Cover Story: Veronica Webb Photographed By Mike Ruiz
For the first cover of PhotoBook Magazine, I am delighted to have Veronica Webb. She reminisces about the Supermodel era of the late 80’s and the early 90’s, a time of big money and models who worked for high-end designers, who appeared in commercials, and who graced the cover of every big name magazine across the world. They were known by their first names.
Veronica Webb, a supermodel and the first African-American to have a major cosmetics contract, has appeared on covers of Vogue, Essence, and Elle magazines and on the runway for Victoria's Secret and Chanel.
Veronica chats about Webb On The Fly, her latest blog. She also offers advice about being a seasoned model and gives some valuable beauty tips.
Diamonds Are Forever, a classic James Bond movie, and fitting for our cover story with Veronica Webb. Veronica is a strong and sexy woman captured beautifully on the cover, shot by Mike Ruiz. She is timeless and delivers the best resembling a diamond. Check out this exclusive feature story in PhotoBook.
Foreword by Alison Hernon, Editor-In-Chief, PhotoBook Magazine.
My name is Veronica Webb.
2. Where do you live?
I live in New York City.
3. How did you discover your love of fashion?
My mother and sisters were my style icons as a little girl. Classic movies captured my imagination and then came magazines like Vogue, and album covers and videos shook up all my ideas of how fashion could be used to express yourself and how far fashion could go. I was hooked once all those influences started swirling and shacking up in my psyche. To this day, I’m addicted to both how powerful and free fashion makes me feel.
2. When did you decide that you wanted to become a model?
When I was 15. My mom wouldn’t let me start working as a model til I had been accepted to college and also not until I had turned 18 and was a legal adult. I walked into my first modeling agency when I was 19. The rest is fashion history.
3. What is your advice for aspiring models?
Eat your vegetables. Don’t sign anything without a lawyer looking at it first. Send your agent a card and/or a gift when they get you a great job. Always treat the clothes you wear on bookings like gold and hang everything up once you get done. Save your money!
4. How did Webb On The Fly start?
My kids were using Google classroom and running their whole lives from smartphones. I thought if they can get a world-class education and build professional-looking presentations and blogs why can't I? Fashion and beauty and being fearless about going for the life you want and reinventing your career is the kind of advice I adore sharing with my sisters and my friends. Webb On The Fly gives me a platform to share everything I've learned and to continuously reach out and learn more while making a nice living at doing what I love to do.
5. Tell us what your blog is about?
Own Your Age. Own Your Beauty, Own Your Power. That’s the core message of my blog. I felt unseen by the fashion industry, like most women over 40. Women in their mid-20’s already are panicking about their age and treat aging like a condition or a disease. I want to age. I want to get old and be 114 and I want to be strong healthy and wise at every age. That takes a ton of spiritual, physical and intellectual work. I’m a believer that “effortless” style is bullshit.
6. Who is your beauty inspiration?
Beauty inspiration comes from everywhere! Paintings, pop culture and fashion influence my beauty choices really heavily. Every look is a mood that has to fit my personality. I tend to be understated. Natural-looking painterly makeup is my favorite. But really it's all the genius hair and makeup pros that I've had the privilege of working with over the years who have passed on their passion and mastery of makeup to me that inspires me the most.
7. What are your best beauty tips and tricks?
Sunscreen with everything. Super clean skin before any makeup goes on, pore strips are genius for creating a smooth clean canvas. Tretinoin and Tirluma help me with hyperpigmentation and Aqua Gold at the dermatologist before a major event or booking is a game-changer.
8. What are your everyday beauty essentials?
I was raised on natural beauty. My basics are what my mom used plant-based moisturizing soaps and single blend essential oils. I grew up using oatmeal soap and vitamin E oil. Today, I still use natural handmade soaps from Whole Foods and Pure Rose oil from Kypris. Now on the splurge front, I am lucky that I get to try everything, all the brands send me stuff to review on my blog. Head to Creme Collective for the best of the best when it comes to cutting edge organics, head to Valmont for the best in class for scientific innovation in firming and lifting products, at the drugstore level Ceravie and Burt's Bees get my vote.
9. How has your fitness routine evolved?
Exercise has to have a culture to it for me to really enjoy it. Yoga, martial arts, ballet, spinning, hip-hop dance, and marathoning are all activities I cycle through for brain health. Keeping my body moving not only keeps me in shape; it also regulates my mood.
10. What made you decide to return to modeling?
I never left! Fashion goes in cycles. 10 years ago, ageism was an unspoken prejudice in the fashion industry.
I credit designer Sophie Theallet’s SS 15 collection, where I opened the show followed by models of every age, pregnant models, and petite models, representing so incarnations of womanhood and every color of the rainbow walked that show, and let fashion know diversity‘s time had come.
11. How has the fashion industry evolved since the 90's?
The beauty industry is where I’ve seen the most movement. There was a time when me being the face of Revlon was a groundbreaking historic move for a major corporation. Today beauty is aggressively marketed to people of every preference orientation creed, and color.
12. Do you feel that diversity on the runway has improved?
Yes. But not in terms of age.
13. How has being a model changed since you began working?
Social Media and the internet have allowed more diversity from race to age to body type to become symbols of aspiration and beauty in the mainstream. Because of social media and fast fashion designers are under more pressure than ever before and their work is so quickly consumed and devalued that I don’t know how they keep pace?
14. What is your best fashion advice?
Wear what you love over and over and over. It’s the only way something becomes truly YOURS.
15. What is the biggest lesson you have learned from modeling?
How to read a room. I was already fearless.
16. How would you describe your personal style?
Born from my mother’s deft hand at sewing and knitting I’ve known style quality and couture since the day I was born. It’s always authentic. It’s always a little street, a little hip-hop and a lot of Parisian Bohemia. But, no matter what, my crazy mashup is always chic.
17. Where do find style inspiration?
Reading modern literature is fire for my soul. Working out keeps me motivated and humble. Being a mother and a wife and a sister makes me grow as a person on the daily.
18. Motto in Life?
Own Your Age. Own Your Beauty. Own Your Power.
Photographer: Mike Ruiz at mikeruiz.com, @mikeruizone
Model: Veronica Webb, @VeronicaWebb, ICONICFOCUS.COM
Hair: Andrea Wilson, @andreawilsonhair, Next Artists NYC
Make-up: Marc Cornwall, @marc_cornwall
Nails: Dior Palais Royal
Foundation: It Cosmetics CC Cream
Concealer:DiorSkin Forever Undercover Concealer
Blush: Nars Orgasm
Eye Shadow: Dior 5 Couleurs 647 Undress
Mascara: DiorShow Pump and Volume HD Mascara
Brow: DiorShow Brow Styler
Lips: Nars Orgasm Lip Gloss