If Jescanta Lucas of Elizabethtown had a tag line for her life story, she said it would read “Be your own kind of beautiful.” It is a simple sentiment, but one that encapsulates the journey Lucas has been on throughout the past two years though her newfound career in modeling.
At 42, Lucas decided it was time to switch things up in her life when she began modeling for the Elizabethtown-based Regality Models and Talent Group in 2019. Reeling from the aftermath of a recent divorce, Lucas said she found inspiration from British model and fashion blogger Norma Mwamuka.
“She is a curvy model like me,” Lucas said. “Her fashion style is classy, chic and unique. This was the initial inspiration for me. I thought modeling would be a good hobby and get me out of my negative head space.”
Though Regality Models and Talent Group is now defunct, Lucas said she learned a great deal about modeling from her involvement in the agency. She said she learned skills such as proper runway etiquette, effective social media engagement and auditioning essentials.
Andre’ Williams, founder of Regality Models and Talent Group, said Lucas demonstrated ambition and was a quick learner during her time at the agency.
“Every class that we had, every meeting she could attend, she was there,” Williams said. “...She decided she was going to fully immerse herself into it.”
Lucas later went on to work with Louisville-based photographer Ty Lockhart to develop a modeling portfolio. As her modeling career started to take shape, she began modeling under the moniker Sana, her childhood nickname.
“I took what I learned from Regality and used my instincts to begin developing my brand,” she said. “I began setting goals for myself to take the vision beyond a hobby to pursue a professional modeling career.”
Born in Georgia, the military brought Lucas and her family to Hardin County in the 1980s. A 1995 graduate of North Hardin High School, she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Strayer University.
Lucas balances modeling with her role as a human resources contractor for Amazon’s COVID Resource Center through Aerotek Recruiting and Staffing.
As a woman in her 40s who wears a size 20, Lucas said she was prepared for backlash upon entering the modeling industry. She said though she wishes there was more diversity among body types shown in national fashion campaigns and more of an emphasis on body positivity in the mainstream modeling industry, she said she has been able to find many opportunities as a plus-size model.
“Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors and genders,” she said.
So far, Lucas has participated in five fashion shows, has been featured in three digital magazines and has served as brand ambassador for four businesses.
Lucas said one of her favorite fashion shows she has participated in thus far was the Coming to America Gala, organized by Louisville designer Aryea Kolubah. The show featured a timeline of African and American fashion and sought to “bring Africa and the western world together,” Lucas said.
Through her photo shoots, Lucas has had a hand in dictating the creative direction of several sessions so far. She said one of her favorite was a “Fruit Shoot,” in which she collaborated with two other models to dress in black while surrounded by various fruits. Two makeup artist applied creative glam for the shoot as well.
“It was awesome to see my vision come to fruition,” Lucas said.
Earlier this month, Lucas was chosen to be represented by the Louisville-based talent agency Helen-Wells. Founded in 1980, the agency provides representation for actors, models, voiceover artists, promotional models and brand ambassadors in the areas of Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati and Columbus.
“This was a major accomplishment because they will find paid opportunities for me in one of the four markets they serve,” Lucas said.
In addition to modeling, Lucas also has taken up acting in recent years. She currently is in the process of filming two comedy projects entitled “Uber” and “Lifeline,” directed by regional filmmakers James Watts, Shay Smith and Steven Anderson. Her first experience in acting came about in 2019 when she performed in “Gleaning,” a stage production by local playwright Keith Anderson.
Lucas said her experience in acting has been beneficial to her modeling career.
“Acting helps me use my imagination and bring a character to life,” she said. “It teaches me to take direction and get used to being on set.”
Lucas also serves as brand ambassador for local businesses Tokie and Taylor Boutique and Gentle Touch Consignment Boutique.
Aside from her dream of one day pursuing commercial modeling for national brands, Lucas said she also hopes to inspire others through her new-found passion.
“It is your journey,” she said. “No one else can be you. Don’t wait for someone to pick you. Put yourself out there. People will talk about you regardless. You might as well do what you want.”