While growing up on a farm, model, actress, and entrepreneur Joy Corrigan learned the importance of using her platform and talents to support animals and family. Corrigan jumpstarted her modeling career at a young age, and recently started to venture into acting through roles in the thriller films, Reprisal and Aftermath. On August 1st, Corrigan released her new clothing and swimsuit brand, “Naked Species,” which will donate 10% of all proceeds to the Wild Tomorrow Fund. The North Carolina native is dedicated to protecting wildlife and continues to use her platform to raise awareness.
The Untitled Magazine caught up with Joy Corrigan to chat about her modeling career, her new fashion collection, and her spark for philanthropy. Continue reading below for the full interview.
You have had quite a journey, going from a small farm town in North Carolina to an international career in fashion and entertainment. Can you tell us what your childhood was like?
Growing up with 9 siblings on a farm in North Carolina was an absolutely amazing experience. I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it was for sure fun and I learned a lot of skills that I’ve been able to use in my life now. We were all homeschooled and used to build forts and campfires, get lost in the woods, milk the goats, ride horses, and even play with the llamas. The most valuable skills that I learned growing up was that family matters most, you don’t need money to be happy, we need diverse species to survive and happiness is being grateful and finding beauty in the simple things.
Tell us about your early experiences modeling – how did you get started?
Getting into the modeling and fashion industry was very hard at first, many agencies declined me. They said things like, “you are too short”, “too blonde” and “we already have a girl that looks like you”. After not giving up, I finally signed with a small agency in Miami. I had to work hard to prove myself. Shooting every day, with hard work and a great attitude on set, I was able to make meaningful relationships with clients and photographers. I made a name for myself and most importantly a good impression on anyone I crossed paths with in the industry. After a couple of years the bigger agencies in Miami were asking for me, the same ones that had declined me earlier. I then started traveling the world and my experience and impressive book made me more valuable. Now I work with great agencies throughout the world!
You have worked with so many established brands and magazines over the years, looking back, what would you consider to be some of your most memorable productions as a model?
Some of my favorite parts of modeling were being able to travel and live all around the world. I love getting to meet new people and submerge myself into other cultures. I’ve lived in Italy, Australia, South Africa, and Germany. Many of the people I have met over the years, I have learned so much from and are now close friends. Not only has this experience given me a new perspective on life, but I’ve also learned to cook many different types of authentic dishes!
You previously starred in the Lionsgate action thriller film Reprisal alongside Bruce Willis. How did you get into acting and how was that experience?
I’ve always wanted to be an actress. Any free time I’ve had over the years, I would take acting classes. I was approached by a producer and asked to audition for this movie and booked the role! Since then, I have dedicated way more time to acting. I have an acting manager and commercial agent now and am constantly auditioning. I’ve booked several roles since and now it’s only a matter of time before I book that dream role! My dream role would be in an action film where I could use my karate skills. I’m a black belt in karate!
You recently starred in the 2022 Showtime TV series “Pumped” alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Can you tell us about your role on the show?
This show was super fun because I got to film on location in San Francisco! My sister lives there so she came and stayed with me in my hotel room and we would explore the city in my downtime. Getting to meet and work with Joseph was an absolute pleasure, he is very kind and super talented!
You must be excited about the launch of your swimsuit line ‘Naked Species’ which launched on August 1st. Can you tell us what inspired you to launch your own line?
With years of experience in the fashion industry, I took that knowledge and my passion to create the clothing and swimwear brand Naked Species. Ever since I was a child I always wanted to start my own clothing line. I would make clothing and cut up/alter clothing I owned to make it my own style. Now I make sure the designs I create stand out and bring awareness to a bigger cause. With every purchase we donate to Wild Tomorrow Fund, an incredible charity in Africa making changes and helping save beautiful endangered species.
We understand 10% of sales of the line will be donated to the Wild Tomorrow Fund which is dedicated to the protection of threatened and endangered species. Can you tell us about your mission to help animals?
After I decided to make a clothing brand, I knew it needed to make a difference. And most importantly I wanted to use my voice and platform to raise money and awareness. With my love for animals and finding out many of these beautiful creatures are facing extinction, I decided my mission is to help save these endangered species. That’s why I chose to donate to the incredible charity Wild Tomorrow Fund! For every piece I design, I try to incorporate a meaningful message or focus on a particularly endangered species. From the rhino hoodie and t-shirt with two rhinos procreating to the space sloth relocating to Mars, you can purchase these pieces that I designed and printed on 100% cotton fabric. I wanted these cute and edgy pieces of art to be worn to bring awareness to everyone that sports them! Every person who buys a swimsuit, streetwear, and unisex pieces can know that they are helping end extinction. I hope everyone loves to wear my designs as much as I love making them. Clothing, swim, and accessories that are edgy, bright, sexy, and most of all pieces that bring awareness to a bigger cause.
How did you get involved with the Wild Tomorrow Fund?
I did a lot of research before I decided to partner with Wild Tomorrow Fund. I wanted to choose a charity that aligns with my values and that is most importantly working towards the same cause that I’m passionate about! The Wild Tomorrow Fund believes the solution to the extinction crisis lies in the expansion of natural habitats in threatened wild places. Their approach is to protect, restore, and rewilding habitat. You can check out their website to see all the amazing things they are currently doing and the beautiful animals they are helping!
Do you have any pets yourself?
I don’t currently have any pets. I want a dog, but I travel too often. When things slow down for me I will adopt a puppy!
Did you design the new collection yourself? What inspired the designs?
I’m very excited about the new collection. With a retro outer space theme, all the pieces are named after planets and are bringing the 90s back. The Neptune bikini and reversible bucket hat have a retro blue heart pattern that will take you back in time! For this collection, I wanted to focus on one particular endangered species, the sloth. One of our most popular designs in this collection is this Space Sloth Tee. This oversized unisex tee is 100% cotton in faded black and has a cute space sloth design with text saying “The Pygmy three-toed sloth is critically endangered so will be relocating to Mars.”
You’ve walked for designers including Roberto Cavalli and Vivienne Westwood – who are your favorite designers today?
My favorite brand is Naked Species 😉 also, I love working with Alo, Grande cosmetics, and Beach Bunny swimwear!
Any dream collaborations?
I would love to collaborate with Honest the brand by Jessica Alba, she is doing great things with clean beauty and skincare!
Can you share any upcoming projects you have coming up as an actress or model that we can also look out for?
I’m filming a new comedy movie next month! I can’t release the details, but I’m super excited! Stay tuned, you can follow me on Instagram and TikTok @joycorrigan for more updates!
Are any exciting summer holiday plans in the works?
I’m going to visit my mom and dad later this month! I’m so excited I haven’t seen them since Christmas last year!