“Don’t let anyone minimize your dreams.” Words by Precious Lee, the curvy model, that is becoming one of the most recognizable faces in fashion. High fashion to be specific.
Which is no mistake. From the very beginning she was intentional about the type of model she wanted to be. Stating that she did not want to be boxed in as a swimwear model or underwear, which is typically the categories that curvy women get thrown into, these days.
Growing up- she was constantly surrounded by fashion, subsequently fueling her passion for it. Her parents, for example, would dress up every day as if they were going to be in a photo shoot, she says. Considering her hometown is Atlanta, this is no surprise. A city that is not stranger to black people who are affluent and live life to the fullest.
She and her siblings had their grandmother’s boutiques, surrounded by fashionable garments, as a foundation. Their mom served as inspiration for how to use fashion as a part of who you are, while Precious Lee would venture into her father’s closet, to try on some of his designer pieces. His Versace shirts being one of them.
Years later this would become a full circle moment. When precious Lee walked the Versace runway, as one of the faces for the 2021 collection, La Greca. As one of the faces that would help the brand usher in its new monogram.
Donatella Versace was impressed by her confidence, the joyful and happy contagious energy she brings with her. This made her a perfect fit for the brand. Working for Versace has been one of Precious Lee’s favorite moments, in her career so far.
Usually black women who enter the high fashion industry already are at a disadvantage because of their race, so they hardly speak on racial issues. Yet Precious Lee came onto the scene and is making it clear that she wants more justice and equity for black women in general and in the fashion industry. This has not hindered her success, proving that one does not have to let go of their values or voice in order to make it. Largely this is because she works with brands that are in line with her purpose.
Initially she wanted to be a lawyer, but decided to pursue one of her childhood fantasies of moving to New York, like most girls or boys who are obsessed with fashion. Sex and the City, being one of the reasons she not only loved fashion but also wanted to make the move to New York. In the movie she saw herself in Samantha- because of her grand ideas and her determination to bring them to life.
Now signed to IMG models, Precious Lee is content in knowing that she chose the right path. Modeling became more appealing to her, when she discovered she would be able to inspire more people, than if she were a lawyer- because it has such a wider reach. Especially today because of social media.
Precious Lee is the perfect example of what she stands for, inclusivity and positivity. Proof that once you start achieving your own dreams in the fashion industry it is okay to create an environment that will be welcoming to women who look like her. She is literally the change she wants to see.