JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – From dressing up inside clothing stores as a kid to now being the face of global fashion brands and nationally recognized hair care brands, Destiney Williams is living out her teenage dream.
Initially, modeling was a laughed-at dream that the Jackson native barely considered as a senior in high school when her friend and photographer, Justin Hardiman, approached her with the suggestion.
“I had always thought modeling being Victoria Secret, super sexy, and that was not me at all,” said Destiney.
Persistence eventually led to her first modeling shoot, and after graduating from Murrah in 2017, she turned her hidden talent into a career and climbed the ranks of notoriety in the industry.
It was her photoshoot entitled Milk that caught the eyes of fashion executives, news outlets and social media. The photos captured in Vicksburg by Hardmin gave ode to the Black beauty that exists in Mississippi– an attribute Destiney struggled to see within herself as a child due to the world’s ideal of beauty standards.
“I was always told being a Black girl from Mississippi, that I didn’t have the look, that I was always missing something,” said Destiney.
The viral moment of Milk changed the trajectory of her life in ways she never imagined, both personally and professionally.
Fast forward to now, Destiney has collaborated with natural hair product company, Creme of Nature, lifestyle and sportswear apparel, Champion, online clothing store Stitch Fix, and other small businesses.
In addition to serving as the poster girl for major fashion companies, she can now add ‘Rue Model,’ a talent-term adopted by clothing brand, Rue 21, to her list of gigs.
Williams said the collaboration was a pinch-me dream for her 13-year-old self who stood in front of the dressing room mirrors at Rue21 trying on clothes placed on mannequins and a moment of confirmation that she can do anything.
“It’s so exciting because that was my favorite brand growing up. That was my place– I never shopped anywhere else other than Rue 21.”
Destiney encourages every Black girl to dream and to know that there’s not a dream too big that can’t be accomplished.