When Ashley Stewart announces a model search it nearly breaks the Internet every single time.

PLUS Model Magazine - March 2017-V2

Model hopefuls from all over the world use the ##ashleytruemodelcontest hashtag to enter for a chance to grace the Ashley Stewart website and sign with True Model Management in NYC.

Our cover model Ilianna Ayala is the most recent winner and we are so excited to be able to feature her on our March cover and give you a closer look into this brilliant young lady.

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Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a makeup and natural hair blogger and live in NYC. I come from a small family; I’m an only child.

I actually did not grow up wanting to be a model. I never thought it would be possible for me to be a model because I was not a size 0/2. Growing up I did not see plus size models. Now with the growth of social media, the plus size industry and bloggers, it inspired me to love my body; at one point in my life I didn’t but that changed over time. Then the contest happened and this is where I’m at.

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Speaking of the contest, how did you hear about the Ashley Stewart/True Model Model Search?

My mom introduced me to the brand years ago and I’ve been a customer for a long time. One day I saw the post for the model search so I included the contest hashtag and hoped for the best.

What was the first thing that popped in your head when you got the call that you won the model search?

First, I was like I have to tell my mom. It was a huge “WOW” moment. Then I thought how my platform would now include inspiring women to embrace their curves.

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Modeling is super cool and also a lot of work. Can you tell me a little bit about your first shoot with Ashley Stewart?

Yes, it’s a lot of work.

I was very nervous because it was my first shoot and I was shooting with another model. The team was very welcoming and supportive so I was able to get comfortable throughout the day. I had to keep my energy and positivity throughout the day because it really is tiring. Other than that I had a great time!

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Many eyes are going to be on you this coming year, what do you hope to accomplish?

I want to do so much so I’m putting it out into the universe. I want to continue to build my platform on Instagram. I want to be in magazines, clothing websites and build my own website. I’m going to invest in my craft.

Get to Know Iliana…

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What is your favorite season?

I love the winter!

What are three things you can’t leave your house without?

  • My hair pic… I love to touch up my hair and make sure it’s nice and big
  • I always need to have mints in my purse.
  • A lipstick or lip-gloss

Sneakers or heels?

I’m a sneakers girl and have a huge collection.

What is your favorite inspirational quote?

If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything. I heard it on a Disney channel movie and it has stuck with me ever since. If you don’t have a goal it’s easy to settle for anything.

Who has been most influential in your life and why?

My parents are all I have. To know that they love me unconditionally and are so supportive pushes me to make them proud.

So we heard through the grapevine that you are a dancer…

Yes, I graduated from college with a dance degree and urban studies. Dance was my focus and I love to choreograph.

Follow our cover model and Ashley Stewart Model Search winner online:

Facebook [email protected]

Instagram @beautymarked_illy

Twitter @iLLyAyala_

Photos courtesy of Ashley Stewart ashleystewart.com