Check out our interview with Former Miss Teen U.S., luxe fashion and lifestyle blogger and roamer of the world Raquel Ringgold who is dedicated to inspiring others to be the person they dream of becoming no matter how crazy it seems to others.
The voice and face behind the luxe fashion/lifestyle blog “Omnivogues,” Raquel studied journalism in NYC, Paris and Italy.
Follow Raquel @raquelringgold
Hi Raquel, please tell us a little about you?
I am Raquel Ringgold, a 22-year-old MBA candidate about to graduate from St. John’s University. I’ve been able to study and live in NYC and throughout Europe, as well, but more visibly through my social media, I am a fashion and lifestyle addict. I am also former Teen Miss U.S. of America 2016.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Sociable, witty, determined.
Name one of your strengths?
Sending persuasive emails. The best way to get your way is through the correct words 😉
Best advice ever given?
If people are talking about you following your passions, even in a negative way, you’re doing something right. People don’t talk unless they care or feel jealous.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
All of the close influencers and young girl bosses that make me remember this is all possible, no matter what any small-minded people say.
How and when did you start modeling?
I got signed to a small talent agency and began working when I was about 12 years old. Even though I was young, I would also network and find opportunities myself.
What is fun and rewarding about modeling? And what is not?
The final product is the most rewarding part. I love seeing the pictures in my portfolio! The worst part is rejection, but you have to think of it as “this brand does not need my look at this particular time” instead of taking it super personal.
What did you learn from your biggest failure?
I really don’t see anything as a failure, but rather a learning experience. I just get up and give it another go with a different approach.
The most important thing when you are shooting is?
Ensuring that I am posing and embracing the brand I am shooting for rather than doing my own thing. Modeling is work that has nothing to do with my own creative direction! It is completely different from influencer projects.
Tell us about your experience as a former Teen Miss U.S. of America?
As any coach would tell you, one should never think they are going to lose, but being completely honest, I did not expect to win because the competition was full of beautiful and talented girls. Yet, the judges saw I was the most qualified representative, so I won the crown. Besides winning a cash prize and loads of gifts, the best part was having a title that inspires young girls and getting to focus on my platform working with my therapy dog, Cupcake.
Any advice for new contestants or girls that are looking to participate in the future?
1. Do not pay attention to the competition. No matter how confident you are this tends to result in comparing yourself to them. Do not even look on social media to see who the other contestants are beforehand. This doesn’t mean you can’t make friends because you 100% should. Enjoy the entire experience and be kind to everyone, but there is no need to watch everyone practice or go on stage and compare what they did to your routine. Think of athletes. They have friends on other teams, but in pageantry, you are your own team, so focus on YOU and your objectives.
2. Go with the hair and makeup looks that make you feel the most confident. A lot of girls go for huge, voluminous curls, but I feel best with my hair straight or in toned- down styles and it shows in my movement on stage. Do what makes you glow.
3. There is no need to get caught up in spending thousands of dollars. Spending the most does not always get you a crown. It’s about feeling beautiful inside and the crown goes to the total package girl, not the girl who spent the most total.
Now tell us about your popular luxe fashion/lifestyle blog “OMNIVOGUES”?
I created OMNIVOGUES in 2014. I loved to write but needed an outlet that was not high school English-class related. I was also bullied a lot back then and wanted to have something to look forward to when I left school every day. I started by posting outfits and fashion inspiration. Months later brands were reaching out seeking partnerships and collaborative projects. I started doing sponsored content from some cool brands and being extended invitations to New York Fashion Week. Then I was asked to be a co- host on an episode of The Rachael Ray Show!
How often do you upload new content?
I have been posting sporadically on my blog over the last few years, as the dynamic has somewhat shifted to other platforms, like Instagram. There I post multiple times a week.
What would you say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in the business?
1. In beginning I was so excited to receive merchandise to post, but after a while I gained a large reach and dedicated readers. With that, I realized I should not low ball myself and needed to receive compensation for certain work.
2. I learned how to wear all the hats. Networking, coding, writing, advertising, styling, planning, and so on.
3. You will only get out the effort you put in. Consistency is KEY! So cliché, but so true.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
The Untethered Soul. This has nothing to do with entrepreneurship, but focuses on discovering the real, limitless you. I think it’s impossible to create and develop something successful without feeling fearless.
What actor/actress/model do you admire the most, and why?
Jasmine Tookes! Besides being drop dead gorgeous, she is so well-rounded. Also, Megan Fox has such a similar demeaner. I love those that have done incredible work and remain very humble.
What’s next for Raquel Ringgold in 2021?
Traveling post-pandemic. Graduating with my MBA this summer. Creating content for some amazing brands. Working on an upcoming business. Getting a big girl job.
Which project is still on your bucket list?
Getting to attend Paris and London Fashion Week and partnering with even bigger brands.
In five years from now, where do you see yourself and your career?
Hopefully being a serial entrepreneur. I have so many ideas I’m manifesting!
Now talking about Instagram, can you share some tips for keeping your account interesting?
1. Post what makes you happy, whenever you want.
2. Show the authentic version of yourself and not just the good moments.
3. Get funky with it. Wear and do the things that you like, not what everyone else is
doing. Brands love different.
How do you feel about the pressure of doing always the right thing, and encourage people to follow their dreams?
The right thing is typically the thing that feels wrong, which can be scary. The best content I have done is the work that made me nervous to hit “post” because I thought it was too out there or people would react negatively. Again, I will preach that authenticity gets you far. The only way to make things happen is to do it differently than the majority.
I bet you get millions of it, but what are the best and worst Instagram DM pickup lines you received so far?
*DM’s me a photo of myself*
Max! Get one here boy, leave the pretty lady alone.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Açaí bowls or sushi.
And your favorite cheat food?
Mac and cheese. Cookie dough. Bacon, tomato, ranch pizza.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Good friends. Beaches. Online shopping. Feeling at ease with life. Always trying something new.
How would your best friend describe you?
Hannah Montana- I go from doing nothing, lying in sweats while binge watching shows to hopping up and getting glam for a business meeting.
Who is your biggest beauty inspiration?
Nazanin Kavari! That girl just kills it.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is wearing what you want, whenever you want, without letting the critics surrounding your life or on social media scare you out of rocking it. It is simply finding an outlet of happiness through colors, fabric, texture, and your own body.
How would you explain your fashion style and what items in your closet can you not be without?
My style is all over the place, but typically glam meets edgy. I couldn’t live without my black Chanel 2.55 because it simply goes with everything. Then I always need a chunky white sneaker because, again, I throw them on with everything to gallivant around NYC.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Diane Von Furstenberg. I listened to her speak at the New York Public Library and it solidified her iconicness. If her show House of DVF came out a decade later, I would have been a contestant and won.
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
Dubai with all my besties. I’m manifesting it.
What do you like to watch on TV?
Whatever Netflix gets me hooked on. Law & Order SVU is my all-time favorite show though.
What music do you like?
Let’s just say I’m down for a country throwdown one day, an EDM festival the next, and a rap concert on the weekend.
Do you support any charity?
I support any local events that I can with a charity element, but my main platform involves therapy dogs.
3 things you can’t leave home without?
iPhone, earrings, 32 oz. Yeti
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Where we can follow you?
Quote: In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different. Holiday Destination: Positano
Drink: Lychee Martini
Celebrity Crush: Megan Fox and MGK as a couple are my FAVS
Favorite song? Why?: I really can’t give a solid answer. It changes weekly!
Sports Team: Yankees