Monif - 05.18.11

By now many of you have probably heard or read the devastating news that my friend and the face of Monif C. Plus Sizes, Supermodel Mia Amber Davis Yard, has passed away.  It has taken me a week to even try to write down my feelings about Mia because my heart is so heavy and I am overwhelmed with sadness.

Mia texted me on Sunday, Mother’s Day.  After my mom passed away a year and a half ago and Mia’s husband Mike’s dad passed about a year ago, Mia and I always made it a point to reach out to each other on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day no matter where we were. We texted back and forth about her time in Los Angeles, and the show she was producing, that she missed me, and that we may see each other in June. Two days later, Mia passed away.  

I met Mia back in 2005 within months of starting Monif C.  She modeled for me in a fashion show produced by Gwen Devoe called Dangerous Curves.  I was immediately struck by her confidence, beauty (Mia was beyond gorgeous), and just how sweet she was.  Only a few months later, my mom and I contacted her to shoot with us.  Those early days of shooting with Mia were a trip.  I remember the scene like it was yesterday…we used to shoot with Kristie Lee out in Westfield, Mia would do her own hair and I’d do her makeup (:side eye) and even if the shoot took 2 hours more than we allotted, Mia never complained…we’d leave the shoot, go get some pizza, laugh it up and go home.  

Many Monif C. fans know Mia as the face of Monif C….and she was.  Mia worked with us on numerous photoshoots and even when we decided to work with other models, somehow, someway, we always got back around to shooting with Mia.  Matter of fact, she and I were making plans to shoot the fall 2011 collection together when she got back from LA.  Where ever I go, people always tell me, you know that model on your website, she is stunning…or I buy anything Mia models…or it feels so good to see a woman that looks like me modeling your clothes.  In addition to being the face of Monif C., Mia became a champion for Monif C.  She did public relations for us in the early days, writing press releases, planning numerous Curvy Girls Night Outs, and whenever there was a casting or TV opportunity, Mia always called me to submit Monif C.  Mia is one of the most sincere, compassionate, loving people I know.  I remember her telling me stories of women coming up to her on the train and throughout NYC, and she always stopped and talked to them.  She even started her blog to provide tips to women on how to become a plus size model.

Throughout those years of shooting together, a true friendship developed.  Mia and I joined a fitness bootcamp together and after class would sometimes spend hours talking.  I worried about the future of Monif C. and many times wanted to close the business.  Mia would tell me, are you crazy?  What will all of us wear?  Mia would sometimes worry about her own future within this industry and even though she accomplished so much would often wonder what more she could do.  I was always pushing her telling her, women look up to you, you are an inspiration and doors will continue to open for you to shine your light.  I remember one night in Fort Greene Park breaking down and telling Mia that my mother had her second bout with breast cancer and really worrying about her future.  We prayed together and she told me everything was going to be alright.  Mia was always reassuring, loving, and loyal.  She had a way of making you feel alright even in tough situations.  

I always say that when someone comes into your life and leaves such an indelible mark, it’s because God is trying to show you how you can be a better person.  Mia’s life has encouraged me to be even more kind, loving, gracious, and encouraging. Mia will hopefully also be an inspiration to all women to follow your dreams.  Mia was steadfast in reaching for new goals and taking on new endeavors (tv producing, modeling for Kimora Lee Simmons, advocating for the plus size woman on CNN). I hope that this will show us all that we are never promised tomorrow so it is imperative that we reach for the stars and make each day count by following our purpose and passion.  

Mia was an angel on earth and now she’s an angel in heaven.  I love you Mia and miss you terribly.

I am asking anyone who loved, admired, or was inspired by Mia to support her family and funeral costs by donating to the Mia Amber Fund, click here to donate.

Here are a few pictures and video of my girl in action…one of the best to ever do it…




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