Devyn Marie is highly capable of capturing attention. The Fort Lauderdale, Flordia model has been making a name for herself for years and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. I got a chance to fit in her busy schedule for our second episode of Behind The Looks. Right from the jump, Devyn made it clear that she was about her business and wouldn’t tolerate anything but professionalism when it came to the modeling industry.
In today’s society, the social media movement has taken businesses by surprise and new agencies for modeling are growing quicker than ever. This comes with great opportunities and dangers to be on the lookout for. Devyn sat down with me to discuss her story and shine a light on the modeling industry.
The 21-year-old rising star has lived in Flordia her whole life. She has a diverse heritage, including Dominican, Puerto Rican, and Italian, making her features stand out from others in her field. Growing up, her parents fulfilled her every wish, making sure she was never left wanting. However, throughout her life, she has faced a number of obstacles. Right after her first semester of college her parent’s got a divorce, taking a heavy toll on her mental state and making it difficult for her to succeed academically. Eventually, she was able to overcome these issues and push forward, showing her true strength.
“My family was at war within each other for over 2 years and school just was harder to maintain especially with everything going on, leading to me getting on academic probation. Resulting in giving me a lot of mental pressure to overcome my obstacles to prove others wrong, to this day I still wonder how I maintained a poker face throughout all of it.”
After hearing her story, I wanted to know what comes next, especially after pushing this far to beat the odds. What’s next for her aside from just modeling in the industry and what promise does her future hold?
The main concern she has as of now is to finish up her Master’s degree and invest her money into several good options which will lead to future financial opportunities. On the modeling side of things, she is focusing on building a clientele for her own personal business and one day running her own agency. Through her agency, she hopes to make sure many new models don’t have to go through the hurdles created by other agencies. Devyn has made it clear she wants to accomplish her business goals and also try to create an outlet for herself and others in the modeling industry because it comes with some great experiences throughout the small complications many run through.
“Modeling allows such a huge platform to meet successful people, you just have to secure the bag. I always think of any event I go to as a networking move, to get my name out there. Building trust and long-lasting relationships will overall help me build my own agency one day to help new models that are serious about their passion instead of fame.”
It’s clear to see Devyn knows the ins and outs of the industry after being around it for so long. She has positioned herself as a rising star and wants to share her knowledge with new-comers. Specifically, she wants to use her influence to ensure that other models make smart decisions and don’t get manipulated by money-hungry agencies. She hopes to create an outlet for herself and those that will be supported by her brand. Her vision is clear and I’m looking forward to seeing her succeed.
Our conversation, for content and more clarity, follows below.
Kaz: Let’s start with who is Devyn. Where u from and what’s the story behind you?
Devyn: My name is Devyn Fezza, I’m 21 years old I’m from Fort Lauderdale Florida. I was raised in Plantation, Florida. I’m Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Italian. I spent most of my summers going up in Puerto Rico so I embrace my Hispanic heritage. Growing up I had an easy life, I had two parents who never let me have a want for anything. I went to a private, Catholic school my whole life, and had good grades.
What experiences have you faced that played a heavy role in developing you over time?
Up until about my senior year in college is when my life fell apart. My parents got divorced, and it took a huge toll on my family. My family was at war within each other for 2 1/2 years. The school was harder to maintain, especially going into my first college semester. I didn’t do so well. Resulting in academic probation. I also got kicked out of my dorm. To this day I still wonder how I maintained such a poker face, however, I’m extremely thankful that we were able to overcome our obstacles and come together again. Family support is what keeps you going.
What experiences have you’ve had with random men contacting you via social media trying to reach at you outside from inquiries?
Men on social media are bold! I don’t know if it’s because they feel more confident behind a computer screen or what. I’ve been asked the most random questions and the most random favors just by men alone. Like my DM requests are just like the pits of hell. I don’t even go in there I don’t even bother. I don’t wanna know what’s in there.
What’s the most unprofessional business inquire you’ve received and how did that experience affect you?
I’ve also had many people pretend to be men to scam me out of money. Like having people try to sell me fake accounts and think like that. I’ve also had men trying to play like they are modeling agencies or casting agencies and asked for money and disappear. I’ve had a man scam me out of $300 before, that was the one and only scam that’s ever happened to me in my entire life. This Situation made me open my eyes to realize not everyone is who they say they are on the Internet. It also goes to show me not to take every opportunity that’s handed to me just because it sounds nice.
Let’s discuss something very important, which is mental health. What are your thoughts on mental health issues and what advice can you give to others who are currently going through some harsh times trying to keep a stable mental state?
Keeping your mental health through all of this has been the most challenging. It’s not always easy modeling and working, and going to school. Sometimes shit gets hard, sometimes you feel behind because you’ve spread yourself so many different ways. At least for me, when I’m extremely busy and I can’t always give my all to modeling I become depressed. I kick myself down. I overthink, like “damn, I could be doing more.
Look at her, look at this girl she’s doing this and that” and you can’t have that mentality! It’s easy to beat yourself up over what you haven’t done but you have to recognize how far you’ve come! I’ve done a lot in such a small amount of time, I never gave myself enough credit for how much I’ve done. I was only looking at what I didn’t do. And comparing myself to other people. That took a huge toll on me! And my work! I became discouraged, I didn’t want to shoot anymore. I didn’t want to even take personal pictures anymore. It wasn’t until after an event I did, that I realized I wasn’t alone.
Speaking to and hanging out with a lot of other models who do the same thing as I made me realize that I wasn’t alone and that balancing our time and money is the biggest part of all this. It also made me realize not to be so hard on myself. A lot of girls do a lot of different things and have different ways of obtaining their success and everyone’s come up story isn’t the same. Being able to speak with other girls and understand that I’m not alone. We’ve all become a group and we support each other, we go to each other‘s events, we comment on each other‘s pictures. These girls help me to feel better and the support that they give me is used as fuel to keep going.
The last question before I let you get back to your grind, I’ve seen a trend lately of many agencies, photographers, and several influencers who are taking advantage of fairly new models and putting them at risks. What advice can you give to new models who can easily be aware of dangerous situations when dealing with these people who claim to be professionals?
The 3 biggest signs are their attitude, trust your gut feeling! If it feels wrong, it usually is. Also, engagements! People like to fake their engagements and you can always normally tell. Especially when somebody has more followers and their likes and comments don’t match up. Their behavior is definitely the first part of it. They normally have no patience for questions or help. They just want it over and done with. They’ll start to become short with you and they quickly lose respect when confirming or clarifying things. Your gut feeling only tells you when it’s wrong never doubt that.
Also, you can go into your Instagram and check the account and see when the account was created. You can also see the email for the account, you can also call or text the account. If you don’t have that option or if it seems as if there’s no outside information about the account then it’s normally fake or scam.