Briggetta Ducre | Vocalist and Model -- Merrillville, Indiana
Briggetta had always loved singing, but fear kept her from pursuing her dream. She has since been on a mission of self discovery/self acceptance in recent years, and decided to step out on faith, leave her comfort zone and audition for Thyck Troupe in 2011. To her surprise, she was accepted into the performance troupe.
Since that time, have graced the runway platforms of Milwaukee's Boutique Larrieux, Eddy & Bri, Chocolate Sushi Couture, Shavonne Dorsey and was selected as a Brand Ambassador for Plus Fashion Week Chicago 2012. Her journey with the ThYck Troupe is just beginning, and it is a bright one, indeed.
Briggetta has a Bachelors Degree in Nursing from Indiana University.
Janira Hernandez Figueroa | Model, Actress, Host & Radio Personality -- Chicago, IL
Janira Hernandez or “Miss Jay” is a On air Personality, Actress, Host and Plus Size model. Born and raised in the west side of Chicago in the Humboldt park community, Janira graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts, Concentration in Radio Broadcast. Janira has interned at Chicago’s top communications company Clear Channel with WGCI-107.5 Chicago "#1 in Hip Hop and R&B” and WGCI’s Sister station WVAZ- V103 “Todays R&B and Old School” where she worked hand in hand with Midday host Kris Kelley.
Currently, you can hear Janira every weekend on 92.5FM, 92.7FM and 99.9FM "Chicago's Dance Radio" and online at Dancefactoryfm.com.
Janira has always had a passion for fashion and modeling. Before October 2011, modeling was just a dream. That all changed while she was interning at WGCI-107.5. Loni Swain asked Janira to find a Non-Profit organization who she can spotlight on her blog. Janira found the performing arts group ThYck Troupe NFP and made a video documentary about them. She was so intrigued by their mission to create size acceptance, and giving women the opportunity to “not only pursue modeling careers, but partake in expanded training and development courses..." Janira asked to become a member and ThYck Troupe accepted her.
Since then she has participated in many modeling opportunities like Plus Fashion Week Chicago, Boutique Larrieux, Lane Bryant, AKIRA Chicago and Aidan Mattox just to name a few. She has volunteered much of her time advocating size acceptance and women empowerment and plans to one day have her own Non-profit organization for troubled girls.
Reggie Hiraldo | Model and Actress -- Chicago, IL
Reggie Hiraldo is an experienced plus size model and an aspiring actress from Chicago, IL. Having previously studied Broadcast Communications on scholarship at Western Illinois University.
She has been an employee of RUSH University Hospitals for 26 years.
Throughout the years, she has worked the runways for Harvey Starr Washington, James Whitehead, Michelle's House of Designs, Mrs. Dutches and Tim Struggle. She later became a modeling coach for the Picture Perfect Production modeling company for 2 years.
In 2010, Reggie was introduced to the ThYck Troupe of Chicago™, and has since continued to grace the runway for such designers as Chocolate Sushi Couture, Chinoo Designs, J-Na Custom Designs, Just Human by Yemonja, Coldwater Creek, Boutique Larrieux, KiWi's Boutique, N'Dulge Boutique, Spoiled Divas (Fashionable Additions), GiGi Hill Handbags, Pheline (Toronto, Canada) and Lane Bryant.
Reggie strives to prove to other women in her community that empowerment comes in all shapes, sizes and creeds, and success can only be accomplished by those who truly want it. She believes staying focused is the key to achieving what you want out of life... and no matter your age, a breakthrough can always come.
"Love yourself first, and know how much your life is worth", is her motto.
Shannon Holbert | Runway & Print Model -- Kenosha, WI
Shannon Holbert has graced the billboards of Chicago and national websites. She has modeled for many local designers and national designers alike including Lane Bryant, Shavonne Dorsey, Eddy and Bri and Chocolate Sushi Couture.
She was the June/July 2012 spot light model for Full Figured Fashion Weeks 2009 Face Teslyn Butler’s website Hippy and Healthy.com. She was also the Chicago Plus Size Fashion Examiner ‘s Windy City Spotlight for May 2012 and featured as a Color Girl for NDIGO magazine. She has walked the runways in Wisconsin and Illinois.
Shannon had her television debut in September 2012 as a fashion segment model on Chicago’s Windy City Live. She appeared on the Steve Harvey Show in December 2012.
Beyond modeling she is an avid volunteer for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and the founder of the Sherrill E. Holbert Scholarship For Remarkable Young Women to benefit young women of color in her home town. She works for the state of Illinois and has a Bachelors Degree in Sociology, Art, and Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin Parkside.
Shannon continues to actively pursue goals in full figured modeling to break stereotypes ad inspire confidence in women everywhere. She recently introduced the RocURBod Campaign to the world and hopes it continues to grow and offer classy and unique photo shoot planning for the full figured woman.
Shannon is a proud member of the Thyck Troupe and consistently contributes to the brain-storming, planning and execution of various internal initiatives.
Karen London | Vocalist, Actress & Model -- Oak Park, IL
“She was born to sing!” That is a statement you will proclaim to be true, once you hear the melodic voice of Karen London.
A lover of all genres of music from an early age, London grew up listening to everything from B.B. King to Motown. Always a performer, she could be found choreographing songs and dance moves with her younger relatives to perform for family functions. She was greatly influenced by the vocal stylings of Natalie Cole, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin, just to name a few.
London grew up in the Baptist church singing in various choirs and vocal groups throughout her teenage and adult life. She has recorded and sung with many artists, including Yolanda Adams, Inez Andrews and the late Albertina Walker.
Currently, London lends her voice to local venues and events throughout the state of Illinois specializing in R&B, Neo-Soul, Gospel and Jazz. She is also a key member of the Worship Ensemble at The Emmaus Community Church in Chicago Heights, IL.
A lover of all things fashion, Karen recently took on the role of modeling when joining the Thyck Troupe of Chicago in 2011. Since joining the Troupe, she has modeled pieces for Tanya Thomas of La Paris Boutique in Chicago, Hunky Dory Shoes, Shavonne Dorsey Designs and most recently, the ThYck Troupe's “The Abstract of Thyck” which encompassed a variety of local and international designers.
She recently performed with the legendary Barbra Streisand at Chicago's United Center as part of the Chicago Christian Choir of Temple of Glory, International, and appeared as a guest accessory model on the Steve Harvey Show (NBC).
Visit her website at: www.londonkay.com
Monica Molina | Model and Actress -- Chicago, IL
Monica is a plus model, actress and a girl who loves fashion.
Born and raised in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago, Monica has always had a passion for modeling, acting and fashion, every since she can remember. It was not until June 2012 that Monica conquered her fear of modeling, thanks to some help from the ThYck Troupe. Now, she enjoys runway as if she was born to do it, and is ready to take on the world.
Monica has a BS in International Business and a Masters in Health Sector Management. She has also traveled the world from Europe to South America and has made it to at least 40 out of 50 U.S. states.
As a model, Monica works with such esteemed designers as Shavonne Dorsey, Kiyoko Linden, Plus True Size fashion in Puerto Rico, Socca, Blair Chic Boutique and Love Dia Couture.
Most recently, Monica was featured as a runway model for the November 20, 2012 airing of the Steve Harvey Show on NBC 5 Chicago.
She is looking forward to continuing her love for the runway and perhaps one day be seen - again - on your television …so stay tuned!
D. Renee Moss | Dancer, Actress, Host & Model -- Chicago, IL
Although one of Performance Troupe's newest members, D. Renee Moss is no stanger to the stage.
Since her dancing days in her mother's womb, D. Renee was destined for a life in the spotlight! She began her dance training at the age of 15 where she focused on modern, ballet, lyturgical and hip hop dance.
Since then D. Renee has choreographed pieces for various shows and was the Fisk University Ladies of R.A.G.E (rhythm, agility, grace & essence) for 2 years.
Currently, D. Renee also performs with Las Bompleneras, the first all female bomba and plena ensemble, as well as her church's (New Life Covenant) dance team, Spiritual Expressions.
In addition to dancing, D. Renee is a budding makeup artist.
Felisha Robinson | Runway & Print Model -- Chicago, IL
Felisha Robinson attended college at Knoxville College in Knoxville,TN and currently works as a certified nursing assitant and care giver.
In the meantime, Felisha has organized a program for the under previlleged youth called ''The Step-Up ''. This program provides donated dresses to those graduating from the 8th grade.
As a model, Felisha has graced the runway for Ashley Stewart, Lane Bryant, KiWi's Boutique, and a host of others. The Thyck Troupe has been an inspiration to her through confidence building and embracing natural beauty.
Felisha's pursuit to mentor other young women has received undying support from the ThYck Troupe, and while moving forward in her runway and print modeling is definitely a priority, Felisha also plans to build a home for young ladies that are wards of the state transitioning into adulthood and are in need of various assistance and resources.
Jessica Milagros Guzman Sanchez | Model, Actress, Vocalist & Dancer -- Oak Park, IL
Jessica Milagros studied marketing and public relations at Columbia College in Chicago and earned her degree in communications.
She began her career as a promotional model where she spent time traveling around the country which ultimately led her to work with one of the largest privately owned Experiential Marketing firms in the nation. It was with this firm that she found and fell in love with the full figured community while working through concepts with Lane Bryant.
With the support of her friends and family, Jessica decided to follow her dream of becoming a plus model and since then has made several catwalk appearances in bridal shows as well as other major plus size designers such as, Lane Bryant, Eileen Fisher, Jada Michaels, Pheline, Chocolate Sushi Couture and Shavonne Dorsey.
Jessica also has on-line, print and editorial experience, working with plus size boutiques such as Boutique Larrieux and Blair Chic and was choosen as a 2012 Brand Ambassador for Plus Fashion Week Chicago.
In March, Jessica won second place out of more than 2,000 entries in the "Plus Model Magazine and Dorothy Combs Models Model Search" and is currently signed to IPM Model Management out of NYC.
She has been featured as a Spotlight Model and Model Icon for both “Plus Model Magazine” and “PlusforUs.com”, and most recently, as a runway model for the November 20, 2012 airing of the Steve Harvey Show on NBC 5 Chicago.
Aside from modeling, Jessica is a member of “Las BomPleneras”, an all female ensemble dedicated to the preservation, promotion and growth of the Puerto Rican culture through the music and dance genres of Bomba and Plena.
Jessica is a proud member of the Thyck Troupe and contributes many of her accomplishements to the support, training and opportunities received through the amazing organization.
Amber Whitted | Vocalist, Actress, Poet, Dancer, Writer & Model -- Matteson, IL
Amber Whitted is a gifted author, plus model, vocalist, and actress from Chicago's South Suburbs. She began her training at a young age in both dance and vocal performance.
Amber has had the opportunity to perform in several venues across the Midwest such as Illinois Theatre Centre, ETA Creative Arts Foundation, Congo Square Theater Company, and the Goodman Theater.
As a model, she has graced the runway for boutiques and companies such as Ashley Stewart, Lane Bryant, Boutique Larrieux, Eileen Fisher, and Akira. Amber is the founder of E.S.H.E. Words (which is also her poetic stage name), a company dedicated to "speaking life" through literature and spoken word.
In addition to writing both song and prose for various performing artists, she is currently working on the release of her first book as well as a new short story series. Amber is also the creator, writer and director of the ThYck Troupe's upcoming original web series, P.LU.S. Inc., sponsored by a grant from the IBM Corporation.
Be sure to visit her wesbite -- http://www.eshewords.com
Nikeya Young | Vocalist, Model, Host & Actress -- Oak Park, IL
Nikeya Young is an Actress, Plus Model, Singer, Songwriter, and the Chicago Plus-Size Fashion Examiner for Examiner.com.
She recently appeared in a featured segment on Steve Harvey's new daytime talk show. Nikeya has also landed a small role on Episode 107 on NBC's newest drama "Chicago Fire" which will premiere in October of 2012.
Over the years, Nikeya has appeared in several inspirational stage plays, placed in the top five in the Miss Plus America beauty pageant system 3 years in a row, been featured on CBS 2 Chicago’s “Someone You Should Know” segment, with critically acclaimed journalist Harry Porterfield, graced numerous fashion runways in Illinois & Wisconsin, and served as a fit and print model for clothing boutiques such as Milwaukee’s Boutique Larrieux, and Chicago’s vFish Designs!
Her work as a plus-size fashion writer has been featured in USA Today, PLUS Model Magazine, SKORCH Magazine, Examiner.com, and GlobalGrind.com, a popular entertainment blog founded by Def Jam Records Founder Russell Simmons.
In 2012, Nikeya was among the names listed in the 4th Edition of “Who’s Who in Black Chicago”!
Nikeya recently released a new single titled “Taking Dominion” which will be featured on her debut album “Victorious One”. The album is scheduled to be released in 2013.
Nikeya is represented by the following agencies: Lily’s Talent Agency (Chicago), Lori Lins LTD (Chicago & Milwaukee), and Jennifer’s Talent (Milwaukee).
Be sure to visit www.nikeyayoung.com.