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Model Monday: Takara Upshaw

February 14, 2011


This Model Monday features a multi-talented model from Grayson, GA, that crosses different modeling genres. Her height lets her work as a petite model. Her size allows her to stradle as a plus and  straight model. Her gorgeous features are the basis of her commercial model images.

 Today you have the opportunity to get to know Takara Upshaw an actress, model and co-owner of Diamond Duchess Events and Entertaiment.  Currently Takara is doing what all aspiring models aim to do – stay busy. Her company is producing its first fashion show “Spring on the Runway” for Xquisite Footwear on March 13, 2011.  She is also acting in the stage play The Good Man Myth. Takara is doing big things on and off the runway, so be on the look out for this rising triple threat.


Aspiring Model: I knew you were an actress from us working in some of the same projects before. Even now you have many acting and film castings on your plate. How did you get started as a model?

Takara:  The way I got started as a model was actually through a good friend named Monee, but goes by Mr. “Michael Emmanuel Couture”.  I met him a couple of years ago in a club. [I] actually had a great time hanging out with him and then got to know him on a personal and business level. One day he called me out the blue and asked me to model a dress for him in a show with Urban Spice. He invited me to another fashion show and that show led to many others. So I definitely have to thank him and give him much love, respect and kudos for getting me in.

Aspiring Model:  You and I have also modeled in a few of the same fashion shows. How many runway shows have you done in the past year?

Takara:  So far, starting in June of last year, I have done 6 shows. I’m actually planning a fashion show of my own for a client of mines who has a clothing store. Super Excited about that!

Aspiring Model: Being a petite and plus size model, many would think you would have a few challenges? What is your biggest challenge in the fashion industry?

Takara: As far as challenges in this industry, it would definitely have to be the height issue. Losing weight is definitely not the issue. I can pass for standard and plus size, but standard as we know is really those 0-5 type models. Another issue is that my boobs are of a nice size and sometimes make me look bigger than I am.  

Aspiring Model:  What is your height and dress size?

Takara:  I’m a beautiful 5’3.5″ Size 8/10

Aspiring Model: In the fashion industry, a plus size model starts at size 8 and 10. It’s funny when I see the looks or hear the comments from other models every time we do runway shows. They say that Takara is too small. Do you see yourself as plus size?

Takara:  Haha! It’s so funny that you ask that, because I’m definitely caught right in between. However, that is the one thing I love about my body. I can model for standard designers and plus size designers. It still has pros & cons. Since I am in between sometimes the designers don’t know where to put me, because they do want noticeably bigger girls or vice versa. It doesn’t really bother me though because I already know my place in the modeling industry. I’m COMMERCIAL ALL THE WAY (the everyday woman).

What is your personal fashion style?

Takara:  Honestly, I don’t really have a certain style per se, but I will say I am definitely not a layered girl. I hate wearing a lot of clothes, shirts, and over shirts (..ugh!). I love wearing dresses & skirts, and my favorite type of shoes are my gladiator pumps. They are so fierce and I can wear them with any & everything.

Aspiring Model: Do you have a favorite designer?

Takara:  Well I’ll definitely say Michael Emmanuel. That’s my guy! I just like something that fits my body perfectly. But I will say I love NY&CO Jeans! Those are the only jeans I wear.

Aspiring Model: Which genre do you think allows the most opportunities for petite models?
Takara:  Commercial Modeling

Aspiring Model: How is the modeling industry in Atlanta compared to New York or Los Angeles?

Takara: I believe it’s way more laid back in Atlanta. In Atlanta, anyone who thinks they’re a model can model without any questions asked. I personally would rather be apart of a company that only accepts the best and has a respected name for their models. I don’t want to be accepted by just anyone who wants to open a company. If I were to pursue modeling full time and hardcore, I’d rather go to NY or LA to learn from the best and be the best.

Aspiring Model: What advice can you give to aspiring models reading this blog?

Takara:  I want to tell them that if modeling is what they want to do, then do it! First make sure they have the fiercest walk and comfortable heels and be prepared for some strict critiques. Also being height and weight proportionate is always a good thing especially for the plus size models. Don’t use your weight as an excuse just to say “I’m Big, Beautiful and loving it!” While that may be true, you still want to be healthy and appealing to your audience. The same goes for standard size models. You don’t want to be so boney that you can’t wear most of the clothes and people are too busy paying attention to what you haven’t eaten versus the clothes. The world has this certain view of models, so definitely try to keep up your appearance. I always told my mom that I wanted to be a “vertically challenged”, plus sized runway model, and that dream came true. I always wanted to walk the runway, but didn’t think I’d be able to because of my height, but I preserved and never gave up.

Aspiring Model: Where can we see your portfolio?

Takara:  Facebook

Aspiring Model: Are you signed with an agency?

Takara:  Not yet, I’ve recently submitted my Headshots & resume, but I’m mostly focused my acting career at the moment. Most agencies only work with fashion models 5’7 +

Aspiring Model:  Do you have any goals as a model or in the fashion industry?

Takara: Modeling is simply a side job for me, more of a hobby, and the goal that I wanted to achieve has already happened, so anything right now is definitely a blessing and a bonus.

Aspiring Model:  What is your facebook?

Takara:  TakaraUpshaw

Aspiring Model:  Twitter?

Takara:  @takaraupshaw

Thank you so much, Takara, for giving The Aspiring Model your time. We wish you much success with you achievements. Continue to be a trailblazer for those who balance modeling along with careers in other industries.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2011 2:38 pm

    She’s really pretty. But I don’t think size 8/10 counts as plus size, as least not in my mind. But I guess the industry has it’s own strange standards.

    • April 1, 2011 7:11 am

      Thanks for commenting Susan! From a consumer point of view, no one looks at a size 8/10 and think plus size.

  2. March 8, 2011 7:46 pm

    Her face is gorgeous, but I’m not wild about the short hair.

    • April 1, 2011 7:14 am

      Like most women, my hair is my vanity. Takara’s short hair is a bold look. Surprisingly, after she cut her hair, she got booked more for acting jobs. Thanks for the comment, Dorita!

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