Jar Brown: What does fashion mean to you?
Sanvernetas Thomas: Fashion is a way of expression; an art I’m truly in love with. My style is very unique, outside the box. Many call my fashion sense “Missy Elliot” and she’s actually who I’m inspired by. I’m not a fan of trends nor fast fashion. To me, it’s about how I’m feeling, which personality do I want to be today, or do I want to make the public talk about me lol.
JB: Your “Androgynous Series” is one of my favorite series you’ve done so far. Each photograph was captured so beautifully and you can feel the emotion through each photograph. How have you evolved as a print model now since when you first started? And what is your favorite photo shoot you have done?
ST: Thank you so much Love. There’s been a lot of growth and development. Currently, I’m beginning to focus more on minimal shoots to add to my portfolio. My favorite shoot… That’s a hard one because I love them all, but if I had to pick one, it would be the “Androgynous Series” in which I shot with my dear friend Helen Le in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
JB: How did you feel when you first begin taking photos versus now?
ST: I was very shy behind the lens. I used to be so stiff without a clue of what to do. Once I started studying fashion, art, and modeling even more, I’ve began to incorporate those senses into my own. Now I’m in love with the act, the act of being thyself and submerging with comfort-ability.
JB: You are also a runway model. Tell me about your runway experience. How do you feel when walk down the runway?
ST: I absolutely love runway! With every runway show I’ve been in, there comes growth. It’s like you never stop learning. I’m always open to critiquing my walk. It took me awhile to develop my own “Naomi Campbell” or “Tyra Banks” signature strut. I would study male and female models walk to see if I could pull it off. Mimicking their walks did nothing for me. It just didn’t feel right. So I practiced and practiced until I was tired of practicing to incorporate my very own signature walk and once I found my own, everyone loved it. When I grace the runway, I let my walk do the talking. It’s all about confidence, stride, and grace; owning what you have and being humble while doing it.
JB: Many models, such as myself (when I was doing runway!) have pre-show rituals. I used to dance during the show’s lineup before walking out on the runway at every show to shake off those nerves, I also prayed! Lol. Do you have a pre-show ritual? If so, what is it?
ST: Yes! My pre-show ritual before every show is burning an incense before I leave the house to center my mind, body, and soul. I also play some Erykah Badu to get me in the groove. Her melodies are so therapeutic. After that, I pray before I get to the show and minutes before. Stretching is key. I have to stretch every limb to remove any stiffness. Once that’s done, I’m ready for the runway!
JB: Besides your mother, who also influences you as a model?
ST: Grace Jones is my idol. I mean, it’s Grace Jones. I’ve always been intrigued by her androgyny. Grace carries herself with dignity. She doesn’t tolerate any negativity, and that’s one of the reasons why I love her. I also love me some Ajak Deng. She’s soooo amazing and absolutely gorgeous. From her work alone, it speaks volumes. She’s like a chameleon. Versatile to every aspect of fashion.
JB: What other brands would you like to collaborate with in the future? Are you looking to be signed or do you want to continue working as an independent? And what advice would you give an aspiring model?
ST: Palomo Spain, Jamall Osterholm, Fenty Puma, Thom Browne, Vetements, Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Calvin Klein, Raf Simmons, Dior Homme, Givenchy, and Chanel to name a few. I’m really hoping that I’ll be signed by next year before fashion week starts.
Advice I would give: Love yourself. Study yourself. Never let anyone break you down. Believe you can do anything that you set your mind to and it will come to fruition. Never conform to the beauty norms of society. Be your own light and walk in your path.
“The one thing that you want to do is to love, and that love should begin with you. Once you love you, you love the whole world. It’s easy. It’s delicious to love everybody and every thing.” -Dr. Sebi