Meet Valuable Lee, the mannequin that’s altering the business with each effort

E! News: In October 2011, you shared one of your first posts on Instagram – a throwback photo of Donatella Versace with Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. How does it feel now, a decade later, not only to have stepped onto the Versace runway, but also to be a face of the Spring-Summer 2021 campaign?

Valuable Lee: Oh my God! Did you see that?! That was literally the first week of Instagram! UH-amazing! Well, I’ve always loved these women! What’s funny, I was the first curve model Queen Beyoncé used for her Ivy Park x Adidas collection in November. I also wrote a song for Mariah Carey when I was in high school. I wanted her to sing – yes, and I still have – and I’ve always loved how fab Donatella is and how glamorous House of Versace is. So, honestly, just wait for Mariah to call me any minute. I feel incredibly blessed and full of gratitude. Shooting for the Versace campaign with Mert and Marcus after the show was a dream come true. I have to go back and stare at the shot and runway often and literally scream like once a week. I really dreamed it. Manifestation on a trillion!

E !: What about the fashion industry that you wish someone told you when you started?

PL: Remember, you are your business and technically no one can run it better than you.

E !: Which of your favorite brands do you buy?

PL: I wear all kinds of brands. I’m also a huge advocate of buying what you like simply because you like it. I can make a beauty scarf cool – it’s how you wear it.

E !: After all these years modeling clothes and being on set, what are your top tips and tricks for putting together an outfit and making sure the clothes fit your body the best?

PL: Find out what you like best about your body and buy more things with the same silhouette. However, try different colors, textures, etc. You don’t have to follow every trend and frankly, if you are not comfortable tweaking the look! But do your best to get out of your comfort zone. You may like something new better than the tried and tested.

E !: What are the essential parts of your routine that you need to make it through in one piece when fashion month is back?

PL: Water, sleep, prayer, meditation, laughter, exercise.

E !: What’s next on your career bucket list?

PL: Make more premieres in fashion, film and television.

E !: When you look back on your career so far, which moment or success are you most proud of today? In your opinion, which milestone would 18-year-old Precious hear the most?

PL: Versace and a mega moment that I can talk about in a moment.

E !: What are the brands that you think people should pay more attention to? Why?

PL: Black ownership – because.

E !: What’s one item you think people should have in their closet by 2021?

PL: A mask! And color! 2020 was intense. More joy. More love.

(This interview has been edited and condensed for the sake of clarity.)

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