Boundary-Breaking Model Precious Lee Is Here to Shake Up the Fashion Industry
Plus share the beauty products she swears by to look this good.
Precious Lee most recently made history as the first African American curve model to walk in Versace's spring 2021 show. Since arriving on the scene in 2012, she has brought her full heart and fierce energy to everything she does. Here she, shares how her hometown, family, and self-love practices push her forward.
"People don't understand how amazing it is to experience the energy of Black joy my hometown of Atlanta brings. Growing up, I never felt limited, because I understood that Black people are free to express themselves. The entrepreneurship in Atlanta is crazy; everybody has a successful business. My father has owned his own hair salons my whole life. Being unique and having your own individual style is the only thing we want to have in common. I began modeling my freshman year of college at Clark Atlanta University, where I did our homecoming fashion show. It definitely wasn't a plan to be a model, but I always loved fashion."
"Since this industry is about having your body and image up for perception, it's really important that I remain fortified in what I believe about myself. It's an inner power that I keep separate and not at the disposal of others. I'm fortunate that I have a relentless energy, which is not easy to maintain when you're an African American size 14 model who's aiming high. For me, it's about showing the magical versatility and dynamic power of Black women."
"Self-care shouldn't be an add-on; it's something that is a part of your foundation. Whatever it is that's going on, it's just temporary. As long as you show up for yourself, you'll come back to a grounded space.
"I'll take a really epic bubble bath in the middle of the day, which I found to be fab over quarantine. Why would I limit a luxurious experience to a specific time of the day? Now it's about daytime baths. [laughs] And when I truly feel like I have information overload, I will put my phone on Do Not Disturb and take a moment to breathe. I'll read some of my affirmations or listen to frequency healing sounds."
A Perpetual State of Badass
"I'm excited to see the awakened world because there's been a revolution. It's just a more conscious, joyous energy. I'm looking forward to seeing people who have fresh perspectives make their mark on fashion. It's all about doing things that feel expansive. We've been constrained and under pressure for so long. Now I'm ready to fully bloom creatively with the different projects I'm working on in TV, film, and fashion.
"I feel badass pretty often; that's like my perpetual state. When I was shooting [my British Vogue cover] with [photographer] Steven Meisel and Beyoncé was playing, I just remember thinking like, 'Wow!' It's not necessarily that I feel my most powerful when I'm on set; it was about what it meant to be there. Walking in the [spring 2021] Versace show, I was like, 'Period!' I worked out the day before to the [Migos] 'Versace' song. It was literally hype music in my head.
Daily Rituals & Beauty Must-Haves
"I will do a face mask all the time, any time. My skin looks the best when I'm constantly treating it. I cleanse with Dr. Barbara Sturm Foam Cleanser and do an exfoliating toner, like Fenty Beauty's Fat Water. My serum concoctions these days are so funny; I'm like a mad scientist. Then I'll pull out my frozen jade roller to give myself a facial massage. And listen, my mom raised me to wear fragrance. She always says no one should smell like you, so I love to layer scents. All winter I wore Margiela's Jazz Club, and I've been using Versace Dylan Blue for years."
"I'll tell myself I'm not going to do that much with my makeup, and the next thing you know, I'm in a full beat, glammed out! Right now I'll randomly apply makeup, like very beauty-blogger-style. During quarantine I'd style myself at home and put on an outfit that I would never wear in public. On Instagram there's a picture of me in high-waist stockings and a cowboy hat. I was listening to Lil' Kim, Megan [Thee Stallion], and Beyoncé, and then I tried out Pat McGrath's new products. It turned into a full-blown look. Where the hell was I going?"
Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick in Omi
Knesko Skin White Jade Gemstone Roller
Maison Margiela Fragrances Replica Jazz Club eau de toilette
$135/100 ml, sephora.com.
Dr. Barbara Sturm Darker Skin Tones Foam Cleanser
Fenty Skin Fat Water Pore-Refining Toner Serum
Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Concealer
Versace Dylan Blue Pour Femme eau de parfum
$120/100 ml, macys.com.
La Mer The Eye Concentrate
For more stories like this, pick up the July issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download June 18th.