How did you first become interested in modeling?
I was scouted as a kid, and have modeled on and off ever since.
What do you think are the most important qualities for a successful model?
The most important qualities are self confidence, excellent organizational skills, and a strong focus on community.
How do you stay in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle as a model?
I have always avoided meat- since childhood. I have spent almost my entire life as either a pescatarian or vegetarian. For me, this is the healthiest decision for my body and the planet. However, everyone’s dietary and lifestyle needs are unique to them. The most important thing is focusing on your health.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in your modeling career?
My greatest challenges involve being able to balance family, modeling, and businesses I own or operate.
Can you tell us about a particularly memorable or exciting shoot you've done?
I very much enjoyed this recent shoot in Paris with Max Cellens @maxcellens. He is a great photographer, and it was a pleasure to work with him. I have enjoyed modeling campaigns for Chanel, various runways, modeling Abercrombie and more. I have had so many great experiences, and I’m grateful for all opportunities and teams I’ve worked with.
How do you approach preparing for a photoshoot or runway show?
Different types of modeling requires very different methods for preparation. I have acquired many tips, tricks, and personal preferences for preparation over the years.
How do you handle rejection in the industry?
Rejection is a part of life, and it is definitely apart of the industry. Typically, rejection doesn’t impact me because I view it as mutually beneficial. I would rather a company, brand, agent, photographer, or designer tell me that we are not a good fit than invest time and energy wanting to make something fit. The right opportunities should be an effortless match. You always need to look at it as a team and a team should be the right match for everyone.
What do you think sets you apart from other models?
Models are such empowered, strong and confident individuals. Everyone has a unique look, style and talents.
How do you balance your personal life with your modeling career?
It is difficult. It requires careful balance and organization. There are going to be many times you will haVe to put family first and forgo shoots, jobs or runways. There will also be many times you need to prioritize your career. It requires clear focus and a personal business plan to help make decisions along the way.
What advice would you give to aspiring models just starting out in the industry?
I would recommend any model considering the industry first consider if this is what they deeply want, and have a passion for. Modeling is a career, and you have to look at it as such, so you need to be sure this is something you want to do long term. If it is a passion- go for it! Life is too short to not do what you love!
How do you handle criticism or negative feedback?
I look at most negative feedback as positive feedback. If someone is trying to give you constructive feedback you should look at that as the kindest thing someone can do, which is invest their time and energy into you and helping you achieve success. I am always grateful for feedback even when it is tough!
What are some common misconceptions about modeling that you would like to dispel?
Oh, there are so many! For some reason, the industry has so many misconceptions. Some are that - models models are not smart. That is so far from the truth. Every model I have met along the way is incredible intelligent, empowered, and are entrepreneurs. Some think the modeling industry is short-lived; or is only for super skinny, or tall individuals. That’s also not true! The industry is dynamic and has so many opportunities. There is room for every age, shape, race, and talent type. Increasing representation is a huge focus of the industry, and should continue to be.
What is your favorite aspect of the modeling industry?
The people that I’ve met, and the friendships I’ve made are the most valuable part of the industry for me.
How do you keep up with the latest fashion trends and industry news?
One should always read and research. There are so many resources readily available nowadays allowing us all to continue to learn and evolve in our fields.
What are your long-term goals and aspirations as a model?
My long term goals are simply to continue to follow my path, grow, evolve, and enjoy new experiences and opportunities.
Model: Katelyn Zhao @katierzhao
Photographer: Maxcellens @maxcellens
Fashion Designer: Chanel @chanelofficial