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I originally wanted to highlight Tahiry Bah after seeing that, among other ventures, she had performed in Solange’s “An Ode To” production at The Guggenheim earlier this year. We also had never spoken to a model, although we’ve highlighted several designers, stylists, and directors in the fashion industry in the past.

Simply put, I am enamored by this woman. Everyone has a story, and has something poignant to share, and what I’ve learned from chatting with Tahiry is that stories are allowed to begin to unfold the very second the author begins to embrace that there is one to be told.

I, myself, grew up as a fan of the Mattel Barbie, and now I collect limited edition Barbie dolls for pleasure. Giving herself the nickname “The African Barbie,” there really isn’t a more fitting title for her. Tahiry is beautiful; she can wear anything; she can do anything; she has a million layers; she’s into everything cool; she has goals; she even comes with a built-in message: EMBRACE YOURSELF.

We were able to have an email chat with Tahiry Bah about what it was like to perform during “An Ode To,” how her cultural background ties into her professional life as a model, her first nude shoot, and she even gives us insight to some of her future goals.

Read on, and take a look at some exclusive photos of Tahiry in our gallery below! Or, you can just scroll to the bottom for a few tips from Tahiry on staying cute in the summertime!

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DTS MEDIA: How did you get involved with Solange’s production? Did you answer a casting/audition call?
Tahiry Bah (TB): Saint Heron posted a message looking for extra’s to be apart and my good friend Bryana Jones suggested I submit via email.

DTS MEDIA: How did you feel after the performance?
TB: I was extremely grateful to be a part of something so impactful, alongside Solange and her crew. It really sunk everything in for me, and made me feel like I can do this and my dreams are going to come alive soon.

DTS MEDIA: How many practices and rehearsals were there, and what were those like?
TB: It felt like the Guggenheim Museum we performed at had a problem with us being there, considering there were expensive art collections surrounding us, and about 85% of us were black (side-eye). So, we only had one night of rehearsal two days prior to the show. Luckily, the movements were very simple to learn and remember. Everyone there did something and was BLACK, the energy was high.


(Tahiry can be seen in the practice video at the far right, with her luscious Afro, and red shirt)

PERFORMING IN “AN ODE TO”

DTS MEDIA: Describe what Solange’s energy was like.
TB: I’d say that Solange has a very warm, soft energy. She was very focused on the creative process, and wanted to make sure we stood out.

DTS MEDIA: What was your favorite part?
TB: Performing in front of that crowd that night was amazing! People were screaming at the top of their lungs and crying. There was one point where I was crying backstage before we came out, because the horns at the end of Don’t touch my hair, were so intense to listen to live.

DTS MEDIA: Did Solange’s album A Seat At The Table effect you in any way?
TB: Honestly at first, this album was just music for me to listen to while I go about my day. But, Cranes in the Sky was the only song from that album that spoke to me. I’ve recently came out of a very depressive stage in my life and that song just reminds me that everything I go through is preparation for what’s to come.

DTS MEDIA: Do you think more contemporary women artists are using their platforms in creative ways to explore new themes?
TB: I think that everything has been done before, so there’s really nothing new to say. I feel like most women artists are just using their platforms to express their art.

DTS MEDIA: How does it make you feel that African history & traditional religions, afro-centricity, and the Black experience is being embraced by more young Black Americans?
TB: I think it’s a beautiful thing that we’re tying back to our roots. It’s nice to see us, using our African roots as a positive embrace for the culture.

DTS MEDIA: How do you feel about performance art being used as a response to the current social climate of the country?
TB: By all means if you care about our social problems we’re facing today and want to use your platform to express that, do what you fucking please. HOW MUTHA FUCKING EVA, don’t look at it as an opportunity to gain some kind of attention, especially if you’re not in that category of being oppressed, stereotyped, discriminated etc. I also feel like as a whole we turn too much to celebrities or famous people on social media to acknowledge our problems. I think that people should do more research and form their own opinions and use whatever THEY have to help our society. It’s more than just using your art to express our struggles. What are you actually going to DO to CHANGE?

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ABOUT TAHIRY BAH:

DTS MEDIA: Tell us about your cultural background, where you’re from & currently based.
TB: My mother is a Tutsi from Rwanda, and my father is Fula from Guinea. I was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Dallas, Texas. I currently live in South Bronx. I would describe my cultural background as Hip-Hop, I grew up in the ghetto, been surrounded by urban culture my entire life. I’ve never been tied to my African roots until I started modeling and embracing where I come from.

DTS MEDIA: What did you learn about yourself during your “glo’ up,” the time you said you embraced yourself as a model? What did working on your image entail?
TB: I am still learning so much about myself through modeling and through life. With all the fucked up shit I’ve been through, modeling has impacted my self-esteem and confidence, it’s put me in a better positon mentally and physically. I think if I wasn’t a Model I wouldn’t care too much about my health, my future or the influence I have on people.

DTS MEDIA: What did it take to get you to be so comfortable in front of the camera?
TB: I’m still working on being comfortable behind the camera, sounds crazy but I am still camera shy. I just try to remain consistent and deliver.

DTS MEDIA: What are some of your creative goals?
TB: I am currently in school studying Public Relations and Business Management with hopes of opening my own entertainment agency for all artists. I’d [also] like to start designing women’s lingerie and men’s clothing.

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MODELING CAREER & PERSONAL STYLE:

DTS MEDIA: How would you classify your personal style? What’s an everyday outfit for Tahiry?
TB: My style depends on the weather, and where I am going that day. I like to be comfortable and sexy, so you’d probably see me in a bodysuit, pleaded plaid skirt with a t-shirt or crop top. I usually always have an accent accessory.

DTS MEDIA: Any favorite designers/boutiques we should visit?
TB: Right now my favorite boutique and designer is Mattebrand by Briana Wilson.

DTS MEDIA: What was your first nude shoot like?
TB: My first shoot ever was an implied nudity shoot, it felt very easy I just had to focus on my face without looking too slutty.

DTS MEDIA: How was it working with photographer Cory Rice?
TB: Cory Rice is the homie and he’s extremely creative and doesn’t get enough credit for his photography. Working with him is like chilling at home with no clothes on, I’ve grown to be comfortable shooting nude because of him.

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DTS MEDIA: What’s it like shooting with you?
TB: I am extremely goofy on and off set, and clumsy as hell. Sometimes it’s hard for me to keep still when shooting cause I am always dancing, and making funny comments. I’d say shooting with me is fun, I always find myself making friends after my shoots because the energy is very friendly and welcoming.

DTS MEDIA: What can you tell us about your “Alienated” shoot on VFILES?
TB: I believe I submitted that shoot to be casted for the VFILES runway show during fashion week. Prince actually pieced together that sequin fit on my body and we shot on a cold ass day at Rockaway Beach. There’s not much meaning behind it, we just wanted to be creative and try something cool.

DTS MEDIA: To wrap up, tell us what we all need to have in our beauty bag & closets for this summer!
TB: I am not very knowledgeable on beauty products, but I always have to have my cherry blossom chap stick, a lotion/moisturizer my favorite lotion to use is palmer’s cocoa butter and St. Ives Hydration, and WATER!

My favorite summer look right now are those white ruffle crop tops with a denim or leather skirt. And those deconstructed tops that have the open shoulder cut outs and wide sleeves. I also like seeing active wear worn as fashionable pieces like all of the Fenty Puma collection. My favorite colors to wear in the summer are white, mustard yellow, and orange.

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Special thanks to Tahiry Bah!