By Danaé Reid
The prospect of a small-town lifestyle catapulted Savannah Vinson to leave the comfort zone of Ohio and into the rugged streets on New York City at the age of 17 to pursue a career in modeling.
With the support of her family and friends, Vinson set a goal for herself. Not only did she accomplish what she set out to do, but she has also taken on other feats, such as becoming an influencer, dancing her way to the top as a Tik-Tok celeb, and as of 2020, officially launching her inclusive modeling agency —“Queen Castings” — at only 20 years old with the aim of representing all types of models, sizes and ethnicities.
DR: At the age of 17, you decided to move from your hometown to NYC where you didn’t really know anyone, is that right? Tell us the story and take us through that decision. Was your family supportive?
SV: At 17-years-old, I made the decision to graduate high school a year early and move to New York City all by myself to pursue my modeling career. I had no idea what to expect, and I didn’t know anyone. However, I knew I wanted to take the leap to achieve my dreams. My family was very excited for me, but also super scared since I’d lived in the countryside my whole life! My family also knew that New York is much more expensive than Ohio, so they were concerned that I might not be able to make it out here because of rent, etc.
DR: Your casting agency, Queen Casting Agency, was established in 2020. What prompted that decision to start your own modeling agency?
SV: I started Queen Castings in the middle of 2020. Before Queen Castings, I used to cast for clients solo, but I wanted to make it even bigger, so I started Queen Castings. We represent models, actors, dancers, photographers, make- up artists, and influencers that have anywhere from 1,000 to 2 million followers on Instagram and reside in NY, LA, and MIA. We also offer in-person and online virtual modeling classes to help those who want to get into the industry as well. I love helping others achieve their dreams, and I got tired of most modeling agencies saying height or size was an issue, so Queen Castings represents all types of models, sizes and ethnicities. We want to make sure everyone feels like a queen.
DR: On top of having your own agency and being a model yourself, you’re also pretty TikTok famous. What are your thoughts on how TikTok has transformed the industry?
SV: TikTok has made a huge impact on the industry and myself. Before TikTok, modeling used to be only open to the person with the right look for the job. Now, it’s not solely based on who has the right look or personality, because social media following has a huge impact. Due to COVID, shoots have also slowed down, so brands have been sending influencers products to create content and get paid to post it. This has helped me and my career a ton! I have been able to work with some of my dream brands and have grown my TikTok to 54.1 thousand followers!
DR: New York is a hard place to live as is… How do you manage such a stressful lifestyle on top of living in such a city?
SV: There is always so much going on in NYC. It’s very stressful being in the industry, [that] sometimes you need a break. Self-care is the key for me, even if it’s only for 30 minutes a day. I love to take a hot, relaxing shower, do a facial, and sit back and take a moment away from my phone.
DR: What advice would you give someone who wants to move from a smaller town to NYC to pursue their dreams? What’s something you would wish someone would’ve told you before you moved?
SV: My advice for all my aspiring models is to build a strong portfolio before moving to a big, competitive city. Practice being in front of the camera or even in front of your mirror posing and practicing facial expressions. Before I moved to NYC, I didn’t know anyone who ever did anything like I had at a young age. I didn’t get any advice, but if I had some, I wish someone [would have] told me don’t rush anything. Everything will eventually unravel the way it’s supposed to be. So… DON’T FORCE ANYTHING!
DR: You’re a full-time model, right? How long have you been doing that and how easy or difficult has that been for you?
SV: I moved to New York two years ago. The first six months, I had to work a day job as a receptionist at a hair salon. I had no idea where to start. I was scared I was going to have to give up and go back home, but I didn’t give up. I started to network, go to open calls, etc. Then I continued to network and grow my portfolio. I ended up getting booked left and right and getting signed to multiple agencies. I’m so excited to say I model full-time now, and I get to do what I love everyday. I have modeled for Tommy Hilfiger, Black Pyramid, Sephora, Marc Jacobs, and tons more!
DR: Lastly, leave us with a way to reach out to you in case anyone is interested in acquiring your services.
SV: You can find me on Instagram at: @_Queen.Sav_ & my Tik Tok is @Savannahvinsonn. My email is: [email protected] .