Liris Crosse gave absolute life to the designs she rocked during the 16th season of Project Runway – even the styles that made us scratch our heads a little. Alongside of other curvy models, as well as the “typical” kind, Liris Crosse strutted all the way to winning the model portion of the competition and has kept on winning ever since.

Image by Rafael Clemente

Much of the world met Liris Crosse during Project Runway, but she has been in the game for quite some time now and has more than a few accolades under her belt. She began her career in her teens when she signed with Wilhelmina, and has since been featured in countless magazines, model promos, film, and on television. Currently she is signed with Dorothy Combs Models. From the very beginning, she’s defied the stereotypes of the modeling world and led her to write down her expertise and experience onto the pages of a book.

The title of Crosse’s book is Make the World Your Runway. One of the central themes she discusses is how important it is to embody confidence. Many of those who watched her on Project Runway were drawn to her undeniable confidence and wanted to know how they too could exude that same energy. Crosse credits this as being one of the driving inspirations for her book. She prides herself on being able to motivate others to be the best versions of themselves. The book – which also touches on important subjects, like preparing for your success and building your very own “it” factor – is sure to inspire and motivate any woman who wants to dominate not only the modeling world, but every area of life.

The message and heart behind Crosse’s book is actually an extension of her very popular boot camp, Life of a Working Model Boot Camp or LOAWMBC, which she started in order to teach women how to wear their confidence in their everyday lives. Whether you are walking across the stage to get your diploma, into an interview, or down the wedding aisle, LOAWMBC will help you strut with undeniable confidence.

“Many people don’t even realize that not having confidence can hold you back from your purpose,” Crosse says, “And sometimes you may not even go after your passion and purpose because you feel like you can’t do it.”

Crosse further explains that some of the tools and the way she employs them in her life are also included in her book. She calls these tools the “P’s” – perseverance, persistence and purpose – and attests that they have helped her to find success for over a decade in an industry where the average career span is only five years. “Racism” and “sizeism” are also factors in the modeling world, and Crosse credits her certainty of purpose and understanding of why God put her here as crucial components of her foundation and why she never gave up. She keeps herself centered by praying, and this strengthens her so she does not crumble in the face of, “…disappointments, delays and denials.”

“I know who I am and whose I am, and this helps things to slide off my back,” she says.

Image by Tommy Chung

When asked about how she made the shift from model to author, Crosse says the process was challenging, because of the intensely busy season which followed Project Runway. She describes the moment when she considered pushing the project, and how the encouragement of her amazingly supportive mother kept her on track. She also credits her book coach for sitting her down and helping her stay focused.

She has already seen how her book is giving women the courage to step out, take action, and follow their dreams – “Sometimes we don’t realize how other peoples’ purpose is tied to what we have been called to do,” she says. And now, Liris has a new appreciation for her own purpose.

So what does the rest of 2019 have in store for Liris Crosse? Of course fashion shows! She says it is always important for her to represent not only curvy women, but black women as well, when she hits the runway. Liris will soon have campaigns dropping with Maggie Sottero and Trunk Club. She is also working on a highly anticipated project with fellow model Rah Mosley in which they recreate some of the unforgettable Naomi Campbell and Tyson Beckford shots. Keep your eyes open and watch for this beauty, as she continues to breaks down barriers in 2019. Yes, it has been over a decade, but somehow, it feels like this is only the beginning of what we will see from Liris Crosse.

Featured Image by Shane Suban