One of the most crime-ridden, racially-segregated and drug-infested areas in the country, describing North Philadelphia as a war zone is an understatement.
Directly north of Philadelphia proper, the area simply called “North Philly” with a population of 240,000-plus, it is one of the largest sections of the so-called City of Brotherly Love.
Like all major urban areas, North Philadelphia is a proverbial melting pot of race, culture, drugs, violence and crime, that is beset with the common problems of blight, gangs and high unemployment.
Once the center of affluent Philadelphia, North Philly would become the birthplace of black culture—notably jazz—due to famous musicians such as John Coltrane and Stan Getz coming from the area.
With a notable mix of African-American and Hispanic cultures, North Philadelphia has produced notable entertainers such as Bill Cosby, Kevin Hart, rappers such as Cassidy, Meek Mill, Lil Uzi Vert and Freeway, singers such as Vivian Green, Ursula Rucker and NBA standouts such as Toronto Raptors All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry.
While the modeling and entertainment world has seen it’s share of individuals who have come from rough-and-tumble areas such as north Philadelphia, perhaps fashion and runway model Damiana Rodrigues will be the next “Jenny from the block” to make it from the hood to the big time.
Like her fellow Bronx-born Puerto Rican breathen, the 19-year-old 5’10 curvy stunner is as eye-catching as she is beautiful. Blessed with a tall yet shapely figure, Rodgriduez is ready to become the next Latina stunner, who takes the world of modeling by storm.
Below is my Q and A with Ms. Damiana Rodriguez as we discuss fashion, modeling and repping the 215.
Name: Damiana Rodriguez
Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA
Modeling Agency: None. I’m a freelance model
Robert D. Cobb: What kind of model do you consider yourself? (Instagram, pin-up/glamour, fashion)
Damiana Rodriguez: “I’m a runway and commercial model.”
Robert D. Cobb: What brands have you modeled for? Which one do you enjoy modeling for the most?
Damiana Rodriguez: “I’ve been blessed to model for many designers. Although, I enjoyed modeling for all of them. I would have to go with when I modeled for JC Penny on Good Day Philadelphia Fox 29.”
Robert D. Cobb: Where has been your favorite place to shoot?
Damiana Rodriguez: “I love an in door studio shoot. It’s something about the clean back drop and lighting.”
Robert D. Cobb: What is the most exciting aspect of modeling?
Damiana Rodriguez: “Everything! I’m blessed to have done what I’ve done so far.”
Damiana Rodriguez: “A cute bright dress and some wedge heels with light makeup would do the trick.”
Robert D. Cobb: Within the industry, who is your inspiration?
Damiana Rodriguez: “My inspiration is Tyra Banks. She inspires me because she’s a curvy runway model like myself. I think if she could do it. I can do it. She’s very motivational and reminds me it’s okay to be myself.
If a designer doesn’t pick me for the runway show just because I’m a little thicker than the rest of the models it’s fine, you know why? Because just like Tyra says “Then find one that will pick you!””
Robert D. Cobb: What is your secret to staying in shape?
Damiana Rodriguez: “I love going for a good jog. Staying active. Dancing and eating lots of fruits and veggies.”
Outside of modeling, what are your hobbies?
Damiana Rodriguez: “Believe it or not. I love writing and reading.”
Sports question: Who are your favorite teams and clubs
Damiana Rodriguez: “Since I’m from Philly, you already know Phillies and Eagles!”
Robert D. Cobb: What are your favorite cities to travel to?
Damiana Rodriguez: “I love to travel. I’m planning on traveling to many more places but I do love Manhattan.”
Robert D. Cobb: What advice would you give to women aspiring to get into modeling?
Damiana Rodriguez: “Be yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can not do it.”
Special thanks to Ms. Damiana Rodriguez for her time and assistance during the Q and A interview process. All images are the respective property of their owners, and used with permission.