Since first being introduced to Toccara Jones on Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model, it was evident that the young and energetic Ohio native was destined to take the industry by storm. Easily one of ANTM’s most recognizable former contestants, Toccara has managed to carve her own lane in the world of fashion and entertainment with spreads in Vogue Italia, Essence, and Ebony, in addition to becoming a host for BET’s Take the Cake. At a recent stop on the Hennessy Remixed Tour in New York, XXLMag.com caught up with the curvaceous model where she spoke about her upcoming dating show, her role as a contributing Style Editor for Essence Magazine and gave tips to the Eye Candies trying to kill the game. —Kai Acevedo & Ralph Bristout
XXL: So what projects are you currently working on?
Toccara: I’m a contributing Style Editor for Essence Magazine, so each month for like the past six months I have been in the publication. The first time they’ve ever used a curvy girl consistently like that, so make sure y’all go and pick up Essence and check me out giving tips to curvy girls. I’m with Wilhelmina Models and they’ve been working me like crazy. I’ve been doing a lot of jobs out in London. I’m the spokesperson for Hennessy, Ms. Lady Hennessy 2011 and we are here in New York with my Master Mixologist Jordan and we’re just educating all our Hennessey family and friends that Hennessey is mixable, that you could take VS, that you don’t have to just drink it straight or on the rocks or with some Coke. We have four flavors that go really well with Hennessey, which is our ginger, apple, berry and citrus. And I’m also gonna be doing Donald Trump Presents the Ultimate Merger on TV One this Fall.
XXL: How did you become Ms. Lady Hennessey?
T: I’ve been working with Hennessey for three years, so this is my third year and I like what they do and they like what I do.
XXL: So it was a perfect marriage?
T: Perfect marriage.
XXL: You mentioned working in London. How was that?
T: Oh London is amazing. I have a client over there called Evans and it’s a plus-size clothing line and their clothes are really trendy and really fashionable and you know they’re really good. Yeah, but I love it over there in London.
XXL: So are you dating anyone?
T: I’m not dating anyone right now. That’s why I’m doing Donald Trump’s the Ultimate Merger on TV One. Actually, it’s gonna be me and twelve bachelors. Donald Trump is actually the Executive Producer and he’s going to find me twelve guys to date, ’cause I’m looking for love. [Laughs]
XXL: How did you link up with Donald Trump for the show?
T: Through TV One.
XXL: Have you guys started shooting the show yet?
T: No. We start shooting that in a few days actually. Yeah, and it’s gonna air this Fall, so I’m excited and I can’t wait to see what they look like. [Laughs]
XXL: Is it gonna be filmed in New York?
T: It’s gonna be a place where there’s sun and the fun. Any way you wanna take it. All of the above. [Laughs]
XXL: Do you plan on being in any music videos?
T: You know what I need to. I didn’t have any plans, but now I’m making some. I’m making some plans to do some music videos. Why not? I like the music videos. The music videos are amazing these days. They’re like mini-movies. They’re really creative.
XXL: Is there any particular music video that you’re feeling right now?
T: I haven’t gotten the chance to watch any TV. I’ve been on the road so much, but you know what I do like Keri Hilson’s video ["The Way You Love Me"] that she got. When she she tearing it up. She doing her dance. She working it. I’m like, “Go Keri, go Keri.” Ms. Keri baby! I love it. I think it’s hot.
XXL: What music are you listening to?
T: I like Wiz Khalifa. I’m digging his music.
XXL: What are five things an Eye Candy should do to get right for the summer?
T: You know what? There’s nothing new under the sun. I mean you should drink plenty of water. [Laughs] Drink plenty of water, you should exercise, you should eat right, you should—
XXL: Drink Hennessy—
T: [Laughs] You should practice your poses. Shit, for real. Practice makes perfect. They should practice their poses and what else should they do? Take their makeup off every night.