AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) – A 21-year-old girl from Americus has been selected to attend LA Fashion Week. An opportunity that only comes five times a year.
Colby Felton walked through the street of Americus growing up and now, she’s taking her talents to the runway.
“My inspiration ever since I was eight and I saw The Devil Wears Prada, I swear, my eight-year-old self gained its (confidence) in third grade. I always did fashion shows at dinner time with pots and pans and plastic bags while my mom was cooking or whoever was in the kitchen from six to eight,” Colby said.
Colby is the only girl selected to attend LA Fashion Week without a signed agent. She has a stage name and goes by ColbannaLaRue.
“When she went to school, she was herself but she always got picked on by the clothes she wore she was different. Teachers, faculty, and children would pick on her because of her body shape and the clothes she wore,” said Diya Felton, Colby’s mom.
Diya said she’s proud of Colby and has seen the passion firsthand since she was a kid.
“It really makes me feel quite happy. I’ve always been supportive of what Colby wants to do. She is a freelancer, one of those fairy little girls who do anything and everything. She is super smart and I’ve always been behind her 100%,” said Felton.
Colby said she’s also had to overcome a mental disability to get to where she is today.
Colby said she is big on manifesting. She knew she would make it after submitting her work multiple times. Prior to being selected, she did a lot of freelance work and hopes to get signed by major agencies.
Colby was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in seventh grade and she’s had to endure some hardships along the way.
“Extreme bullying, within the school system. I was bullied from seventh grade until graduation and it was severe. It created like a personality split and at the time I felt very alone,” she said.
Colby has coped with her disorder, in part, by creating a stage name.
“Creating like an alter ego, and ColbannaLaRue counteracts Colby, which I call Colby like ‘Colby the Creator.’ So, ColbannaLaRue is like Colby’s ego. So when Colby feels small or like insecure or anything like that, ColbannaLaRue is there to pick her up,” said Felton.
As a young minority from a small town, it’s important to know your value and not give up. At the end of the fashion week, Colby hopes to get signed by top agencies such as IMG and Elite model agency based out of Los Angeles.
“Coming from a small town as a little Black girl, you are going to have to work twice as hard, four times as hard to get to where you have to go. No matter what people say, keep those dreams going,” Diya said.
One piece of advice Colby wants other young girls to know is to be consistent and try new things, as you never know who is watching.
And if you’d like to help support Felton to be able to travel to other locations on her modeling journey, you can visit her GoFundMe page here.
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