Meet The International Model Behind The Cover Of The October 2021 Issue Of Model & Mode: Mischaela Elkins

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Mischaela Elkins was crowned a national delegate in the 15th Anniversary Ms. Universe competition for 2021 after two rounds of qualifications and eliminations. She is a businesswoman, model, author, and masterclass coach. She studied Business Administration in undergraduate and graduate school and holds degrees from Indiana University (B.S.) and IE Business School (MBA) respectively.

Before receiving her MBA from a globally recognized Top 10 School, she also sat for the qualifying exam and was accepted in the Mensa High IQ Society – scoring in the top 1%> of IQ scores globally. Between undergrad and MBA she also attended programs with Universite de Geneve in International Banking and Finance, completed her Foundations for the CFA accreditation and exam, and completed a Business Analytics and Economics Pre-MBA Summer Program at Harvard University.

While studying as an undergrad she worked as a professional model, predominantly in couture, evening wear, jewelry, and bridal after attending an Elite Fresh Faces open call in 2009. She completed her model training through the Barcino Modeling Agency in Barcelona, Spain. Barcino’s Model Academy taught her everything about the business side of modeling (contracts, terms), model etiquette, casting conventions, and more. Mischaela was runway trained by Mandy Dyonne, a world-renowned top agency runway coach who has trained the Victoria’s Secret Angels for the VS Fashion Show and model trained for Chanel, Fendi, Dior, and more. Mandy is also a runway walk trainer for the top agencies Elite, NEXT, and for the Elite Model Look contest.

As a model, she has worked with top-tier brands such as Graff, Paloma Blanca, Van Cleef & Arpels, Cle de Peau, Calvin Klein, Vera Wang, Nicole Miller, and more. Commercially she has worked for Warby Parker, Amazing Cosmetics, and Intercontinental Hotel Group. She has appeared in Vogue Italia, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Lucky, and more. Mischaela has worked with top internationally known photographers including Scott Schuman (Vogue Paris, Vogue Italia, Interview) and Kirsten Miccoli (Vogue, Glamour Italia) among others. As an influencer, she was named to Glamour Mag’s Hot 100 in 2016 and was appointed a Flagship Brand Ambassador for Elizabeth Arden and its eponymous luxury salon and spa. She holds influencer deals with NatureLab Tokyo, P. Volve, and other brands in wellness and beauty.

Mischaela competed in the Miss Jetset 2021 competition, placing in the Top 15, Top 10, then finally Top 5. Additionally, she was a delegate in the Miss Vizcaya Swimwear modeling competition hosted by luxury swimwear brand Vizcaya Swimwear – sponsors of Miss Universe USA and Miss United States. She took home the IGM Model of the Year nomination in 2020, as well as received a Victoria’s Secret Bombshell nomination in 2021.

Mischaela has represented the title of “Miss Peru” a total of 3 times. She holds the Miss Elite Beauty Peru and Miss Model Beauty Peru national titles. In the Miss Elite Beauty competition, she won 4 subtitles: “Miss Photogenic”, “Miss Ideal Model”, “Miss Glamorous Beauty”, and Best Evening Gown”. She was named a Finalist in Top Model Peru Season 14. Finally, she competed in Ms. Universe 2021 on the International stage representing Peru. Mischaela was also selected for Miss Global, representing her heritage as Miss Indigenous Americas for the 2021 edition of the competition in Bali, Indonesia – on the same Miss World stage that Megan Young was crowned. Her ambition is to represent Peru at Mrs. Universe after she is married.

Mischaela was coached by Natalie Glebova, Miss Universe 2005 in soft skills such as interview, public speaking, and winning mindset. She was also trained by The Refinery – a pageant grooming and preparation academy run by Miss Earth 2001 and former Miss India Shamita Singha and the team that has worked with Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Lara Dutta, and Manushi Chhillar as well as countless Miss India contestants and supermodels. She was fitness trained as a model and beauty queen by John Benton of John Benton Model Fitness – the trainer for Victoria’s Secret models and beauty queens the world over.

She is a published author of 3 self-help books and the creator of a self-help Masterclass that counts thousands of people in 105 countries around the world as students. Mischaela is an Achology Certified Life Coach and the creator of “Angel Academy” a spiritual “flight school” for those looking to get in touch with their inner divinity and gain their wings to transform themselves and their intuition, their wealth abundance, and their romantic relationships and dating life. As a businesswoman, Mischaela won the Porsche 30 under 30 in Business Award and has won the Crain’s Chicago Business for best use of Social Media to grow digital presence. She is employed with the #2 globally ranked bank/financial institution.

Leveraging her Ms. Universe Peru platform she is a brand ambassador for LA MER, Swarovski, Mikimoto, Shiseido, Selfridge’s “Ocean Project” Initiative, and Parley for the Oceans. She has partnered with Oceana, 4 Ocean, Water.org, UN Water, and other nonprofits as Miss Peru. Her key projects during her reign include: Sponsoring and advocating for the Nazca Protected Area’s Formal adoption as part of Peru’s Bi-Centennial Goals, working with international collaborators on the Lima Water Project, and developing ACQUAVENUS – a consortium of international beauty queens engaging in ocean conservation and water preservation projects, campaigns, and initiatives globally.

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

How did you become an international model and beauty queen? What’s it like to model internationally?

I started out going to the 2009 Elite Fresh Faces Model Call alongside 300+ other models. I was one of three girls to receive a callback to meet with agents for the New Faces division and model development. I worked as a model full time during undergrad and transitioned to part-time or special projects work in my mid-twenties as the career of a fashion model isn’t that long. As I have a more international look, being of mixed heritage, I have had success in evening gown, bridal, and swim in my late twenties to thirties after working on fashion, luxury, and beauty campaigns. Working more in swim has led me to get involved with pageantry, as most pageant organizations have age limits set to late twenties through mid-thirties. I wanted to participate before I no longer could, and with international systems and align with international brands. International beauty pageants and winning those global/world titles are an excellent way to move into the international market in modeling. The key challenge with international modeling is to not bend to pressure to morph or change into that market’s beauty standard just to be available for any and every campaign. As a person of mixed heritage, the chameleon’s ability is naturally there, and its best to stand firm in your look and make that your signature…never look to change drastically to please everyone..instead work on perfecting your walk, your poses, your looks, and your fitness and naturally those who are on your level of professionality and want your natural look will gravitate to you. It’s never a dull moment collaborating with a set of professionals who are speaking 2, 3, 4, or 5 languages on set and you will learn so much about other cultures doing your due diligence as a model and researching the references the team has in mind for the set, garments, influences for the visuals, etc. That’s the part I love most about international modeling, the background work that every model should be doing on what the influences for the vision and what we are shooting for has really leveled me up to become a more cultured and worldly person. I am grateful for that polishing I am getting.

What has been your greatest triumph, to date?

My greatest triumph to date has been winning the Ms. Universe as Miss Peru the year after Miss Peru, Janick Maceta, was top 3 at Miss Universe. As I’m the first Miss Peru to also be a member of MENSA – it’s an honor to be Miss Peru in my own way and bring more than just beauty, modeling prowess, and beautiful gowns to the international stage.

what has been your greatest lesson, and how have you used that lesson in your life?

My greatest lesson in life has been that there is truly no competition. We are all equal, we’re just all different. The path that is truly meant for me, is and always will be meant for me. Competition comes into play when people take society’s conditioning to idealize a specific type of success, notoriety, fame, wealth, etc. from a specific place and in a specific way. When we limit ourselves to only so few ways something can happen for us then we naturally have to compete with others. This is the scarcity mindset. Be it for success, love, money, notoriety, press, you name it…..there is no competition when you’re on the path that is divinely created and destined for you. Only you can walk it. We are all, in our highest and best form, just out here driving side by side on our destined paths…completely equal and completely NOT in competition.

I’ve used this lesson in life to have grace and peace about things not working out so that other things can truly come into my life and really be for me. From every modeling job to my pageant wins, corporate career processes that have gone well, to the books I was destined to write…I found the least resistance and the most flow by being open and only open to what was truly aligned with me. There was then no forcing, there was only focusing…because the right opportunities and right place at the right time type of divine alignment started happening and doors opened and I was able to walk through them in peace, joy, and elation.

If you could travel back in time and alter one historical event, where would you go and what would you attempt to change?

My belief system centers around the fact that everything is fated and not an accident. Even negative and dark events have to occur for some reason, even if we cannot accept or process why, to advance us all or create ripple effects to other later events. For that reason there isn’t really anywhere I would go and attempt to change what has happened. I trust the bigger plan of the universe and the universal creator.

What do you think you came into this life to learn, and what do you think you came here to teach?

I came into this life to learn how to blend the spiritual and the material. I came here to master intellect and rational thinking merged completely with intuition and knowing. I came here to master these and then teach them and this very thought that we are spiritual beings on a physical journey, who must leverage rational thought guided by intuitive exploration and curiosity is at the heart of my books and masterclasses. I really believe we must care for our energy field and spiritual growth in the same way we get haircuts, manis, pedis, and care for our outer self. Both are vital to this reality and this human experience, and they must be held in balance. Overemphasis on either one over the other is the root of all misery.

What projects are you working on right now?

Right now I am working on completing the self-help courses that coordinate with each of my books, as well as a very large business endeavor that I can’t share right now but I’d like to think it is my “big idea”.

In terms of my Ms. Universe and Miss Peru platform, I am working on a number of key projects that I’m really excited about.

If I had any advice for someone pursuing pageantry I would advise them to get really clear on their platform and the types of projects they want to work on before ever even choosing a system. As they go they can then etch out exact campaigns – but the guiding principle is still to be very focused and niche.

I have 3 large-scale Ms. Universe projects that I’m working on and naturally, these are internationally geared – helping promote the Earthshot Prize by Prince William the Duke of Cambridge and the initiative’s focus on cleaner oceans. I’m also working on a few campaigns relating to the Sustainable Markets Initiative by Prince Charles, to promote eco-conscious business and sustainable capitalism. His Terra Carta initiative is part of this. Lastly, I’m working on a Coral Conservation project and the Mr. Goodfish sustainable fishing campaign with the Prince Albert II de Monaco Foundation.

I’ve also created a petition of my own to personally petition Victoria’s Secret to pursue eco-friendly ways of downsizing their brick and mortar footprint, as their key activities have been damaging to local water tables and that will eventually impact the ocean.

For Peru specifically, I have two key projects in works: supporting the Lima Water Project and helping promote international collaboration between Peru and the US and Switzerland to bring clean water to Lima from the Andes, and I’m working to petition and hold the Peruvian government accountable for securing and sustaining the Nazca Marine Protected Area which is an off coast Pacific area home to hundreds of key species that exist only there. This protected area concept exists to protect the feeding, mating, and migratory patterns of these animals so that their biome is secure and the entire ecosystem doesn’t fold under and die out due to imbalances in species numbers, behaviors, etc.

Combining the two, and in order to continue my platform for my lifetime, I have created ACQUAVENUS which is a consortium structure for international beauty queens to come together to support, promote, and collaborate with each other on ocean and water conservation projects globally.

Lastly, I’ve secured a handful of brand partnerships in order to promote and spread awareness for the ocean conservation work being done by major international brands. I will be working with LA MER to spread the word on their Blue Heart Ocean Fund. I’ll also be working with Shiseido to share their work and message with the We Are One Ocean initiative which calls for the protection of 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. As Ms. Universe, I’ve partnered with Swarovski to promote their Waterschool initiative which seeks to inspire and excite children to take action and become informed about ocean conservation and water preservation in their own communities so that we can inspire the next generation of water defenders and warriors. Lastly, I’ve joined forces with L’Oreal to promote their ocean conservation and preservation efforts as a company as well as specifically highlight the work they’ve done under the Biotherm research arm to ensure their ingredients are sustainably harvested. As an exclusive, I’ve signed on as a spokesmodel and face of Leilani Shells, an innovative fine jewelry company that plants corals in Bali, Indonesia with every fine jewelry purchase.

What would you still like to attempt in your career?

I’d still like to build off of the ocean conservation and water preservation work I’ve begun as Miss Peru and later Ms. Universe.

My long-term goal is to work for the United Nations on the ground in Peru as a Director for UN Water or for Oceana in the Pacific Ocean of coastal Peru. My long-term ambition after building wealth as a businesswoman and entrepreneur is to pivot to United Nations work with a UN body or as a United Nations ambassador between the US and Peru.

After pageantry, my immediate concern is to focus on entrepreneurship and build out my self-help and spiritual wellness empire. Although it may seem like my endeavors are unrelated, I truly believe when we build a healthier and more healed emotional and spiritual world – we can bring our masculine and feminine energy into balance and stop suppressing our feminine energy. By being more in tune with and healing our inner feminine, we can have more respect for the divine feminine energy that is mother nature and our planet earth.

What Advice Would You Give To Those Hoping To follow your footsteps?

The best advice I can give to those hoping to follow in my footsteps is to do the healing work to be able to embrace all that you are without being torn apart by competitive mindsets and thoughts that you aren’t good enough. Competition and hierarchy are illusions put in place to control us. If I’ve learned anything it’s that the path that is meant for you won’t miss you. We ALL have a specific role in life and a divine destiny and that path is ours and ours alone, which means there is no competition on that path. There is only competition when we get caught up in scarcity mindsets that there are only a few ways to win. When we need the applause, approval, and validation of society we will naturally gravitate towards what society puts on high. That leads us to try to step into occupations and dreams that aren’t even ours…they are just what society tells you will bring you the love, adoration, fame, and fortune you think you need to fill up the hole in your heart. That hole can only be filled by YOU, your self-love, and healing.

No occupation, no relationship, and no amount of public adoration is going to make you feel truly loved. Heal your wounds, we all have them, and then pursue the path that was put in your heart. That is the only way to be successful in a way that endures and also feels fulfilling. Overnight success, paying your way to the top, etc. is just ego-driven nonsense that just enriches others and leaves you empty. Please remember this.

Emerging Model Of The Week: Introducing The Beautiful Bebe Dyl

Bebe Dyl (handle-bebe_dyl) has always been in the performing arts industry since a very young age. She has taken part in dance competitions, performances, and acting lessons as well as showcases. When she was 14, she joined an acting agency and after a few years when she was 17, she was asked if she wanted to be a part of the acting agency’s modelling section and she has been modelling ever since.

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

What do you like most about being a model?

I love the fact every time I do a shoot it’s always different which excites me as I don’t know what to expect. I also love all the team and the people I meet. I have met some of the most amazing and talented people who have taught me so much.

The downside to being a model?

I would say personally for me the only downside is that I sometimes miss going out with my friends a lot and have to cancel plans last minute. I also think starting with the knockbacks and “not good enough” comments can be very tough on your confidence but you have to get used to it after a while.

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

I honestly think it was the first-ever shoot I had which was for Pepsi. It was so new to me and exciting and I had the best two days and met the most amazing people.

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

Honestly, I have met so many I can’t choose but it has to be all of the hair and makeup artists. I hear so many funny and interesting stories from their previous shoots.

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

I have learned so much already and I’m only just starting my modelling journey but the main lesson I have learned and will always keep with me is just to be confident and believe in yourself no matter how many knockbacks you get, and not to take things so personally.

Is your family supportive of you being a model?

Yes very, they were very indecisive at first about it but as soon as they saw how much I enjoyed my first test shoot and saw me having the photos they knew it was right for me.

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

I would honestly just tell myself to relax, I didn’t sleep for the week before my first shoot as I was so nervous but as soon as I got there they all made me feel so welcome.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

To relax and be confident and comfortable in your own skin.

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

Well, I would love to keep modelling for as long as possible, but I also am very passionate about business and would love to own my own business in the future, maybe even my own modelling agency.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

Last good movie I’ve seen: Atonement. this has to be one of my all-time favourite films although it makes me cry every single time I watch it.

What do you consider beautiful and why? Confidence. I personally feel that confidence is the key to beauty, it makes you a completely different person.

What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? I love travelling so much so I would absolutely love to have a shoot abroad somewhere, I think would be such an unforgettable and exciting experience.

Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d… walk up to a group of people around my age and just start a conversation” I wish I had the confidence to do this.

What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? I would probably say my stubbornness. I am very stubborn with most things how eve I personally feel as if comes in handy in certain situations.

Inside The Mind Of Makeup Junkie Bag Founder/CEO Meredith Jurica

Meredith Jurica is the founder/CEO of Makeup Junkie Bag. She was recently named by USA TODAY as “One of the Top 10 Travel Bags” with more than $10 million in sales and a breakout appearance on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

It all started after making several bags for herself, and when MJ’s friends loved them she began to make bags as gifts for her friends and family. It didn’t take long for the cosmetic bag to become the hottest thing on the block-on lots of blocks. With her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in speech pathology, she didn’t feel qualified to start a business, not even a small one based in her home. But she loved her cosmetic bag so she became the founder, owner, and lead seamstress of Makeup Junkie Bags. She had a “baptism by fire” into the business world though when she was swindled and robbed of her designs (even though it was patented), the text on her website shamelessly pirated, and $100,000 of inventory was lost to Hurricane Harvey. Despite this setback, she still persevered, and her bags eventually brought in $1 million the first year.

The Makeup Junkie Bag’s magic – what sets it apart from every other travel makeup bag is that it lays flat, which allows easy and full access to all materials while eliminating the chances that the bag will fall over sending products everywhere.

Makeup Junkie Bags are handmade in Texas, sold in more than 2,000 stores nationwide, and come in more than 400 trendy styles and seven different sizes. Each of the bags is characterized by a signature brightly colored zipper, a suede tassel, and MJ hand-selects each designer fabric for each of the lines. From the trademark “Glam Stripe Bag” to the newer “Later Alligator,” Makeup Junkie Bags are on a constant quest to find the fabrics that reflect their customers’ lives. They are the company for the working woman, the loving (and often exhausted) mom, the grad student, and the social butterfly.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Meredith to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur and here’s what went down:

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?

Hi, I’m MJ, the founder, and CEO of Makeup Junkie Bags! Before starting my business, I was a Speech-Language Pathologist after obtaining my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the field. I departed from my job as a Speech-Language Pathologist to stay at home with my two young daughters. As an avid lover of makeup, I was tired of makeup bags not meeting my standards and decided to get crafty in my spare time. It turns out I was solving a problem many people were having. A few short years ago, starting with one simple sewing machine at my kitchen table, I made an adorable lay flat cosmetics bag in my kitchen for personal use. I loved how the design housed all my modern-day large cosmetic palettes. Then the fairytale happened and Makeup Junkie Bags was born. People took notice and wanted me to make them one.

Fast forward to five years later, a design patent, an appearance on Shark Tank, and a Good Morning America sales event – my sweet little project has turned into a national wholesale company. We make everything with love in Houston, Texas at my private facility. My company now has a retail website and wholesales to thousands of retailers nationwide. All of my bags are “Handmade in Texas,” and carry a lifetime guarantee. I have continued to expand my lines over the last three years to include handbags, cosmetics, apparel, and other accessories. As a true “makeup junkie”, I own tons of makeup. Modern-day cosmetics are so much different than the cosmetics that have been around for years. Now we see all these large artist pallets and full-sized brushes that are supposed to make us look like Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks (laughs). I was frustrated that no cosmetic bag company was keeping up with the storage of modern-day cosmetics. I had an upcoming trip and so in preparation for my travels, I went to the local craft store and purchased materials to make my own cosmetic bag that would house all of my things. I wanted it to pack flat, be leak-resistant, and open up down the middle so I could see everything. The design did exactly as I intended it to and I was so pleased. I mimicked the 12-inch size I had made for my makeup and made a larger one for my shower toiletries as well as smaller sizes to pack face creams, eye care, chargers, etc. I was excited to take them on my trip and never really knew it would turn into a business.

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

I am continuing to expand my line so be on the lookout for new products coming soon!

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

Instagram and Facebook.

How did your business stand out?

Word of mouth, going Live in our showroom, marketing and we do several markets throughout the year, which helps in reaching hundreds of people. Always smile, be kind, and have great customer service. I have a patent on my lay flat medial line zipper bags, so there are no others on the market like it.

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

Social Media and word of mouth.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

What Makeup Junkie Bag do I want to use for each outfit. There are so many to choose from, so it’s hard to pick just one.

What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?

I was paying way too much for supplies until I was educated on how things are sold from retail price to wholesale to distributor to manufacturer.

What new business would you love to start?

I would love to own a little village of vacation rentals near the beach. It would be fun to be responsible for lots of families having fun vacations.

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

I can’t really think of anything I would do differently. My journey has helped me learn and grow so much and I am happy with where I am.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Fall down seven times, stand up eight.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?

It is a lot of work to get started and nothing is ever easy but stay focused and don’t give up on your dreams.

Featured Event Of The Week: Mrs. Universe Australia & Miss Supermodel Universe

What: The Mrs. Universe Australia pageant is for the most honourable woman. According to our rules, she must be between the age of 18 to 55, have a family, her own career, and be involved with a significant cause in favour of other people. Our pageant is not just open to married women, it’s also open to divorced or widowed women. The idea that unites them is the motto “against violence” which in different years covers different causes.

The pageant “Super Model Universe” was created with the idea to present new models for the world podium and its best modeling agencies. The pageant’s participation requirements are: Girls 18-27 years, height minimum 175 cm. Boys 18-26, height minimum 180 cm.

Where: Dockside Darling Harbour (2 Wheat Rd, Sydney NSW 2000)

When: Sunday, October 31, 2021, at 6 PM – 9 PM

Tickets:  Contact Maryrose Salubre on 0423 710 659

Meet The International Model Behind The Cover Of The August 2021 Issue Of Model & Mode: Robbie Canner

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Robbie Canner is a 63-year-old international model, an international and national judge, and the director and owner of Ms. Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania World Universal as well as Ms. Regal World Universal and Ms. Majestic World Universal. She was crowned Ms. World back in 2018/19, and she’s the reigning Ms. World Universal Elite 2020/21. She’s also a public speaker on the topic “Age Is No Barrier.”

Since winning the Ms. World title, her public profile has considerably grown, allowing her to promote her platform and raise awareness and funds for cancer research. Winning major international titles in her 60’s has given her a platform, showing men and women from all walks of life, that age is no barrier to what anyone can achieve.

Since losing her son to cancer, her emotional and mental stress led her to visit thoughts such as, “I don’t to be here anymore,” or “I want to be with my son,” but eventually her inner strength led her to still want to continue living, have a say and give direction to help others in any area of situational, emotional and mental stress – assuring them that things can get better in time.

She loves chatting to future queens and friends that she meets along her journey and she wants to help them achieve their hopes and goals.

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

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself?

My name is Robbie Canner and some of the titles I’ve won include Ms. World 2018/19, reigning Ms. World Universal Elite 2020/21 and I have also won Ms. Classic Australia MAQ 2016, Ms. Classic Global United International 2017 Minneapolis USA, and Ms. Global United Lifetime Queen. I’m also a national and international judge, national and international director of my pageant Ms. World Universal, Ms. Regal World Universal, and Ms. Majestic World Universal. Furthermore, I’m a pageant coach and mentor, guest speaker, international model and I have appeared on a number of TV shows.

How did you become an international model? What’s it like to model internationally?

To become an international model on world stages is something I’ve always dreamt about – I was never expecting it to happen. But winning the title of Ms. World at 60 years old certainly made that dream come true. My first runway show was New York Fashion Week and then came National and International magazine covers and stories, radio interviews, and magazine features. To model on the same runway with world supermodels is totally humbling and some I still call my friends. Waiting at the back of the stage before walking on a runway – my nerves were all over the place, I was thinking “what if I stumble or fall off my heels?” but once on in front of world media and stars in the audience, I just wanted more and more. I have had invites to Paris, Milan, South Africa, and Orlando Fashion Week and have been booked again for New York Fashion Week in 2022.

What has been your greatest triumph, to date?

My greatest achievement to date is growing myself to where I am today. There are stepping stones to my journey; like my guest appearance on “Interview” with Andrew Denton on Channel 7 – speaking about my story to a live 200 guest audience brings reality to my dreams and I realized then that I just wanted to open up avenues for others to have opportunities to get to where I am.

What has been your greatest lesson, and how have you used that lesson in your life?

I have learned many lessons in my journey; I learned that age is no barrier to achievements, I learned that I needed to love myself, and I also need to grow out of my personal barriers. When I lost my 22-year-old son to cancer to face a life of total sadness that I have built around myself, I learned to still give dreams a go and that I need to go out and spread this self-growth to help others and support their self-growth.

If you could travel back in time and alter one historical event, where would you go and what would you attempt to change?

I would change my outlook on bullying which I had to deal with at school. I’ll remind myself that bullies are just jealous of who you are and that criticism of self is the best form of flattery. I would want to grow through this adversity and realise that my dreams can be taken away from me so I need to learn to advance my growth through this experience.

What do you think you came into this life to learn, and what do you think you came here to teach?

I came into my life to learn about what I could achieve by just putting my mind to anything in my sight. We have the option of grabbing hold of these opportunities or choosing to let them go. I decided to follow my dreams and now I can teach, mentor, and develop women of all ages through grooming, deportment, public speaking as well as face any adversity head-on.

What projects are you working on right now?

I am presently working on my Ms. World Universal Pageant system, a book, modelling, podcasts, magazine interviews, and one of the most exciting opportunities – I have been approached to film a documentary. The outline for this documentary is underway now and I’m also looking at an international airing so I am so excited.

What would you still like to attempt in your career?

My career is pretty awesome at the moment but some of the things I would still like to achieve are to go on The View, be interviewed by Oprah, or go to lunch with Christie Brinkley. But most of all, I want to stay strong, fit, healthy, and stay on the path of growth.

What advice would you give to those hoping to follow in your footsteps?

Be true to yourself, learn, listen, train, follow your mentors and ask for help from those who can help to place you on the path you wish to follow. At 63 years old, I am still asking for directions from those who are at the top of their game in coaching and development.

Talented Aussie Artist Amarni Finally Set To Release Her Debut EP & Single

AMARNI is a talented artist from Sydney who has been quietly, yet confidently, working hard on her music.  She’s released 10 tracks in the past 2 years and has sold out at all the venues that she’s performed at. “Fierce, Controversial, Talented, Independent, Unapologetically herself and most of all an absolute show stopper.” These are the words media, fans, and the music industry has used to describe the 23-year-old Rapper/Singer/Dancer AMARNI, who hails from Sydney, Australia.

AMARNI first gained praise and a major fan base, after her debut single: ‘Pretty Little Thing.’ The track has clocked over 3 million streams to date, across all platforms. The bold, infectious, club anthem, allowed AMARNI to share the spotlight at ‘Rolling Loud’ with the likes of Kayne West and TYGA, which then lead her to go on the road and open for ‘Cash Money Records’ RNB sensation Jacquees.

Although 2020 was a challenging year faced by many globally, this did not slow the Australian talent down.  From continuously closing brand deals, making music videos, and ensuring her new releases such as ‘Make Moves’ and ‘Mashallah’ featured in global charts & major playlists, she didn’t miss a beat.

AMARNI kicked 2021 off by dropping another hit: ‘Beyonce’ (through the independent recording label ‘New Levels’) which has already hit over a million streams on Spotify alone.  This young star is scheduled to debut her first-ever 7 track EP titled: ‘F*CK LOVE, GET MONEY’ on August 13.  The EP will showcase to fans and Industry everywhere, a version of AMARNI they have yet to see.  With critics describing it as raw, real, honest, fiery, and most of all AMARNI’s most passionate body of music to date.  The 23-year-old delivers a mix of RNB, Rap, and even melodic tracks on this EP, opening herself up to her audience for the first time ever through her lyrics.

This campaign is the beginning of Australia’s next biggest export, as global touring, major collaborations, and even her own merch range ‘INRAMA’ are ready to be announced within the coming months.

For more information, you can visit her social media pages:

Website: www.AMARNI.com.au   I   Insta: @Amarni   I   FB: @AmarniOfficial   I   Twitter: @Amarni

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.

Most Promising Model Of The Week: Meet The Beautiful Janaya Alice Reimers

Janaya Alice Reimers is an ambitious, very driven model who’s prepared to do whatever it takes to follow her dreams. She cares about the environment and she’s obsessed with keeping herself fit and healthy. Her friends describe her as someone genuine with a happy soul and a kind heart.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Janaya and here’s what went down:

How were you actually ‘discovered’? A chance encounter on the street? Audition?

I just took a chance; I was regularly contacted through social media which I normally ignored until one day I decided to reply back; this led me into modelling and here I am today at 18 heading to the Miss Australia Pageants 2021.

What are your favourite down time activities?

That is easy, without question it’s going to the gym and beach walks.

How did you start with modelling?

I always loved watching shows like America’s Top Model and from there I developed my passion for modelling.

What do you like most about the modelling industry?

The fashion and getting to meet new people and making life long friends.

The downside to being a model?

Unpredictable and long hours.

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

Helping a new start-up business in Melbourne as their Brand Ambassador; it was extremely rewarding to support them and connect to the community.

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!

Everyone has individual qualities and being different is okay.

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

My mum keeps me grounded by telling me the hard truths.

Is your family supportive of your career?

My family is my greatest supporter, they’re always encouraging me to go outside of my comfort zone.

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

Ultimately I just want to live a happy life, spend time with the people I love, and of course, get a Pomeranian.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen – Safe Haven.
2. What do you consider beautiful and why? – Women Empowering Women because it is beauty from within.
3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? – Skydive.
4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d be…” living and working in Rome.
5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? – I find it hard to say no.