Cynthia Bailey made her mark in the fashion world as an international runway model walking some of the most exclusive runways. Now she’s an entrepreneur and Real Housewife of Atlanta. She lives a transparent life, but even Bailey says it takes some getting used to. She found a great distraction by contributing to her community with the Bailey Agency School of Fashion and a rock of strength in her friendship with Nene Leakes. Bailey indulged in some one on one while she hosted the Uptown Magazine Colgate Optic White “Beauty and Style” Beauty Bar. She revealed the difficulty of adjusting to life as a cast member of RHOA, the method behind her business and why the fashion industry isn’t what it used to be.
Bailey opened the Bailey Agency School of Fashion in 2011 in Atlanta, Ga., because she believes Atlanta needs a legitimate place where up and coming models can receive professional career assessment.
“I felt like so many kids approach me about getting informed,” Bailey explains. “ It gives people more options.”
As a model starting New York Bailey had plenty examples to pull from when it came to mapping out her own career. She considers Bethann Hardison, former model and advocate for models of color, to be a second mother. Bailey says despite Hardison’s work she feels the industry has digressed.
“It’s a little disappointing when I started there wasn’t such a lack of color on the runways,” Bailey explains. “I always feels we came along way , but now it’s like we’re going backwards.”
Bailey’s observations about the fashion industry prompted her to open up the Bailey Agency School of Fashion, an company that prepares models and actors to enter the industry. Bailey says she felt like her professional experience is needed in an field where many fledging models can be led astray.
“There were so many scams out there. By being a school we get to help with many things I didn’t know entering the industry, like having a great personal style and avoiding scams,” Bailey says. “Thank God it worked for me, because I didn’t have anyone to tell me. Sometimes by the time they get to me they have been through the ringer from dealing with so many bad situations.”
The agency allows Bailey to nurture up and coming talent and point many other models, who may not be runway perfect, towards a career that suits them better. She says she gets all kinds of people wanting to break into the industry, but the trick is to steer them in the right direction.
“The thing about being a school is you get to prepare students for various fields. I think people appreciate honesty,” Bailey says. “You know if you are 5’2, you already know you cannot be a runway model, but that doesn’t mean we can ‘t prepare you if you’re interested in acting or pageantry.”
Bailey has plenty of experience supporting those who want to live out their dreams. In fact, she is one Leakes biggest supporters as she furthers her career. Bailey says the close friendship the two have formed serves as a foundation for both ladies who had to adjust to life in front of the camera.
“The privacy part was the hardest part for me to get used to but Nene really helped me and supported,” Bailey explains. “Nene has done so much with the platform and I am so proud of her. She is currently filming her wedding special and I am a bridesmaid.”