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Professional model - Elite Model Management and Osbrink Talent Agency, L.A.
Clients include Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, Escada, Carolina Herrara, Chanel, Michael Kors, Ebony Fashion Fair
Home games host, Atlanta Falcons
Elite Spokesmodel and motivational speaker
Attended Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ
Nicknamed "The Runway Diva," Carla has appeared on hundreds of runways, numerous catalogs, magazines, commercials and TV shows such as Oprah. And though she likes all kinds of modeling, she says, "The runway was very natural for me." Carla has traveled globally working for many top designers such as Bill Blass, Gian Franco Ferre, and Escada. She is represented by Elite Model Management as well as several other agencies.
But life on the catwalk was not always in her sights. In fact, she never expected to be a fashion model. As a kid Carla never felt like she was someone special to look at. "I had low self-esteem," she says. "I was thin. People called me skinny. I felt unattractive." She never planned on being in the beauty business as a model, but like the proverbial story in the movies, she got discovered.
On a whim she went to the mall one day and an agent contacted her. This was not the first time - she had been approached several times by people who had asked her about modeling. It was hard to believe this could be true. "I had a lot of esteem issues," she says. Being so conscious of her weight, she wore several layers of clothes to add bulk to her frame. She never smiled because she had a gap in her teeth that she didn't like. She thought she was ugly. She says she really knows how many young girls feel today.
Carla credits her grandmother with instilling faith in Carla and her family when she was young. Carla says her grandmother planted the foundation. Each summer they went to Alabama and attended Vacation Bible School. Carla knew God, but she says she really came to know the Lord more intimately as a young adult. It was then that she knew what it meant to accept God. Carla's mother also greatly influenced her. Her mother's life was turned upside down when her husband left her for a man in a homosexual relationship. Today Carla's mother is a minister at her church in Mobile.
Know Who You Are
Having grown up with self-esteem issues, Carla says she knows how these issues affect young girls today. They get mixed messages from magazine covers. They look at that and compare themselves to others. But she wants them to know that beauty is not what's on the outside. "They must realize that we are all unique and beautiful. We are God's children - we are beautiful!" she says. "If you love God and you love Jesus, then you must come to accept that 'I am who I am for a reason.' I am a beautiful person."
Carla has the joy of working with the up-and-coming models for Elite and has trained up to 300 girls. Her passion is to train up young women with the fruits of the spirit. She is the runway trainer for Elite Modeling Agency. Elite is allowing her to share her knowledge and her faith with any new model that is interested in knowing more about why Carla is so different. This is "huge" in the modeling industry. Modeling is very competitive, and Carla has the unique privilege of also being able to share with these young ladies.
Models are constantly being put before clients and judged by their appearance. They may go out on 25 "go-sees" and get two jobs. This can affect them mentally; they can question if they are good enough. Another consideration is the pressure these young ladies are under business-wise. They will be 15 or 16 years old, just teenagers, and directing adults in their business affairs.
That's why it is so important to have a good support system to help, Carla says. Knowing the rigors of the business, Carla says she couldn't imagine being in the business without the Lord. She couldn't imagine being in any business without the Lord!
Carla says the flip side of the beauty venue is that even though you are judged on your appearance, it really is not about your looks. It's about your spirit; your inner beauty is the key. It's about divine appointments and being where God wants you to be. She's had divine appointments with many she's met; she has had Bible studies after meeting these young girls. "My mom says look at why God has put this person in front of you," Carla says. Carla tells them it's not about the beauty, you already have that. You must have faith; you have to pray for direction, and you don't have to compromise your morals. You need to know that you can represent God in your business situation. You need a strong, spiritual foundation in any business.
Knowing God changed Carla greatly. He gave her a smile once she got to know Him. He even did something remarkable and closed the gap in her teeth. She knew then that modeling was His path for her.
Regarding a health regimen, Carla says she doesn't have a particular one. Being naturally thin, she doesn't work out, but she might start doing cardio.
While still very much involved in modeling, Carla says she would like to branch out more into the field of broadcasting. She enjoys her hosting work with the Atlanta Falcons and looks forward to more opportunities.
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