Angelica Ross is an actress, businesswoman, and transgender rights advocate – and now, she is also a New York Fashion Week runway model and campaign spokesmodel for hair and beauty brand Wildform. To celebrate all of her exciting new accomplishments, Richard Magazine caught up with the star after her walk for the Marco Marco fashion show this NYFW season. Ross dished on her debut runway experience, named top moments from this style season, and shared how she feels about the future of the fashion industry. Be sure to catch our exclusive Q & A interview below.
Richard Magazine: Congratulations on walking in the Marco Marco show! Can you tell us about your experience on show day?
Angelica Ross: This was my first time ever walking the runway for a New York Fashion Week show, and Marco Marco was the perfect designer to break me in. There was so much love backstage as we were getting ready for the show, mostly because a lot of us already knew each other from being in community movement spaces to being former cast mates and colleagues. It was also nice meeting other trans people I didn’t know from around the world. Even better is that I had my whole team there with me to support from my assistant, my management, as well as my friend Cesar De Leon Ramirez of Wildform who designed all the hair looks for the show including my blonde afro.
Richard Magazine: What was your favorite moment from the show?
Angelica Ross: Being able to watch the show back on video my favorite moment was watching my sister Dominique close the show. It was sexy and chic, but in the moment my favorite moment was walking down that runway. I was nervous, but the positive energy from the audience and the sickening beat had me strutting with confidence.
Richard Magazine: What was it like for you to share the moment with some of your Pose family?
Angelica Ross: Well not much time has passed and I’m back on the runway with Elektra, except this time it’s nothing but love between me and Dominique as well as the other TWO Dominiques who were also featured in Pose!
Richard Magazine: What would you say are the most standout moments of this New York Fashion Week season you saw?
Angelica Ross: The most stand-out moment hands down was Leiomy Maldonado walking in The Blonds fashion show. I was sitting front row with Ms. Jay Alexander and Titus Burgess when Leiomy did a dip for your nerves! I then saw highlights from other fashion shows and could definitely tell that Pose and the ballroom culture has definitely had an influence on this year’s designers and shows.
Richard Magazine: How do you feel that the fashion industry helps shape trends and lasting change in other aspects of society and culture?
Angelica Ross: I have always seen the power of fashion to transform individuals and ultimately culture. Giving bold women bold choices to express themselves. We have been dealing with a lot of anti-blackness in our society as well as on the runway and in fashion magazines, but designers have realized bold colors look best on black skin. Whites and yellows make us look like gods and goddesses. These images reflected out into the black community ensures little black boys and girls will grow up knowing how beautiful their skin with the ability to flip through any popular fashion magazine and see themselves in full vibrant color.
Richard Magazine: Also congratulations are in order for your Wildform beauty campaign! What was your experience like working on your photo shoot?
Angelica Ross: Working with Cesar is always a dream. He approaches everything he does with so much passion and perfection. For this shoot I also got to work with Deja Smith who is also my makeup artist on the set of Pose, and Brandon Garr as my stylist who had been styling me for red carpets from the time of the Pose premiere to the season finale. I am living my wildest dreams and feel so honored to represent Wildform.
Richard Magazine: How would you say you align with Wildform’s beliefs and mission?
Angelica Ross: Wildform believes, just as I believe that “fluidity and experimentation are key towards change and growth.” Even though I identify as a heterosexual binary trans woman, the key to my transition has been being able to embrace all of myself through experimentation and being more fluid with the way I move through life. I feel purpose in working with Wildform. Cesar is a leader in the beauty industry. I am a business and community leader. Together I believe we can help create a freer world where everyone feels beautiful and free to be wild.
Richard Magazine: What are some things you are most excited to see happening in the fashion industry right now?
Angelica Ross: I love that we are seeing more and more inclusivity on the runway and in magazines. To hear about and see more disabled models, trans models, and more curvy and full figured models, more dark skin black models as well as more color of all variety. When we flip through the pages of Vogue, I hope to see more of these images.
Richard Magazine: Why is it important to you to use your specific platform to speak up for issues you care about?
Angelica Ross: I have always believed, “to whom much is given, much is expected.” I have been given a tremendous opportunities to speak truth to power that impacts folks from all walks of life. So I recognize the responsibility of authentic representation so that I can not only show the world what trans can do, but also show my community what we can do and what type of sacrifices it to go after your dreams.
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All images used with permission.
Credits – Model: Angelica Ross (@AngelicaRoss)for Wildform. Hair Stylist / Creative Director: Cesar Ramirez at crowdMGMT. Makeup: Deja Smith. Fashion Stylist: Brandon Garr at crowdMGMT. Executive Production: crowdMGMT. Second image – Shot by James Anthony at crowdMGMT. Hair by Nikay Higgins at crowdMGMT. Makeup: Nichole Ray. Fashion Stylist: Apuje Kalu.