Tanaye White might be a highly sought-after model who works for brands like Victoria’s Secret, Fenty Beauty and Hervé Léger. But things didn’t start that way. The 2020 SI Swim Search winner—returning to the issue again this year—used to work as a senior communications analyst for federal agencies and international defense contractors in Washington D.C. Then in 2018 she entered Swim Search for the first time and was picked as a finalist. White moved to New York City to pursue her fashion career but is still working outside the industry to fulfill her other passions. And that’s just one of the many reasons why we love her. Here, the businesswoman opens up about her other impressive pursuits.
How does it feel to have been photographed for the Swimsuit Issue again?
“I’m so excited to be returning to the magazine as a veteran! I can’t believe I can even say that! This is my third year in the issue, and every time feels like the first. This issue feels extra special because it’s been my dream to shoot in bright suits that make my skin tone POP! With the looks we shot and previews I saw from what Ben Watts took... all I can say is SHEESH!”
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You switched careers entirely. What’s that been like for you?
“My career transition came at a challenging time because the pandemic happened just a few months afterward. It’s been a challenge to navigate the modeling industry in the middle of a global crisis, but I have an incredible support system of family, friends and mentors who have helped me along the way. For anyone looking to make the change, I’d say work smarter, not harder, spare expenses when you can, and always have emergency savings.”
What other career goals do you have?
“Despite my career change, I still work in the marketing field. I currently work for a startup; I manage all of their social media accounts. I want to continue doing the same with my digital marketing agency, but for small businesses. Since I was a child, I’ve always loved photography and would steal my parents’ Canon, take photos of myself in my mom’s makeup and post them to MySpace. So this year I told myself I would start sharing my portrait photography with the world. I also plan to kick off my passion project -- Feel Good -- a mental health movement I’ve been building over the last two years to promote mental wellness. Oh, and I also want to jump into acting! I have a lot of goals I want to achieve this year.”
You can catch Tanaye White live on The Swimfluence Network on Thursday March 24 at 6 p.m. EST.