Shy Magazine

Fashion Top Models

DMV’s Elite Model

Ramatu Barry |
Ramatu Barry |
Watch out, Tyra. Ramatu Barry, 23, has her sights set on the top of the fashion and modeling industry. Born in Sierra Leone, Ramatu came to the Maryland area when she was 11 years old.
| by Jan F. Lee |

When she was 16, a model search came to town and her godmother persuaded the West African beauty to give it a try. As a result, she booked her very first campaign, putting her face on billboards all over the U.S.

Locally, you may have seen her in such events, like Capitol Catwalk and Fashion Fights Poverty. If you didn’t get out to those, you might have seen her on your television walking in BET’s Rip the Runway special.

Aside from modeling, she is also a sales associate at Saks Fifth Avenue. Her clients include some of our favorite area party promoters, like Dave & Ray and Omari Ware of The Standard, Randy Jackson from American Idol and Juan Dixon. She’s about to leave the DMV to move to the Big Apple so she can be closer to more modeling jobs. There, she also plans to earn a degree for a career in fashion buying.

Why are you in the industry?

I’m in the industry because I love it. I’m not in it like a lot of girls are in it because of the luxury or anything like that. I’m in the industry because I love to model and I want to make connections. One day, I want to open my own modeling agency. I want to go to West Africa and get models. Like what Tyra Banks is doing here right now, instead of me doing it here, I want to do it in West Africa because they are beautiful over there. You can find a woman that is, like, 6’4”. So, I’m working my way up to do that one day. I also want to start my own foundation back home in West Africa.

What kind of foundation?

I hadn’t been back home for eleven years, and when I went in September I just fell in love with kids. I don’t know if you are familiar with West Africa, but there are a lot of kids that don’t even have things to eat and I was really touched by that. So, I want to start an organization to feed kids at least three times a week. Have a nice place where only women and kids can go.

Who is your favorite designer?

I would have to say Alexander McQueen. The hottest stuff right now is Alexander McQueen.

Out of all the model shows on T.V., which one do you like the most?

I would say I love Project Runway because it’s different.

What’s one of your most memorable photo shoots?

I was in Atlanta and I was shooting with a big photographer named Derek Blanks. He’s one of the best in Atlanta. He shoots every celebrity you can think of. I was there shooting with him, not knowing how big he was. While I was shooting with him, Christina Milian came in and she was shooting right next to me. That was pretty exciting, especially since I was just starting out.

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