Tanaya Henry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tanaya Henry
Tanaya Henry.jpg
Born Tanaya K. Henry
(1988-08-31) August 31, 1988 (age 28)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Occupation Jewelry designer, Model
Parent(s) Tawnya Lynn Nelson (mother)
Derick Anthony Henry (father)
Relatives Katya Elise Henry (sister)
Website www.lacebytanaya.com

Tanaya K. Henry (born August 31, 1988) is an American jewelry designer & model from Minneapolis, Minnesota.[1]

Early life and Biography[edit]

Tanaya Henry was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 31, 1988. She is of Native American (Sioux & Potawatami tribes), African American, Swedish & Russian descent. She is the daughter of Tawnya Lynn Nelson and Derick Anthony Henry, and has two younger siblings, Katya Elise Henry and Gabrielle Henry. She grew up in various parts of Minnesota. She danced and was a competitive cheerleader for five years. Beginning modeling at the age of nine, she worked with many companies based in Minnesota, including Target. As she got older, Henry shot with local Minneapolis photographers. She graduated from Prior Lake Senior High in 2006 [2] and went to college at a local community college to study computer programming. Within the same year, she dropped out of college and moved to New York City at the age of 19 to work as a professional model. [3]

Henry's father Derick has been a bodyguard for over 20 years protecting some of the worlds biggest superstars, including Prince, Oprah Winfrey, Sting, Jonas Brothers, Mary J. Blige, Maxwell, Janet Jackson, Avril Lavigne, and more. He has retired from body guarding and owns a security company which provides security to celebrities and VIPs worldwide. Derick Henry is also part-owner of Miami's first 24-hour strip-club and restaurant, E11even Miami.


Shortly after moving to New York, Henry signed with Wilhelmina Models and modeled in national campaigns for companies including Sephora, Make Up For Ever, Xbox, Apple, Target, Disney, and Clairol.

Henry gained attention when she became a human billboard from her year-long She Wears Your Tee campaign in 2010.[4] Henry and some childhood friends from Minnesota came up with the idea to sell the days on her calendar to companies in exchange for promotion. This marketing technique attracted media coverage.[3][5][2][3] The site featured a calendar where reservations could be made by the day for Henry's marketing services, with the price increasing by $1 per day. Companies participating included Adidas, Vimeo, Groupon, hip-hop group Atmosphere and others.[6][7][4][5] She later moved into a warehouse in Hoboken, New Jersey called the Pudding Factory, owned by photographer River Clark, with whom she collaborated.[2][8][1][6] Being immersed in the Andy Warhol-like creative factory, she was drawn in by the creative process. She started to direct creative photoshoots with Clark. Henry quickly learned about photography and how to use Photoshop to edit her photos. Being computer-savvy at a young age allowed her to be able to design her own websites.

In late 2009, Henry developed an earring necklace by hand, known as the "earlace"[7] after not being able to find them in stores. Henry worked as a go-go dancer at multiple NYC nightclubs from 2008-2010 to fund her budding jewelry business. Her co-workers started buying the earrings from her, one of them being a bartender at M2 Lounge on 28th between 10th & 11th Ave. One evening, her "earlace" caught the attention of Alicia Keys' stylist. Weeks later, the earrings were on the cover of the last issue of Giant Magazine worn by Keys. [9] She then created different variations of the earlace, catching the eyes of stylists like Mariel Haenn (Rihanna) and Niki Schwan (Nicki Minaj) through one of Henry's best friends, stylist Maeve Reilly. One of the variations of Henry's earlace appeared in Nicki Minaj's "Your Love" music video.[10][8][citation needed]] After this, she decided to start her company "Lace by Tanaya."

Through her personal relationships with celebrities and their stylists, Henry's jewelry line Lace by Tanaya has since been spotted on the likes of Beyonce, Zendaya, Kylie Jenner, Kendall Jenner, Khloé Kardashian, Janelle Monáe, Alicia Keys, Cassie, Ciara, Jhené Aiko, Miley Cyrus, Tyra Banks, Ashanti, Pia Mia, Kat Graham, supermodel Jessica White, Karrueche Tran, Kesha, Christina Milian, Amber Rose, Nas, Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi, R. Kelly, Trey Songz, Chris Brown, Russell Brand, & Swizz Beatz. Lace by Tanaya has been featured in publications like Russian Vogue, British Vogue, Harper's Baazar, Lucky Magazine, Complex Magazine, Huffington Post and more.

Henry moved from New York City to Los Angeles, CA in late 2011 to pursue commercial modeling and acting. She signed with and is still represented by NTA Models & Talent, modeling for companies like Ciroc, Fiat, True Religion, L'oreal and Nike.

In 2014, Henry appeared as the love interest in Trey Songz music video for "Slow Motion."

Filmography (including music videos)[edit]

Year Title Role
2015 "Slow Motion" starring Trey Songz Featured (video)
2010 "Gun" starring 50 Cent Featured
2009 "Hunting Shadows" Independent Film Valeska[9] (Lead)
2011 "It Ain't Over 'til It's Over" Featured
2011 "Body 2 Body" Featured
2011 "Birthday Dress"[10] Lead
2011 "Work Out"[11] Featured
2011 "Try"[12] Lead
2010 "Fall for Your Type"[13] Featured
2010 "All I Want Is You"[11] Lead
2010 "Pretty Girls"[11] Featured
2009 "Press It Up" Featured


Year Product Notes
2014 Ciroc
2014 True Religion
2012 Curls Unleashed
2012 Clairol
2012 Fiat
2012 Body LX
2012 E! Summer Line Up Starring The Kardashians
2011 Bing Starring Swizz Beatz
2010 Lugz Starring Cain Velasquez


  1. ^ a b "Tanaya Henry". makingofamogul.com. Retrieved 2011-09-10. 
  2. ^ a b J., C. (2010-02-03). "SheWearsYourTee.com is part of her body of work". Star Tribune Lifestyle. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  3. ^ "NEW YORK FASHION MODEL GETS GEEKY". shewearsyourtee.com. 
  4. ^ Kennedy, Lesley (2010-02-02). "Model Will Wear Your T-Shirt and Promote Your Brand for a Small Fee". Stylelist.com News. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  5. ^ "Pay A Model For Your Shirt On Her Back". CocoPerez.com. Retrieved 2011-02-03. 
  6. ^ Milner, Iman (2011-08-11). "Beyond The Stereotype: Tanaya Henry". Edge Magazine. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  7. ^ "Fashion Jewelry Trends: Lace by Tanaya". BijouTresor.com. Retrieved 2011-08-02. 
  8. ^ "Interview with Tanaya Henry, Model & Designer of Lace by Tanaya". LA Fashion Report. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  9. ^ "Tanaya Henry - IMDb". IMDb.com. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "LIL PLAY "BIRTHDAY DRESS" MUSIC VIDEO". Retrieved 2015-05-24. 
  11. ^ a b c "The 25 Hottest Urban Models to Follow on Instagram". complex.com. February 27, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2015. 
  12. ^ https://youtube.com/devicesupport, 2015-04-17, retrieved 2015-05-24  External link in |title= (help)
  13. ^ "The 50 Hottest Urban Models - Tanaya Henry". Retrieved 2015-05-24. 

External links[edit]