Meet Precious Lee, the Model Changing the Fashion Industry One Versace Runway at a Time

E! News: In October 2011, you shared one of your first posts on Instagram—a throwback photo of Donatella Versace with Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. How does it feel now a decade later to not only have walked the Versace runway, but also to be a face of the spring-summer 2021 campaign?

Precious Lee: Oh my god! Y’all saw that?! That was literally in week one of having Instagram! UH-mazing! Well, I’ve always adored those women! What’s funny is I was the first curve model Queen Beyoncé used for her Ivy Park x Adidas collection in November. I also wrote a song for Mariah Carey when I was in high school I wanted her to sing—yes and I still have it—and I’ve always loved how fab Donatella is and the House of Versace glamour. So, honestly just waiting on Mariah to call me any moment now. I feel so incredibly blessed and full of gratitude. To shoot with Mert and Marcus for the Versace campaign after doing the show was a full-blown dream. I have to go back and stare at the shot and runway often and literally scream like once a week. I truly dreamt it. Manifestation on a trillion!

E!: What’s something about the fashion industry you wish someone had told you when you first started?

PL: Remember that you are your business and technically nobody could run it better than you.

E!: What are some of your favorite brands to shop? 

PL: I wear all types of brands. I’m also a big advocate for buy what you like simply because you like it. I can make a beauty supply store scarf cool—it’s about how you wear it.  

E!: After all these years modeling clothes and being on set, what are your go-to tips and tricks for putting together an outfit and making sure clothes work best for your body?  

PL: Find what you like the most about your body in clothes and start buying more things that have that same silhouette, but try different colors, textures, etc. You don’t have to follow every trend and, honestly, if you aren’t comfortable, tweak the look! But do your best to step out of your comfort zone. You may like something new better than the tried and true. 

E!: With fashion month upon us once again, what are essential parts of your routine that you need to make it through in one piece? 

PL: Water, sleep, prayer, meditation, laughter, exercise.  

E!: What’s next on your career bucket list?

PL: Doing more firsts in fashion and movies and television. 

E!: Looking back at your career so far, what is the moment or achievement that you’re most proud of today? Which milestone do you think 18-year-old Precious would be most excited to hear about? 

PL: Versace and a mega-moment I’ll be able to discuss coming soon. 

E!: Name a brand you think people should pay more attention to. Why?

PL: Black-owned—because. 

E!: What’s one item you think people should have in their closet for 2021?

PL: A mask! And color! 2020 was intense. More joy. More love.

(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)

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