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Q&A with Model Nicole Denise Johansson

Posted by christine shields on

We interviewed Nicole to learn more about what drives her to break all the rules in "standard beauty". Through her journey of self love and self appreciation Nicole has become an influential petite, plus model dominating the Instagram game!

Q:How did you get into modeling?

A: Oh goodness. When I look back, there seems to be a dozen of separate events that lead me here. I grew up in an era where there weren't women in media that represented my body type or color. So I spent too many years trying to look like someone else that fit society’s standards of beauty. I just wanted to be seen and appreciated so badly that I was willing to work out obsessively, change my hair color, wear colored contacts, and take diet pills. All to be loved, essentially. I think that after being shown unconditional love from my husband and learning that I was created wonderfully, I began to actually appreciate my body. I didn't want my daughter to grow up hating her body and I knew that it would have to start with me creating an environment centered around acceptance and self love. As an exercise in body positivity, I booked a boudoir shoot with Christine Shields and was shocked how liberating it was to have my body in front of the camera instead of trying to hide it. That sparked something within me that lead to booking other shoots and posting more full body photos sharing my journey. I've always had a penchant for fashion and beauty so this has been a great creative outlet and therapeutic experience. And now not only do I get to share my story but I get to model clothes and collaborate with other artists to represent brown skinned, petite, bigger bodied women! 

Q: Do you have an embarrassing moment while modeling?
A: I can recall many awkward moments but I think one instance I will always laugh about it is when I participated in a group shoot and was asked to bring 3-5 outfits. I showed up with cute 4 dresses and didn't realize it was a lingerie shoot! There I was in my knee length dress while gorgeous women walked around in lacy things and bunny ears. I ended up making a few friends and got some fun shots out of it ended up being a good experience.
Q: Do you have a fashion or style icon?
A: Yes! I have many! Sophia Loren, Gabi Fresh, Loey Lane, Audrey Ritchie to name a few!
Q: What is your favorite time period for fashion?
A: I love the form fitting designs and sleek lines of late 50's fashion. However, I have a special place in my heart for the mixed prints/textures and the fun gimmicky feel of the 90's. Blame it on nostalgia. 
Q: Who is your ideal client?
A: I enjoy working with brands that promote all body types and sizes! My goal/dream is to collaborate with a company/brand to design plus size swimwear. Beyond that, I would love to work with photographers who don't see plus sized or curvy women as JUST cute or sexy, but can also frame them in a beautiful artistic way.
One of Basic Killer's owners just happens to be Photographer Christine Shields, for her it's so beautiful to hear that her work was a step in self liberation for any woman. At Basic Killer nothing is more important than self love. We hope you enjoyed our interview with Nicole, to learn more about Nicole check out her Instagram and Blog!
Photography: Christine Shields Styling: Zena Trammell