1. For a model adjusting to new countries with their own cultures it must be difficult and then to adjust with modeling career in the new country, what advice you can give to fellow models in a similar situation?
As a model, you are really blessed to have the support and guidance of your agency, that’s why it’s so important to have a good team on your side, and a good, honest, relationship with your booker, as they will be your go-to’s when you move to new cities and new working environments. Every country/ city has it’s style, what their creatives are looking for can differ greatly, and the energy they want from a girl. While I think it always important to be yourself, and bring your own personality and flair to your work, it also helps to have you team on the ground giving you some tips, and the cities low down on getting around, staying safe, and a bit of etiquette, be it Paris, Milan, Hamburg, London, New York, Sweden or Hong Kong, they all differ so much!
2. You can pose in underwear, swimwear and fashion. How are you so confident with your appearance? What are your tips?
To some extent, an on camera confidence is something you either have or don’t have, I can ironically be quite shy in person, but get me on set and a different side of me emerges, I get to play and have fun and express different sides of my personality, and I love creating “that image”. Obviously body confidence comes from looking after yourself, and knowing that you are at your physical best for a shoot, when you feel your best you deliver your best. If I have something big coming up that I feel nervous about I will always train extra hard, and use that to fuel my own confidence. One thing you will gain with experience is an understanding of what looks good, after a decade of shooting, I know my lighting and how to play on it and work it to my best advantage, I know what angles will work best and what shapes will flatter different styles of clothing… Listen to your team and scrutinize your own pictures to see what works and what doesn’t. Never stop seeking out inspiration also from the high fashion mags and models you admire, past or present, you can learn a lot about style, shape and expression from these shoots, it’s an art form, appreciate it and grow from it.
3. When did you realize you could be a model professionally?
Hmmm… Good question. I suppose when I booked my first money job. I had worked several jobs, from babysitting almost every night from 14 onwards, then working saturdays in a hair salon, sundays in a UK’s equivalent of Home Depot, and several nights a week at a restaurant also, saving every penny for my first car. About 6 months after buying that car I booked a small campaign that would have bought the car and insurance in one! It blew me away and I think that’s when I sat up and started to take it seriously. I decided to give modeling a year, after college and before university, and approached it as a business, not so much chasing a dream… and that’s when I really saw the potential and opportunity in it, that it really was a career and a profession I had a knack for… the rest is history!
4. You are a media personality, model and a brand ambassador. How you manage such a remarkable multi-dimensional lifestyle?
In truth I don’t really see it like that, I have never stopped being the “me” that I always was, and I just bring that person into every situation, taking one day at a time. Sometimes I can feel a little overwhelmed, and pulled in different directions, I’ve never been too comfortable with the spotlight, but then I take a moment to absorb the life I am living, and appreciate it afresh. I think when I was younger I struggled with worrying that I wouldn’t measure up to what people were expecting of me, that I wouldn’t be “enough”, but as I’ve evolved into a woman my perspective has shifted, and I simply bring my best, what I have, to the table, and let my personality and work do the talking. Staying grounded is so important, and having a “base” and your people to earth and center you, get you back to what matters. Taking time out for myself to work out, eat good food, have a bubble bath, meet friends for a glass of wine, Skype and take my pup for a long walk are all ways to keep a sense of normality and calm amidsts the madness!
5. What exercises comprise your fitness regime or workout routine do you wish to share?
It’s a blend of cardio, like running or spinning, both of which I do several times a week, and resistance training to keep all muscle groups activated and toned, as well as everything working as it should. I do a lot of core work, which is your entire torso, and butt and hamstrings really. I work out my bum a lot! Not just for aesthetic reasons, but a strong butt is the foundation of a strong body! Pilates moves are really excellent for a strong core and mobility, and training rotationally and laterally as well, not just up and down, forward and back movements, as often modeling will have you in some awkward poses!
6. Do you have a special diet or have a strict menu that you follow to remain healthy and physically fit?
Most of us know what to eat and what not to, and I am probably as guilty as the rest of having my weaknesses, namely chocolate! But educating yourself on foods, what is actually in things and what those incredients are doing to you is really important, and will help you make smarter decisions on what you eat. I don’t diet per se, but I do generally always eat fresh, unprocessed foods, I fortunately love and crave veggies, and have never been a fan of fried foods or junk foods, but you know to stay away from such saturated unhealthy fats, even my snacks will be of natural and organic ingredients, like nuts and seeds, dried chick peas and crispy kale, and I’ll choose good chocolate – of a high cocoa content – over sugary processed candy style chocolates. It sounds boring perhaps, but I think once you get an appreciation of good food, and how good food is supposed to make you feel – not lethargic and tired as junk food will – you don’t really want anything else for your body.
This all goes out of the window however when presented with the desert menu, haha, in which case its a balance… order a lighter dinner if you know you want desert… or only have desert one or two nights a week. Sharing deserts is my saving grace, or as the french say… “Mange-Le-Moitié”, which essentially means eat what you want but only a little!
7. What treatments do you do, to keep young and glowing skin and hair?
I’m a big fan of Mario Badescu skin care, as they have every type of variations in their products and taylor make them for very specific and varied skin needs, they are gentle on the skin, very effective, affordable and they never test on animals. What you put in will translate in your skin, so hydration and diet is important, but so is a daily skin care system, and indeed sunblock, I am never lower then an SPF 25, even on a cloudy winters day.
Body brushing and using oils on the skin keeps it even and subtle, I recently fell in love with Nuxe dry body oil, its just gorgeous.
As for hair, again, your product choices are important, so do your research and find something specific for your hairs needs. I am a big fan of the Australian company O&M, natural plant based products that really nurture your hair, smell freakin’ amazing and leave it like silk! Joseph Mullen at O&M salon in New York has been my go to hair guru and savior for years, and Ricky at Tommy Gunns in London, both of these color technicians are artists when it comes to achieving natural looking high or low lights and hair care.
I do a hair and face mask once a week, and travel with them if I know I am going to be working in intense conditions.
8. Advice and motivational words to aspiring and budding fashion models?
The modeling world is both exciting and exasperating! It’s an illusive, fast paced and unpredictable industry, with a melting pot fusion of characters and yes, egos. The early days as a model are not easy, some soar to the top over night, and for some it takes years to even find their market and make any money, and along the way you will meet a lot of criticism, question your ability and physique, and have to put in a lot of time shooting tests with up and coming photographers and stylists, doing editorials for no money, experimenting with your look and trawling around on castings and go-see’s. You will face rejection on a daily basis and have great opportunities and big sums of money on the table, only to then not get it.
It’s tough, tougher then you might think, it wears you down and is certainly not all glamour, glitter and parties. Some can network and social media their way to the top, and others are more private, but whatever your style if I could give you three words to remember they would be INTEGRITY, GROUNDING and PLAY!.
* Keep your real friends around you, your family close, the people that knew and loved you before this became your world, learn who the people are that will bring you a juice press when your sick or are happy to do nothing with you, the people that love you just as much when your in your PJ bottoms and beat up uggs, rocking a tragic look with no money, as when your glammed up and doing something chic, those are the people that will really cheer you on when things are going well, and support you when they are not.
* Operate with integrity, it’s very easy to feel like you need to be bigger, better, louder, skinnier, raunchier, more famous, more interesting etc in this world, but the second you start changing who you are to fit a mold of what you think people want you to be, you will loose yourself, and those that really count. Remember where you came from, wherever that maybe, and those that make up the pieces to your puzzle. Never get too big for your boots, because you’ll find yourself barefoot and the ground is rough!! Be good to people, don’t do anything today that you wouldn’t be proud to look back on tomorrow.
* And play! Enjoy it! You will get to do the silliest things, go to the most random places, and have cool shots taken of you, it’s like playing dress up and make believe for a living!! Have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously!!
On a physical level, your body, face, skin, teeth and hair are now your business, so get your hiney into the gym, look after your skin, cleanse, tone and moisturize religiously! Find a skin care system that works for you and invest in it. Hair treatments for your hair are essential as your hair takes some abuse having it blow dried, curled/ straightened, tonged and teased daily. Use a body brush and moisturize to keep your skin smooth, even and glowing. The more you put into your body as a business, the more business you will get out of it. And it’s going to go through a lot, so look after it! Get your sleep, your veggies en mass, and water water water, original advice? No. But it’s cliche for a reason, it works!
9. Do you have any talents we don’t know about?
ve to still be able to model, as I really do love the variety and challenges my job presents, as well as the opportunities, but I will hopefully have my own business by then, and a boutique shop on the horizon maybe… maybe 🙂
10. What would you like to achieve this time next year?
My first line up and running in production and available online… watch this space…Hmmm… Well I am and have always been creative, I do all the cliches I am afraid, I paint and write whenever I get chance, I also design and make jewelry which is both my passion and motivation for the “what’s next”. I love cooking too! Food is a passion of mine and I love to mess with ingredients and ve to still be able to model, as I really do love the variety and challenges my job presents, as well as the opportunities, but I will hopefully have my own business by then, and a boutique shop on the horizon maybe… maybe 🙂
11. What would you like to achieve this time next year?
My first line up and running in production and available online… watch this space…flavors when given half the chance… limited in my cube of an NY apartment, but I try! I am also a bit of a DIY monkey, I love redesigning and creating my apartment, and getting down and dirty with my own painting, drilling and fixing things up, so much so I have moved 6 times in 10 years with a whole new vision! I am just about to start building myself a bed! Or at least a head board kind of piece, with salvaged barn wood and reclaimed industrial pulleys! This is going to be interesting!ve to still be able to model, as I really do love the variety and challenges my job presents, as well as the opportunities, but I will hopefully have my own business by then, and a boutique shop on the horizon maybe… maybe 🙂
12. What would you like to achieve this time next year?
My first line up and running in production and available online… watch this space… (I have a habit of being wildly over ambitious but then have such an image in my head I can’t not do it!)
13. Where do you see yourself in 25 years?
Gosh. Can we start with five years? Ideally still in my beloved city NYC, I would love to still be able to model, as I really do love the variety and challenges my job presents, as well as the opportunities, but I will hopefully have my own business by then, and a boutique shop on the horizon maybe… maybe 🙂
14. What would you like to achieve this time next year?
My first line up and running in production and available online… watch this space…