Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in the modeling industry?
I am 18 years old, and I have been modeling for a little over a year now. I originally started when I was 14 by doing a basic portfolio shoot to apply to agencies. I started up again when I did my first shoot with Aaron. He helped me get back into it and I’ve learned a lot in the process!
What types of modeling have you been involved in, such as portraits, fashion, and runway? Which one do you enjoy the most and why?
I have done all types of modeling. My favorite has to be runway, I love modeling and bringing to life peoples designs that they put hard work into. I also really enjoy location photo shoots they are always an adventure and a different experience than shooting in a studio.
As a model, have you had any opportunities to assist with photography and styling shoots for other models? Can you share some details about your experience in this role?
In addition to modeling I also help out in the studio, I love helping style and pose people, as well as making them more comfortable and confident in front of the camera. It’s also a great experience because as I watch people shoot, I can see how different poses and outfits look in real time, and that helps me with my shoots too.
We heard that you have aspirations to become a fashion designer. What sparked your interest in this field, and how do you plan to pursue your passion alongside your modeling career?
Even when I was little, I loved making outfits and watching fashion shows. I’ve always been interested in everything artistic, such as drawing, painting and 3D work, but fashion design and sewing are my favorite. I plan to study fashion design while pursuing modeling, and as I get older, I’ll focus more on the fashion design side of industry. However, my main goal in life, is and has been since I was a child is to be a professional model.
It's impressive that you have created some of the outfits you've worn during photoshoots. Can you describe your favorite outfit that you designed, including the process of transforming your sport coat into a skirt and top?
I have been working on some outfits for shoots, some for me and some for other people’s use in the studio. I make them for Aaron, and he comes up with some of the ideas! We work well together. My favorite one that I made and modeled in was the sport coat I turned into a top and skirt. The transformation was a fairly easy process, but I love the concept. It’s definitely not something you see every day!
Could you share some insights about your experiences with runway work in different cities like Boston, Providence, and New York? Are there any notable differences or challenges you encountered in each location?
As for runway experiences in different city’s I would say they are all about the same. The way they produce the shows and set things up differ, but they are all about the designers and the clothes. It’s my job as a model to bring their clothes to life and show off the outfits the way the designers want us to.
Walking at New York Fashion Week is a significant achievement. How do you feel about this opportunity, and what preparations are you making to ensure a successful appearance at such a prestigious event?
I am very excited and grateful to even be able to walk in NY fashion week, I’m preparing by practicing my walk and my poses to insure I do the best job that I can. I have been practicing my runway skills sense I was 13 at classes and on my own so I am pretty confident that I will do great!
Are there any specific fashion designers or brands that inspire you in your work as a model and designer? If so, who are they and why do they resonate with you?
As both a model and designer I have two different things that inspire me. I am inspired by Dior from a designer standpoint. I love the dark colors and shapes used in a lot of Dior’s collection this year. The runways they had were fabulous and the way they put together all the pieces was stunning. From a model point of view, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit magazines really inspire me. I love the way they have woman of all shapes and sizes on their covers. The way they all look so confident and, in their element, really inspires me to do what I love and to love myself. It is my dream to be on their cover someday.
In terms of modeling, what do you consider your greatest strengths? How do you leverage these strengths to create impactful and memorable photographs or runway performances?
In terms of modeling I consider my greatest strength to be my people skills. It’s not only about how good you look in front of a camera. It’s also about how well you can work with a production team and the connections you make along the way. Most of my success is from talking with people and networking, and of course showing up and doing every shoot to the best of my ability. I also believe that my confidence plays a part in making shoots/runways great. I don’t think too much about it or tear myself down I just know that I’ll get better every time, and I continue to work on my craft.
On the flip side, what are some areas you feel you could improve upon or challenges you face as a model? How do you plan to address those and continue growing in your career?
One of the challenges I face as a model is stress and feeling like I don’t belong. I have only been in the industry for about a year and a half so sometimes I feel like I’m behind. The way I combat stress is going to the gym, I love running and light weightlifting. It takes away stress and makes me feel so much better. The way that I combat not feeling like I belong is by reminding myself that everyone around me is also trying to improve, and that no matter how good you get at something, there will always be that stress, so you just have to keep working towards your goals!
How do you approach the balance between staying true to your personal style and adapting to the creative vision of photographers or designers you collaborate with?
I am very true to myself when I shoot, if there’s a concept a photographer wants to do but it’s not my style, I will give suggestions on how we can tweak it or change it up a bit to fit both of our styles. If it’s a job my agency sends me on than it’s different and I will do that the way they want. But when it comes to my own page I like to stick to my style and my moral standards as well.
Can you share a memorable or exciting experience you've had while working as a model or during a photoshoot? What made it stand out to you?
Memorable experiences that I’ve had as a model aren’t just one thing. I would say the best experiences I’ve had in the industry during shoots or runways is when you meet people or work with people that are supportive and all-around good people. I have met some of my favorite people while at events, runways, or shoots, and it creates a wonderful community of models, photographers, makeup artists, hairstylists etc. that are always willing to create and work together.
What are your long-term goals as a model and fashion designer? Where do you see yourself in the industry in the next five to ten years?
My short-term goal would be to be able to work full-time as a model. Some personal goals would be to be on the cover of SI Swim, walk in Victoria’s Secret runway show (if they ever have one again), be part of magazine editorials and things like that. I believe you need to set your goals high because even if you don’t reach them, you’ll end up somewhere in between. My long-term goal as a fashion designer would be to continue to create things that make me happy and maybe work as a designer for my own fashion line. I also have always wanted to start my own business and work for myself, being only 18 I’m not sure what it would be yet, but I have some ideas!
How do you stay up to date with the latest fashion trends and industry developments? Are there any specific resources or sources of inspiration that you rely on?
I stay up to date with fashion design and modeling with social media. it’s the easiest way because everyone is always posting something new and trends change very quickly, but you can be sure to stay up-to-date online.
Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring models who are just starting their journey in the industry, based on your own experiences and lessons learned?
Advice that I can give to aspiring models is to just start. I waited for a long time after being rejected from agencies when I was 14, you don’t have to have an agency to start modeling you can do freelance, and it is a lot easier to start out. When you first start shooting, you’ll learn a lot very quickly and it can be beneficial to just shoot for fun to create a portfolio before you even try to sign to an agency. You also want to figure out what type of modeling you want to do such as runways, editorial, advertisement etc. Another thing is to not get discouraged quickly, it takes time to get noticed which is something I’m still working on, and to figure out the type of modeling that you want to do. Follow your dreams and success will follow!
Photographer: Aaron Duke @aarondukephotography
Model: Madeleine Poulin @mad.ddie_
Makeup Artist: Mark White @markwhitemua