nadia P headshot
Photo Credit: @enriquevegaphotography

Growing up in the Dominican Republic, Nadia Peña had no idea that she would become a model. As a kid, she was thoroughly content singing and dancing on a kids TV show. Years later, in a New York City spa, the director of an agency asked her if she wanted to model.  Nadia did not take the inquiry seriously at first. Like many of us, when we hear the word model, we think of someone who is a size zero and tall enough to play center for the Miami Heat.  Nadia quickly learned about modeling opportunities in the plus size industry. She jumped at the chance and has maintained a modeling career for over 15 years.  

Nadia Pena silver sequence
Photo Credit: @coreygrenierphotography

A successful career does not come without its obstacles. “There wasn’t much diversity back then,” Nadia shared, “There were very few Latinas in the industry working at the time. I felt I needed to work a little harder than other girls, because I was representing a large group of women that didn’t have much representation.” Nadia proves that it takes more than curves and cuteness to be successful in the fashion industry. Her longevity is evidence that hard work and determination are key survival factors. She is definitely a trailblazer.

Nadia p maroon jacket yellow blouse
Photo Credit: @coreygrenierphotography

If you aspire to become a model, Nadia offers this advice, “Prepare. Learn your best angles. Learn body movement and celebrate your best features.” She says that you should invest in a good portfolio and don’t give up! It is important to have faith too.  When things get a little challenging, Nadia encourages herself with these words: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

nadia p teal dress
Photo Credit: @coreygrenierphotography

As a busy wife and mother, Nadia balances her career and still manages to stay stylish on a daily basis. She has a versatile sense of fashion and her style changes based on her mood. “I can one day be sweet and romantic, the next day change to urban chic or sporty. It all depends on how I feel that particular day.  Sometimes the inner goddess wants to come out and my style becomes elegant and sophisticated. My feelings translate into my daily fashion,” she said.  One thing that is a definite staple in her wardrobe is a great pair a jeans. Whatever she chooses to wear, it is a safe bet that Nadia looks great in it.

To earn more about Nadia Peña, follow her on Instagram @iamnadiap.