Dress, photo, hair, makeup, and mask by Designer Melissa Kay Atkinson, CEO of Trans Clothing Company, Toledo, Ohio
Almost a mile of tulle, this hand-sewn baby doll gown is a bold, beautiful statement on Jerra Whittaker. Layers of blue, pink, and yellow tulle create an intriguing silhouette and add small details. The structure is held by multiple yards of cased boning around the neckline and vertically throughout the piece, creating body and movement. It is laced up in the back to fit a large range of people and create a flutter effect. This gown has been worn by Jerra Whittaker, Amarra Rysedorph, and Daniel Dicriscio. It is paired with an incredible Swarovski crystal filtering mask, twisted with wire and recycled materials, such as old bike chains.
Jerra Whittaker has an impressive resume for an independent model, and she is not resting on her oars for no reason. She is a transgender woman who started modeling at a very young age. She worked as a runway model, catalog model, and has been featured in a lot of high-end fashion publications like QP Fashion Magazine (June 2020), CIE Fashion Magazine (November 2019), PBS.ORG. She was born and raised in Princeville, and she had a stint with the United States Airforce.
Fashion modeling has always been a top career choice for her. And despite the many turns that she has had to navigate all her life, her passion for modeling always trumps every challenge. Alongside her modeling career, she juggles running a business and raising her children. She had a fantastic year in 2019 as she booked 13 separate runway shows. Some of the fashion shows she is currently booked for include London Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, and Los Angeles Fashion Week, all of which will take place at different times in 2020 through 2022.
Jerra Whittaker once opened the show for Atkinson at the New York Fashion Week at the famous Broad Street Ballroom in Manhattan. She also performed at the New York Fashion and Music Conference private runway show in February of 2019 powered by MTV and the Staying Alive Foundation.
While Jerra Whittaker is serious about modeling and has met many notable personalities in the line of work, she is passionate about human rights. As a trans woman herself, she has fought in support of LGBTQ human rights. She has also worked as an activist before and has appeared on many radio shows to lend her voice in support to the LGBTQ community.
While she may have had a lot of work under her belt, Jerra Whittaker is still looking to advance her modeling career. She is currently the brand ambassador for Chic NY and Valerio sunglasses from Italy. Her full profile of 6’1” when wearing heels, blue eyes, and blonde hair are qualities that have attracted a lot of brands.
She is looking to conquer more grounds by working for brands in the fashion and beauty industry. She is open to modeling opportunities for fashion designers in the New York area. Her modeling career is her business, and she is constantly trying to expand her reach, portfolio while leveraging her influence to speak on social issues. Her membership in the transgender community has given her major attention in the fashion industry. Her professionalism, work ethic, and unique looks are some of the things that set her apart in the fashion world. At 48 years old, she has been in the industry for decades, and she has never stopped working. She never quits and is always ready to put in the work. For her, the only way to prove her value is by working hard, and she does that effortlessly.
Opinions expressed by NY Weekly contributors are their own.