New York Fashion Week is one of the best times of the year! I love seeing the shows and going behind the scenes. I spoke with model Mara Cifuentes just as she was getting ready to walk the runway for swimsuit designer BFYNE.
Model Mara Cifuentes shares her thoughts with us right as she was getting ready to walk for Arts Heart Fashion. Watch Mara’s video here:
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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.
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
I am always drawn to collections that have a deeper meaning. The FUNARI NEW YORK collection that walked down the runway at Style Fashion Week AKA the Fearless collection was epic! It was all about being fearless, never hiding behind a mask and being brave even if you think you might fail.
You should always be bold, strong and powerful.
I was so excited to interview Designer Janelle Funari, the heart and soul behind FUNARI NEW YORK. I wanted to find out more about her collection and touch on what makes her such a unique designer.
Here is our exclusive interview:
Jenny A. : Tell me a little bit about your Fall 2018 collection. What was the inspiration behind it?
Janelle: I was inspired by both the David Bowie exhibit I saw and also the 1980s! I loved David Bowie’s bold, daring attitude and the risks he took as a performer! This collection is about fun, bold punches of color, functionality, technology, & couture finishes. The line is inspired from the 80s where women were bold, strong, and powerful. I wanted to empower both woman and men to be who they want to be and not hide behind a mask. The collection is about freedom, excitement, and liberation! There is a nostalgic feeling of that 80s carefree attitude. Reminiscing about enjoying life, spontaneity, and dancing in the streets or at an iconic club!<
Jenny A:Tell me a little bit about yourself as a designer. What makes you stand out from the crowd?
Janelle: My newest endeavor is the couture performance market. The line stands out as it is elegant, timeless, comfortable and practical! The line can be worn all day and all night. You can go to the gym or out to dinner, just put on a pair of boots or heels! The brand is about versatility, technical advancement, and functionality. The FUNARI line is for both Men and Woman and represents quality, style, and innovation.
Jenny: What makes you fearless? What is your story?
Janelle: What makes me Fearless is trying new things and not being afraid to fail. Many people fail before they even try. They let others tell them it’s not possible. I say, “block out the noise!” I give 200% in everything I do in life! My mantra is to never look back, never regret, and to always give it your all! I believe that, in life it is better to try, then to not try at all. LIVE like there is no tomorrow & we only have today, so make it happen! Never say “no” or “it is not going to happen”
Anything and EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE! Put your heart and mind towards your goals and you’ll see that dreams do come true!
Jenny: What is your hardest challenge as a designer?
Janelle: Making my collection in New York City and sewing it in the USA! The cost is much higher for me because it is all made here in NYC.
I want to thank Janelle Funari for inviting me to her fashion show. It was fantastic. You can check out her collections here .
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It’s that time of year again! New York Fashion Week is right around the corner, school’s back in session…and models from all over the world come into New York City to audition to be in the big Victoria’s Secret fashion show!
Last year I blogged about what it was like to be at the Victoria’s Secret castings. This year, I didn’t know what to expect. I only had 20 minutes to be there. But what can you really do with 20 minutes? Little did I know that in that short amount of time, I was able to meet Victoria’s Secret model Sadie Newman. Some may call it destiny and some may just say it’s a coincidence, but last year Sadie was the first picture in my Victoria’s Secret post. Now a year later, she’s posing with me in the middle of Manhattan.
If the Jenny last year could see the Jenny this year, she’d be shocked. So much has changed in my life, it’s incredible. Many of you have been asking where I’ve been… The truth is I took the summer to refocus on myself. Just a few days ago, I received the sweetest phone call from one of my original models, Shinice Kelly. She told me that she is actually putting her first fashion show together in March. It really touched my heart to hear what an impact my blog had on her life. It’s moments like those that really remind me how important my blog is.
So with that, I just want to thank you for all of your love and support.
You can read last year’s post about what it was like to be at the Victoria’s Secret casting auditions here.
“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible’” – Audrey Hepburn
I can’t tell you how proud I am of model Charlotte Smith. She’s made something that might have seemed impossible into a reality. She walked for her favorite designer Dan Liu during New York Fashion Week. Here is the inside scoop of what it was like!
Catching up with Charlotte Smith:
Jenny Alweiss: How was modeling for Dan Liu?
Charlotte Smith:Absolutely incredible! He’s my favorite designer. What I love about Dan is that he cares about every model. He won’t put a model in a dress he doesn’t think fits. He wants the model to look incredible. He puts heart and soul into every look and it shows!
Jenny: What inspired the collection?
Charlotte:The Spy Who Loved Me movie with James Bond. His collection was a powerful Bond girl. It was sexy. We wore sunglasses and a headscarf on the runway which was based off of Audrey Hepburn. I adore her.
Jenny: What is Dan Liu really like?
Charlotte: He’s so talented. He has a strong vision and brings out your confidence. He told each model “this is what you’re doing” and explained what he wanted. He boosted the overall moral and he’s very enthusiastic. He was so excited to be there. He told us for this collection, “no smiles, you’re dangerous – you’re a badass spy!”
Jenny: What was it like to be on the runway?
Charlotte:I was on cloud nine the whole time! I wore one of his signature pieces – a jacket with a bird on the back. Dan chose me to be the one to rip off my sunglasses and wink at the end of the runway.
Jenny: What were you thinking about when you were on the runway?
Charlotte: I was imagining myself as a spy. I kept thinking “I am a spy. I am a bad ass. I’m so happy to be here.”
Jenny: Were your outfits comfortable to wear on the runway?
Charlotte: Yes! His clothes are incredibly well made.
Jenny: Speaking of being a spy, do you have a favorite spy movie?
Charlotte: I love the James Bond movies. They’re great!
Jenny: Were there any funny moments at the fashion show?
Charlotte: Yes – Madeline, one of the models needed to borrow my heels even though were in the same show! It was chaotic. Also, there were like 5 people working on me at the same time – spraying my hair, touching up my makeup, and helping me get into the clothes. They were just zipping up my dress right before I had to go.
Jenny: What were the other models like?
Charlotte: They’re so sweet. We were all supportive of each other. We got waffles together after the show with all of our hair and makeup still on!
Jenny: Question from Igor in the audience: What drives you?
Charlotte: I have a mantra “I’m working to be the best version of myself.” You can’t change yourself for a designer. You have to stay true to yourself. You are enough and if a designer doesn’t like you, don’t take it personally. Always keep your options opened. Be your best self.
Back in January, model Victoria Summer Whetzel and I were both fashion show judges for PLITZS Fashion Marketing’s Model of the Year competition. I admire how sincere she is. First off, she had a really cute Betsey Johnson telephone purse which has a removable phone set handle that plugs into her cellphone. Basically, her purse can turn into a working phone. How cool? But in all seriousness, Victoria is a really sweet and down to earth model.
During the competition, she pointed something out to me that I didn’t realize. For the Model of the Year competition, there were 3 categories – petite female models, male models and 5’8″ female models. She mentioned how PLITZS Fashion Marketing didn’t have a plus-size category for curvy models to compete in. As a curvy model, Victoria hopes that the next year’s PLITZS Fashion Marketing’s competition will have a plus-size/curvy category.
Jenny A. (Me) : When you were a judge at the PLITZS Fashion Marketing competition, what were you looking for in each of the model candidates?
Victoria Summer Whetzel: I was mostly looking for someone who could command the space as soon as they hit the runway. This is the modeling industry, so everyone is beautiful. But I believe the standard of beauty is changing. It’s more than a pretty face and a physique that lives up to society’s standards. Beauty is taking care of yourself and being proud of who you are. Beauty is being able to walk a runway and silence a room by your presence. Beauty is being kind to others and being kind to yourself. That’s what I look for in a model.
Me: Is there something you are looking to see more of on the runway? A specific look, personality, walk…etc?
Victoria: I would love to see more plus-size and curvy models of course. Models like Ashley Graham, Denise Bidot and SO many more. Plus-Side models are body activists and I think their activism has moved mountains in the modeling industry. They have paved the way for many emerging models, including myself. I hope one day I can be a leader in this movement too.
Me: You’re trying to break into the modeling industry as plus-size model. What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Victoria: I think the hardest challenge I’ve faced so far, is proving to myself that I have what it takes. Far too often, we are the ones holding ourselves back. Sometimes it’s important to take a moment to remind ourselves that we are enough and celebrate ourselves for all that we have to offer.
Question from Liana in the audience: What kind of food do you usually eat? We hear all these stories about how models don’t eat to stay thin because “thin is in.” How do you cope with that kind of mentality?
Victoria: Being thin has never been a part of who I am, so I just try my best to put foods into my body that make me feel good.
Me: Do you eat certain foods before modeling?
Victoria: I don’t eat anything specific. I eat whatever I feel will make me do my best work that day.
Me: If you could be a fruit or veggie, what fruit or veggie would you be?
Victoria: I would be a watermelon. They have a ton of seeds that represent growth and they are better when shared in the summertime. 🙂
Me: Overall, do you find it difficult to be a plus-size model?
Victoria: Being a plus-size model is hard. Being any kind of model in this industry is hard. But you just have to remember that you get to tell people who you are. They don’t get to tell you who you are. One example of this comes from a recent experience here in New York City.
I attended an open call for an independent designer’s showcase for their swimsuit line. Most of the girls at the call were sizes 00-6, but there were a handful of plus-size girls there too. Probably around 5 or 6 in all. All of the petite model’s took turns modeling a bikini from the designer’s line. The designer then decided she wanted me to also model one of her designs. She said I was the most ‘fit’ of the plus-size girls and she wanted a curvy model. She gave me a swimsuit to put on, and as soon as she handed it to me, I realized it was the same exact bathing suit she had the petite models wear. This swimwear was not designed for girls like me. It was made for a model probably around a size 6.
At first, I felt embarrassed because the swimwear didn’t fit, but I put it on anyway. That day, I saw my first real glitch in the industry. I was being asked to wear this suit, so the designer could say she designs for plus-size models. But I am not a Size 6. I am a Size 12 and I am grateful for designers out there who celebrate me for being just that.
Victoria modeled for New York Fashion Week at PLITZS in Feb 2018. You can follow her on Instagram @theofficial.vsw
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