MODEL VOICES: In Quarantine - Deion Smith
By TADHI COULTER
As the world dealt with the ramifications of COVID-19, many industries had to make adjustments. The economics of Fashion were able to be sustained in certain respects, but some models - the clearest casualty of an abruptly halted ecosystem - have had to be a little more resourceful during this time of recovery. We catch up with a few from multiple agencies for their perspectives and experiences during such a strange time.
TC. What has been your greatest “in quarantine” life lesson since the COVID-19 pandemic?
Deion Smith. Time waits for no man. If you weren’t out here hustling--getting to your goals during the quarantine--you’re just a sinking ship. The quarantine made me grind harder and get everything I needed done. I bought a house and a car "in quarantine." I don’t know too many people doing that. And I had a baby boy, the icing on the cake!
TC. How has your modeling been impacted “in quarantine”?
It’s been heavily impacted. I haven’t been able to do anything, really. I still have the support of my sponsors, Rockstar Denim and Diplomacy, who’s been holding me down for years. They always got my back, but as far as any other companies go, it’s been all crickets. I only got one decent job during the pandemic and that was from Greg Lauren
, which was so amazing! He brings something different to the table, and that’s why I think he chose me for his “Deconstructing Americana” Spring/Summer 21 lookbook-project last summer, a part of his GL Scraps initiative. Other than that, it’s been super dead, I would say.
TC. Has the fashion calendar being affected by the pandemic changed the way you think about booking runway shows, higher-paying campaigns or projects?
Deion Smith. I don’t know if there’s any more “big budget” or higher-paying campaigns going on, and if they do exist, they’re usually allocated to celebrities and “big” [high-profile] models. The game has never been fair. It’s always been like that. I hate speaking up on this stuff but it’s the truth. Runway shows are awesome and all but there’s no money in them. They’re more for [models’] exposure and being seen. I’m a human with basic human needs and bills to pay, so it’s great when I book a show. But my time, my energy, my family is super important to me and I’ve got to make sure that every move I make is well spent, worth my time.
TC. How has tech such as Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Duo, etcetera played a role in your daily life or casting experiences "in quarantine"?
Deion Smith. I hate it...truly hate seeing my mom stuck behind a computer...hate seeing my niece subjected to having to take classes on it and, for me personally, I’m just annoyed because if you’re not on top of your social media, you’re most likely going to be a sinking ship in the game of producing content that people wanna engage and see what’s going on, and if that content isn’t there, they get bored with you.
TC. What have been some of your favorite go-to items to wear or groom yourself “in quarantine”?
Deion Smith. My Rockstar Denim jeans always are a hit...go-to tops I can ride my bike, go to a party, go skating or just to the grocery store in. If I could sleep in them, I probably would. My Diplomacy tops always complete my fits! I’m not big on dressing up because I do that [on photoshoots] for a living. But my Rockstar and Diplomacy...now that's my go-to.
TC. What’s on your bucket list, “post quarantine”?
Deion Smith. I just want my son to experience the world like me. I want to take him home to Belize, Australia and Hawaii next year.