Fashionista of the Month | Nicole O’Brian Lassiter
She is stunning, beautiful, and amazingly down to Earth. Former Miss Texas and Miss USA runner-up, Nicole O’Brian Lassiter is one of Houston’s gems. At present married to an amazingly awesome man and a proud mom of 3 kids. Her children keep her extremely busy with baseball, baseball and more baseball and her daughter is finishing her senior year at Episcopal High School. Currently an actor and model with Page Parkes Center of Modeling and Acting in Houston and she is the CEO of a consulting business, Bee Your Best Inc. where she coaches young women on stage presentation, modeling, poise, styling as well as interview training and interpersonal skills.
Nicole sat down with Lights Camera Action’s Ruchi Mukherjee at Elizabeth Anthony Uptown Park, Houston, Texas for a candid talk about her life, passions, and family.
I had a friend in my dance class that was involved in pageantry as a child and I begged my mother to enter. My mother was a bit of a feminist and refused. I would never let up asking. Eventually, at the age of 15 my grandmother received information about the MISS BAY AREA TEEN USA pageant and we both put pressure on my mom. We made a deal that I could enter the pageant if I improved my grades and dedicated myself to doing my best. I won the swimsuit fitness award and placed second runner-up out of 8 girls. I came back the next year and won MISS BAY AREA TEEN USA and won TEXAS TEEN USA 2000. At MISS TEEN USA I was 1st Runner-up and won the Swimsuit Fitness Award. I again won my local MISS BAY AREA USA pageant in 2002 and was selected as Most Photogenic and won the title of MISS TEXAS USA 2003. That year the national pageant was held in San Antonio and it was such a thrill for my home state to host the televised event and represent Texas. I placed 2nd Runner-up at MISS USA which is owned in partnership by Donald Trump and NBC.
What was it like to be a model at such a young age?
Modeling for me was part of my life as a teenager and not my life. I was very grounded in church and school activities and modeling was just another one of my fun activities in high school.
What was your favorite part about being Miss Texas USA and a Miss USA runner up? Or as a model?
Hearing my name called “Texas, Nicole O’Brian” on national television and having the opportunity to work with so many terrific service organizations. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after I was crowned MISS TEXAS USA. The crown gave me the opportunity to speak on college campuses and throughout Texas about breast cancer awareness and early detection. Also as an adopted child I took every opportunity to get my message of “choice not chance determines human destiny” to at risk kids. I tried to drive home the message that no matter our circumstances we become our choices. I learned most children in foster care carry their belongings in garbage bags when they arrive at a foster home. I initiated a drive “My Stuff Matters” during my reign to collect duffle bags and backpacks for kids in foster care. The association of a child carrying a garbage bag was horrid to me. I hope to eventually organize the “My Stuff Matters” campaign again on some level. I believe a message delivered from personal experience is powerful and it doesn’t hurt when speaking to young girls to have a crown on your head to deliver your message.
Like everything in life find balance and don’t “over-do”. Wear one item that makes a statement and then build your look from there to have a balanced presentation when you walk into a room. For me that is often “shoes” or a dramatic piece of jewelry. You should wear the look and not the look wear you! Most of all whatever you are wearing “own it, rock it!” and if you feel confident you will have a commanding presence.
What’s in your closet? Favorite designers and why?
I’m a HUGE shoe FANATIC! I have more shoes than my closet can hold! I have a funky eclectic sense of style, which is why, a few of my favorite shoe designers include Christian Louboutin, Giuseppe Zanotti, Valentino and Alexander McQueen. I also love handbags, Louis Vuitton specifically, and jewelry! I have tons of clothes and love to put random outfits together when I’m going out on the town but I typically pick my shoes first and build my outfit from my feet up !
You will not step out of the house without?
Concealer and my Starbuck’s card? I break for “Starbuck’s”.
What do you like about Houston the most?
Our Texans! We are a huge sports family and are at all Texans home games and most Rockets games. I love the dynamics and “Can Do” spirit of our city. We have it all! From NASA that symbolizes to the world the technological drive of our city to our exceptional performing arts and beautiful Theater district.
If you were the President of the United States of America what would you do?
First of all I would surround myself with an exceptional team of experts and insist on the truth from my team. After national security, I would hope to improve our education system and initiate a campaign in our schools to teach our kids self respect and personal accountability.