Florida A&M University has a student climbing ladders in the modeling industry, Courtney Nicole Simms, as a spokesperson of Fashion Fair makeup products, and she is continuing to build a name for herself.
Simms appeared as Miss March in Jet Magazine last year, and she said she wants to be a success in the modeling industry like Tyra Banks.
“I’m already a professional model,” said Simms, 20, a junior broadcasting student from Gary, Ind. “I want to do modeling so it can get me to that point of opening doors.”
Simms got into professional modeling through a publicist that she knew from high school.
“A publicist that worked for my high school, she remembered me and she started working for Johnson publishing company,” Simms said. “We did an interview and test shoot and they decided to use me for one of their campaigns.”
After Simms became part of Fashion Fair, she had to adjust to the harsh realities of the modeling industry.
Simms said when she first went into modeling she thought it was just about looking pretty, but as she began to model, she saw the hardships of modeling and the amount of work she had to do for photo shoots.
“You have to be very versatile,” Simms said. “Fashion Fair wants a lot of different looks.”
Even though the modeling industry may be tedious to Simms, her social life is not. She has a lot of friends who support her career.
Shawn Whitehorn, 20, a friend of Simms, said when he thinks of Courtney the one word that comes to mind is strong because of the passing of Simms’s mother on Aug. 4 because of a car crash.
“She is the cornerstone, I feel to her family,” said Whitehorn, a junior architecture student from Indianapolis.
Whitehorn said Simms is humble even with the amount of exposure she gets in magazines.
“She has been representing Fashion Fair next to pages of Beyonce,” Whitehorn said. “She doesn’t give credit to her career even though she’s a professional model.”
Because Courtney is a professional model, she frequently travels to New York and Chicago for photo shoots. She traveled to Cancun and the Bahamas to shoot the Jet Magazine beauty calendar 2007-2008.
Simms said that her modeling career is not going to last her entire life, but it has been an enjoyment for her for the time being.
Simms said that Fashion Fair looks around her class schedule for her photo shoots and job.
“I’m not a full time professional model,” Simms said. “Fashion Fair knows I’m in school and my first priority is my education.”
When Simms was younger, she always dreamed of being on television.
Because of this dream, she decided to major in broadcast journalism. Simms believes she is living out this dream, she is on the office doors of teachers and her pictures can be found throughout magazines.
Simms said some of her classmates have approached her as a result of seeing her pictures in magazines.
“Professor Grable has my picture posted on her office door,” Simms said. “I get a lot of compliments and suggestions to go into the model industry.”
Simms may not take the compliments that she gets from students seriously, but her friends believe that they are.
Rachel Hill, 21, a friend of Simms, said Simms is a beautiful person inside and out.
“With all the things she has been through, she uses it to push forward,” said Hill, a third-year business administration student from Orlando. “She doesn’t allow any obstacle to step to her.”
Simms said that her friends and family are very supportive of her and her career, and they want to see how far she can go with modeling.