Pride month is here! BKBT is collaborating with up-and-coming LGBTQIA+ creatives to share their stories of spreading love and positivity through their art.
Sabrina Wilde is a model and socialite living in Houston, Texas. Her charisma is undeniable and her positivity infectiously radiates with genuine happiness throughout any room that she is in. We were able to sit down and discuss her challenges and motivations as a trans woman pursuing a career in the modeling industry.
What sparked your interest in fashion and modeling?
Ever since I was a child I knew I had a passion for fashion. I basically grew up in Neiman Marcus and can remember roaming around all of the beautiful designer dresses, all of the window displays, as well as the customers in the store. It was a magical place and I basically wanted to be one of the mannequins so I could wear the beautiful styles and be admired and feel gorgeous.
What fuels your ambition to pursue a modeling/fashion career?
Everyone who doubts me, writes me off, or just doesn’t believe what I can accomplish. I have been told at a very young age that the arts are beautiful, but it is not a life you want to live or pursue. I completely disagree and have had the most positive, wakeful experiences by following my true inner dreams and passions and not letting anyone tell me otherwise.
Have you experienced any challenges as a trans model in the fashion industry? Alternatively, who has been the most supportive?
There have been some challenges as a trans model living in Houston, Texas. One of them is representation. Here in Houston there are two leading model agencies, however, from personal experience as well as local sources, the trans models signed are rarely booked or ever seen. This is not due to looks or lack of modeling experience (because these girls definitely have the look).
I think it’s more so because we are in the conservative south and these agencies are influxed with models that don’t have to go through the natural struggles of a trans woman in the modeling world. Struggles such as clients being averse to using trans models due to the possibility of the model having to tuck if MTF sexual reassignment surgery has not been done…and many more. These are natural hurdles we jump through everyday and it shouldn’t belittle our potential of delivering amazing work and content. But, as I stated, these companies would rather book a cis female model without so many “complications.”
However, my biggest support lies in the local art and creative community here in Houston – which is a mix of many beautiful groups – as well as, my closest friends. These are people that I have been able to connect and resonate with and have been one of my biggest motivators to keep on doing what I love. We support each other, sharing all of our talents, skills, and abilities, and we push each other further.
How would you describe your persona and/or style?
Eclectic, Unfiltered, Awoke Chameleon.
Who/What inspires you the most at the moment?
Honestly, history has always been my main inspiration. I love learning and reading about ancient civilizations and how people thought, dressed, and lived back in the day. So the cultural history of fashion is what inspires me the most.
In some circles around Houston, you are known as a socialite, fashionista, and local icon. In your opinion, what makes Houston such a great place to express yourself?
[Laughing] Oh my jeje, you’re making me blush. I’m honored by the beautiful words. Houston is amazing in it of itself! We are a huge melting pot of creatives, sometimes undiscovered or unheard of in a city of abundant resources and outlets. The fashion scene has been growing daily in Houston, and the best that Houston has to offer is the ease of communication between creatives. I feel like here we are more humble and cordial to other ideas and dreams. Collaborations are key and learning to communicate fearlessly in your vision will open many doors. One just has to be willing to put in the work and the research.
I know you to be a very spiritual and positive person, where does that strength come from?
I feel like for me to have become a truly positive person, I had to experience the dark negatives. My life has been quite the story, but for every step i have taken in my journey I’ve learned so much about myself, about my emotions, and about how to portray myself in a society that isn’t always positive. I always tell all of my friends if we STOP and manifest positivity and light in the darkest of times, our lives will be forever changed.
Have you always been so confident and fearless in your style and creativity? What can you tell other creative kids just starting out?
[Laughing] JAJAJA No. I was the shy latino kid with the bowl cut that didn’t speak english when I first moved here from Colombia when I was five. Middle school was when things started changing for me as I was targeted and bullied as the gay kid in our grade, which followed into high school. However, all of the negativity gave me strength. If I was being bullied for being gay then why not wear cool military boots to school, which was when that trend was just prematurely starting around 2007. And so I did, which later distracted attention from me being gay to me being the weird gay fashion kid blurring gender lines with fashion. In the end, I won best dressed in my senior superlatives.
So my advice, however cliché it might sound, is to just never give up on your dreams and vision. When things start going sour, manifest greatness, believe with all your heart that you can and will succeed in your quest and you will. It’s just so easy to be complacent, fit in and let go of all those hardworking dreams. But our dreams CAN be a reality if we just believe, raise our heads highs and keep strutting.
What advice can you give to young trans people, specifically, those aspiring to work in the fashion/art industry?
Be yourself, do your research, and find out exactly who you want to be in this industry. There is so much more to fashion than modeling, clothes, and styling. If this is your passion, research, explore, investigate, and always have your eyes open for the opportunity to showcase what your true talent is.
What is next for Sabrina Wilde?
I have a couple projects up my sleeve. One of them is my Youtube channel release, where I will be posting vlogs, makeup, and lifestyle content. Also I have been getting an itch to learn something new; somewhere new. So I intend to apply to some fashion internship opportunities in the print magazine world.