A candid and classy conversation with a model turned lifestyle contributor

Jeniya Penrod is a name synonymous with dedication and versatility. Once committed, she’s all in. From a successful modelling career to volunteering, fundraising, and offering Lifestyle contributions at Billionaire Miami Beach Magazine. Let’s hear about her inspiring and remarkable journey so far: 

“I entered the modelling scene pretty young at 14 years old. I travelled through Europe and Asia with the agency and in 2003 I ended up in Miami. It was love at first sight. The following years saw me working for several popular modelling assignments that helped me carve a niche and make a name for myself. Later on, I moved to organize fashion events to uncover fresh yet exceptionally talented local designers and artists.” 

What Miami has that Europe and Asia don’t:

“I think it’s very much weather driven. With the tropical weather all year long, it gives you resort-like vibes that creates a certain attitude. It’s also very international and I absolutely love that. No wonder they call it the melting pot.”

Her take on the influence of social media: 

“I feel that social media is most definitely and convincingly influencing Fashion Week. Previously, you had to wait for the campaign to view a designer’s collection or for the images from a fashion show to appear in select magazines. Everything is now instantaneous. 

I think this drastic shift is fantastic, but I’m not sure how it will affect [the] business. It’s great for me, but fashion has definitely evolved. I feel that models, photographers, and periodicals must adjust to this transformation. Since we now live in the social and digital era, we need to evolve.” 

On Miami’s fashion week and the talent she finds:

“Miami Fashion Week is one of the biggest fashion events in the US. It’s all about [being] sexy and fashion forward and I just cannot help but want to be a part of it. 

Miami does have a lot of talented and beautiful people. A lot of talent we find though the social scene, which is happening in Miami all the time, and at other times it’s through social media or friends’ suggestions. One time I found a beautifully sounding young singer who performed on Lincoln road. His voice sounded exactly like Frank Sinatra. It was really incredible and that touched me. We brought him on few events and people really liked him.” 

On helping others:

“After the unprecedented devastation and havoc created by Hurricane Dorian, which destroyed the Abacos islands in the Bahamas, I decided to volunteer for the Global Empowerment Mission. I couldn’t just sit and watch the devastation and do nothing about it. I wanted to be part of the solution and use my platform to spread awareness of causes that are close to my heart. After this, I got involved in a few more charities. The latest charity that I have been involved in is ‘Les Couleurs.’ This beautiful organization helps run educational programs for children in rural parts of Haiti, Mexico City and Nepal. I’ve hosted a few events with them as well. One of them was with the legendary Wolf of Wall Street – Jordan Belfort. We are also getting different artists to donate pieces of their art, which are then sold. Every penny earned goes towards the causes! “

At present, Jeniya is a lifestyle contributor for Billionaire Miami Beach Magazine, exploring the best of what Miami has to offer. Jeniya also owns a photo editing app named Chamillion.