Fashionista Of The Week: Introducing The Beautiful Maria King

Maria King of “What_maria_wears” was originally born in Poland, but she has lived in Australia since the end of 2018. About a year ago, she was laid off from her job due to COVID-19 and she can definitely say that this event was the main driving force for her to start something new and that is when @what_maria_wears began.

As a professionally trained ballet dancer and graduate of Media Education and Journalism, she has always been a highly creative and social person, so creating her Instagram page was exactly what she needed. It gave her an opportunity to share the way she expresses herself through fashion, create content and connect with a lot of amazing women. The amount of support she has received from the community was more than what she expected, and it has been her biggest motivation since. She finds it amazing to see how women can support and inspire each other. After nearly a year she can honestly say that she’s happy with where her platform is heading and she’s incredibly grateful for all the amazing opportunities she was given when it came to collaborating with Australian and overseas fashion and beauty brands. Now she’s ready to grow more and see where it takes her.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Maria to discuss her journey in the fashion world and here’s what went down:

Where do you usually shop? Are there any hidden gems when it comes to snapping up some awesome designer clothes?

“What_maria_wears” is all about affordable fashion. I specialize in versatile styling and creating low-cost outfits, that look anything but cheap. I believe that fashion is for all of us, no matter what the budget is. I find designer fashion certainly not affordable for the average woman, so I shop anywhere I can find inexpensive fashion. There are plenty of brands like that here in Australia, you just have to have an open mind and do not limit yourself. I am also a huge fan of op shopping so I would definitely recommend those to anyone looking for hidden gems when it comes to fashion. Personally, I reckon half of my closet is second-hand.

What are your top tips when it comes to fashion for the cooler months?

The key to Autumn/Winter fashion for me is layering. There are a few tips and tricks on how to layer clothes and still look stylish. Some of my favourites are to invest in lightweight pieces for the base layer such as cotton blends or merino wool that still keeps you warm. Add thick knit on the top of that, use a coat as the very outer layer and you are ready to go!

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

I think inspiration is everywhere, as general as it sounds but it is true. You can get inspired by people you see on the streets, other fashion content creators, magazines you read, and even with movies you watch. I would not say that people particularly look for inspiration, I think it’s more of that inspiration is around us and it’s just important to be able to see it.

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

My overall goal is not to be fashionable at all. It is to inspire women, help them find their style, stick to it, and “shop” their closet. What I do is focusing on building my personal style and not really focusing on following trends. Of course, there are some trends I love but I always make sure that the items I add to my wardrobe are items I will love and wear for years. I find it very upsetting that some people buy a certain item and wear it once, considering the impact the fashion industry has on our environment.

How do you walk the line between being unique and having commercial appeal?

I set my own goals and boundaries, so I don’t find it hard at all. On my platform, I want to stay transparent and true to myself so I only collaborate with brands that suit my style and brands I believe that my audience would genuinely love. Having so many content creators nowadays, it is important not to compare yourself to others and believe in yourself. I am aware that I am not for everyone, and I am not trying to be. I focus on sharing what I love, and I am happy my audience enjoys it.

Are there any key trends you’ve seen for this year?

Trends come and go and it is impossible to keep up with all of them. I personally focus more on classic and staple pieces when it comes to styling but of course, there are some trends that have caught my attention. Statement sleeves, oversized fits, shoulder-padded pieces are some of my favourites. There are so many interesting ones, but I only go for the ones that suit my preferences.

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

I think there is a lot happening in fashion and I think that is what confuses most people who cannot find their own style. Trends are changing so much, and people are “told” what they should wear but they do not consider many important factors such as their personality, body type, or lifestyle. I would like to see, from us consumers more of a personal approach to fashion. To stop religiously following trends and focusing more on creating your unique style. Of course, there is nothing wrong with buying trendy items, as long as you buy them because you genuinely love them not because you feel you should, or other people wear them.

What are the clothes we can rid our wardrobes of that are considered very ‘last season’?

I do not think that we should add or remove items from our wardrobes based on trends. Why would you get rid of a coat that works for you and your closet only because other people start wearing something different? I personally stick to basic and staple pieces, and I build my style around it. Sometimes I will add a trendy piece because I like it, but it is always something that I am planning on wearing and keeping for a long time. I think people should focus more on building a capsule wardrobe that works for their style and lifestyle instead of following trends.

What fashion advice would you give an emerging fashionista?

I am not sure if I am in a place yet to give advice, but if there is something I have learned that I could share with people who are starting their journey with fashion, it is to stay true to yourself. Do not try to be like everyone else because then there is nothing that makes you different. Fashion is for everyone, but style is something very personal.

The fashion industry has changed so much in the past few years, what is the best advice you would give for staying ahead of the curve?

I am still very new in the fashion industry, so it is hard to say. I think we should treat fashion as a space that has a lot to offer and use it in our own way, the way that works for us. I think it is not necessary to “stay ahead of the curve” because, in my opinion, that is not the point. Fashion should give us joy and freedom to express ourselves through it, not cause headaches and stress to be “the first”, at least from my side, as a consumer and fashion lover.

Meet The Supermodel Behind The Cover Of The July 2021 Issue Of Model & Mode: The Stunning Joanne Nicolas

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Photographed by Tony Palliser

Joanne Nicolas, the talented, brilliant, and beautiful international fashion model, has established herself as one of the hardest-working supermodels in the modelling industry. She excels in various types of modelling and she’s highly experienced with several years of runway work under her belt.

Having 17 years of experience in the modelling industry mostly in New York and Sydney, she was scouted by Victoria Secret to the VS casting in 2011 New York, and she has modelled for several high profile brands such as Oppo with America’s Next Top Model, Maybelline, Myer, L’Oreal, Vera Wang, Sony, Chanel, Max Mara, Westpac, David Jones, Karl Lagerfeld and many more.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Joanne to discuss his journey in the modelling and fashion industry and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself besides being a model?

I’m a model, solicitor, fitness instructor, and model teacher. I’m also a mother of two boys, Matthew and Nicolas, But one thing is constant in my life; without fail, I’m always making time to exercise because exercise is my way of feeling positive, and a way of life for me. Growing up, I thought maybe being a personal trainer was where my life was heading, because I love sport, and was always an age champion year after year. In fact, I was unbeatable at athletics carnivals and district competitions for long-distance.

I used to be up every day before school at 4 am jogging in our backyard, lap after lap, as my dad’s land is enormous, and there was a track I actually made in the backyard from jogging in the same lap track. I was also doing Aerobics Oz Style following the TV instructor, followed by planks. I travelled to Malaysia at 14 years for netball and my position was a goal shooter. But netball wasn’t my long-term passion though, so it fizzled and I just focused on my HSC and used sport as my way of distressing from studying.

How did you get into the modelling industry?

I got into modelling by always being scouted by agents wherever I went. My mum would take all the cards from agents and throw them because she wanted me to focus on my schooling. I never modelled through school. It was just university study days and I was on my way to the State Law Library by train, first-year university into law, and was scouted by Jo from Beth Models. She stopped me and told me she saw me as supermodel material and she needed me to go upstairs to see Beth and get on their books. She was insistent, and she wouldn’t let me walk away. I finally met Beth, Paul, and they did some Polaroids and got me on their website. They called me later advising me of a Westpac casting to go to, and I only had 4 photos in my portfolio at the time. I wasn’t sure what to do – other models who were there had thick portfolios, so I was shocked when Beth called me to say I got the job. It was my first casting and first job, and all because I was on my way to do my uni essay. But I guess what is meant to be just will be.

What do you like most about being a model?

What I love about modelling is meeting amazing artists, models, designers, casting directors and giving justice to the hard work of designers and brands. I meet designers that have worked so hard on their collections, sometimes over 20 hours straight on one garment.. and I love being able to wear such incredible pieces because, at heart, I love fashion, and it also feels amazing to get that great feedback that the garment sold out, and is on reorder. I also love travelling, and modelling requires a lot of that. Especially in New York. I fit right into the New York scene because I work hard, and work fast.

The downside to being a model?

Being a model means being away from family and friends. I’m a very family-oriented person and was always on Skype, and staying up late to call friends and family in Sydney. I stayed with my best friend in New York, and had a very good group of Church friends in New York and we volunteered with feeding the homeless in New York soup kitchens in my downtime from castings. But deep inside I was always missing my family and friends and boyfriend who is now my husband. The travel can also mess with your body clock and I found it hard to sleep, and by the time you come back to Sydney, you’re then finally sleeping in New York time. There were so many times sleeping tablets crossed my mind but I’m an organic person so I never attempted sleeping tablets.

Another aspect is missing on various occasions because you’re always on call. I’ve missed weddings, christenings, birthdays, family functions because an agent has called and said Jo, I need you there. And I’m so professional and reliable I’m always saying yes. I never said no to my agents in 18 years. Anyone who has ever worked with me knows I ain’t give 100%, I give 1000%. You need to be available, and it’s hard to model alongside having a life. Our babysitter Abby is on speed dial if I’m called to jobs. Another downside is castings as I think castings should be a thing of the past. If photos and videos are recent, it’s such a hassle to get to a casting when they already know your dimensions and your look. They should just hire you. I appreciate jobs and booker’s who just hire without casting.. especially if you’re an established model. I was booked this way through Myer and Oppo with America’s Next Top Model, as well as L’Oreal without casting, and it’s so convenient and I love these guys for casting me.

Years ago, I travelled to Queensland for the Brisbane fashion week casting and paid travel and accommodation just to attend a casting. I remember suggesting if I can just send a video but they wanted to see the model in person. it’s Moreno video these days, but back when I started modelling, video reels just weren’t the thing..models these days have it easy.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the modelling industry so far?

My most memorable experience so far is when I was scouted by Victoria’s Secret for the VS Fashion show 2011. I was super nervous to meet John Pfeiffer, and he wished me a Happy Birthday as I had just turned 26. And also meeting Ed Razek, the CEO of Victoria’s Secret. For people in such high positions, I found them to be incredibly grounded which is a quality I love. I also loved the night of modelling with Oppo with America’s Next Top Model, because everything just ran smoothly, and professionally, and I met a fellow model Sarah, who is a friend for life. She’s an awesome model and awesome friend.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

That question is a tough question, there are so many interesting people I’ve met so far. Nyle De Marco was super interesting and motivating because he’s deaf! and a lot of people hide behind little insecurities and their disabilities, not abilities, and yet he got out there and won America’s Next Top Model 2015. That takes courage. I loved modelling with him when America’s Next Top Model visited Australia and Mame Adjei. Also, Pedro Virgil, a fellow judge on Elite Supermodel Australia 2021. I met him earlier in 2021, and our passion for renovating was something we got on like a house on fire about. I hope I get the chance to actually shoot with him because I’m keen to experience his shooting style. Also Mike Ilagan, he does so many things, and I admire him because he does them all so successfully.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the modelling industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

To be my own best friend and own cheerleader. I’ve learned to keep happy in my own company if I’m overseas, or if I never got a job. You can’t get every job, but you just need to do your best at castings and stay happy even if you don’t get the job. There are only a few selected spots so it’s not something to fret over.

Is your family supportive of you being a model?

My family initially wasn’t supportive. My parents are very academically driven, and it took time before they accepted modelling as part of my life. I was scouted by Delpha Ramos from Elite Models in New York, and my mum would only allow me to go after finishing Law. I became a solicitor by age 22 and focused on my marks as I was needing to get good grades to maintain my scholarship. I then finished Law and went to New York and my family by this stage were my number one supporters. I had a casting for a Myer TVC and my mum said “I pray you get it.” I love the fact they came around because it’s who I am. I feel I was born to be this person.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I wouldn’t change a thing. I have given every grain of my energy, being and put 1000% in. I have practiced my walk until my feet had blisters and bled. I have practiced posing until my body ached in pain.. but it’s worth it when you have a shoot done in just 4 photos and the photographer shakes your hand and says you belong in Milan, or your posing is phenomenal. I have worked so incredibly hard, and I could not change a thing. I can’t have given any more than what I have given, because that was my all every minute over the last 18 years.

9. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I’ve ever been given was by Trish McSkimming at the beginning of my modelling career. She told me to put my money on property. I modelled for her jewellery collection and I appreciate someone giving me advice they would give to their own daughter.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

My future plans are always in God’s hands. But if it were up to me, I would love Australia to bring back Australia’s Next Top Model and me judge alongside Gemma Ward as I love Gemma Ward. I love everything about the role description I experienced with Elite Supermodel and would love to do that on a televised level. I’m very content with my boys but would love to have a little girl. I think my family would be complete with a little girl.

Also, renovations is something I’m doing almost 100% of the time. I’m currently adding an indoor swing to my son’s bedroom. I’m working on a few projects which I’m hoping to finalise by my 20th odd year of modelling. I keep low heads down and bums up and just work and work until projects are finished and it’s time to surface, breathe.

How to be a Successful Fashion Designer, If You’re Struggling

There is no exact requirement for you to become a professional fashion designer. However, you have to have the skill to draw, create new designs and sew. Without these three important aspects in your life then it would become difficult to tackle the pressure in the fashion industry. Furthermore, knowledge about the fashion industry is also important. Here are 5 simple ways to help you succeed in the fashion industry.

Knowing your skill, interests, and capabilities

Drawing and foreseeing your artwork in a three-dimensional aspect is not enough to become a good fashion designer. Instead, you should know your capabilities when it comes to sewing, identifying fabrics, and the type of cuts you should do when making your product. If you feel that you lack knowledge about it then going to fashion school is imperative.

Before making any product, be sure to know what you wanted to make. Examples of which are apparel for men, women, formal or casual attire, bridal wear, sports, outdoor, and so on. Try to incorporate your personal likes and refrain from copying other artists ’ designs. Put your personality in your creation. In that way, you are also creating your own trademark and will tell your future consumers how to identify your designs.

Wear your own creation

If you are a novice in the fashion industry, the one thing that you can do to make people notice your creation is by wearing it. You can also save a lot of money or expenses when hiring models to wear your clothing line.

Be professional

You should always think of making a good impression especially when you are meeting some big names “designers, publishers, event organizers and so on”. Being professional at your work informs other people how serious you are. Another aspect of professionalism in the fashion industry is not to be afraid of criticism and accept it wholeheartedly. Do not be discouraged by what other people say about your design because you are being unique instead explain calmly about your design and what you think about it. Also, don’t discriminate against other designs.

Dress to Impress

When you want your work to be noticed as soon as you walk in then always make sure that you are wearing your best products. Be ready to tell the media about your design or the story behind it. It will make your customer become curious about your style and products.

Be confident

When you wear your own product, you are also creating new trends. Walk confidently and positively but not to the extent that you see other designs pitiful. Remember that being shy in the fashion industry does not make you famous. You have to learn how to talk about yourself and your fashion statements.

Creating new trends is not the same as modeling. However, it would be the best way to endorse your product to the public because you will be able to discuss your experience in making the product. It can also help you save a lot of expenses and keeps you unique all the time.

Models 101: Five Ways To Kickstart Your Modeling Career

Pursuing the modeling dream is never an easy undertaking. The road towards the top will be filled with challenges, with many people giving up before they reach the reality of what they have always dreamed of. Whether you would like to pursue a career in modeling, you will be facing stiff competition. In some instances, you will end up being frustrated and with low confidence. With this in mind, keep on reading and learn from some of the tips that we will be sharing which will help you in reaching your dream of becoming a successful model one day.

Undergo extensive training

Before you even start with auditions and going to casting calls, the first thing that you have to do is to undergo extensive training in modeling. There are some schools offering formal training to those who would like to harness their skills. Even at home, you can practice with the help of online modules and tutorials. This will help you to be familiar with the various modelling techniques.

Create a kickass portfolio

This is specifically the case for those who have big dreams to have a career in modeling. This will serve as your resume. Your portfolio will demonstrate how you look in front of the camera and will make it easier for agents to assess whether they should accept you or not. It should be made in such a way that it will be able to highlight what you can do and offer. This will be a tool for marketing yourself, so make sure that it will be convincing enough.

Find a reputable agency

You should also exert effort in finding a reputable talent agency. The agent will make it easier for you to land gigs in the future. Their extensive network will also increase the likelihood of creating a name for yourself. You just have to make sure that you are working with a legitimate agent.

Go to casting calls

This is another important thing if you want to have a successful modeling career. Be proactive in looking for potential auditions. Before auditioning, make sure that you are fully prepared. Get enough rest, and as it has been earlier pointed out, practice so that you can deliver an impressive performance.

Never Lose Hope

This is perhaps the best to keep in mind as you pursue your modeling dream. Rejection is part of the game, which will make you frustrated. This, however, should not be areas on to give up. If you fail once, ask yourself what happened and use this as a launchpad to be better. Learn from your past mistakes. Use it as a motivation to be better.

Most Promising Model Of The Week: Meet The Beautiful Shaye Pramee

Shaye Pramee is a 28-year-old model who was originally from Bangladesh and raised in New Zealand. She currently works as a banker in ANZ. She was a finalist at Miss World 2019 and Miss World state finals 2020/21. She’s currently competing at the Miss Australia 2020 State Finals. Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Shaye to discuss her journey in the modelling industry and here’s what went down:

How were you actually ‘discovered?’

Instagram.

What are your favourite downtime activities?

I love reading, dancing, singing and spending time with family and friends.

How did you start with modelling?

I have done pageants in the past but I wish to progress my career in modelling.

What do you like most about the modelling industry?

I love the confidence it brings in others as well as how much it inspires others.

The downside to being a model?

Beauty Standards.

What has been the most memorable experience of your life as a model so far?

Being a finalist at the Miss World 2019 and Miss World Australia State Finals 2020/21 pageant as well as competing for the Miss Australia 2020 State Finals.

I’m guessing you’ve been in the industry for a few years now, what has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned. This can be about the industry or about yourself. Or both!

I gained confidence and learned to be brave enough even though I don’t meet the standard height requirement – I still got the opportunity to do photoshoots.

Working in an industry whose only emphasis is on the outside characteristics of a person, how have you stayed grounded?

Self-love and self-care.

Is your family supportive of your career?

Yes, they are. I am blessed to have such an amazing family.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I would like to start my own business and hopefully win the title for Miss Australia so I can be inspirational and make a difference.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: The Departed.

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Sunrise early morning with a view of the ocean or beach.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Travel the world.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d be…” Powerful.

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? How random and weird I am.

Models To Watch Out For In 2021: Meet The Beautiful Holly MacAlpine

Holly MacAlpine was 13 years old when she was first ‘discovered’. She was at Manly Wharf at one stage and there was a youth modelling competition being run and televised. She was asked to get involved and it was there that she got her first taste of being on stage and walking for an audience. Nothing ever really came of that day, but that was the experience that got her thinking about modelling as something more than Australia’s Next Top Model, as something real and worthwhile that she could do. Fast forward to today and she has now been in the modelling industry for over 7 years.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Holly to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

How did you start with modelling?

I started modelling formally in 2014, signing with THE.MGMT for what would be a 4-year long contract. The agency took me under their wing and helped me find my niche in the market, developing my own look and style.

What do you like most about the modelling industry?

I love the collaborative nature of modelling, being a part of a creative team and helping amazing designers and artists realise their vision.

The downside to being a model?

I think that being a part of the modelling industry from such a young age made me overly aware of my outward appearance, placing too much importance on how I look rather than how I felt or what I thought. I think that this is something all women go through, but especially those within the modelling and entertainment industries, and I am still working on loving my inner and outer self unconditionally every day.

What has been the most memorable experience of your life as a model so far?

I was a part of a fashion show at the Star, paying tribute to the supermodels throughout the ages including everyone from Kate Moss to Cindy Crawford. I got to play the role of Jerry Hall and embody her on the runway as I wore a vintage Thierry Mugler dress. This was definitely a stand-out experience for me.

I’m guessing you’ve been in the industry for a few years now, what has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned. This can be about the industry or about yourself. Or both!

Something that this industry has taught me is to never let anyone other than yourself decide your worth for you. Sometimes you won’t be the right fit for a role or campaign, and other times you’ll be perfect. But as long as you are your most authentic self, what is meant for you will be yours and you should never try to change yourself just to fit into someone else’s mould.

Working in an industry whose only emphasis is on the outside characteristics of a person, how have you stayed grounded?

I think that it is so important to have goals and interests outside of the industry. Things like the gym, my degree, and my family and friends remind me daily of what is truly important.

What are your favourite downtime activities?

I am an absolute Northern Beaches baby, if I have a day off then you will find me down at the beach, being in the salt and sun is a huge part of my identity. I also love going to the gym. My partner is a personal trainer and is beginning his body-building journey, so the gym is a place that we bond and spend quality time together.

Is your family supportive of your career?

My family is very supportive even though they don’t understand it. My parents definitely had mixed feelings about the modelling industry when I first started, as they had heard the worst about it in the media, and I was so young at the time. But now they see how happy it makes me, and how strong of a woman it has helped me become.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I recently completed my degree in journalism and non-fiction writing. Ideally, this year will consist of lots of freelance writing and travel. My partner and I would love to move overseas for a couple of months if COVID-19 lets it happen.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: I recently rewatched Princess Monoke, one of the Studio Ghibli animated films. I love Studio Ghibli for a feel-good, relaxing night.

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? ‘Beauty’ is entirely subjective and forever changing, I think that the only thing that is considered universally beautiful is the human capacity to love and care for one another.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? There are so many things that I haven’t done yet, and that I’m excited to do in the future! I definitely look forward to competing in Miss Universe at some point in the next couple of years. I feel that that experience will be a big step in my journey.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d be…” travelling the world with no sign of coming home soon, I think that we all have a sense of fear and responsibility around doing the “correct” thing, going to university, getting a job, buying a house, etc… I think that I would feel less tied to that narrative if I had no fear.

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? I would have to say how emotional I am, whilst this can often be a flaw, I also think that how emotional I am helps me empathise with others and grow stronger relationships. I wouldn’t trade my personality for anything.

Meet The Beauty Behind The Cover Of The March 2021 Issue Of Model & Mode: The Stunning Abi Grigsby

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Abi Grigsby, the beautiful, charming, and angelic model has established herself as one of the hardest-working models in the industry. She initially got into the modelling industry by entering beauty pageants. She first joined the Top Model of the World Philippines pageant back in July 2016 within 2 weeks’ notice. The pageant needed a certain number in order for the competition to go ahead and she was contacted by the director of the pageant to join. She eventually became the second runner-up, which shocked her as she had no previous experience at all in pageants sho she wasn’t even expecting to make it into the Top 5.

The following year she entered a pageant called “Mutya Ng Pilipinas Australia” (Pearl of Australia) beauty pageant. She gained a lot of exposure in the modelling industry by joining this pageant which lead her into me meeting the majority of the photographers that she now works with regularly. When she competed overseas she also gained several contacts with various modelling agencies and photographers over there and throughout 2017 she also competed in the Miss International Australia pageant where she finished as Second Runner Up, as well as winning the Miss Model of the World Title. Furthermore, she competed in the Miss Teen Universe Australia pageant in December of that year. All of these competitions lead her to meet so many creatives in the industry; photographers who were looking for fresh faces to shoot, as well as makeup artists who needed a model to work on for skill enhancements. Slowly, through these connections, she was able to build the network that she currently has.

Model & Mode magazine recently caught up with Abi to discuss her journey in the modelling industry and here’s what went down:

What do you like most about being a model?

The thing I enjoy most about being a model would have to be the newfound confidence that I have gained over the years as a model. I was someone who really used to struggle with self-esteem issues, but it wasn’t until I started modelling that I came to accept and be happy with how I look, and the person that I am.

I have also been fortunate enough to work with various creatives who each provided a different style for each shoot, which has given me the option to explore with different looks. I started modelling For Milliner’s designs in late 2018, my first designer being Anna Bella Millinery, who is based in London. I modelled at the Melbourne Derby Day, showing off her dress designs and her hats with other models. I also modelled for Felicity Northeast Milliner for her spring collection in 2019, which was featured in Mornington Peninsula magazine.

I had never modelled such high-class designs before, so this experience itself really helped me feel comfortable in my own skin, and opened me up to another world!

The Downside to being a model?

The downside to being a model that I have encountered would have to be that people tend to make assumptions about you and your personality when you tell them that you’re a model. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that they thought I’d be a snobby/conceited person because of the fact that I model, rather than taking the time to get to know me first.

A lot of people will make assumptions about you based on your profession, but I try not to let this bother me and stay focused on what I want by working hard and not allowing room for distractions.

Another downside is that many people who aren’t in the industry assume that modelling is easy, or requires little to no effort at all. To be a model takes great perseverance and determination, as many models such as myself face constant rejection and negative comments about our appearance/body. It takes a lot of work to get into the industry, which is something that many people look over. It can get discouraging at times, but I find it’s best for myself to always remind myself of the hard work I have gone through, and to realise that I don’t owe everyone an explanation.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the modelling industry so far?

Thinking back to when I started, I can’t actually pinpoint an exact memory from modelling that has stuck with me. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every step, but the most memorable experience of being in the modelling industry would have to be the whole experience that comes on the day of a photo shoot. I live an hour and a half away from Melbourne city, which is where the majority of my shoots takes place. I always enjoy the travel into the city, as well as travelling to where my photoshoots take place, as the majority of the time it is not at the same place. Aside from the travel, I do enjoy dressing up and getting glammed up for my shoots. I feel most like myself when I am dolled up and in front of the camera!

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I’d say the most interesting people I’ve met would have to be some of the photographers and makeup artists that I meet while I’m on set. Many of the creatives that I work with are a lot like me, they often take up photography/makeup as a side job, rather than their full-time job. It’s nice to meet people who are similar to you, and share similar interests while also working other jobs, and working incredibly hard so they are able to project themselves further in the industry.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the modelling industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

The most valuable lesson I have learned would be to not compare myself to others. Before I began modelling I never thought I would have a chance, as I compared myself to many other high profile models, such as Miranda Kerr. I always assumed that because I didn’t look like these girls I saw in billboards and commercials that I wouldn’t make it at all in the modelling world.

However as continued on and booked more jobs, I realised that every different look will serve a purpose for each job/photographer. There will always be someone out there who will need a look like yours for a certain job/promotion, so I’ve learned that I shouldn’t bother worrying about looking like someone else when looking exactly the way you do is more than enough.

Is your family supportive of you being a model?

Yes, fortunately, my family is very supportive of my modelling! My mother wanted me to start modelling when I was 13, however, I had very little confidence back then and I was also very shy. I did not see myself as someone who could get far in the industry at all, and I also at the time had assumed that people would think of me as very conceited if I started modelling. I didn’t have a very positive view of the modelling world, or of models themselves, which was a real deterrent for me at that time.

As the years went by and as I developed a love for beauty pageants, it also shifted my focus onto modelling, and it wasn’t until I started my first few photoshoots that I really started to enjoy what I was doing, and then made the decision to go as far as I possibly could in the industry.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

The main thing I would do differently would be to not jump at every opportunity that comes my way, no matter how big of a deal it may seem to be at first. I used to do this a lot when I first started in the industry, and I would just throw myself out to any opportunity that came my way, without thinking things through clearly. This resulted in a lot of waste of time and money for myself, as I was promised certain jobs would lead to very high exposure/good money, while actually resulting in none of that.

So if I could go back in time, I would tell myself not to rush things too much and to take it slow. Not every opportunity is what it claims to be, and when the time is right, the right opportunity will come!

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I have ever been given is to take my time. Often I’ve been really impatient and have compared myself to others who have gotten further in the industry in a shorter amount of time. I’m fortunate to have a close group of friends who support me fully and encourage me to remain patient and on track, and who assure me that things will work in my way if I continue to remain focused and not be put off by others in any way.

Models To Watch Out For In 2021: Meet The Beautiful Windy Anif

Windy Wulandari Binti Anif was born in Jakarta, Indonesia but she grew up mostly in Medan North Sumatra Indonesia. She was more an outdoor kid climbing up trees, chasing chickens, taking the eggs for her breakfast, and cycling around her neighbours. She’s currently living in Hamilton Island, Queensland working as a chef. She got started in the industry by submitting her portfolio to an agency called JR Management but before she decided to join an agency, she submitted an application to join Beauty Pageants, and that’s when it all first started for her.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Windy to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

How did you get started in the modelling industry?

Recently to be honest! I started professionally just between 2019-2020 so I am pretty much a newbie and I still need to enhance my modelling skills, I had a couple of photoshoots with my friends who are photographers before 2019-2020.

What do you like most about the modelling industry?

The diversity, and the beauty of all the different models! The magic that only the modelling industry can give. With only a photo you can see or feel the model trying to say something with their expressions and body language.

The downside to being a model?

Any job that you do as a living definitely has a downside, but for sure the biggest downside to being a model is being told you are not tall or slim enough to get the job. People will constantly judge your looks! Especially in social media nowadays. Cyberbullying is real.

What has been the most memorable experience of your life as a model so far?

Meeting so many amazing models and people, attending fashion shows, being a brand ambassador of Sydney’s make-up company, connecting with people who support me through social media, and expanding my connection.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned. This can be about the industry or about yourself. Or both!

I learned to find out who I really am as a person, I don’t have to fake myself to be loved or accepted. Everyone is beautiful no matter their height, ethnicity, and gender. Models are public figures, there will be so many young generations will be looking at you and might have the chance to follow your lifestyle and admire you. If you are a good role model you might change someone’s life to be a better version of themselves.

Working in an industry whose only emphasis is on the outside characteristics of a person, how have you stayed grounded?

I always tell myself that I am beautiful no matter what other people say about me although sometimes it can affect me badly – I just keep on moving forward. Your own enemy is yourself! Your own mind. Surround yourself with people who will constantly remind you to stay grounded.

What are your favourite down time activities?

Playing video games or reading motivational books, but since I live on a tropical island and the weather is very good, I usually go to the beach or go hiking.

Is your family supportive of your career?

Yes, they are! They are the one who believes in me, who supported me whole-heartedly. My mom and dad always told me to be true to myself and don’t be arrogant! Always stays grounded and stay positive.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I am planning to move to Melbourne either by the end of 2021 or early 2022 and start my acting career there but also still working as a chef in a meantime. I also wanted to be a positive advocate for the people who are being bullied because of my personal experience. Travelling is always on my agenda but due to covid, I have to postpone it.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: Alice in Borderland.

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Beautiful is when you are accepting your own flaw and be flawless and just be yourself. You are confident and strong! Beautiful is diversity, you do not have to be fair and tall to be considered beautiful or following the beauty standards. Beauty standards are toxic, it makes people change their true selves.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Work and travel around the world experiencing the beautiful scenery that the countries have to offer, learning different languages especially Arabic and Japanese.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear….” I’d be the fearless woman and telling people who hate me that this is me and nothing can change my dreams.

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? My height.

Meet The Stunner Behind The Cover Of The February 2021 Issue Of Model & Mode: The Beautiful Paige Tonkin

Paige Tonkin is a motivated, bubbly, and caring 17-year-old model who is currently studying for her H.S.C.

Paige has always been fascinated by watching the beautiful models and actors on television and has dreamed of one day making a name for herself.

It was at the age of 14 when her dream was kick-started and she was scouted and taken to Las Vegas for a talent and runway show. This amazing experience made Paige completely fall in love with the industry and has made her even more determined to succeed.

When Paige isn’t working the camera or the runway you will find her coaching Aerial Silks, Aerial Lyra, and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics at the local gym.

Paige’s strong work ethic is demonstrated in everything that she does and she knows that by chasing your dreams, success is only footsteps away.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Paige to discuss her journey in the modelling industry and here’s what went down:

1. How did you get into the modelling industry?

I was introduced to the industry at the age of 14 when I attended my first audition for acting and that’s when the scouts encouraged me to audition for modelling as well, this casting was actually to be scouted to Las Vegas to perform in this amazing production called IPOP and after this amazing experience, I completely fell in love with the industry.

2. What do you like most about being a model?

I love everything about being a model but if I had to choose one, It would be the amazing people I meet and all the new friends I make every time I go to work.

3. Downside to being a model?

There are not many downsides to being a model, but I have to say I’m not the biggest fan of having to get in the water on a cold winters morning and the 4 am starts every now and then, I do like my beauty sleep but of course as soon as I’m up and going, nothing can stop me!

4. What has been the most memorable experience of being in the modelling industry so far?

Wow, this is a tough one, there are so many amazing memories I’ve made so far, but the ones that stand out the most would have to be modelling at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and living out my dream of walking the runway as an angel in the ultimate cover girl search.

5. Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I’ve been lucky enough to meet so many interesting people. I have worked with so many different photographers and designers from all over the world, and built so many lasting friendships with different models and actors, from as far away as Finland and parts of the U.S To name a few I would have to say the amazing designers Oogi Flower, Lisa Swinbanks and Fai Peni. The incredible Bridget Foster(starred in CSI Miami) and Mark Carroll (Abercrombie & Fitch model) scouted me to Las Vegas And lastly I cannot forget the amazing Mike Ilagan the CEO of StarCentral Magazine.

6. What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the modelling industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

The most valuable lesson I have learned from the industry and something I live by from day to day is that confidence is key. I believe you can get to wherever you want to be when hold your head high and believe in yourself. The second most important lesson I have learned is to always know who you are working with and you’re safety and integrity always come first.

7. Is your family supportive of you being a model?

My family is my biggest support system and I would not be where I am today without them, I could not thank my mum enough for driving me halfway around the world every weekend and my dad always standing there with a coffee in hand when I’m up for a long day of shooting. And of course, my sister always lending me half her wardrobe (laughs). I am the luckiest girl in the world to have such a supportive family.

8. If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I honestly would not change a single thing about my journey in the industry as I would not be where I am today and the person I am today without the good and the bad times that have shaped me into the model and actress I am now.

9. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

One of the best pieces of advice I have always been told since I was a kid to now is to always treat others the way you wish to be treated, and this is something I will always carry throughout my life.

10. What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I have always had plans to hopefully make acting and modelling my full-time career, and one day be cast in a big-budget feature film and walk various catwalks all over the world.

8. If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I honestly would not change a single thing about my journey in the industry as I would not be where I am today and the person I am today without the good and the bad times that have shaped me into the model and actress I am now.

9. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

One of the best pieces of advice I have always been told since I was a kid to now is to always treat others the way you wish to be treated, and this is something I will always carry throughout my life.

10. What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I have always had plans to hopefully make acting and modelling my full-time career, and one day be cast in a big-budget feature film and walk various catwalks all over the world.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: Harry Potter – Goblet Of Fire.

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? The way someone carries them-self because it shows who they are.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Skydiving.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” expose myself to copious amounts of gamma radiation and become the hulk.

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? My brutal honesty.

5 Ways to Look and Feel Totally Younger

There comes a time in everyone’s life when time simply begins to take its toll on all of us. Whether you’re looking to reverse this toll as much as you can, or you’re looking to start early and try to keep it away for as long as possible, here are 5 simple ways to look and feel younger.

Eating Green and Healthy

I’m sure this is obvious to most people but eating your greens and overall healthier is vital to looking and feeling good. Before venturing into healthy eating, you need to remember that there are no shortcuts or miracles that can last as long or have such an effect as changing your overall diet. This includes adding those greens to your plate every day, cutting the unnecessary sugar out of your diet, and even in this world of processed foods, find the organic and make it part of every meal.

Regular Exercise

Another, somewhat obvious answer, but regular exercise is vital to looking better and in the long run feeling great. Interval training is one of the best options for most people as it alternates between high and low-intensity activity. This burns fat efficiently and does not strain your body as much as exercising for a longer and steadier pace.

Get a dog

This may be surprising to just a few of you. A dog can be many things for many different people, but all dogs have a wide array of gifts to give to anyone. Dogs can help their owners socially by giving them consistent interaction, which helps with mental health especially in those who may be struggling through a darker time in their lives. Dogs also provide an incredible incentive to get up and go out. Keeping their owners active and healthy. According to a 12-year follow-up study, dog owners are more likely to live longer, with reduced chances of cardiovascular disease and death.

Keep in Touch with Friends

A simple thing to do that not many people think of. Socially interacting with others, whether on the phone or in person, will help you feel younger. Getting together with friends can be a great way to get out and be active together.

Find You’re Purpose or Calling

One last simple step, that very few people truly accomplish. A close friend once told me that many people start out trying to reach their dream but get lost in the process. Do not get lost in chasing your dreams. Make sure you make time to practice what makes you happy and stop making excuses to avoid it. If you truly want to do it, you’ll find a way.

A Final Word

Living a healthy life becomes far easier when you have someone else doing it with you. You’ll be able to keep each other in check and find new and creative ways to make healthy living simpler, and as we already discussed it will help keep up your social interactions. It also helps to do your research, finding people who know what they’re talking about or have already walked this path to help you walk yours. Healthy living is not always easy, but it is one of the few ways to live a longer and happier life. Just remember that you aren’t alone.