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

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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.

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

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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

Model Of The Week: Meet The Beautiful Emma Jane Rose Healy

Photo Credit: Jess Clowes Photography

Emma Jane Rose Healy is a lighting technician and stage manager for major films, musicals, operas, ballets, and theatre shows. Modelling was something Emma kind of fell into, almost as a natural progression within her career. She studied Bachelor of Fine Arts at QUT, and has spent many years performing – most recently as a Disney Princess for children’s parties. Photoshoots and videography have always been a big part of her work; she was just used to being behind the camera, not in front.

Her first official photoshoot was actually with a work colleague, Lachlan Cross, who has an extensive background in architectural photography and wanted to try out portrait photography. From there she began freelancing, working with companies such as Sea Skin Australia and Lifeline, and amazing photographers like Jess Clowes Photography. StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Emma and here’s what went down:

What are your favourite downtime activities?

Picnics, D&D, puzzles, ice skating, drinking jasmine tea, dancing, reading, and archery – just to name a few.

Photo Credit: Sea Skin Australia Shoot by The Edit Suite

How did you start with modelling?

My first official photoshoot was actually with a work colleague, Lachlan Cross, who has an extensive background in architectural photography and wanted to try out portrait photography. He’s incredibly talented, and the shots are still some of my favourite images today. From there I began freelancing, working with companies such as Sea Skin Australia and Lifeline, and amazing photographers like Jess Clowes Photography.

What do you like most about the modelling industry?

The modelling industry has always been a double-edged sword for me. On one hand, I love meeting new crews, making new friends, and seeing an ordinary scenario becoming an extraordinary image. It’s joyful, beautiful, and never the same experience twice. In that respect, modelling is an unparalleled outlet for self-expression, artistry, and confidence.

On the other hand, it’s an industry that is built around appearance, and there can be an incredibly harmful culture developed when people unconsciously tie self-worth to an image. Fortunately, there are many amazing initiatives and brands that actively promote diversity and inclusion (not tokenisation, but representation), despite the fact that we still have a long way to go in achieving an ethically sustainable modelling industry.

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

Well, it’s still in progress, but it would have to be competing in Miss World Australia this year. I’m usually working as a technician, lifting heavy lights in steel caps, and walking the stage in a sequinned gown and heels is very different! And that’s the point.

For me, Miss World Australia is about challenging limitations on female strength and identity – and I’ve talked about this before on my social media. I know my ripped, faded, black work jeans are very different from my photoshoot outfits. But I’m versatile, and steel caps don’t compromise my ability to be feminine. I can be a technician and compete at Miss World Australia. Femininity and strength are not, and have never been, mutually exclusive.

That’s why this experience is so memorable for me, even though it’s still going. It’s been a lot of self-reflection, research, and analysis around how I can use my voice to help build a better world. And ultimately, I want to reinforce a positive, healthy and inclusive environment – whether that be through modelling, Miss World Australia, or as a technician.

Photo Credit: Jess Clowes Photography

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

Be prepared, be positive and be kind!

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

At the end of the day, I think it’s about staying grateful. I’m incredibly blessed with a strong network of family, friends, and colleagues, and I know I’m supported and loved. I get to meet amazing people, have magical experiences, and bring joy to the world around me. I know it sounds a little corny, but I love making the world a brighter place.

Is your family supportive of your career?

I have an incredible relationship with my family, and they support me in everything that I do. I’m honoured to have them by my side.

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

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about making plans by now, it’s that they’re always going to change! I never imagined I would be a published model and a Finalist for Miss World Australia in the middle of a global pandemic, but here we are. In the long run, it’s more important to have strong relationships, a positive outlook, and a determined attitude. As long as I maintain those, I’m excited to see what the future holds.

Photo Credit: Jess Clowes Photography

The “Lightning Fast” Round:

Last good movie I’ve seen: The Dressmaker.

What do you consider beautiful and why? I believe beauty is a matter of perception, and the best way to sum it up is: “Comparing women is like holding a flower to fairy lights – both are beautiful yet neither are alike”.

What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Acrobatics training.

Complete this sentence: If I had no fear, I’d be… an actor!

What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? My hair – it received incessant teasing when I was younger, and I wanted to dye it blonde! I’m forever grateful my mother stopped me, as now I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Photo Credit: Jess Clowes Photography

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.

Most Promising Model Of The Week: Meet The Beautiful Cassandra Van Zeyl

Cassandra Van Zeyl has been a passionate primary school teacher for six years, however, she has been working with children for more than fourteen years. She has been a swimming instructor, before and after school care coordinator, and an integration aid. She got her foot in the modelling industry after being scouted by BGM models through Facebook. After that, the rest you can say is history. Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Cassandra and here’s what went down:

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

I was scouted by BGM models through Facebook and had a successful interview at a prestigious hotel in Melbourne. I was confident walking into this interview because I knew that BGM represented curvaceous women. I felt very empowered and accepted in this type of environment. My mantra has always been his should be highlighted and not hidden.

What are your favourite down time activities?

Swimming at the local pool.
Hosting fundraising cocktail events/Gala Balls
Getting involved in local community events
Singing
Dancing
Competing in pageants in Australia ( eg. Miss World Australia / Miss Australia Pageants).

How did you start with modelling?

My beautiful mother was extremely well known in the modelling world and used to model for Vivian’s. I couldn’t believe it when BGM merged with Vivian’s. It was such a coincidence. I started modelling because I knew I had unique energy and a confident personality. I felt that I could offer the modelling world a fresh perspective and as a curvy modelling ambassador, I wanted to remind all woman that no matter what your size, you can do what you put your mind to. My mother was my inspiration and now I help other women feel comfortable and happy in the skin they’re in. My mother was a size eight and I’m a size twelve and whether you are a smaller or bigger size, you have the same opportunity to succeed. Size does not determine your success.

What do you like most about the modelling industry?

I love the forever friendships you form and the connections you make through modelling opportunities. It’s such a diverse industry and I am absolutely in love with fashion and how modelling can help you express your emotions in ways you didn’t think you could. It’s such a powerful industry and you can complexly immerse yourself in this world and the incredible amount of confidence that comes from putting yourself out there and presenting multiple challenges is mind-blowing. I surprise myself daily when put under pressure to perform and I think failure is a big part of success.

The downside to being a model?

At times social media can portray the perfect body type and this can have a dramatically negative impact on mental health. There shouldn’t be the ‘perfect’ body type. There are just simply different body types. Why should we feel pressure to conform? You create your own reality and create your own idea of perfection. Perfection and beauty are in the eyes of the beholder.

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

My very first modelling shoot was absolutely fantastic and I remember the photographer saying you should be modelling as a cover girl for ‘forever new. I often hear this said a lot. I have been asked multiple times about being at Home and Away. This is an opportunity in the future that I look forward to pursuing.

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!

Don’t compare yourself to anyone! Love yourself and embrace what makes you different because this is how you shine.

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

My first priority has been and will always be my family. I love my core values and I wouldn’t compromise these to fit anybody’s expectations.

Is your family supportive of your career?

My mother is extremely proud of all my achievements. I have a very supportive family and feel very blessed.

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

I was thinking of opening my own business as a youth mentor or remain in the Department of Education. I look forward to seeing what my future holds. I will always be working with children though. There may be an opportunity for me to enter into news reporting.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: Unhinged.
2. What do you consider beautiful and why? The ocean – Calms the soul.
3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Travel to Europe.
4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d be…” Scuba diving with sharks.
5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? Being a very forgiving person.

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

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

How were you actually ‘discovered?’

Instagram.

What are your favourite downtime activities?

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

How did you start with modelling?

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

What do you like most about the modelling industry?

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

The downside to being a model?

Beauty Standards.

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

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

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

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

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

Self-love and self-care.

Is your family supportive of your career?

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

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

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

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did you start with modelling?

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

What do you like most about the modelling industry?

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

The downside to being a model?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are your favourite downtime activities?

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

Is your family supportive of your career?

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

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

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

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

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

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

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

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

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