With his Superman physique and dashing good looks, it’s easy to stereotype Rico Paris as soon as he walks in the door. You might try and dismiss him as “just another pretty boy,” but once you engage with the talented up-and-comer, that idea quickly fades.
Paris Powell was born of African-American and Puerto Rican descent to two musician/singer parents, both who would strongly influence Paris’ future. Lately, Rico Paris has been making his own waves in the New Orleans’ fashion industry.
Raised in Vancouver, Canada until he was nine, Rico traveled the world with his parents, Troy Powell and Atonia Powell, as they booked gig after gig for their group, “High Quality.” Beijing, Hong Kong, Dubai, Taiwan, and Indonesia were merely homes away from home for a young Rico. He stayed at hotels in the foreign countries for six months at a time, soaking in the culture and admiring his parent’s grind.
Rico dabbled in drumming, even played in a band at one time but the music bug never fully got a hold of him. Once the family settled in New Orleans permanently, he found himself at the receiving end of bullying. So he did what any 13-year-old kid would do. He took up boxing as a way of defending himself. “It was something to channel, not necessarily anger, but all emotion,” Rico explains. “It teaches you how to be disciplined and how to be where you’re supposed to be at the right time. Because if not, you’ll get hit.” These lessons learned in the harsh disciplines of boxing have continued to guide a young Rico through his life and prepared him for his next big adventure.
At the age of 17, Rico joined the Air Force where he served for eight years. His time in the military further expanded his world travels as he visited countries such as Japan and Germany. It was this experience that finalized the formula that transformed Rico into the man he is today. Combining the discipline of boxing with the discipline of the U.S. military, with a sprinkle of talent and raw determination, you have a man who can accomplish anything.
Today, Rico concentrates on the Rico Paris brand which highlights his healthy lifestyle as well as his modeling and acting career. “I don’t really desire the same stuff people my age do because I’ve done it and I know there’s no substance in it. My family – that’s where my substance lies. That’s where my loyalty lies,” he confides.
Rico’s mother passed away in July 2016 after a battle with colon cancer forcing him to deal with his grief in a positive manner. “I’m turning my pain into progress,” he says. He’s starting a nonprofit based on health and wellness, and he dedicated it to the memory of his late mother. Beyond the nonprofit, he continues to hit the runway and pursue acting while pushing his trademarked Rico Paris brand.
You can follow Rico Paris on Facebook to keep in step with his fast-paced life and his website, www.ricoparis.com