Editorial: Fashion Model Jeremiah Daniels Covers The December 2020 Issue Of D.M. Fashion Book

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NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES — Last summer, D.M. Fashion Book debuted its first editorials of 2020 featuring modeling brothers Jaleel and Zion (see it here) and Jule Jackson (see it here).

In November 2020, we started shooting again after taking a four months-hiatus due to the worldwide spread of the coronavirus, which forced some photo studios to close down.

We are living in an unprecedented year: there is still officially no vaccine for COVID, President Trump lost the general election, but he still refused to acknowledge it and won’t make a smooth transition for Presidentelect Joe Biden & Vice President– elect Kamala Harris, and fashion houses, magazines and modeling agencies were all called out in 2020 for allegations of racial discrimination and a toxic workplace culture.

Being a black man from the left side of the projects, it was very hard for me to borrow clothes from luxury houses for photoshoots, especially when high-end designer brands including Celine don’t dress any black celebs unless they have a white stylist (see it here). Only 37 out of 447 models that have walked in the brand’s six shows since Hedi Slimane became the French fashion house’s creative, artistic and image director in 2018 (see it here) were black.

Actor Tommy Dorfman detailed numerous instances of alleged discrimination while working with the Ferragamo to cast models for and photograph its Viva shoe campaign for spring ’20, which featured actresses Kiersey Clemons, Camila Mendes, Paloma Elsesser and Olivia Sui.

“I heard directly from their creative director that they asked if, in photoshop, they could make a black model white,” Dorfman said. It is unclear if Dorfman was referring to Ferragamo‘s creative director Paul Andrew, but the photoshoot is credited to him.

Instead of complaining and asking for a seat at the table, I took a lane that was underserved, created an opportunity for myself and others, built a lucrative brand and my own table.

I discovered rising fashion model Jeremiah Daniels also known as Jay on Instagram (@groovewit_jayy).

What first caught my attention when I clicked on Jeremiah‘s profile was his nice smile and pleasing personality via his Tik Tok dance videos that he shared on his Instagram. He also has a large following, so it made more sense for me to DM (direct message) him.

To make a long story short, I talked to him about modeling, gave him ideas and shared my vision with him. He saw my vision. Everything happened so fast. Once we built enough trust, we exchanged numbers and then I booked a photoshoot for him.

It was very important for me to cast another model of color for this shoot. In 2020, I think the fashion industry still lacks diversity. Some luxury houses only use a few Black models out of 50 or 60 looks. It is called a “racist act” when just a few or no models of color are in houses runway shows or advertisements and I don’t like what I see.

So I am using my major platform and voice to fight for diversity in fashion and to bring change. D.M. Fashion Book will extend our vision, and inject some new, creative, youthful energy into our site. Once or twice a month, we will shoot an editorial with models.

Jay hails from my hometown of Camden, New Jersey. For the December 2020 issue of D.M. Fashion Book, the model was shot by photographer Troy Pearson at the Canopy by Hilton in Philadelphia‘s Center City neighborhood.

For the shoot, I outfitted the future superstar talent in Moncler, Forever 21, H&M, Nike and Tommy Hilfiger.

When Jeremiah exited his car, he walked inside of the hotel lobby and said, “damn, this hotel is nice (laugh).” Once checked in, we made our way to the elevator to go up to our room for Jay‘s shoot. I saw the nervousness all over his face when we were in the elevator.

As we exited, the elevator, I looked at Jay and said, “don’t be nervous, I am here to help you during the shoot and you will do just fine. You don’t have any worries“. He simply reply, “bet” (Slang for Fa sho, which is slang for For sure; which means Sure or Okay).

After walking into our room, I already had all of the clothes laid out and the photographer was setting up. I went over the clothes that Jay will be wearing with him and then we’d decided which look he was going to wear first.

Before changing into the first look, Jay went into the bathroom mirror to fix his hair to remove the rubber-bands from his hair to get the boxy look (classic high top fade with the temples shaved).

Finally, it was time to shoot. Jay changed into the white Nike Pro shorts with the matching socks and oiled up his body for his first look. “I was still a little nervous right when I came out of the bathroom to shoot the first look, but after a few pics snapped and you (Donovan) guiding me and telling me how to posed, I felt less nervous and more comfortable,” Jay said.

By the time he changed into his second look, which was just a pair of royal blue Tommy Hilfiger boxer brief, Jay was more comfortable and posing like a veteran. “Once, we got passed the first look, I felt way more comfortable and was feeling myself (laugh”) he said.

He added, “You’d made me feel very comfortable and also the way you was telling me how to pose really helped me loosen up during the shoot.”

These few shots were mainly lensed laying across a small chair and bed, while holding a classic looking phone.

As he was changing into the third look, Jay and I started to talk a bit more about his career as a fashion model. Aside from being featured in GQ, Vogue, Esquire, and Men’s Health, the 20-year-old would like to walk runways in New York, London, Milan and Paris during fashion week.

I asked him, if we would prefer runway or print modeling more and he said, “I never walked a runway but I think I will be good at it. But for right now, like at the current moment, I think if brands want to sale and market their products, they should have me in their ad campaigns. I have a nice smile and sex appeal. Plus I have a large following on social media.” He has over 3 million likes on Tik Tok.

Jay‘s smile, smooth caramel skin tone, full lips and nose makes him standout from other models. While wearing a pair of Tommy Hilfiger underwear and skinny jeans from H&M, Jay stuck a pose across the chair and in the hallway, standing and sitting on a stool while highlighting his upper body and feet.

Jeremiah is taking modeling very serious. “I am serious about modeling and doing it because it is my passion. I also want modeling to be a way that I can take care of my family and provide a better lifestyle for them. In the next 3-5 years, I don’t want my mother working anymore.”

By the end of 2022, I want to be an international supermodel,” Jay added

Other looks included outerwear: a pink bandana jacket from H&M and a blue Moncler puffer coat. These shots was taken inside of the hotel lobby and outside on the deck.

This was Jay‘s first photoshoot and he said, “I had a good time shooting. I look forward to shooting with you again. I like all of clothes that you picked up. You’re very serious about your business and I respect that. Thanks for the opportunity and I will be consistent,” says Jay.

Jay has more of a laidback style and is not too hype about all of the luxury labels. He envision himself modeling for American brands in the near future (not saying that he is against European brands). “I really want to model for Nike, Under Armour, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Hollister Co.”

The final look was a black-on-black pajama set. He modeled laying down in bed. When asked what inspired him to model, Jay said, “I always dreamt about modeling and some people told me that I should but I never had the courage. When you came into the picture, I saw your vision and trusted you. Now we’re here and the rest is history“.

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Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of www.dmfashionbook.com. For all general inquiries please email don@dmfashionbook.com Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.