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DJ Tyger Lilly


Equipped with a trinity of beauty, brains and talent Tyger Lilly commands just as much respect as she graciously gives whether on the runway or mixing at some of the world’s hottest events. After less than a year in New York City Danyelle Vilmenay, better known as DJ Tyger Lilly, was booked for her first runway show where she introduced herself to Tim Gunn, co-host of Project Runway. That chance meeting positioned Tyger Lilly to take the program and viewing world by storm instantly becoming one of the recurring stars of Project Runway and has since graced the catwalks for such designers as Viktor & Rolf, DSUARED2, Red Valintino, and Marc by Marc Jacobs.

Her schedule is a demanding one but DJ Tyger Lilly took some time out to chat with In Her Shoes about the influences that inspire her career, life in the fab lane, and her increasingly popular “Cubcakes.” Get to know New York City’s own Beauty and the Beat:


In Her Shoes: Bringing your two passions together, music and modeling, is an awesome mix. How were you able to fuse your talents together to create such a fulfilling career? 

DJ Tyger Lilly: Passion, that’s it!  When you have passion for something it’s easy to make it work. My love for fashion fuses the energy in my mixes, I find inspiration everywhere.  When I’m at photo shoots,  music helps give me fluid emotion, I pose to the beat.  I feel they go hand in hand, fashion needs music, music needs fashion, and I need both!

In Her Shoes: If you weren’t DJ’ing and modeling for a living, what could you see yourself doing?

In Her Shoes: I love cooking, and always wanted to be a chef!  I would have definitely had my own bakery by now, but I guess I can wait until my “Cubcakes” take off!  There’s nothing like a triple threat!

In Her Shoes: You’ve modeled for some of our favorite designers including Marc Jacobs and DJ’d across the country. What has been your greatest career highlight thus far?

DJ Tyger Lilly: I have been so blessed in my life, thankfully everyday is a highlight.  Although, if I had to choose, I would say the best moment in my career thus far was when I graced the catwalk in London for the first time.  I always thought my dreams where just that, and I would take whatever life had to offer.  When I got on that runway, I made up my mind to be the best I can be and to make ALL of my dreams come true.  My destiny is in my hands, now I’m just checking off that TO DO list!

In Her Shoes: What is a day like in DJ Tyger Lilly’s shoes?

DJ Tyger Lilly: Everyday is a surprise, I never know what I am going to get!  One day I will have 5 castings and then I have to rush off to DJ a private party.  Then the next day I have three dozen Cubcakes to make before I fly out of town for a shoot the next day.  I get bored pretty easy, so I try to keep myself busy looking for new inspiration.  I find new ways to improve my brand daily, it’s crucial to stay fresh in my career.

In Her Shoes: Music is a powerful and vital aspect of life. Which artists inspired your career path the most and why?

DJ Tyger Lilly: I love many different genres in music, each has its perfect place in getting us through life.  My granddad was a Jazz musician, so I had the blessing to learn the culture first hand. I have always been a fan of the old school artist such as Miles Davis, James Brown, and Nina Simone, just to name a few.  They were innovative and not afraid to think outside the box.  They knew who they where, what they loved and they shared it with the world.  That’s what I strive to do, being me and breaking down barriers makes me feel good inside. Especially when everyone is dancing freely with me, I love all the positive energy!

In Her Shoes: You have tons of young women looking up to you and your glamorous career. What words of wisdom would you share with young women following  your path?

DJ Tyger Lilly: Having a dream is a gift from above, you would not have had it, if it wasn’t meant for you.  Live your life, and love what you do, it makes the hard times seem more bearable.  As a woman, they will always tell us that we’re not strong enough, or smart enough to do it on our own.  They are wrong, the gift is within you! As long as you work hard, stay true to yourself and never stop believing in your dreams, they will definitely come true!

In Her Shoes: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and who was it from?

DJ Tyger Lilly: My mom once told me that: “Initiative is key. Anybody who wants to be somebody has to work as hard as they can to fulfill that dream.”

In Her Shoes: What can we expect from DJ Tyger Lilly this summer? 

DJ Tyger Lilly: You can expect many more Adventure’s in Tygerland mixes, jamming parties and a new Cubcake flavor!  I am always hustling and new doors are opened everyday, I plan on busting through them all!  Stay tuned…

To learn more about DJ Tyger Lilly click here!

As a New York City beauty PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created "In Her Shoes" to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.

4 Comments

  1. Gabriel Law

    May 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I love this interview! Tyger Lilly is one of the most beautiful spirits I have ever met. She is always upbeat with a positive attitude. She’s super focused & ambitious as evidence by her 3 careers. She is also very humble and gracious to those who support her. Awesome job!

  2. Tif Sippel

    May 11, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I love Tyger Lilly!!!!

  3. Jessica

    May 11, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Very inspiring!

  4. Bernie, COCOACHiC Beauty

    May 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I second Gabriel, DJ Tyger Lilly is a beautiful spirit, in addition to the beauty of her physical being & music mixing. xoxo

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