10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Precious Lee’

As the fashion world takes strides towards inclusivity, several trailblazers stand out, breaking barriers and making history in the industry. One of these pioneers is Precious Lee, a plus-size model from Atlanta who has overcome stereotypes and prejudices to inscribe her name in golden letters in the annals of fashion history. This article peeks into the life and journey of Precious Lee, highlighting 10 things you might not know about this extraordinary model.

1. Precious Lee Was Not Always Into Fashion

Though she is currently one of the most coveted models in global fashion, Precious Lee did not expect to tread this path. Raised in Atlanta, Lee initially pursued a law degree. It was during her years in law school that she discovered her passion for modeling.

Lee entered a modeling competition on a whim that ignited her interest in fashion. She eventually dropped out of law school to pursue full-time modeling in New York. Her bold move eventually paid off, facilitating her fashion journey.

2. She Was the First Black Curvy Model to Graced Sports Illustrated

When it comes to breaking barriers, Precious Lee has quite a record. She broke new ground as the first Black woman and size-14 model to grace the pages of the American magazine, ‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue’.

This groundbreaking feature occurred in 2016, paving the way for other plus-sized models in the industry. Lee regards this achievement as a significant step in showcasing body positivity and racial diversity in the conservative world of fashion.

3. She Had Her Name Changed

The name ‘Precious Lee’ is now recognizable worldwide, but it was not always her name. Born as Precious Lee Coston, she took on her current name after moving to New York to pursue her modeling career.

Lee decided to drop her last name, a choice affected by her affiliation with fashion and lifestyle brand Lane Bryant. The brand encouraged its models to use their first names, leading to her name change.

4. Her Mother Was a Huge Influence

Precious’s mother was a pivotal influence in motivating her to embrace her curves and promote body positivity. Her mother was a curvy woman herself and advocated for body positivity before it became mainstream.

Partly due to her mother’s influence, Lee has always been confident about her body. She emphasizes the need to love and accept one’s body, regardless of societal standards.

5. She Worked With Numerous Prominent Brands

Precious Lee has a diverse portfolio working with several high-end labels and fashion brands. Some of these labels are Versace, Michael Kors, and Marc Jacobs. She also graced the runway for Tommy Hilfiger and was part of the Savage x Fenty show.

Her rich portfolio and versatile style have made her a favorite among designers, further bolstering her acclaim in the fashion industry.

6. She Fought For Diversity In Fashion

Throughout her career, Lee has been an advocate for diversity and inclusivity in the fashion industry. She believes in removing the racially biased norms which limit representation of color in mainstream fashion and modeling.

Her intense fight for diversity and equality earned her a spot as an ambassador in the ‘Black in Fashion Council’, an organization aiming to increase representation of Black individuals in the fashion industry.

7. She Was Part Of The #YesWeCode Initiative

Apart from her modeling career, Lee has also been involved in initiatives and campaigns with societal benefits. One such initiative was #YesWeCode, a movement aimed at training 100,000 young women and men from underrepresented backgrounds to become successful coders.

Her participation in such initiatives speaks volumes about her dedication not just to her career, but also to social upliftment and equal opportunities.

8. She Is An Advocate For Mental Health

Known for her frankness and authenticity, Lee has openly discussed her struggles with depression and anxiety. She acknowledges the importance of mental health and advocates for a healthy mind through her social platforms.

Through her transparency about her mental health journey, she inspires her followers to seek help when needed and prioritizes their mental health, breaking the taboo around mental health in the fashion industry.

9. She Was On The Cover Of British Vogue

Another milestone in her career was when she became one of the fifteen women selected by guest editor Duchess Meghan Markle for the cover of the September 2019 issue of British Vogue. This feature named her as ‘Forces for Change’.

This achievement not only boosted her global recognition but also reaffirmed her position as a trailblazer in the fashion industry.

10. She is not Just a Model

Apart from modeling, Lee is an actress and wrote a poetry book named “Everything is the Same”. She firmly believes that it is essential not to limit oneself to a single career or path and regularly emphasizes the importance of pursuing multiple interests and talents.

Her diversified portfolio outside the modeling realm is a testament to her multitasking ability and a message that possibilities are limitless for those ready to take it.

Useful links:

Precious Lee Official Website
Interview with Lane Crawford
New York Times Article on Precious Lee