Roshumba Williams Interview


Roshumba Williams is one of the "Hottest" figures in the entertainment industry today. A regular face in paparazzi columns around the world, she has modeled in all of the major magazines from Sports Illustrated- to Vogue-has appeared in countless ads, and is a VH1 host. She has acted in films (Woody Allen's Celebrity), as well as TV shows (Mortal Kombat).Roshumba Williams is the co-author of the book The Complete Guide to Being A Model. We spoke with Roshumba about the life of a High-Fashion model.

Q: Roshumba, whose idea was it to put this book together? Was it yours or the publisher?
A: It was my idea. I approached them.

Q: You've been doing book signing in support of the book?
A: Yup, for about eighteen months.

Q: What's been the reaction?
A: I sell about 200 books an appearance.

Q: Is it true when you left Chicago at 18 you had $ 150 in your pocket?
A: Yes.

Q: And you traveled to Paris. Why Paris?
A: Well, because I was in Chicago and a couple of the people I met with, in particular a make-up artist who was sort of helping me reach my dream really suggested that because of the type of model I was; I was kind of exotic, I was really thin, I had long legs, I wasn't really commercial looking that I should really go to the market where they use girls my type. That market just happened to be Paris. You know I was just a kid. I was clueless. I was like O.K. sure.

Q: How did you know where to go and who to approach about a modeling career in Paris? Were you given a name?
A: I actually prepared before. I got a book called How to live In Paris on $20 A day. I don't even know if they still make that book now. I found a little bed and breakfast through there and made a reservation. My friends had given me like a list of agents in Paris that they had gotten out of the back of a magazine, some European magazines list all the agencies. So, they just got me the list of agents in Paris and I went to each agent.

Q: Yves Saint Laurent hired you on the spot?
A: I went to see him right during the high-fashion shows. They were looking for models to do fittings, of the clothes for the supermodels of that day. There were girls that fit the clothes first and after the clothes are done, then the supermodels come in and wear them in the show. The day I got to Paris I went to sleep, cause I got there in the evening. The next day I got up, and found an agent. The day after that I met Yves St. Laurent on an appointment on casting for a fit model and he liked me. Then he liked my work in the room as a fit model and he put me in the big fashion show. Different magazines like Elle, Harper's Bazaar, and Vogue saw me in the show, and wanted to know who was that girl. Then they started booking me for the magazines, and it just took off.

Q: What are your duties with Model Search America?
A: I'm a celebrity speaker. I go in and speak to the conventions. They have like 20 a year. The convention is composed of aspiring models, actors, actresses, everything, their parents, friends and family. They're all eager to find out how to get their foot in the entertainment industry. I kind of tell em' a little bit about my story and the book, and why I wrote the book. Then I just sit there for six or seven hours, give advice , and sign books.

Q: Is it a good job to be a model?
A: Actually, it's a really, really, really great job, but I caution anyone who's getting into the industry to not get too caught up because....well first of all don't put all your eggs in one basket. Don't think that's the only thing you’re gonna do for the rest of your life, because you won't. It's a fast paced, short-lived life span. It's important to realize that modeling is an amazing job that can take you to places that you never imagined you could get to.

Q: So after you're through modeling.......
A: No, my career will never be done in modeling. I'll model until I'm a thousand years old. That's just it. There's all different types of models, from high fashion to children, to babies, to elegant models, to full-size models. I will always model in some capacity be it as a representative of products in advertising, doing appearances, whatever. I will always model to the day I die. But, I do things in addition to that. I don't get up and go to a modeling job everyday. I get up some days and go on a book tour, sometimes I do a movie, sometimes I do a television show, sometimes I do VH1. But it all started with modeling.

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