse to stop until you reach your intended destination.
Facebook: Nikki Carter