Indira ScottModel

New York native, Indira Scott reflects on the importance of being true to oneself, authenticity, representation and evolution of the modeling industry.

Photographed by César Buitrago

Interviewed by Anthony De La Rosa

New York, US. January 9th, 2021


Indira Scott: The most important thing I’ve learned from my career so far is to not compare myself to others and to stay true to who I am. It’s very easy to feel like you should change who you are so others won’t see weakness in you and take advantage of you. It also can feel impossible to not compare yourself or your career with anyone else, but doing this just takes the joy out of the whole experience—no matter what you do in life. I believe you should only compare your life to your past and where you want to go in the future, because that’s what you can control.

Work has forced me to evolve personally and to gain a sense of not being afraid to speak my truth and about crucial or controversial topics, even in the face of adversity. I used to be afraid that speaking out on what matters would result in me losing friends or opportunities, but I’ve now come to realize that anything or anyone you lose in the process of amplifying any amount of love and wisdom on our planet didn’t deserve you in the first place. As far as how work has shaped my values, I would say that it hasn’t. Work has only strengthened them.

I see the fashion industry evolving for models of color, because designers are being pushed by society to do better. The world—rightfully so—is tired and bored of seeing the same exact kind of woman, one after another, walk out on a runway, and then those same women being pushed in their faces with campaigns. We’re at a point where we can no longer deny how frustrated people have grown of this mass production of uninspired, unrealistic and Eurocentric propaganda. People want to see people that look like them, people want to feel like they are part of fashion, and even more simply, people want to feel something when they look at fashion because it is meant to be art. This forces designers to hire more people of color, even if it’s not what they’re used to doing.

To really address the issue of racism and inequality, the fashion and beauty industries need to hire more people of color. It’s crazy to me that in 2020, of all the casting directors for major editorials, campaigns and runways, none of them are black. I truly hope I live to see the day in the fashion industry in which there are queer and BIPOC casting directors, editors-in-chief, designers, etc. There’s so much beauty and life that fashion is missing out on by choosing to be so traditional and conservative.

Beauty to me is loving yourself for all that you are and loving others, despite how they may be different from you. Currently I’m manifesting being the first Black woman with box braids on a Vogue cover, while showing all the girls who got made fun of for having box braids and not a wash-and-set that we are also beautiful and deserve to be represented.

A Conversation With Indira Scott
Indira Scott
Indira Scott for The Fashionography

Feeling seen to me means being accepted truly for who I am, even if it is different from you. To be understood and not judged. To be listened to and heard. To be present with me and to be able to be compassionate about who I am, what I’ve been through, and where I plan on going.

My rituals and passions for universal spirituality come from my experiences and my pursuit of happiness. Luckily my mom has been trying to instill certain ideas of the law of attraction and crystals in me since I was a young, angsty girl. It finally took hold when I was 18 and began meditating.

Some critical moments of my life that have shaped who I am today: taking a trip to Hawaii, which served to completely confirm all of the answers I was discovering with my newfound spirituality; closing the Dior show, even though I never found myself to be considered as a conventional beauty standard; and the women who have been braiding my hair since I was five—shoutouts to Awaou & Choima! Or maybe it’s just about everything I’ve ever experienced leading up to now.

What I love most about my job is being able to represent anyone who can relate to me or resonate with me, as well as having a platform to speak out on things that matter to me, and having an influence to make a difference. The most challenging aspect of my job is how lonely it can get when you’re working a lot, and having to miss important dates and holidays.

Indira Scott
Exclusive Interview with Indira Scott

Indira Scott

One of my most memorable projects would have to be over the lockdown, when I teamed up with certain organizations, publications and/or brands to give sound baths with Tibetan crystal singing bowls. I love knowing that there are ways I can help heal others in tough times.

The pandemic has confirmed my view that, when society is faced with adversity, it births beautiful innovation and resilience. History has taught us that worldwide pandemics or plagues are always followed by a revolution and renaissance, as it is how we as a society survive such unprecedented times. I find it beautiful, our ability to reflect the times through different forms of art and demonstration.

More than anything, love inspires me. The world is on fire, and the fact that we can have the ability to still love one another and fight for love is so powerful to me. Protesting for Black Lives Matter this summer showed me how strong love is and how much positive change happens when love is amplified among crowds of people. My support system inspires me every day through love and makes me feel like there’s nothing I cannot face or get through. And my love for myself gives me confidence and inspires me to spread that feeling to everyone I cross journeys with. Love to me is the source of all inspiration.

Upcoming or current creatives I’m excited about include hairstylist Latisha Chong, makeup artist and model Raisa Flowers, model Akon Changkou, and designers Victor Glemaud and Christopher John Rogers. They’re all phenomenal at what they do, but they’re also beautiful people, inside and out.

Indira Scott


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