Local Style: Briley & Leslie
Briley and Leslie Jones are the Directors of Jones Model Management.
You were married in 2016 and your wedding was featured on Vogue.com. What was the most memorable part of that day for each of you?
Briley: I think the most memorable part of the day for me was after all the madness, after the I do’s, after the family drama we could just be Mrs. & Mrs. Jones together in our bed with French fries, watching The Office.
Leslie: Our wedding day was so chaotic but there was this one moment during the ceremony right before Eugenia (the officiant) said “I now pronounce you wife and wife” where we locked eyes and suddenly it was like no one else was there with us. Like it was just the two of us. That was my favorite memory…and the fries.
You were also the first LGBTQ couple to be photographed for Teen Vogue. Can you tell me a little about that experience?
Briley: My favorite part was being able to tell my coming out story and letting the world see Leslie and I together as a couple. Love is love.
Leslie: I think my favorite part of being the first real LGBTQ couple featured in Teen Vogue (!!!) was letting today’s LGBTQ+ youth know that no matter how difficult life may seem in that moment, keep going. No matter what, do not give up. If I can find my person, so can you.
How has your experiences as models in New York been able to transfer over into your new careers as agents?
Briley: I feel like we can look at our models and say, “I’ve been there.” We’ve experienced almost everything, if not everything, they’re going through. Not all kids their age are doing the things they are, so they have two people who have gone through what they are experiencing.
Leslie: I second what Briley said. But also talking to our friends who are models has really been beneficial. We’ve seen their experiences or heard about them, both positive and some they wish they could change. We’ve taken all these things and tried to apply them or change them for the better for our models. We want them to have everything our friends and ourselves had or didn’t have and make their experiences the best as possible.
What inspired you in choosing Austin as home?
Honestly, we selected Austin randomly. We needed somewhere warm for Briley’s joints (She has rheumatoid arthritis) and we also needed somewhere LGBTQ friendly. So, we googled the top ten most LGBTQ friendly cities in the US. The only warm one in the top 5 or so was AUSTIN. Neither of us had ever been here before until we relocated.
What has been the most rewarding moment since starting Jones Model Management?
Briley: Meeting all of these young, talented men and women. They are not just models. They are artist, skaters, photographers, designers, advocates and the future. When I look at each of our models, I see so much potential inside of them. The crazy part is that some of them don’t even know what they are capable of and we get to help bring that out.
Leslie: It’s incredible watching these amazing young people become confident not only in their work but becoming confident in themselves. We look at them and see how special and magnificent each one of them is, but when the moment happens when they finally see how amazing they are — that is my favorite moment.
What were some of your most memorable moments in the industry as models?
Briley: Shooting with Ben Hassett for Harper’s Bazaar US. He’s one of my favorite photographers I ever shot with. I got to wear Gucci, jam out to David Bowie and work with the most incredible team that was all on the same energy level as me. It didn’t feel like work, it was fun.
Leslie: Can I say meeting my wife? That’s my favorite. Without being a model I’m not sure that would have happened. But… if I had to pick a moment, it was shooting with the iconic Peter Lindbergh for HUGO BOSS. It was a surreal moment. He has worked with all the top supermodels.
Favorite spots for date night in Austin?
Any exciting things coming from JMM in the near future?
All we can say is stay tuned. Always be expecting something exciting from us.