In How I Got Here, Black and brown creatives explore how they worked their way to the top of the fashion industry. In conversation with Vogue, these editors, social media stars, and more reveal the unforgettable moment that would change their careers completely. How I Got Here offers (stylish) life lessons, in the artists’ own words.
When he isn’t going viral, Rickey Thompson can be found working the runway and posing as a cover boy for Out, Paper and Nylon. Thompson was a comedic Vine star before the platform shut down in 2017. He took his talents to Instagram, where he now has 5.3 million followers (he also has 3 million on TikTok). But he always wanted to be in the world of fashion. He started pursuing modeling in 2018, and landed his first editorial for Out in 2019. The now 26-year-old cohost of the podcast We Said What We Said and Coach brand ambassador is taking up space in fashion as an emerging model and personality. Thompson’s southern roots massively influence his career, and dedication to authenticity. Here, he tells Vogue how he’s just getting started.
My first real magazine cover [for Out] was when I thought, Okay, wait a minute, I feel like people are starting to recognize who I am. People are starting to really appreciate what I do. Being, first of all, a boy from Raleigh, North Carolina, I had never even thought of the option to be on a magazine cover. I studied magazines as a kid, so being able to see myself on newsstands, and my mom being able to buy it in North Carolina, changed everything for me.
I’m loving being able to shoot in campaigns and editorials. It’s so important because I’ve always known that I was funny, but I always had this little side of me that was drawn to fashion. I remember growing up as a Tumblr kid and looking at everybody’s styles thinking, I want to do this. I went to a modeling agency in L.A., and they told me that I should just stick to being funny. And I was like, “No, I’m going to work at it.” And now look at me, booked.