Dandridge or “Dandy” is not just your average babe. Born and raised in Pasadena, California, Dandy brings it to every shoot she’s part of.
Her first gig was with early body-positive brand Domino Dollhouse. Having seen their amazing pieces on Tumblr, Dandy reached out to the owner and asked if they were looking for models. Since then, she has been working with several brands but is most recognizably linked to Zelie For She. People may make fun of the “Instagram model” trend, but Dandy uses it strongly and effectively to network and make things happen for herself.
A princess in the making, Dandy can be found terrorizing her friends by singing along to Disney songs between shoots.
WYV: How do you describe your style? What informs it?
Dandy: I love being comfortable and sexy. I can’t stand being out and tugging on my clothes, so comfort is key and it never hurts to be sexy. I feel sexiest in black from head to toe. It doesn’t matter what season it is, black is always in style. I have a slight addiction to crop tops, and whenever I’m shopping I swear I’m not going to buy another crop top and I end up with at least two new ones. Since I love my hips, crop tops highlight them. I actually started off as a makeup artist (I’m retired), so makeup plays a big role in my style. I actually base my outfits off of how I’m doing my makeup. Lately my go-to look is lots of lashes with a fun lip. I’m addicted to lashes; they instantly make your eyes more flirty.
WYV: What inspired your career? How did you get started?
D: Honestly, the women in our community have. I want them to love themselves and feel good in fun, daring clothes. My real name is Jennifer but I go by Dandridge (or Dandy) after the beautiful Dorothy Dandridge. If you don’t know who she was, Dorothy Dandridge was a black actress/singer. She was the first black actress to be nominated for an Oscar. When I saw the Dorothy Dandridge movie as a kid I immediately became obsessed. Her beauty, class, style and strength was everything I wanted to be. She inspired me now I want to inspire other women.
I saw Domino Dollhouse on Tumblr, fell in love with their clothes and sent them an email asking if they were looking for models. They were, and the rest is history. People make fun of the whole “Instagram model” thing, but thanks to social media I get work. Don’t let people’s negative attitudes about it discourage you — all of the gigs I have gotten have been through social media!
WYV: Who are your three top StyleCrushes? How do they influence your style?
D: Rihanna, Rihanna, Rihanna … haha! I just love how she mixes comfort with sexy. She give zero fucks and I love that about her.
WYV: Where do you shop? What are your favorite brands/designers?
D: I love to shop Zelie For She, Forever 21 and Rebdolls. All three have different pieces that I love mixing.
WYV: How do you wear your voice?
D: My voice is my story. As humans we go through a lot and we’re taught to keep our stories a secret. In my opinion, if you don’t wear your voice and tell your story, you can’t help other people. We as humans should want to help each other instead of making everyone figure it out on their own. I want young plus-size girls to not have to go through some of the things I went through by hearing my story and learning.
Going to the Golden Confidence Pool Party in LA on July 16? Dandy and Zelie for She will be there! Don’t worry if you aren’t able to make it…for more of Dandy you can follow her success in the modeling world and life in general via Instagram. She is also the face of the new Zelie for She campaign. Like a look? Snatch it up!