One of the top highlights from New York Fashion Week was FUNARI New York’s fashion show. I was so excited to be a VIP guest that I came early and hung out on the red carpet with the fashion dogs. I couldn’t resist! They were so cute walking around and posing on the red carpet in their stylish FUNARI apparel. I actually sat on the red carpet posing and petting the fashion dogs who would later be walking on the runway in the FUNARI collection. There was even a dog wearing sunglasses, chilling and putting his front paws up on the bar!
The collection is called Fire and it was lit. One of my favorite parts of the fashion show was when model Jeremy Soriano started the show off with breaking two concrete breeze bocks with a sledgehammer! I felt like he was breaking down the barriers between gender roles and making way for designer Janelle’s dynamic unisex collection. I like how the models walked down the runway leaving the crushed debris behind them. It was as if they were blazing a new path. Janelle’s swimwear collection is all about inclusion. Her diverse gender neutral pieces can be worn by all. She wants you to be sexy, bold and empowered.
These are my top looks from Janelle FUNARI’s Fire Collection:
A special congratulations and thank you to Janelle Funari for her fabulous fashion show! If you want to see her other collections, check here.
Also a special thanks to photographer Noel Valero for capturing the moments with his spectacular photos.
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In a world where it is easy to lose your way, role models are so important to have. They inspire you. They shape you. They empower you. I love how model Abby-Leigh strives to not only be a model, but also to be a role model. She wants to empower other girls and give them a voice. Abby’s biggest piece of advice is “Respect people for who they are.”
“Younger girls look up to me. I want to give them power even when I feel like I have lost mine.” – Abby
The most shocking part of our interview was when she mentioned that she wants to empower others even though she’s faced nasty comments from people that she knows. I find it extremely inspiring that Abby pushes through the negativity to shine though.
Abby stands up to be a role model.
My Interview with Model Abby:
Jenny A. (me): What is your hardest challenge as a teen model?
Abby-Leigh: The negativity I get from the other boys and girls. Sometimes they try to bring me down. I want to be comfortable in my own skin and lift people up. People say things about me – they call me names and make comments about my glasses. I’ve also gotten nasty messages which I have had to block or delete. Sometimes the nasty messages are from people I know. That’s the hardest part. Sometimes it’s from strangers. They are just doing it for a reaction.
Me: How do you deal with the negativity?
Abby: At first, it gets to me but then it makes me stronger and keeps me going. It makes me want to model more. Don’t let anyone get you down. Follow your dreams.
Me: Who is your role model?
Abby: I have a lot of role models but, my # 1 role model is my mom. She’s my best friend. She’s amazing and does everything. We talk about everything and even watch Prison Break together!
Me: Do you have a motto that you live your life by?
Abby: You can’t blame society when you are society. Younger girls look up to me. I want to give them power even though there are times when I feel like I have lost mine.
Me: You’ve spoken about beauty on Instagram, what does beauty mean to you?
Abby: It’s not about looks, it’s about personality. Beauty in the inside, not on the outside. Being nice doesn’t cost anything.
Me: You’re a model for Izzy Be Clothing. Tell us a little about the brand!
Abby: I love Izzy Be Clothing. It empowers girls. It lifts girls up and gives them a voice. I want to do that too.
Me: What has been your favorite modeling experience?
Abby: The time when a big crowd of people arrived for my photo shoot! It was outside and I was wearing a beautiful evening gown. I was so shocked that they all came!
Me: When you’re not modeling, what do you enjoy doing?
Abby: I love reading and writing. I’m also a gamer girl. I like playing Fortnite. Sometimes people call me a tomboy and sometimes they say I’m a girly girl. I say, I’m both.
Linda: What do you hope for your future? Do you have a goal?
Abby: I want to be a really big model like Victoria’s Secret models Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner.
Me: If you could be a fruit or a vegetable, which fruit or vegetable would you be?
Abby: I would be a pineapple just like the quote “Be a pineapple. Stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet on the inside.” Everyone should be a pineapple.
I want to hear from you! Who is your role model? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
I love Valentine’s Day. Whether it’s a day to celebrate your partner, your friends or even yourself…it’s all about love. In honor of Valentines Day, model Kateryna Saveiko shared her guide to self love with us! Here it is!
Model Kateryna’s Guide to Self Love:
First things first. “You have to love yourself. When you love yourself other people will love you too.”
Give yourself the confidence you need. “You should wake up every morning, look in the mirror and say “I’m beautiful.” Tell yourself that you are beautiful. You have a beautiful soul, you have a beautiful heart, you are kind, and you are a great person.”
Take care of yourself. “Your body will be grateful for you.”
Have a positive outlook on life. “If you think your life is horrible, then it will be horrible. If you think your life will be great, then it will be great.”
Jenny A: Thank you so much for your guide. So tell me, what is the dating scene like as a model?
Kateryna Saveiko: It’s not easy. In New York, guys don’t take it seriously. You really have to find the right person.
Jenny A: What is the ideal Valentine’s Day present?
Kateryna: Writing a poem for your partner or even making them a collage of pictures.
Jenny A: What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced as a model so far?
Kateryna: Fighting with myself. I always thinking about what I look like… like if I gained weight. I’m always watching myself. I love food but I have to run everyday.
Jenny A: What advice would you give people who struggle with their weight?
Kateryna: Everyone needs to take care of themselves. America is bigger. You have to keep a diet. Even if it’s for 2 – 3 weeks at a time. If you want to live longer, you need to start watching yourself. Your body will be grateful for you.
Jenny A: What was your craziest modeling experience?
Kateryna: When I was 15 years old, we went for a body art festival in Odessa. When we won 3rd place, a Russian agency invited us to work with them for a month in Russia. During that time we went to one of the lakes for 10 days. We lived there in tents. It was the middle of the summer and it rained every day. There were no restrooms and I had mosquito bites everywhere.
During one of the photoshoots, I stepped in an ant hill and there were ants all over my foot! They were crawling all the way up my knee! I was professional about it and finished the shoot.
Jenny A: What do you think about when you walk down the runway?
Kateryna: My body. You have to control your back, your legs, your face…even the muscles in your face! Lots of people are looking at you when you are on the runway. You need to talk with your eyes.
Jenny A: Do you have a goal for this year?
Kateryna: I want to start a modeling blog with my friend who is also a model. Our blog will be about the modeling life in New York. I love this city and I want to help people to see New York positively. People think that the life of a model is easy but, there’s a lot to it. You’re hungry. Your heels aren’t comfortable. Your feet might be bleeding. You have to smile even when feet hurt or you are tired. You always have to be awake and fresh.
3 Fun facts about Kateryna:
Favorite hobby? Writing Russian poems
Favorite animated character? Catwoman. She’s strong, sexy, smart and she has her own opinion about everything.
If she could be a fruit or vegetable she would be… A grape because it can turn into a healthy juice or a fine wine.
What I really admire about Rachel is that she is a strong and independent model. She strikes me as the modern day princess, a little bit sweet & a little bit edgy. One moment she can be sitting in the makeup room getting glammed up to walk the runway, and the next moment she can be taking charge of her career and booking her own fashion shows.
Here is our interview:
Jenny A. (Me) : What’s your craziest modeling experience?
Rachel: Moving to NYC this past year was crazy. In February, I signed with New York Model Management. After New York Fashion Week, I had to go back home to LA to work. My NY booker encouraged me to come back to the New York area in August – October. I was so excited that I booked my whole trip – including my flight. Would you believe that a week before my trip, they dropped the whole runway department…including me?!
Me: What did you end up doing?
Rachel: I was determined to make things work. I still went to NYC and did it all on my own! I booked myself for every day of fashion week!
Me: What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced as a model so far?
Rachel: Taking Criticism. I’ve been told that I am too tall, too skinny, too fat, too ugly, and too old. Casting directors will comment on all of the things that they think I should change about myself. Taking that criticism and saying “thank you” is the most challenging part of modeling.
Me: Is there anything you want to say to those people who have criticized your look?
Rachel: At the end of the day, there are a lot of other designers that want my look. I can’t let those negative comments get to me.
Me: What do you think about when you walk down the runway?
Rachel: I think about my posture, my facial expressions and the beat of the music. I also think about making sure my arms are moving symmetrically, and figuring out where the cameras are. It’s all about getting that perfect professional picture!
Me: Have you ever lived in a model apartment?
Rachel: No, model housing is very expensive. When I went to model in New York, I stayed in Airbnbs and hotels, because they where just as expensive as the modeling apartments where I would have to share a room.
Norma C. :Did you always dream of being a model?
Rachel: Yes, I’ve always loved dressing up & being in-front of the camera. I was 5’9” at 15 years old when I signed a contract with LA Model Management. After high school, I went to college & took a break from modeling. At 25 years old, I was 5’11” & was still determined to be a model. I went back to LA Model Management & signed a new contract. I’ve been with them ever since. I am very thankful for all the work!
Me: What are your goals and dreams?
Rachel: My goal is to support myself and be independent. My dream is to do commercials, acting, and trying out stand-up comedy. I also dream that one day I can produce my own runway shows!
Me: What do you love to do?
Rachel: Besides for taking pictures, I love stand up comedy and going to shows. I started writing some jokes. I’m actually working with friends who are also models on some small comedy film projects.
“My goal is to support myself and be independent.” – Rachel Sklar
Me: Who is your favorite animated character?
Rachel: Cinderella because my life makes me feel like a fairytale. I always have to give my clothes back after a modeling job, just like Cinderella at the stroke of midnight.
Me: We’re exactly one month into the New Year! What was your New Year’s Resolution?
Rachel: To be more familiar with politics. I’ve been telling myself I would learn the basics. I want to watch the news more, read more, and be more involved in political conversations.
Me: If you could be a fruit or vegetable, which fruit or vegetable would you be?
Rachel: I would be a goji berry. Goji berries are expensive, hard to find, & they are great any way they’re prepared.
Thanks for reading! I want to hear from you! What does being a modern day princess mean to you?
Raven (AKA Rae) is an international model from the UK who loves to dance! When she isn’t modeling, she’s dancing. She does contemporary dancing, street dancing and technical dancing.
When I asked her what her hardest challenge was, I was a bit shocked. She said her hardest challenge was ignoring the negative comments she gets because of who she is…a model. Some of the girls in her school have said a lot of negative comments. They’ve said things like “we’re fed up with what you do,” “you make everyone so depressed,” and “you think that you’re better than everyone else.” I was really sad to hear that Rae had lost a lot of friends because of it.
I wanted to know how she was handling the social pressures from her schoolmates. I asked Rae what her response to those negative comments was and she said:
“When people have negative things to say, you have to move on. You should follow your dreams and no one should make you change them.”
While she has had some issues at school, she gets along with the girls who she dances with at the Constellations Dance Company. “They’re really supportive and are like my family. They’re always supporting me.” The dance studio is like her second home.
Her favorite animated character is Moana because she didn’t give up on her dream even though she goes through so many challenges. At the end of the movie, Moana manages to follow her dreams. Like Moana, Rae also has a dream. Rae dreams of one day becoming a Victoria’s Secret model.
Rae’s craziest modeling moment was during her first catwalk in New York. She couldn’t get her dress to zip up! She had to squeeze in and basically not breathe while walking down the runway.
Question from Ron A. : What is a normal day for you like when you’re not modeling?
Model Rae: “I wake up and go to school. When I come home, I mess around with my little brother and have a cup of tea with some chocolate. I love chocolate. I also love watching Friends on Netflix.”
One of Rae’s favorite things about the winter is spending the holidays with her family. She’s very close to her family and adores watching Christmas movies with them. Her top Christmas movies are The Polar Express and Miracle on 34th Street. She also likes spending the winter months going ice skating.
Since it’s the beginning of the year, I had to ask her what her New Years Resolution is. Her New Years Resolution is to start working out. She’s going to start doing some sit-ups and dance more often.
If she could be a fruit or vegetable, she would be a passionfruit because it has a lot of color and a lot of seeds – “there is a lot to it just like there is a lot to me!”
Thanks for reading! I want to hear from you! What is your dream?
Erika Citrin was one of the models who opened up the Janelle FUNARI NEW YORK fashion show! She was dancing, modeling and doing flips on the runway to Ciara’s Level Up. She was jumping around and totally lit up the runway! I was completely gripped when she walked to the end of the runway, posed, looked at the model standing across from her (Dana Wiener) and then they both turned their backs towards the cameras and clasped hands. I felt as though they were standing together and blocking out all the noise around them. They walked back up the runway hand-in-hand before running into the distance.
ERIKA WAS FEARLESS
When the show was over, I met with Erika and she did a behind the scenes exclusive dance for us (see the video below)!
Here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for… my interview with Erika!
– What was it like to dance at the FUNARI NEW YORK fashion show?
Dancing at the fashion show was truly an amazing experience. Both Janelle (AKA FUNARI NEW YORK’S mastermind) and I have very busy schedules so even she hadn’t seen the full final product before the show!
– How long did it take you to practice? Who choreographed the dance?
I choreographed the dance and chose Dana Wiener, who I originally met at Joffrey Ballet School to dance with me. We put everything together in 3 rehearsals! One of them took place on an extremely hot day at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
-How did you become a model for FUNARI NEW YORK?
I caught Janelle’s eye when I was doing a photoshoot with Noel Valero. Noel is an amazing person and photographer. I met him when I was dancing for Arch Contemporary Ballet and we stayed connected afterwards. I’ve done multiple photo shoots with him. I actually caught Janelle’s eye after I had my hair done in cornrows and did a test shoot with Noel in her clothing!
– What was the photoshoot like?
The shoot included modeling poses and BGirl freezes (breakdancing poses) all in one!
– As a model, what is your biggest challenge? How did you overcome it?
From purely a modeling standpoint, it can be very hard to overcome the dancer stereotype. I mainly get hired to model for dance costumes, or to have a dance segment in a show but I am very interested in more fitness and lifestyle jobs. I’m a personal trainer and bodybuilder so I want to be able to showcase everything that I know how to do.
– Are you adventurous? What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I am very adventurous! I recently went hiking in the Catskills this fall and jumped off a 40ft cliff into one of the river pools up there!
This spring, I’m taking a two week trip to Paris and London (you may see me posting some FUNARI designs in my travel attire! )
– What did you do for the holidays?
This past holiday season I mainly stayed home and rested! I visit my family more in between holidays as travel is a lot less hectic! As a freelancer, holidays tend to be a busier work season so I like to be around in the city.
– If you could be a fruit or vegetable, what fruit or vegetable would you be?
I would definitely be a fruit. I like the idea of being able to grow both from low in the ground and high in a tree! Also, fruits are the only way I satisfy my sweet tooth, since candy and sugars aren’t an option in my lifestyle!
I want to hear from you! What do you think about Erika’s dance? Be sure to subscribe to my blog and follow my blog’s Instagram @newstylemode
What to see more of what Erika is up to? You can follow her on Instagram @egcitrin
Everyone’s been talking about it! The Victoria’s Secret Show. The Angels have been blowing up social media talking about their Victoria’s Secret fittings and having us all sitting on the edge of our seats. Even though the Victoria’s Secret models had their fittings this past week, they were still able to enjoy Halloween. Work hard, play hard. Right?! In honor of the Victoria’s Secret show and Halloween, I decided to share my top 5 Victoria’s Secret Halloween looks!
My Top 5 Looks:
Lais Ribeiro’s Storm (X-Men)
2. Sara Sampaio’s Vicious Werewolf
3. Jasmine Tookes’s Foxy Cleopatra
4. Josephine Skriver’s Gory Purge Candy Girl
5. Martha Hunt’s Sexy Catman
Which one is your favorite?
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