Saleisha Lashawn Stowers was born on January 10, 1986 in Los Angeles, California, and is an American model and the winner of ninth cycle of America's Next Top Model.
Early life and modeling careerEdit
In her Seventeen Magazine interview, Stowers stated she had a rough life growing up. She lived with her grandmother in Madera, California. When she was 14, she attended Camp T-Zone, Tyra Banks' self-esteem camp just for girls. Stowers worked as a receptionist in Los Angeles. Before appearing on Cycle 9, Stowers was signed with Photogenics Model Management and had also appeared in a commercial for fast-food restaurant Wendy's, with actor Tom Lenk. She had modeled for DOMIJ clothing, and d.e.m.o. She was also an extra in an episode of the TV series Ugly Betty and on two episodes of the Tyra Banks Show, modeling for Rami, Project Runway season four contestant. Stowers appeared in the "Welcome Back" music video, and had an ad for 24 Hour Fitness. She also modeled for Especially Yours wigs, and was featured in a fashion spread for InTouch Weekly. She was recruited for America's Next Top Model, which she subsequently won.
America's Next Top ModelEdit
Stowers entered the competition with a lot of confidence and high self-esteem. Her bubbly, positive personality, and her strong walk won the judges over. But the judges in the beginning felt she relied too much on her commercial look, so they gave her a Louise Brooks inspired black hair weave to edge her out. She struggled during the third week, and consequently landed in bottom two with contestant Victoria Marshman. But she was spared, and she started improving, producing better photos. She received 2 First Call-Outs and 2 Bottom Two appearances. In one of the challenges, she won an ad for Old Navy In the final deliberation, the judges were impressed with Stowers’s command on the runway and for her fluidity. She won against Chantal Jones.
As part of her prize, Stowers won a contract with CoverGirl Cosmetics which features her campaigning for WetSlicks Fruit Spritzers, and appeared on the cover of the February 2008 issue of Seventeen magazine. She has also won a contract for representation with Elite Model Management. Like previous winners of ANTM, Stowers appeared in weekly segments of My Life as a CoverGirl during the running of America's Next Top Model, Cycle 10.
Questions regarding eligibility for ANTMEdit
There have been questions raised regarding Stowers's eligibility to appear on the show. The show's rules state that a contestant must not have appeared as a model in a national advertising campaign during the five years prior to production. Stowers appeared in a 2006 commercial for Wendy's, an ad that was part of a national-level campaign. The CW issued a statement that Stowers did disclose her participation in the Wendy's spot, and "after reviewing the commercial, it was determined that her appearance did not amount to "modeling" experience, and therefore did not exclude her from participating in the show."
Several blogs and news outlets have speculated that her past relationship with Banks (her participation in Banks' T-Zone camp and her past appearances on Tyra's television shows and her appearance as a model on The Tyra Banks Show and Cycle 6 of America's Next Top Model), may have influenced the selection of the winner. Stowers had also been a national spokesmodel for Especially Yours wigs for more than a year before the show ran, as well as appearing in an episode of the hit US sitcom Ugly Betty.
Post Top ModelEdit
Stowers is currently signed to Elite Model Management and L.A. Model Management.
Stowers currently has a Metro Style campaign along with fellow Top Model alum, Jaslene Gonzalez, Dani Evans and Whitney Thompson. Stowers was on the cover of Seventeen as part of her prize. She has appeared on the cover of Paper Doll Magazine, had a cover and spread in Florida International Magazine and had spreads in the January 2008 issue of InTouch Weekly, OK! Magazine, the July 2008 issue of Essence Magazine, Jam Style. and had a four page spread in an issue of Macy's. She has modeled for Gilt Groupe and Macy's catalogue online. She has also modeled for Dereon, Apple Bottoms, Baby Phat, and Love Tease for Macy's. Stowers had a campaign with Garage Clothing for their Spring 2009 line. She has also appeared in Modern Bride for the February/March 2009 issue.
Stowers has walked for Tibi in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2008, Peter Som's Bill Blass Fall 2008 Collection at Saks Fifth Avenue on April 2, 2008, Carson Kressley's Safilo USA Spring/Summer '08 Designer Eyewear Fashion Show at Vision Expo East on April 12, 2008, Jose Duran for NYC fashion week, which also showed on her My Life as CoverGirl commercials, a GenArt Fashion Show for Jennifer Mary, Billabong's 2nd Annual Design for Humanity fashion show in Los Angeles, and Pamella Roland at New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2009. Stowers appeared on the finale episode of America's Next Top Model, Cycle 10 to give encouragement to the final three, and she opened for a mock Versace runway show. Stowers walked for Beach Bunny Swimwear and Lana Fuchs in Los Angeles Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2009. She also appeared on the Tyra Banks Show for the episode titled Tina Knowles modeling in a House of Dereon fashion show.
She has appeared on the Tyra Banks Show multiple times. This includes the time when Stowers along with Tyra Banks, Jaslene Gonzalez, Claire Unabia and Michael Bloomberg planted a tree on April 10 in New York City in honor of Earth Day which aired on April 30, 2008 and the Fiercee Awards along with past ANTM contestants that aired on May 14. Stowers attended the premiere of Polanski Unauthorized, the Vavoom Upfront party with Caridee English and Jaslene Gonzalez, and the CW Upfront Party celebrating the Cycle 10 finale with past ANTM alums. Stowers also made an appearance in Robin Thicke's music video clip "Sex Therapy" in 2009. On February 25, 2013, Stowers was cast as the daughter of Angie Hubbard (Debbi Morgan), Cassandra Foster on the Prospect Park's continuation of All My Children, she made her debut on April 30, 2013.