Fashionista Of The Week: Introducing The Beautiful Shane Lin

Shane Lin was born in Taiwan, educated in Boston, and now based in London. Coming from a long line of businessmen and women, she followed her family’s footsteps and studied Entrepreneurship and Economics, which later landed her a career in construction management and consultancy services. Due to the nature of her job, Shay has been working in male-dominated industries for years. As a female and a minority, she is very much aware that women had to fight much harder to be heard and seen in the workplace and society. Being encouraged by her sister and friends, Lin decided to start an account as her creative outlet. She explores the benefits of using her platform to amplify women’s voices by sharing her everyday style and hoping to, in the slightest, inspire the ladies out there to stop picking apart their bodies, discover their most attractive selves, and feel confident in their own skin.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Shane 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?

I am a big believer in high-low fashion. I find mixing more expensive tailored pieces with more casual everyday pieces makes me look more styled and aesthetically balanced when done right. Aritzia, Storet, Arket, and COS do quality staple pieces with a subtle twist. Mango and H&M are also my go-to’s and good places for trendy and basic pieces at a more affordable price. For the past few seasons, they carried the most beautiful knitwear and dresses. I like to shop for jeans and trousers at Uniqlo. There’s something about their design that fits your body like a glove. I’d go to Zara for trend pieces as they are fast at catching on to the latest trends without breaking the bank. I would check out third-party retail websites like Farfetch, Net-a-Porter, and Forward for brands with hefty price tags. I’m always on the lookout for the best deal and shop around off-season or at the end of the season before I take the plunge.

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

Layering. Instead of putting on just one layer of top and a heavy coat, I’d start with a high neck or a crew neck sweater, throw on a blazer for a little bit of structure and complete the look with an oversized coat/jacket. This combo not only keeps me snug in cooler months but provides versatility for multiple occasions. I would also choose a nice pair of boots that give room for thick socks for some added warmth.

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

I usually take inspiration from Pinterest, people on the street, my mom and auntie (I might sound partial, but their generation had the best style, in my opinion). I also like to take ideas from other creators but avoid styling pieces the same way they look at others. I will usually personalize it to suit my aesthetic as some styles might suit others but might not make you feel 100% comfortable with them.

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

To me, staying fashionable is to have a clear mind and idea of what works best for you. Social media can be a double-edged sword. It is super helpful for new ideas, style tips, and inspiration, but it can make you feel more confused about what you want at times simply because there is too much going on out there at every single second. When I run out of ideas, instead of hunting frantically for ideas from social media, I would have a good look at my wardrobe and lay everything out in front of me. This helps to style things up visually in terms of what colors and pieces coordinate and harmonize.

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

Under the influence of social media, we are so vulnerable to losing our individuality because we are not looking like someone else. What is in today can be out tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong; I used to fall into the trap of catching trends without thinking if that would suit or pair with the rest of my wardrobe. I believe comfort and fashion are equally important. I now tend to go for styles that I am the most comfortable with and confident in. At the end of the day, your uniqueness will only shine through if you are being yourself.

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

I see cut-out dresses or tops everywhere. I find this trend easy to replicate and not too “trend” driven. When done very minimally, I find a classically fit dress with very flattering and very fine slits, which adds a little extra something in a very inoffensive way. This year, I also see many blue and yellow in accessories and clothing, from duck egg blue, bright royal blue, and custard yellow. I love the contrast the vibrant colors create when paired with deeper shades, especially grey.

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

I am happy to see more and more people promote sustainable fashion. Both brands and consumers are putting more emphasis on sustainable production and consumption. The focus of the whole industry is shifting towards more of an environmentally-friendly narrative.

It’s got us to put more thought into what goes behind a piece of clothing and if what we buy has been ethically or environmentally produced. We don’t have to purchase new clothes constantly to create a new look or to stay current. We need to realize the power of reinventing, restyling, and reinvesting in something we already own. It’s still a long way to go, but I’d like to think we are on the right track.

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

Low-waisted jeans, neon-colored items, branded monogram belts, super exaggerated platform shoes need to be out the door. Those used to be the ‘it’ items, and you see them everywhere….(still remember that studded or rhinestoned Ed Hardy). It’s just my personal opinion, but I’m over them.

What fashion advice would you give an emerging fashionista?

I once heard a stylist named Molly Bingaman say that “the most attractive look is always the most authentic one.” I 100% resonate with that. How to show up authentically is something I believe we all struggle to a different degree at some point in our life. We put ourselves at the mercy of the critics and are constantly seeking acceptance, and because of that, we start questioning our style, taste, body image, and identity. My advice would be to take that control back. Don’t feel insecure if you don’t look like someone else. Celebrate your uniqueness, discover your authentic self, and everything will follow naturally.

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

Don’t follow trends blindly, and don’t spend a ton of money on overhyped items. New trends are created every day and can spread overnight thanks to social media. Don’t feel like you need to catch that trends train all the time. I’d say to be selective and discreet about the fashion elements that are trending and mix bits and pieces with what you already have. Keep things simple. You don’t need to be doing what other people are doing. Source unique and classic pieces that will stand the test of time and will complement you and your wardrobe.

Man Of Style Of The Week: Introducing The Dashing Luka

Luka is a fashion stylist and digital influencer who hails from Sydney, Australia. He gets fashion inspo mostly from movies or out on the streets, and he’s very open-minded when it comes to shopping for clothes – he can shop in prominent designer boutiques but also wear local designer brands.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Luka to discuss his 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?

I’m very open-minded when I’m shopping. I can go to either big designer boutiques, but I also love shopping for local designer brands too. I think it is very important to support them.

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

I think the trick is to layer it out since you are going to spend time indoor. Having a nice top/pants and putting a super vibe coach can create a perfect outfit. Having simple colours is always the safest option to play around the season.

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

Mostly on movies and the street. I do love bloggers and magazines, but I think you have to find your style first instead of copying someone.

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

No, it’s not. As soon as you dress for yourself and be confident, it is not hard at all.

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

I think you need to find a line that you want to be first and add things to your personality, so people will understand who you are.

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

Since the pandemic started, I think we are all going back into a more comfortable style, which I believe will be continuous for the next season.

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

I think fashion has become very important globally, but we always got to remember that we can’t be slaves of fashion.

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

I’m always donating pieces that I haven’t worn for a while. However, I recycle a lot of clothes as trends always come back, so we must reuse things again.

What fashion advice would you give an emerging fashionista?

Be yourself and play simple first.

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

It is tough to keep up with every single trend out there, so I think having a simple knowledge of what’s is on at the moment and trying to adapt it in your own style is the key to staying ahead of the curve.

Most Promising Model Of The Week: Introducing The Stunning Anita Hosseini

Anita Hosseini initially got started in the modelling industry via John Casablancas’ agency where she learned about modeling and the industry. While she was taking classes there, she got discovered by T.H.E artist agency in Washington D.C and that was the beginning of my modeling career.

Modeling made her confident over time. Before she started modeling she wouldn’t take a portrait or even regular close-up photos of herself because she didn’t have the confidence to look at the camera. But as she began to do a lot of photoshoots, she realized that the camera is her best friend and she’s so comfortable and confident in front of it now. Modeling made a confident person out of her that she could ever imagine.

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

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

The most memorable experience in modeling industry is my first magazine cover shoot. When I arrived at that shoot, I just knew that the shoot is for a bridal magazine. I was so excited about it but as we moved forward with the shoot the director told me that one of the shots is going to be on the cover and that blew my mind and made me so happy. I will never forget that day and never forget my first magazine cover job.

Downside to being a model?

When you love what you do there is never going to be a downside to it and you will never get to the point that you will get tired of it even when it can be exhausting and tiring, the job you do is enjoyable.

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

I can’t think of one person or one group of people because I was always surrounded by amazing people during my photoshoots and I’m always amazed at how lucky I am to have this opportunity.

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

One time, someone told me when you think you can’t do something, act like you can do it the best you can and no one is better than you – that way you’re going to give that feeling to yourself, and the people watching you will think that you’re the best.

Is your family supportive of you being a model?

My family has always been a big part of my success and where I am today wouldn’t be possible without their support and I never take that for granted.

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 do anything differently, the universe always puts you in the best place you need to be at that moment.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

9. Never listen to advice.

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

10. My future plans are countless however living a happy and healthy life and being surrounded by the people I love is my forever plan but in the next few years, I’m planning to create my own clothing brand, that’s what I’m going to fashion school for.

LIGHTNING-FAST ROUND

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: A star is born.

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Beauty isn’t about having a pretty face it’s about having a pretty heart.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Competing in Miss Universe is something that’s always been my biggest dream.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d ” Travel the world without a time limit and get to know all the cultures and people around the world.

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? Being present in my life and living in the moment instead of rushing to get to the end.

Most Promising Model Of The Week: Introducing The Stunning Nikol Stach

When Nikol Stachwas around 12 years old, her Aunty asked her if she could be a model just for her assignment at a makeup school. She did a shoot after her makeup was done and the photographer asked her if she does any modelling as she “knew how to move” in his opinion. This got her interested in modelling but she never acted on it at the time. It was only when her Instagram started to grow and she received an email from a photographer asking to shoot her that she took it seriously. Ever since then she just continued networking and finding modelling jobs regularly.

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

What do you like most about being a model? 

The thing I like most about being a model is the fact that I get to create and be creative. I especially love shoots where I get to style and create little scenarios which tell a story. 

Downside to being a model? 

The biggest downside, in my opinion, would probably have to be that we constantly get compared to one another as models. Even though the industry is becoming more and more inclusive, I still feel as though you really need to have thick skin when it comes to certain aspects of this business.  

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

There have been many memorable experiences throughout my career, but at this moment I am most grateful for my move to Melbourne, where I’m loving the change in work.  

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

I honestly can’t choose, I meet so many different people every day and I think all are equally as interesting, and I love getting to know everyone. 

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’ve learned being in the industry is that, if you believe in yourself and really portray that energy, others will also believe in you, sure, looks play a part but confidence is equally as important. 

Is your family supportive of you being a model?

My family is supportive of me being a model but still wishes I chose a more traditional career. 

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

I don’t think I’d do anything differently as my past has led to my current life. 

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I’ve ever been given would have to be “No one works harder for you than you working for yourself.”

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

My future career plans consist of getting into the acting business, and travelling as soon as we can. 

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: Moana.

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? All things nature, because it makes me feel connected to the earth and gives me energy. 

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Travelled around the world, especially to tropical locations. 

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d ” be a stunt person. 

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? I wouldn’t change anything about myself.

Fashionista Of The Week: Introducing The Fabulous Ingrid Martínez

Ingrid Martínez (@ingridmartinezcas) has always loved fashion. She studied Advertising and Public Relations and then completed a master’s degree in Fashion and Luxury Communication at Elle magazine. She became a fashionista because she wanted to do something professionally with fashion; so she started to upload her various looks via her Instagram account which gained more and more followers and the rest you can say is history.

Model & Mode magazine recently had a one on one interview with the talented Ingrid and here’s what happened:

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

I usually shop at Zara, Mango, or Uterqüe. For handbags I am more selective, I like Michael Kors, Celine, and YSL. A great tip to buy designer clothes is to go to second-hand stores; start searching and with a little patience you can get very good clothes and even some real jewels.

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

I love the cold months! I really like winter clothes and playing with layers. Although I tend to dress very monochromatic, during the cold months I like to add a pop of color with blouses or handbags. The key is balance and not to stop dressing how you would like to just because it’s winter and it’s cold.

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

Everywhere. On the street, magazines, Pinterest. I also have a saved folder on Instagram about different looks. Runways are also great for inspiration.

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

Yes and no, it depends on the mood I would say. There are times when I just want to wear a tracksuit because I’m tired and others when I want to go out as if I were going to walk down a runway. It is important to respect those moods in which you would like to be more comfortable, but you can always give it some style with some good accessories, a good hairstyle, or red lips.

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

Being unique is already a commercial attraction in itself. In this world, it is important to have your own personality and brands realize that. They don’t want copies, they want you to shine on your own, that’s what makes you attractive.

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

It is clear that color is the trend that is being worn the most right now. A trend that I used to resist, but now I love it. A green silk blouse, with jeans and white sandals, is the perfect look for a summer afternoon.

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

That it is changing and that is good. I see a trend in fashion that we have been asking for a long time and that is that it should not be so changeable, that is, that it should not be so fast. I see it in several brands, especially in Spanish brands that manufacture in Spain. They seek to create clothes that are sustainable and that last over time, which I love.

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

The hip jeans and platform sandals. They were already worn some time ago and came back, the truth is that it is a fashion that I did not like at all and that went away for many years.

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.

Fashionista Spotlight: Get To Know The Beautiful Shilpa

Shilpa is a fashionista and influencer who’s based in Seattle. She loves sustainable and upcycled clothing as well as neutral and comfortable street style which she believes has a lot more commercial appeal. Since she’s a big supporter of sustainable fashion, lately, she’s almost exclusively been shopping on thrifting platforms. She feels that it’s a great way to find mid-range designer items for a massive discount while also being environmentally conscious.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Shilpa 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?

Lately, I’ve almost exclusively been shopping on thrifting platforms like ThredUp and Poshmark. It is actually a really great way to find mid-range designer items for a huge discount while also being environmentally conscious! I always say my secret to online thrifting is just straight up do some online shopping on actual brand websites (my favourites are revolve and American eagle). Once you find something you like, do a search for them on second-hand thrifting websites and sometimes you’ll get super lucky and find the exact item. Sometimes you don’t but might stumble upon something similar.

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

I love oversized things, so some of my favorite ways to stay fashionable and warm are to wear oversized coats and sweatshirts as dresses with some tights and over-the-knee boots. You can really layer on some thick socks for some hidden added warmth. I also am a huge sweatpants fan so I love wearing leggings under a matching sweatsuit to keep extra toasty. I’m so glad matching sweatsuits are sort of back in.

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

Instagram is definitely a big inspiration when it comes to my fashion. I love mixing and matching prints and I think seeing my favorite Instagrammers work patterns made me a lot more comfortable and confident in rocking them.

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

It’s funny because I actually am always more fashionable when I stay in. Like if I’m hosting a small gathering in my apartment, I dress to the nines and really play around with my look, but the moment I have to step outside into the real world, all I can bring myself to wear are sweats. I think it’s totally okay to put comfort over fashion so I try not to be too hard on myself. It’s okay to pick and choose when you want to be fashionable.

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

For me, I think I have an in-built balance because of my need to be comfortable (laughs). I love neutral and comfy street style which has a lot more commercial appeal and tend to wear that out the most often, just because it’s so easy to put together. For events and parties, I like to play it up and do some pattern mixing and sometimes I even like to indo-westernize my outfits. For my Instagram, I think it’s a lot more fun to play with your outfits because I think it makes photos so much more interesting. It is also a lot easier to get away with “weirder” fashion choices in photos because you can angle yourself however you want and only have to be in it for a few minutes (laughs).

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

I’ve seen a lot of pastels and as I’ve mentioned previously, patterns! I think the neutral street style is kind of timeless and will always sort of be there, but I am so here for the more whimsical trends. I also see that a lot of 90s style is coming back which I absolutely love. In the 90s, I was in elementary school mostly so I never got to really experience all the fashion trends that the 90s high school kid got to experience, so I’m glad I get to do that now!

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

I think it’s become really expressive and a lot less judgemental than it used to be. People are really starting to care for the environment more which is making thrifting super popular and trendy now. When I was growing up, it was never really a thing people did that often. I love the uprising of more sustainable and upcycled clothing. Designers are always finding such cool ways to repurpose fabrics and make completely unique pieces.

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

This is a tricky question for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely been there when it comes to fast fashion brands mass producing super trendy items that won’t last, but I think now it’s more about how can you repurpose what you’ve grown out of rather than what can you toss because it doesn’t seem conventionally trendy anymore. I think trends should always be followed loosely and if you still like something…keep wearing it even if it’s not the “it” thing anymore. I’ve actually kept so many once-trendy things in a suitcase and recently went back to it after years and re-fell in love with so many of my old clothing items.

What fashion advice would you give an emerging fashionista?

Fashion is something so personal and subjective. If you feel comfortable and confident in it, wear it! It took me so long to understand this and I’m still actually working on not caring too much about what others think of my style.

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

Keep experimenting. Trends are never cool until all of a sudden they are. If you like something, keep doing you and who knows, it might become the next look of the season. But even if it doesn’t, who cares!

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

Download Now

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.

Model Of The Week: Meet The Beautiful Actress And Model, Sam Pio

At such a young age, Sam Pio is multitalented and living out her dreams as a singer, actress, and model. She is set to release a cover album of faith-based Christian Gospel songs such as Amazing Grace and O’Lord, as well as a solo album with originally written Christian songs later this year. The goal of her music is to bring an angelic, spirit-filled message of hope, love, and light after the tumultuous time the world experienced.

Sam booked her first baby modeling job at the age of 1 with OshKosh B’gosh and later with Vertibaudet Fashion Kids which inspired her to become a rising star and pursue additional passions. By age two she was singing, making up her own songs, and if there was a stage in sight, she wasn’t shy and made her way to perform. Sam has appeared in commercials, theater production, television series, independent films, and has graced main stage events across the country. The independent film she stars in, “Little May,” is out at award-winning film festivals, and her 26-television episode “Love at Work” series is scheduled to premiere on the Hope Channel (date TBD). In this production, Sam is the youngest of 15 singers in this musical, based on the ten commandments of the bible, alongside Whitney Phipps, Yolanda Innocent Palmer, Neville Peter, and nine others.

In December 2020, Sam performed alongside Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik for Amazon Prime’s first augmented reality movie musical called “It’s Christmas All Over with the Goo Goo Dolls.” A true philanthropist at heart, Sam has used her talent and performed to help raise money for the Los Angeles Food Bank and the families in need.

Sam studies with some of the leading coaches and trainers in the industry and although she works hard at developing her craft she still finds time for her favorite activities – play dates, baking, swimming, board games, and reading the Bible.

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

Can you tell us about BE BLESSED and your upcoming album featuring originally written Christian songs?

BE BLESSED is a Christian cover album of contemporary, classic hymns, and worship songs like Lauren Daigle’s “Oh Lord,” Toby Mac’s “Everything,” Sinach’s “Way Maker,” and John Newton’s “Amazing Grace”.

My next album is all original music where I get to tell everyone how much God loves them. I am excited to share the visions he has given me. I just can’t wait! We have already started recording and we hope to have the album out by the end of the year. We are working hard to do so but you can’t rush the process. I am in the studio most Friday’s either laying down tracks with my engineer or recording with my vocal producer.

What sort of person is going to love this album?

Anyone who loves uplifting music.

What inspires you to be creative?

God always inspires my work. He gives me a vision; I write it down and turn it into a song. My team is also a huge help with turning my vision into an album.

Is there anything special that you do to get into a creative mindset?

I pray and God answers by giving me a vision.

What message, if any, do you try to put into your work?

My message is about faith and love. How much God loves everyone.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

My baptism, because Jesus is such a huge part of why I do what I do. He gave me my gifts and without Him, I would not even have a career.

Do you ever find yourself unable to express your creativity to the fullest? What kinds of things inhibit you?

When I need to write a song right away but God hasn’t given me the vision yet.

Who is your greatest influence?

Everything I do is influenced by my faith and relationship with God.

Do you feel that you chose your “passion,” or did it choose you?

Both because God asked and I said yes.

If you hadn’t chosen to be a singer, actress, and model, what would your career path be?

My singing, acting, and modeling are second to my relation to God and my ministry. I plan on touring around the world as a missionary giving back to God all that he has given. I just established my own company called Live For Jesus Ministry.

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

I dream of touring around the world and being a missionary, singing praises to God, and helping others get to know the wonderful life they can have through a relationship with God.

Photo credit: Bobby Quillard

Meet The Model Behind The Cover Of The June 2021 Issue Of Model & Mode: The Stunning Marona Tanner

Download Now

Cover Photography by: i2frame_photography

Marona Tanner is a Sydney-based Model. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication majoring in 3D Animation and Graphic Design, as well as certificates in both Screen Acting and Finance. It was her family’s move to Australia that kickstarted Marona Tanner’s successful modeling career. Her stunning beauty, a result of her Egyptian heritage, drew the admiration of anyone she came across with, and for good reason. Besides being a full-time model and a high-profile Instagram star with more than half a million followers, Marona also possesses an acting degree, she’s a sculptor and an animator who can speak 3 languages; English, Arabic, and French. She has modelled for high profile brands such as Abyss By Abby, Do You Even, Lorna Jane, Freddy, Fashion Nova, JD Sports, L’Oréal, Lonsdale, and many more so it’s safe to say that Marona is a force to be reckoned with in the fashion industry.

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

How did you get into the modeling industry? How were you actually ‘discovered’?

Since I’ve moved to Australia, I feel like I have been guided by almost every person I come across to do modeling as a full-time job.

Photographed by @i2frame_photography

What do you like most about being a model?

Getting to meet creative people from all around the world. I’ve modeled for a lot of overseas brands so it’s been absolutely amazing dealing and working with many creative minds.

The downside to being a model?

I guess modeling in Australia can be a bit challenging which is why it’s very important for professional models to broaden themselves and have agencies in different countries.

What do you like most when it comes to partnering with various brands?

Networking and building strong relationships with small and big brands.

Photographed by @dacshots

What do you post on Instagram the most?

Mostly about fashion and style.

What’s your favourite part about being a model/influencer?

Being able to promote the latest trends in the fashion world.

What advice would you give emerging influencers when it comes to the importance of quality and original content?

Most brands these days prefer real-life images of people, not necessarily from your typical skinny models with long legs. Nowadays, what’s really working well are real people with beautiful curves. That’s what I call being original.

Photographed by @dacshots

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

I appreciate people who put effort into their appearance. However, real beauty is what comes within and nothing can beat that!

Is your family supportive of you being in the modeling industry?

Yes.

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

Star in a movie at one point, buy a new house and a boat.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: Brain on fire. I also appreciate Hot Fuzz and the Dress Maker.

2. What do you consider beautiful? A good soul.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? We all have dreams. However, I like to take one step at a time.

Photographed by @dacshots

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” swim far/deep in the ocean

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? How stubborn I am, guess I’m stubborn about that too.

Photographed by JESSICA CUDA
Model MARONA TANNER
Hair ANDI ASMARO
Makeup MAKEUP BY DREW