Leomie Anderson shines a light on what it's like for fashion models of color

Victoria's Secret's newest Angel is speaking out about challenges she's experienced in her career. "I want black models to understand that their voice matters and that they are of value," she said.
7:13 | 05/02/19

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Transcript for Leomie Anderson shines a light on what it's like for fashion models of color
Reporter: It seems like the sky's the limit. On the edge of super model stardom, the 26-year-old has established herself as a disruptive force by being unapologetically different. She's one of the faces of Rihanna's ground-breaking Fenty makeup line and rocked the carpet for Tom Ford and others. She earned her wings as one of Victoria secret's angels, putting her in a caliber with Heidi Klum. Victoria's secret is the perfect platform. Reporter: But beyond her beauty, she is a woman on a mission, to level the playing field for models of color. When it came to speaking up about my experiences, I knew I had to do something. There are girls even darker than myself in this industry, and they don't really have a voice. Reporter: Using her voice to influence an industry where certain standards were the standard of beauty. You were told with natural hair, straighten your hair, girls with loose curls were made to chemically straighten their hair. Reporter: Do you ever feel like you're being hired as the black girl? Is that a constant thing? Definitely, the token. Reporter: Token. You can see a campaign and there will be an array of different women, but it will still be a majority white women. I don't like when I go and sit and I'm the only black person full stop. They believe in hiring a dark woman in general that they are marking off that box of diversity. Reporter: She grew up in London, the daughter of Jamaican parents. She was 14 years old when a talent scout stopped her while shopping near her home. I had blue mascara, really cool. And this guy came up to me, have you ever thought of doing modeling? And I was like, hmm, stranger danger. No thanks. Then somebody from the same agency came up to me, and I was like, okay, maybe I should give it a chance. Called them. Fake Gucci belt in tow. I still managed to get signed. I was like, wow. Reporter: New on the scene and traveling the world as a teenager, she was in for a few unpleasant surprises. All I knew was America's next super model. I was going to be having pillow fights with my roommates, no. There were roaches. Reporter: Different story. Yeah, it was a different story. I thought it was going to be all glitz and glamour and all this, but it was the complete opposite. Reporter: Early on, she had to navigate working in a predominantly white industry. Very normal to be told by agents or bookers, don't go into a casting after a black model, because they might get you confused. This is the language I kind of grew up learning when I first entered the fashion industry. Reporter: She says stylists oftentimes aren't trained to work with black models. I had my incident back stage where a makeup artist said that she could do my makeup. She had no foundation shades in my color. She was trying to do some remixing like a white shade with like a brown eye shadow, and I just turned to her and I was like, do you actually have foundation in my skin tone? She said no. Inside I felt oh, my gosh, I can't believe this is happening again. Today I'm bringing you the black model's survival kit. Reporter: Despite the risk, she is using social media to shine a light on what it's really like behind the scenes for models of color. This is a lifesaver. It has every single tone that you kind of need. Bring your own hair oil. If you can get clicked in, please bring them with you. I felt if I spoke up, especially being a black model I would get labeled with a stereotype of being a diva or not knowing your place. She's taken her position and privilege and allowing that beauty to translate into talking about real world issues. I've actually sacrificed so much to be here. Reporter: Naomi Campbell, Iman, Tyra banks all broke barriers. Ebony Davis giving this talk. Inclusion doesn't mean one token black model. I don't want to be hired so I can fill an hr box. Reporter: In 2017, when Rihanna developed Fenty beauty, she called. Rihanna didn't just shake the table, she flipped it over, destroyed it and threw it out the window. So I think Fenty beauty has completely changed everything. Reporter: Fenty is now one of the hottest beauty brands. Their 50 shades of foundation often selling out. It's a big deal. It's a huge moment, not just because Rihanna releasing makeup but the message she's trying to send to other beauty brands. You don't have to have the European standard of beauty to be the face of a makeup brand. Reporter: Are we seeing something happen in the business right now? Yeah. Reporter: Black girls. A little spice. Reporter: Can't get enough of I think we're all making steps, but I still feel like the general consensus is that light skin is seen as more expensive and more luxury and darker skin is seen as urban and cool. It's that urban and cool is in fashion now. Reporter: And fashion is not her only gig. She's launched her own blog called Lapp. I want to see fashion as a way to speaking to people and talking about important issues, such as body diversity. These are all from the new collection which we are shooting today before I fly back to London. Reporter: And a clothing line that she designs, markets and even steps in to model. It's a brand with a real message and ethos, aimed at celebrating women and women who might have something to say that goes against the status quo. Reporter: Her provocative sweat shirt was worn by Rihanna at the women's March. It literally sold out within 24 hours. Reporter: She has become a bridge for others who need a voice. What do you plan to do for the next generation of models in general but young black women in particular. That they a value. I want them to see me as someone who is unapologetically themselves and successful. That's what I have been put here to do. Reporter: Zachary kiesch in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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