Most successful people dream of the perfect career from childhood all the way up to adulthood. For Destiny Owusu, however, her dream career came as an accident.
When a friend needed a muse for his next project, Owusu, also known as “Ohwawa,” did not know then that the click of his camera would change her life. With just two years of professional modelling experience, Owusu embodies the M-lifestyle image by accomplishing what most models do much later in their careers. Her story is proof that opportunity knocks at the most unexpected times. Owusu, a native Virginian, attributes her unique look to her Ghanaian roots. “I’m really into my culture,” she explains. “I really love that I’m African and I take pride in that.” Her rare look has not gone unnoticed. In the span of two years, Owusu has landed gigs in the DC/Maryland area, New York, and is headed to Los Angeles next month. Her most recent shoot with Flawless Magazine shows her versatility, a trait that is deemed necessary in order to succeed in the fashion industry. With a shaved haircut and stunning facial features, Owusu’s edgy look is turning heads and paving the way for her success.
Most importantly, Owusu’s love for the industry is what keeps her going. “When I’m in front of the camera, I feel like I’m at home and there’s no one telling me what I can and cannot do.” Although Owusu has received an overwhelming amount of praise and support, the life of a freelance model doesn’t come without challenges. Without an agent, it can be difficult to land gigs. “There are some photographers that won’t work with you because you’re not with an agency, which is tough, because their work is great but they charge money that I just don’t have.” The main challenge in the modelling industry is making a name for yourself and distinguishing your look from the other models.
“When I’m in front of the camera, I feel like I’m at home and there’s no one telling me what I can and cannot do.”
Despite the obstacles, Owusu stays inspired by studying top models such as Naomi Campbell. “I just love everything about her,” she says. “She is strong, very blunt, and has the spunk that a lot of models just don’t have.” Of course every model has to have their favorite designers. For Owusu, Tom Ford and Balmain take that title. Tom Ford’s simplicity and the sophistication of Balmain is translated in Owusu’s everyday look. “I’m classy and simple,” she says. “So I’ll wear a simple white shirt and a cute skirt but I always wear heels. You’ll never catch me not wearing heels unless it’s down day. Simple goes a long way.”
It seems as though Owusu’s life has taken a sharp turn in the span of two years. Her future plans include auditioning for Next Top Model Africa and The Face. “I’m also trying to land a cover on Vogue and Essence,” she says. “That’s my number one goal right now.” Owusu also has dreams of landing an ad campaign with Calvin Klein and Tom Ford. To other aspiring models, Owusu advises everyone to just push themselves. “People will try and knock you down and say you’re not tall enough, you’re not skinny enough, and that you can’t do this. But I’ve realized that if you work really hard and give 110%, God will show you the way.”
INTERVIEW BY M-LIFESTYLE’S JEAN TATUM
images courtesy Destiny Owusu
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