Precious Lee, a black fashion icon from Atlanta, Georgia, sat down with Good Morning America to reflect on her historic achievements as one of the first plus-size models on the Versace runway. The pioneer, who was one of three plus-size models to make history at an Italian fashion show last year, said she was overwhelmed with emotion ahead of last week’s interview.
“I always imagined myself on this track,” Lee said. “I’ve always loved Versace. I grew up in the Versace home. We still love Versace as a family.”
When she took the stage in Milan, Italy, the 31-year-old said she thought of her sister, who was also a model, Allure said.
“The show was the day before her birthday,” Lee said. “Whenever I have a big moment or just when I feel the need for my sister’s energy, I felt it right before I left.”
Drawing on his sister’s energy as she waited for her turn to walk, Lee heard another comforting voice.
“I was so focused and suddenly I was about to cry and then someone backstage said to me ‘you’re the most beautiful woman in the world’. Come on!” the Georgia native said. “I turned the corner, turned my attention, and started floating.”
Amid a momentous occasion, Lee became more grateful for all the support she received during her journey.
“It was a tribute to the support I received,” she said. “It was such a proud moment to achieve a real dream.”
Lee also made history as the first black model with curves to appear on the cover of Vogue, according to her biography. Additionally, she appeared at New York Fashion Week for designers Christian Siriano, Tommy Hilfiger, and Matthew Adams Nolan. Lee has also been featured in other magazines such as Glamour, Paper Magazine, V Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, and M Le Monde.