By Style Blogger Felicia Bridgewater Edited by Wanda Tima
It’s always exciting to see a Haitian face making their mark in the competitive modeling industry. Self-made model and one of the latest internet sensations, Widny Bazile, went viral after spending two whole days shooting and creating a “Fenty World” themed photoshoot.
We had the chance to pick her brain and get to know her better.
Rumor has it, you were handpicked by Big Sean for his latest Puma campaign. How exactly did you break into such a challenging industry and manage to set yourself apart from others?
Yes, Puma has been a dream of mine since a little girl and to have been selected by Big Sean himself is a blessing and I’m very thankful. Growing up I’ve always been active and very hard on myself when it comes to accomplishing my goals. I’ve never waited for anything to get handed to me because no one can or is obligated to help – that’s always been my main priority and my job to make sure I earn what I deserve. That alone takes me places my imagination never even reached.
You recently worked with Darling and Aerie on a very important project addressing retouching and the strive for perfection within the modeling industry. You urged others to “discourage all false representations of reality & instead invite & share the real YOU to the world.” How do you carry this into your work and your everyday life?
Working with Darling & Aerie was truly empowering to me because these two brands alone are very hands on and they use their platforms on major issues such as women rights and so much more. Yes, representation matters whether we like it or not and that is a positive matter we should all be encouraging, practicing, building within our own communities because it starts with us.
Everybody has the right to be who they want to be but don’t ever be influenced to change because the things we cannot control such as our bodies, feelings etc., shouldn’t be a burden against us! The yesterday version of myself is never who I want to be today because I know there’s always improvements needed from mental growth to physical, financial, and such. Life’s a learning experience, it takes time but you have to grow with it. I wake up every day, pray and work towards becoming the best version of myself.
How do you let the real you shine through?
I’m very much of an outsider. I believe the industry is what you make it and respectably nobody ought to tell me who I need to be or what I’m capable of! I’ve always been fascinated with the idea that you can be whoever you want to be, breath & live how you want to live. The world’s filled with different individuals but there’s only one YOU so why not acknowledge and respect it?
How would you say your Haitian Heritage influence your work?
It all started in the motherland itself, Haiti. Growing up in my village with nothing taught me more than what I needed to know; it made me want to earn everything and more. Our way of life is much different from most; you only have your heart and I was taught to always wear it on my sleeve. I didn’t grow up on any role models except for the people I grew up with; they are the real influencers in my life and without them, I wouldn’t be the lady that I am today.
You went viral when you did the Fenty Beauty shoots, it was a creative and fresh idea. How did that idea come to you?
Thank you, it was definitely one for the books, blessings. It was actually very ironic how everything started out. I had gotten my campaign with Puma x Big Sean months before but it has always been my dream forever to work with Rihanna, still is big time.
I knew for sure I didn’t want her to see me on some random page or get put on by anybody. Photographer Arturo and I got together after a long time of figuring out what could be done and decided to create a Fenty World. From there we bought the tools needed and completed the work in 2 days. Arturo’s a very talented individual, he knows what he wants and I know exactly what I want and together we create magic.
What and/or who is your biggest source of creativity and inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is myself. I know who I am, where I’m from and what I’m capable of. I wake up every day, I love, I fight and I thrive. I am a strong beautiful individual, I stand tall for myself and my people. I create the life I want to live and every day I push harder. I can’t sleep unless I accomplish and one thing I know for sure is I won’t ever disappoint myself.
You were recently featured in Vogue Italia – a model’s dream come true! When did you know you wanted to be a model? What sparked your interest?
Yes, Vogue Italia was a dream. The series was shot Holtz in beautiful Bree Holt in New York about 2 years ago. We did not plan it whatsoever, the picture is actually a test shot. It was the first taken at the shoot. After working with Bree I predicted that it would get featured in Vogue and to know that it did that and everything else will always be a moment for me because it reminds me how far I’ll take myself with faith and God.
I always knew what I wanted and who I wanted to be but it suddenly came very clear the day I was sent to a foster home at the age of 15 and recently just got out at the age of 21! It is a subject I’ve never spoken on because it is a part of my life I’m very much still dealing with but my work makes me stronger, smarter, happy, blessed and I want to show others that no matter where you are in the world or what’s going on you can always create your own doorway and break out.
What project or accomplishment you consider to be the most significant in your career.
Everything I’ve done inspires me to grow more but one accomplishment I’d say is the most significant in my career and will forever be is working with Global Director Remi Carlioz on the “Hustle without limits” Puma x Big Sean SS18! I’ve dreamed of working with this man for a whole year and truly strived towards making this dream come true. He is the first person to ever take me and my work very seriously. He saw potential and I got to work with the legend himself for his last with Puma. I couldn’t be more proud and thankful for everything.
What would you say have been one of your biggest challenges?
One of my biggest challenges was getting adapted to the American life. I was always a quiet, dramatic, weird, different person and it took me awhile to comprehend but I still couldn’t adapt to the lifestyle. I had my boundaries and I never cared about no one’s opinions. I’m very humble with my daily progressions and I’m very blessed to be building this way out of no way.
You are so hardworking and it has inspired little girls and women everywhere. Do you have any words of motivation for the little Haitian girls looking to follow in your footsteps?
Thank you! This is very heartfelt. We are the future but most importantly our babies are the future!!! We must teach them, help them grow into their best selves, motivate them to follow their dreams, help them stay true to themselves instead of throwing away their powers and talents. Every opportunity counts, always be grateful, make plans, follow your heart, do what makes you the happiest, stay humble, strong, fight, be active, love & live.
Follow Widny on Instagram and Twitter.