If you’re ever in New York City’s trendy SoHo neighborhood, you may just spot Melinda Berry strutting down its cobblestone streets. The 28-year-old model and TikTok star—who is based in Brooklyn, New York, and also appeared on this season of Too Hot To Handle as a contestant—had gained over 800,000 followers on her page for her videos, where she parades down the streets in an array of fabulous outfits. “I wanted to create a space where young women from all over the world could visit my page, and leave with confidence and inspiration to take on the world,” Berry tells Vogue.
Given she turns the public sidewalks into her runway, Berry gets no shortage of reactions while filming. “Sometimes I’ll get a crowd of people applauding me for my walks, or I’ll get people taking pics and videos,” she says. So the next time you see someone fabulous strutting around SoHo? Don’t be afraid to cheer her on—she loves it.
Below, Berry discusses how she perfected her runway walk, what’s in her closet, and what TikTok idea she has planned next.
What's your process for creating TikToks? Where do you get ideas?
All my ideas come from the music I listen to—from Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion, to Leikeli47. I have a whole playlist on my phone called “catwalks,” which are songs I want to create walks to. I’ll listen to a song from the list, and the ideas start to flow in my head.
Where do you like shopping for your pieces?
I get my favorite pieces from I.AM.GIA. Most of my outfits are from there.
What's the most special piece in your closet?
My most special piece I have is this fluffy, pink, puffy dress that I have not worn yet. Stay tuned for that.
How did you get so good at runway strutting? Any top models you look up to?
My absolute favorite runway model is Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks. They are my idols.
What's the secret to getting the perfect runway video?
The secret is confidence—when you have that, your videos will always look amazing. I usually take about 10-15 takes just to make sure I have enough to work with when I’m editing later.
What has been your most viral video, and why do you think it went viral?
My most viral video was a behind-the-scenes clip of what it looks like doing my runway videos. It reached about 12 million views, which for me was mind-blowing. I think it blew up because it showed how I am just a normal girl who messes up and can have fun with a shoot. Along with all the compliments I was getting from everyone on the streets.
What's your favorite TikTok of all time? And which one took you the longest?
I have so many favorites, but I think the one that I love the most is the one of me in the mall with the skirt on. It took me the longest to edit because I had the vision in my head and I wanted to make sure I was able to get it right.
What's the next big idea you want to attempt on TikTok?
My next big idea I want to create is a runway flash mob with all the beautiful women around NYC! I want to gather them together and strut down NYC with confidence in their best outfits. Stay tuned for that, because I’m going to make that happen.