When you initial meet Breyanah Mason, the Philadelphia-based model/influencer, comes off sheepishly shy but whether she lets out a quick energetic outburst that she can no longer contain reveals a fragment in that analysis. Peel back some layers and here is a more jovial demeanor that unveils itself. Three years since she made her debut in modeling, the captivating muse has already stacked up a portfolio that includes a New York City Times Square‘s billboard among others.
Her presence stands as a testament to the rise of models in The Greater Philadelphia Area, joining a steadily growing list of emerging talent that is penetrating the fashion industry. Guess that’s why she eagerly ready to start checking more milestones off her list.
Photographed by: Rashaad Robinson
Where are you from and what can you tell me about the meaning behind your IG name?
I was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa. The name @Queen.Monet21 comes from queen being one of my nicknames people call me. While Monet’ is my french middle name and 21 is my favorite number. I added them together and made something unique.
How did you first get into modeling?
I’m currently 22 and I entered the world of modeling at the age 19. I did everything myself. I sought out my own photographers, gigs and castings calls. I had no money and support at the time, but I was determined to make my dream come true so I did everything in my power to make that happen and here I am today!
What was your first big break in the industry?
I’ve had a lot of amazing experiences while modeling over the past few years such as working with celebrity designer and stylist Stevie Boi. Getting onto my first billboard in New York City with Southpole, being featured in various online publications such as Billie Blunt magazine and Martha Stewart. I also had the opportunity to be apart of a hair show for The Cut Life as well as being the face of many up-and-coming brands in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia.
Models usually (and unfairly) get stereotyped as being stuck up and conceited, how would you describe your personality?
I would say that I’m a mixture of goofy, sweet heart and a badass. The best of all three worlds in my opinion. I fit in with any crowd or surrounding. I am very versatile!
What’s been your favorite shoot so far?
My favorite shoot so far as been my Fashion Nova inspired motorcycle shoot that I’ve shot last year in 2018. I got to get down and dirty, express my personality and show off my skills on the tracks.
What’s your dream modeling job?
I would like to get signed to a major agency in California, rise to the top of my agency division, land some major magazine and brand deals. Then proceed to open up a modeling agency of my very own in my home town where I was born and raised. (Give it its first legit agency)!
Photographed by Atiba Sonnebeyatta
Do you consider instagram models a thing?
Yes! I consider being a instagram model a thing. Everyone has to start somewhere. An instagram model is a highly attractive, and has a big online presence. Model! These people usually have a mass following on instagram and take pictures for pay or sponsors. But you can’t really “become” an instagram model. People usually dub you as one if you are highly attractive and have a huge social media presence.
When you’re not modeling, what are some of your favorite things to do?
I like to cook, travel, watch my favorite shows, go to the movies, the spa and amusement parks. Then there’s also laser tag, reading, dancing as well as dirt bike and 4-wheel riding. Oh, and I love gaming.
If you weren’t a model, what would want to do?
I would be a fashion designer.
We’ve seen that you’ve done some nude shoots; what’s the thought process of doing a nude shoot?
When I began modeling I entered the nude world right away. I’m comfortable in my skin and full of confidence. I consider nudity to be art. You can do so much with nude photography and modeling such as different lighting, poses or even adding fabric and other material to make it artistic and memorable. Some of my favorite model icons got their highest paid work shooting nude. Sex sells.
What’s the best way of dealing with pervy photographers?
To not deal with them at all.
How do you handle the shoots where the energy is off and you just rather not be there?
I take it one step at a time. Deep breaths normally work for me or even turning on some good upbeat music to get the vibe and energy where it needs to be. A happy model means a happy photographer.
Does your profession as model cause issues in your personal relationships, boyfriend, parents, friends?
As far as my modeling goes it has caused problems in the past with old friends and exes. I feel that jealousy and envy played a huge role in it so they all had to go. I feel you should never lower your standards or give up on your mission/dream to impress or get the approval of someone else. As of right now I have a supportive boyfriend who loves, respects, supports and values me as a model and woman.(Not like the old news)! I also have a hard working manager right by my side and my siblings who cheer me on daily and move me to be a better model and person overall. I am at peace right now and things have changed for the better; I have 0 complaints.
What is the best a way a model can brand themselves?
In my opinion the best way a model can brand themselves is to the confidence, motivation, drive, fierceness, self-respect and determination.
Has your approach to modeling, either on camera or when walking runway, changed in any way from when you first started up until now?
When I first stepped into the model scene my runway walk was terrible and the reason I say that was because I was new to the game. A proper standard runway walk requires you to set your chin facing slightly down, don’t smile, and keep your mouth closed in a natural position, keep your eyes focused on something ahead of you, stand up straight, place one foot in front of the other and walk with long strides, allow your arms to hang at your sides, keep your hands relaxed, get a rhythm down, and keep it consistent with your step. Strike your pose, then walk like a predator down the catwalk. All things I had to learn over time and practice. Now it’s safe to say that I now have experience in numerous runway shows and I can actually teach others how to walk.