“Growing up with a single Jamaican mother has taught me the importance of hard work” – A Conversation with model, owner & designer Jessica Lee Wong

Jessica Lee Wong is a professional model, owner and designer behind XhaleSwim, a luxurious handmade swimsuit collection. She graduated from Florida State with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Minor in Psychology. Here is my conversation with the multitalented Jessica Lee Wong.

What is your connection to Jamaica?
I am the first-generation American-Jamaican. My entire family was born in Jamaica.

Jessica Lee Wong

What inspired you to get into the modeling industry? 
My modeling career began after being placed Top 10 in the 2017 Miss Universe Jamaica Pageant in Kingston, Jamaica. I was voted the Most Popular Contestant by The Gleaner and I also received the Lasco Coolest Contestant. Being a curvy, confident contestant helped me to be more comfortable with myself. I also believe that most women were also able to relate to me.

I was immediately selected to be the solo model on the 2018 Wray & Nephew calendar and was the solo model in “The Way Life Goes” music video with Lil Uzi Vert featuring Nicki Minaj.

Tell us about your swimsuit company?
I successfully launched XhaleSwim in March 2018. XhaleSwim was created with the philosophy for all women to feel comfortable and confident moments before discarding their cover ups. “Relax and Lose the Cover Up!” is XhaleSwim’s simple philosophy.

Xhaleswim by Jessica Lee Wong
Xhaleswim by Jessica Lee Wong

Every swimsuit within the XhaleSwim collection is handmade by an experienced seamstress. Xhaleswim’s pieces are one of a kind, designed to be completely reversible, a one-shoulder piece could easily be flipped to be worn on the left or right. Other intricacies include adjustable strings to hug and never constrict the body, as well as its reversible swimsuit that can be worn 4 different ways!

Jessica Wong in Xhaleswim Swimsuit
Jessica Wong in aXhaleswim Swimsuit

Xhaleswim is a swimsuit collection with a simple ideology, “We want women to exhale and breathe in their swimwear! Xhaleswim wants the moment a woman reveals their bodies in a swimsuit to be a celebration! XhaleSwim wants women to love and accept themselves as the confident ladies they were born to be.”

Jessica Wong as Storm
Jessica Wong as Storm

How many times would you say your photos “Broke the Internet”?
Strange enough, the pictures that I may be most remembered for are my Halloween depictions of “Storm and Avatar”. It feels great that I executed the concept, hair, makeup, and wardrobe independently. I also had a wonderful experience dressing up at Storm in Mavado music video, “Me Alright“.



When it’s all said and done, what do you want to be remembered as?
I would love to be remembered as the person who never gave up! Growing up with a single Jamaican mother has taught me the importance of hard work, determination, and perseverance.

Perhaps my proudest accomplishment was being selected to be a part of the #GoodSquad (Good American campaign).

Upcoming projects?
I started a podcast with the hopes for my voice to be heard. During this quarantine, I would love to find the time to record more episodes.

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