If Elizabethtown’s Jescanta Lucas had a tagline for her life story, she said it would read “Be your own kind of beauty.” It’s a simple sentiment, but one that sums up Lucas’ journey over the past two years through his new modeling career.
At 42, Lucas decided it was time for a change in her life when she started modeling for the Elizabethtown-based Regality Models and Talent Group in 2019. Reeling from a recent divorce, Lucas has said she was inspired by British model and fashion blogger Norma Mwamuka.
“She’s a curvaceous model like me,” Lucas said. “Her fashion style is classy, classy and unique. That was the initial inspiration for me. I thought modeling would be a good hobby and take me out of my negative mental space.
Although Regality Models and Talent Group is now defunct, Lucas said she learned a lot about modeling through her involvement with the agency. She said she learned skills like proper runway etiquette, effective social media engagement and audition essentials.
Andre ‘Williams, founder of Regality Models and Talent Group, said Lucas showed ambition and learned quickly during his time at the agency.
“Every class we had, every meeting she could attend, she was there,” Williams said. “…She decided she was going to immerse herself in it completely.”
Lucas then worked with Louisville-based photographer Ty Lockhart to develop a modeling portfolio. As her modeling career began to take shape, she began modeling under the nickname Sana, her childhood nickname.
“I took what I learned from Regality and used my instincts to start building my brand,” she said. “I started setting goals to go beyond a hobby and pursue a career as a professional model.”
Born in Georgia, the military brought Lucas and his family to Hardin County in the 1980s. She graduated in 1995 from North Hardin High School, then earned 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 ready for some backlash when entering the modeling industry. She said that while she wishes there was more diversity among the body types featured in national fashion campaigns and more emphasis on body positivity in the mainstream modeling industry, she said that ‘she had 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 walked in five fashion shows, been featured in three digital magazines, and served as a brand ambassador for four companies.
Lucas said one of her favorite fashion shows she’s attended so far was the Coming to America gala, hosted 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 his photoshoots, Lucas has helped dictate the creative direction for several shoots thus far. She said one of her favorites was a “Fruit Shoot,” in which she collaborated with two other models to dress in black while being surrounded by various fruits. Two makeup artists also applied creative glamor for the shoot.
“It was great to see my vision come to fruition,” Lucas said.
Earlier this month, Lucas was tapped to be represented by Louisville-based talent agency Helen-Wells. Founded in 1980, the agency provides representation for actors, models, voice-over artists, promotional models and brand ambassadors in the Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati and Columbus areas.
“This was a major accomplishment as they will find me paid opportunities in one of the four markets they serve,” Lucas said.
In addition to modeling, Lucas has also started acting in recent years. She is currently filming two comedy projects titled “Uber” and “Lifeline,” directed by regional filmmakers James Watts, Shay Smith and Steven Anderson. Her first acting experience came in 2019 when she starred in “Gleaning,” a production by local playwright Keith Anderson.
Lucas said her acting experience has benefited 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 is also a brand ambassador for local businesses Tokie and Taylor Boutique and Gentle Touch Consignment Boutique.
Along with her dream of one day pursuing commercial modeling for national brands, Lucas said she also hopes to inspire others through her newfound passion.
“It’s your journey,” she said. “Nobody else can be you. Don’t wait for someone to choose you. Put yourself out there. People will talk about you regardless. You might as well do whatever you want.