Model of Her Era
"I'm in church a lot. I don't drink anymore. A lot can change in life in a month." Jessica White.
Raised in a tough neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, Jessica White was catapulted toward stardom after posing in three consecutive years of Sports Illustrated's famous Swimsuit issues in 2003, 2004, and 2005, and later in 2007 and 2008.
The all-natural African-American beauty with 34-24-34 measurements, dubbed by Tyra Banks as "the model of her generation," also has posed for Harper's Bazaar, Teen Vogue, Cover Girl, as well as modeled for Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren's Polo. Additionally, she has worked for New York's top designers Tommy Hilfiger, Oscar De La Renta and Ralph Lauren.
Currently part of Elite plus in New York City, Jessica has branched out in acting, starting with her portrayal of young Shana Fleiss in the made-for-television movie "The Making of a Hollywood Madam" (1996). She would later played small roles in the feature films “Little Erin Merryweather” (2003) and “Big Momma's House 2.” She also appeared in a music video for R&B singer John Legend and rapper Jay-Z.
Childhood and Family:
In 1984, Jessica White was born in Buffalo, New York, where she grew up into a rebellious preteen. She went partying and drinking at age 12 and had smoked marijuana regularly by 13.
As she got older, at age 14, Jessica's life went to more positive direction as she trained at Personal Best modeling school operated by Susan Makai. Two years later, her talent and natural beauty was spotted by a modeling agent who brought her to Paris. In the City of Lights, Jessica inked a modeling deal with the IMG agency.
Sports Illustrated Regular
Working on her craft at Personal Best modeling school at age 14, Jessica White was discovered at age 16 and directly headed to Paris, where she got a contract with IMG agency. She soon made her very first professional modeling jobs, beginning with photo shoots for teen magazine Cover Girl, and later for the Spring 2001 issue of Chloé and Gap holiday ad campaign.
Meanwhile, she has walked the runways of fashion shows for designers Han Feng and Yigal Azrouel in Fall/Winter 2000, for Alberta Ferretti, Alice Roi, Antonio D'Errico, Atsuro Tayama, B Michael, Chloe, DKNY, John Bartlett, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, Sonia Rykiel, Tuleh, and Zang Toi in Spring/Summer 2001, as well as for Alice Roi, Atsuro Tayama, Chanpaul, Douglas Hannant, Giesswein Orfi, Portugal Fashion International, and Rebecca Danenberg in Fall/Winter 2001.
In around 2002, Jessica flew back to New York and immediately secured jobs for the city's top designers, including Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs and Tommy Hilfiger. Dubbed "the model of her generation" by senior supermodel and fellow African-American Tyra Banks, the dark-complexioned beauty inked a deal with cosmetics company Maybelline in June 2007.
Jessica spent Spring/Summer 2002 walking down the runways for designers Atil Kutoglu, BCBG Max Azria, and Kenneth Cole, and for Alice Roi, Baby Phat, Cynthia Steffe, Oscar de la Renta, Shin Choi, Tracy Reese, and Zang Toi in Fall/Winter 2002. Meanwhile, she has done pictorials for Harper's Bazaar, Teen Vogue, King and covers shots for Surface and Trace magazines.
In 2003, Jessica's career was skyrocketed as she was featured in that year's edition of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue. She would later also be featured in its 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008 issues. Becoming the first African-American model to be featured in three consecutive editions of the annual feature in 2005, Jessica also becomes the only Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model to appear on the cover in a body painting works (done by Joanne Gair), although only in insets.
Currently part of Elite plus in New York City, Jessica has branched out in acting and had a bit part as a bra model in the comedy movie starring Martin Lawrence, “Big Momma's House 2” (2006). She previously has appeared in the made-for-television movie "The Making of a Hollywood Madam" (1996), as young Shana Fleiss, and in David Morwick's horror/thriller film starring Vigdis Anholt, "Little Erin Merryweather" (2003), as a patty cake girl. She also has appeared in a music video for R&B singer John Legend and rapper Jay-Z.