A Q&A with Ebony Fashion Fair Commentator and Fashion Fair Cosmetics model JADA COLLINS

What do you love most about modeling for Ebony Fashion Fair?
What I love most about being a part of Ebony Fashion Fair is the opportunity to be a role model for young African American girls. I think that it is important for young girls to see positive Black men and women doing something awesome like the Ebony Fashion Fair. I feel very at home when I am on stage. I love performing. The best part about being on stage is looking out in the audience and seeing people enjoying what we are doing.

What is your favorite designer outfit that you wear during Ebony Fashion Fair?
My favorite designer is Bob Mackie! I love his creativity and the detail in his designs. One year I wore two Bob Mackie designs: A gold beaded mini dress and an Egyptian style evening gown. I also wore a gorgeous gray beaded gown from Bob Mackie that fit like a glove. That's was my favorite!

Why and when did you decide to go into modeling?
I started modeling when I was 12. My mother enrolled me in The Barbizon School of Modeling in San Francisco so basically, I decided to model because of my height. At the age of 12 I was already 5'9 and then I continued to grow another two inches in my teens. However, initially, modeling was not really my passion. I REALLY loved broadcasting and public speaking so that makes being the spokes model for The Ebony Fashion Fair such a blessing!!!!!!

What do you miss most about home when you are traveling with the show?
When I am traveling I miss my family and church. I wish I could attend church regularly, but I can't. So, I miss that the most.

The day that you auditioned for Ebony Fashion Fair was really a big day for you. Can you tell us about it?
The day of my audition for Ebony Fashion Fair I was a complete basket case! I was nervous but excited. I think that it was one of the most nerve racking days of my life, aside from my first show with Oscar de la Renta and my wedding day. The process was easy, however, there were about fifty other girls who were all competing for the same 12 spots. That is what made it so nerve racking. I had been to hundreds of auditions throughout my modeling career, but this was different. This was Ebony Fashion Fair, the largest traveling fashion show in the world. This was the fashion show that was associated with the famous Ebony magazine, Black America's premier publication!!! So, this audition was very different from any other to say the least. So, I am proud to say that I survived the Ebony Fashion Fair panel and the swimsuit audition. I can now say that I have been an Ebony Fashion Fair model, assistant commentator and now its commentator. I am very proud to be a part of our African American heritage and history!

Have you ever modeled outside of the U.S.?
Thanks to Mrs. Johnson and Ebony Fashion Fair I have had the opportunity to model in both Paris and Rome! My first trip to Europe was with Ebony Fashion Fair. I did photo shoots for the show panels, EBONY magazine and advertising ads for the show.

What advice do you have for little girls and young women who would like to have a modeling career?
My advice for girls who want to model is simple: STAY IN SCHOOL ... EDUCATION FIRST! I think that modeling is a wonderful experience, but realistically, it is a short-lived career. You must have something stronger to fall back on but if you are at least 5"10 and fall within the measurement requirements then go for it!! Just make sure that you have a back up plan, too.