Fierce Model on the Rise Niara



Niara Johnson is an upcoming professional model and journalist, standing at 5’9” tall, and 119 pounds. At the age of 12, Johnson was diagnosed with scoliosis and in order to correct this problem, a back brace was needed. This was extremely challenging for her yet she overcame these obstacles. Johnson began passionately pursuing modeling at the age of 14, she realized her back brace contributed to her confidence and passion for modeling. She began modeling for various independent fashion shows in New York City. She has walked the runways for diverse shows and designers such as Plitzs’ NYC Fashion Week (2012/2013), FUSE Fashion Week (2013), Lasio Styles iconic competition (2013), Franck Dunican (2013), Nathaniel Paul/ Project Runway (2014), Bobbi Boss’ hair show (2014), Irina Shabayeva- Resort wear/Project Runway (2015/2016/2017), and many many more. Johnson has also been a featured model on NY1 (2016), Pixx11 News (2016), NBC (2016), The Huffington Post (2014/2016) and popular French publication, France Antilles. Most recently, Johnson was featured on a Times Square bill board for a Toney Billisimo ad, a nationwide motor ford commercial, an AT&T consumer youtube commercial, shot with Teen Vogue alongside her scoliosis support group Curvy girls Scoliosis, shot with top photographer Keith Major for a Diamond Dollz Beauty hair campaign, filmed for Ocean’s 8, and modeled in several states throughout the country.



Johnson has also done mannequin modeling for popular clothing department store Old Navy, which she fondly recalls as one of her most memorable and dearest experiences. Johnson is the winner of the first ever Fashion in the Fast Lane’s “Ultimate Runway Walk-Off Competition” (2014). She has graced the cover of for one year, and Fashion in the Fast lane magazine in November 2016. Previously, Johnson has attended Barbizon’s modeling and acting school, and J. Love School of etiquette, where she studied for several months. Johnson is also an exquisite creative and informative writer, she frequently reads and writes in her spare time. She interns and writes for the “Model Spotlight” section of Fashion in the Fast Lane Magazine.


Most recently, Johnson has been interested in acting although her experience is minimal. She has taken commercial workshops with Alison Franck. However, she looks to excel in the acting industry alongside modeling. Her ultimate goal is to gain a position with potential growth, in which she can express her passion, talents, and experiences, furthering her enlightenment in the entertainment, media and fashion industry. Johnson admits this will take dedication and commitment, she is truly willing to cooperate, as she continues taking steps to achieve her goals. Determined and ambitious is what she is, and she is optimistic that nothing will get in her way.



  1. What makes Niara different from other models out there?

What sets me apart from other models is my ability to explore different opportunities, and not solely be labeled as just a “model”. Also, my versatility because I’m capable of looking totally different in each of my photos. I consider myself a chameleon because I can look like a completely different person when I’m photographed in a matter of minutes. Often times, when I show people different photos of me from different shoots with diverse hairstyles and make up people would say “Is that you? I couldn’t even tell”. Another thing that sets me apart which I cherish a lot is a disability that I have, which is scoliosis. I’ve been wearing a back brace to help correct my spine for six years now, and it has actually helped me become the person I am today.  


  1. Why did you become a model, what inspired you?

Believe it or not, my scoliosis has helped me and given me majority of the drive I have to be a model. Wearing a back brace has given me determination, drive, and purpose. If it wasn’t for my disability I don’t think I would be as driven. Of course it has taken me some time to get to where I’m at today and where I’m headed in the future but I must admit that this was a big help. When I was first diagnosed it was so hard for me, and it was very embarrassing for me but when I started noticing the positive adjust it has had to my body, my height, my physic, posture, and drive, I realized that God gave me this disability for a reason. Not as a curse, but as a blessing if I allow it to be, which I did. I began modeling when I was 8 years old but I went through a shy stage in my life and decided to stop. I started modeling again at 14 and since then I’ve been chasing this dream non-stop, and I won’t stop until I become a powerful positive figure. Other models who’ve inspired me were upcoming models just like myself, and of course black supermodels like Beverly Johnson and Tyra Banks.

Q&A From the One and Only Niara

  1. Give us the good and bad (do’s and don’t’s) of the modeling industry?

I wouldn’t say that I know all the do’s and don’t’s of the fashion industry because things are constantly changing in the industry; also I’m still learning as I go although I’ve been modeling for about 5 years now. But I will say this, don’t let anybody tell you that you “can’t” because trust me when I say this, you will hear 100 no’s before you hear one yes that will change your career forever. Stay in it to win it, the look in the fashion industry is always changing.  


What are plans are in the work for Niara?

I have so many things I want to do and pursue. For 2018, I plan on working as a full time commercial and fashion model. But I’m working on a new show called “What’s the Juice”, which is a Youtube show where my partner Earl D and I hit the streets to get the public opinions about the hottest topics. Also, I want to begin some acting, I have a lot of things and adventures I would love to explore. My dad always said “Never put all your eggs in one basket.”    


What are some of your favorite designers, models and photographers in the industry?

I have a lot of favorite people in the industry but as I mentioned before I’m a huge fan of Beverly Johnson. Also, I’m a fan of Tyra Banks because she is constantly reinventing herself. She has went from a model, to a business woman, to an actress she is just a powerhouse and everything that I’m inspired by. Some designers I like are local designers like Henriochi, and some internationally known designers like Betsy Johnson. I’m also an H&M fan, you could never go wrong with cheap fashion lol.


What is the best advice you have for girls who want to become a model?

I would definitely say find your nitch in the industry and just know that fashion isn’t the only type of modeling. As I mentioned before you will get many No’s but keep pushing through and stay consistent because it pays off. Everybody has their own story, and own pace. Trust in yours!


What is the meaning of FunkyFresh to you?

Funky Fresh to me means having a unique and dope sense of style, and not letting anybody tell you anything about it!


For more information or to contact Niara:

Niara Johnson


Instagram: Niara_

Twitter: @NiaraJai


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