WWE star Sasha Banks launches modeling career at NYFW

WWE star Sasha Banks launches modeling career at NYFW


From the ring to the runway.

WWE star Sasha Banks made her New York Fashion Week debut this weekend, walking in shows for Mister Triple X and Jessica Jade.

The wrestler-turned-model, 30, opened up about the launch of her new career in an exclusive interview with Page Six Style. 

“It felt chaotic. It felt like my first wrestling match all over again!” she divulges.

“I’m back to being the new girl. It felt like everyone was like, ‘Who’s this? Who’s taking my spot?’ But I just had to walk in with confidence like I knew what I was doing because this has been a dream of mine for such a long time, to be in the modeling space.”

The California native, born Mercedes Varnado, let go of any nerves she had by “channeling [her] inner Tyra Banks,” she says. 

Sasha Banks backstage at the Mister Triple X show“It felt chaotic,” Banks tells Page Six Style. “It felt like my first wrestling match all over again!”

“I took a deep breath and told myself, ‘I belong,’” recalls Banks, whose stage name nods to the iconic Victoria’s Secret Angel she idolized as a child.

“Tyra, Adriana Lima, I grew up watching all of the Victoria’s Secret girls, so I always dreamt of being on a runway,” she says. “Watching those girls, I was always like, ‘I want to have wings one day.’”

According to Banks, strutting down the catwalk for Mister Triple X’s “Heaven and Hell”-inspired presentation on Thursday evening felt close enough. 

“The show started out with snake prints and devil vibes. Then it went into these angels, which I loved. And then at the end, we all carried out apples like the forbidden fruit. It was so cool,” she says of the collection’s biblical motifs.

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Banks stunned in a metallic number for the Mister Triple X show.

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Banks stunned in a metallic number for the Mister Triple X show.

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“I was so nervous, but I called on my guardian angels, Archangel Michael specifically, and all my spirit guides to watch over me. It felt like I had my own personal wings — finally. I didn’t trip, thank God. I flew.”

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For Mister Triple X, Banks modeled a metallic pewter jumpsuit with structured shoulder pads, accompanied by a black skirt, sky-high heels and a massive statement necklace. 

On Friday, Jessica Jade dressed Banks in a bright blue minidress covered in crystals with a thick black belt that read, “Fuhgeddaboudit.”

Making the moment distinctly unforgettable, though, was walking next to her best friend and fellow pro wrestler, Trinity Fatu, for a second consecutive night. (Fatu, 34, also walked in Mister Triple X.)

Trinity Fatu and Sasha Banks walking the runway for Jessica JadeBanks (right) walked alongside fellow pro wrestler and “soul sister” Trinity Fatu in the Jessica Jade show. Getty Images for Runway 7

“Trinity is my best friend, my soul sister, my partner in everything,” says Banks. “While I was channeling Tyra, Trinity was serving Naomi Campbell on the runway.” 

Fatu stunned in a similar Jessica Jade number, hers neon green and accessorized with sporty — yet very sparkly — leg coverings. Her belt read, “I’m Walkin’ Here.” 

“Jessica Jade custom-made these pieces for us. They were beyond beautiful. It fits us, our characters, our lifestyles just so perfectly and I hope our fans loved them as much as we did,” Banks says of the electrifying looks. “Jessica is just a beyond-amazing designer and all her stuff is glamorous and glittery, right up my alley.” 

Banks — who describes her personal style as “very extra” when out on the town and “comfy casual” at home — says that she has been preparing for this moment her entire life. 

Sasha Banks on the runway for Jessica JadeBanks calls her sparkling blue Jessica Jade number “beyond beautiful.” Getty Images for Runway 7

“I’ve been walking down sidewalks, I’ve been walking down streets just strutting my stuff,” she says. “It’s not easy to walk in heels, it’s not easy to put on people’s garments and feel that different energy and a different character. Runway work requires technique.” 

Beyond the runway, Banks wants to make a mark in editorials. Her first is a spread in the October issue of Vogue Scandinavia. 

“I want to walk in Paris and Milan next, but I’m also just trying to make my way through this modeling world and get in all the magazines. Vogue feels like a good start,” she says, revealing that she wore a series of bridal designs from Johana Hernandez’s Glaudi line for the shoot. 

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“To put on these beautiful, larger-than-life wedding dresses, I just felt like the queen, the princess, the boss that I am.” 

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