Victorya Wagner is the founder and director of The Kevlar Rose Agency. Kevlar Rose is a modeling agency based in Atlanta, Georgia. Victorya’s models range in race, ethnicity and look and embody the role of the unique cool kid of the 21st century.
This Oakland, California girl is making waves on the Atlanta fashion scene. Her models have featured in campaigns like Nike,Foever 21, Wish, Nylon, Free People and so many more. And we have Victorya’s inspirations, her opinions, her come-up and her advice to those trying to enter the industry.
Lets get to know Victorya:
How old are you?
“I’m 27. A really great age.”
How would you describe your own career?
“Blossoming, It’s something that came from the ground up, and planting seeds and showering energy every week, every month I get to see my career bloom.”
Who inspires you professionally?
“It goes through levels. In high school it was Kelly Cutrone and Tyra Banks. I was always asking myself what would Kelly and Tyra do? As of now however, it would have to be Elaine Welteroth, and my creative friends because we nurture each other and help each other grow.”
Who inspires you personally?
“Personally it would have to be my mom. She is one of the strongest people I have ever known and in this industry you have to have more than just a backbone. And now I ask ‘myself what would my mom do?'”
If you could have any other job what you it be? Regardless of skillset.
“I have always wanted to be an architect. I would love to design buildings. And I am working on becoming a manicurist because I love all the colors and nail designs you can do!”
What was it like for you at the beginning of you’re career?
“It was hard! It was like full time student, full time job, full time internship, and then where is a life? But I knew I had to go to school, I knew I needed money to supply everything, and needed that internship. It was definitely tough but I pulled it out. I started out interning with Element Models and that helped a lot because I was able to see the real behind the scenes. I also assisted Kathleen Vaughn Crosby who ran the entertainment business: Honey Hustle, and that was when I was like, okay, I am in the industry let me dabble a bit more. And then moved forward with other ventures at age 19.”
When you were young what were your aspirations, and how did they change as you learned and grew?
“When I was young I wanted to be a veterinarian, that totally changed when I hit high school simply because I could not look at these animals half open on a table! I was too emotional, and I wanted to help them but just couldn’t. Then I later realized I love models and fashion and untimely my key focus is development. So I think at the end of the day teaching, training and developing, it’s still there.”
How did you transition from being an employee to being your own boss?
“Definitely by faith. God totally answers my prayers. In 2016 I said, ‘God please just give me a lot of money so I don’t have to focus on a 9 to 5.’ I was working at Ann Taylor in 2017 and all of a sudden, the store permanently closed. I was like great, now I can get a nice check, I’m in a great living situation and I can move forward with my career. Since April 2017 it’s been full time KR. It has been a journey living a freelance life but it has been yet another blessing because I was in New York for fashion week for over a month, and I would have never been able to do that with that job.”
How do you feel about the large and growing presence of technology and social media in fashion?
“I love it so much. I think the fact that we can find so much new information by clicking on a hashtag, typing in a few words or going through pages to find even more amazing people; especially in the modeling world because I can scout on my phone in bed. So I love it.”
As a woman in the fashion industry what are your thoughts on the news about men like Mario Testino, Bruce Weber, President Trump, Harvey Weinstein, and the continuous examples of sexual predation in the entertainment and fashion industries?
“It’s crazy, but in all honesty I am not that flabbergasted by it. I’m just happy that a lot of women are brave enough to speak up. With #MeToo and #TimesUp and seeing the women in Atlanta it made me want to share my story. So it was just something I had been holding in for years! It was something I was embarrassed by, but to know that you can actually share this and overcome it that’s super empowering. ”
“And it’s like Mario Testino are you kidding me?! You have shot some of the top Vogue covers. It’s just too wild because this is definitely going down in history. These photographers are getting black listed, and I have been warning the models in Atlanta. We should not have to be disrespected to do our job.”
What advice do you have for budding businesswomen in the fashion world? or in any field?
“Speaking to the women first, be prepared to have your big girl panties on, and if you don’t go outside and cry, but come back in with really big balls, as Kelly Cutrone would say.
Also if you have an idea and you are taking the steps to make it reality you have to keep going! Even if you are not getting the responses you were hoping for, Even when it feels downhill, Even when you don’t have all the funds to produce your needs, KEEP GOING. I have been in the industry for 7+ years, but Kevlar Rose is only 2 years official and I’m not where I want to be with my agency, but I know in due time, we will grow. Lastly, for anyone, if you ever feel lost, go back to the reason why you started. It will always help you reboot!”
What plans do you have for the future of Kevlar Rose?
“2018 is about finessing 2018 like literally taking what you want out of it. I plan on becoming one of the top southeast mother agents. Really changing the direction of what the industry sees for models of color, and how model agents act toward their models. I think it is super important to look at your models as a piece of artwork rather than another number.”
“This year I want to knockout NYFW three times, attain more clients & campaigns, and my biggest goal would be to book overseas campaigns.”
Victorya Wagner is an inspiration, role model, and strong woman. Check out the shoot she did rocking Adnama fashion; shot by Donte’ Maurice.
We will be following her career and Kevlar Rose closely. Check out the website here and the socials are as follows: Instagram @kevlarroseagency @XoVictorya