When Ramonda Scales hits the runway, she envisions herself walking on her insecurities, fears and anything stopping her from achieving. It’s the strategy she used earlier this month as she strutted and shined in  her very first runway appearances at New York Fashion Week. 

The semi-annual New York Fashion Week, one of the biggest fashion exhibitions in the world, presents international fashion collectionsto buyers, the press, and the public.  The show highlights designers and their upcoming collections and is held in September and February. Scales participated in this fall’s shows held Sept. 7 - 12. 

Scales, originally from Kansas City, grew up watching “America’s Next Top Model,” but she never thought it could become a reality for her until she modeled for her first photo shoot five years ago. Since then, she has walked in local fashion shows and has been featured in numerous shoots.

“When I was growing up, I had a lot of insecurities. I didn't think I was pretty enough. I used to look at the models on TV and was like, ‘They're so beautiful, but that never could be me,”’ Scales said. “As I got older, I started facing my fears more and when I started modeling, that was a huge accomplishment for me. I could finally get out there and face the world and say ‘I'm not scared anymore.”’

In fact, she wrote a book, “Overcoming” about combating those insecurities and obstacles in her life.

“I wrote that book to help someone else and allow people to understand that it's okay, we're all trying to figure this thing called life out. My goal was just to help pull somebody else out,” she said.

This year, Scales signed with an Atlanta-based agency I Am Style, which led to her opportunity to walk in three shows and for six designers including Laylah Rose, Raye Asia, Lauris Couture and Miguel Beccera at New York Fashion Week.

Scales was nervous to hit the New York Fashion Week runway at first: It was a much larger platform than she had been used to; with nationally known brands and models.

“I was thinking, ‘slow down, don’t fall from being nervous.’ Because that can affect your walk sometimes when you’re so nervous, you want to just hurry up and walk super-fast to get out there and then get off,” she said.  “So, I told myself, ‘This is your opportunity to show the world who you really are.”’

Overall, Scales said she is thankful and blessed she had the opportunity to walk at New York Fashion Week.

Now, she’s working on starting her traveling modeling group called Her Strut.

Before she was a model, Scales was passionate about dance. So, she decided to mix modeling and dance together to create the Her Strut group, which performs for events. Her Strut first debuted at the Hats We Wear Event last month.

Scales teaches the eight Kansas City-based members routines and hopes the group will become widely recognized in other states.

“My goal is for Her Strut to put a twist on any event, there are really no limits,” she said.

While she’s now living in Atlanta, Scales said Kansas City will always be home.

“That's exactly why I started Her Strut in Kansas City. I wanted to take care of home first. I don't care how big I get, I will always take care of home first,” she said. “Kansas City made me and raised me so my love for my city would never run dry.”

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