Want to know what it’s like to model for Couture Fashion Week? Model Maanami Naomi shares her fashion experience at New York Fashion Week’s Couture Fashion Week with us. Watch and find out what she really thinks!
Just wait for it! At the end of the video, you’ll get to see the elegant black dress that Maanami modeled for which was designed by fashion designer Azulant Akora. ❤
1) As a model, which is your most favorite fashion show to watch?
Hands down the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. The models and everyone apart of the team, who help create it, are remarkable and creative!
2) When you’re not dressed in high-end designer fashion, what are you normally wearing?
My style is Bohemian. So anything comfy like hippy trousers, sweats & gym clothes.
3) Are you a gym girl?
I always go to the gym. I’m all about the squats.
4) What do you base your style off of?
(1) the show 91210 (2) Vanessa Hudgens and (3) my mom, she’s very bohemian. My mom even calls me her “hippie child.”
5) How do you spend your free time?
I surf and skateboard. I’m quite the tom boy. I also study since I am in a University for event management.
6) What is something that people don’t know about you that you are willing to share?
I’m probably the clumsiest person like Mr. Bean. I’m also always laughing.
7) Are you adventurous? What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done that you’re willing to have posted on my blog?
Earlier this year I went to Snowdonia in North Wales, UK. It used to be an old mine from the 1900’s but now there is camping, caving and trampoling. It was incredible!
8) What is your most embarrassing “modeling moment”?
One time while I was on the way to a photo shoot and I got into the wrong Lyft car with an old man sitting inside. I was in so much shock – I forgot my bag inside the car!
9) If you could be a fruit or vegetable, what fruit or vegetable would you be?
A coconut because I’m nutty and love milk!
10) What are your goals and dreams?
Career-wise, I want to be successful with events and have my own events company. My life goal is to be healthy & happy. I wish the same for all of my friends.
The first time I saw model Sergio Delavicci (A.K.A Gio) was when he walked the runway at Couture Fashion Week back in February. He was modeling for designer Vanno Fashion wearing an emerald green jacket, black pants with a matching black hat. I was impressed with how Gio was able to capture the audience with his fierce walk. I really wanted to introduce myself but I didn’t get the chance to.
6 months later I’m watching the Unique Blend Models fashion show and guess who I see walking down the runway?!
I told myself no matter what, this time I am going to introduce myself… and that’s exactly what I did. After the show, I found him speaking to a photographer while holding the bunch of red roses. When I told him I recognized him from Couture Fashion Week, he gave me a rose.
Jenny A. (Me): What is your favorite part of being a model?
Gio: It’s inspiring and motivating. It gives me an opportunity to travel, meet different people and open doors for muscular models with tattoos such as myself. I love the energy and the feedback I get from the crowd when I walk on the runway. I get excited whenever a designer tells me that someone wants to buy their clothes because they saw me wear them.
Me: What do you think about when you’re on the runway?
Gio: I really don’t think about it. I just have fun doing it. I’ve been modeling for a long time and at this point, it comes naturally. It’s all about selling the clothes and I enjoy doing it.
Me: What is your biggest challenge in the modeling world?
Gio: I’m not a big fan of wearing makeup. Also, sometimes my modeling schedule interferes with my acting schedule.
Me: Random question… Who is your favorite Disney character?
Gio: I love Mickey Mouse because he’s positive, popular and always happy.
Me: What is something that is interesting about you?
Gio: I am Channing Tatum’s stunt double! I am also an actor, a boxer, a masseuse and a tennis trainer. Recently, I was also in a Steven Spielberg movie, Nor’ester.
Me: If you could be a fruit or vegetable, what fruit or vegetable would you be?
Gio: A watermelon. I like the fact that it’s healthy, juicy and good for your immune system.
Me: Is there anything else you wanted to share?
Gio: I’m very poetic, romantic and very spiritual.
This year Gio walked the runway for New York Fashion Week, Miami Swimwear Fashion Week, Atlantic City Fashion Week, Bronx Fashion Week, Fashion on the Hudson and Rainbow Fashion Week. He was voted as the Top Male Model of the Year during Atlantic City Fashion Week 2017.
I met model Robbie Dema at the Unique Blend Models fashion show in New York City. When I first arrived, I was given a masquerade mask to wear! The first show was an all men’s fashion show. I really loved how much energy there was both on the runway and in the audience. Whenever a model walked onto the runway, the audience would cheer them on. Robbie had just finished walking the runway before I interviewed him!
Robbie Dema is both an actor and a model! His passion for acting led him to his newest passion, modeling. He says one of the biggest challenges in modeling is staying fit while keeping a strong mindset. He says it’s important to always stay positive.
He works out through weight training, lifting and doing cardio which keeps him in great shape. Robbie shared that his daily eating habits are based on a heavy protein diet and not eating simple carbs like pasta and bread. He does admit that he loves eating dark chocolate and that his “cheat foods” are pizza and burritos.
If he could be a fruit or vegetable he would be a pineapple because it is both sweet & edgy, just like his style. After all, we all have our spikes to us! 🙂
#1 He is an exercise rider / assistant at Belmont Racetrack. Did you know that his barn had a horse named Gavin in this year’s Kentucky Derby?
#2 Robbie’s style is clean cut. He loves to dress up and wear a suit. SUIT UP!
#3 He just moved from Long Island to Manhattan.
Robbie modeled for Unique Blend Models which was his 3rd time walking on the runway.
Honestly, I have made my own career path by fumbling through the modeling world and just learning along the way. The most important thing I would say is you don’t need to wait for a top agency to accept you in order to become a model. When I was 16, I was really excited about modeling. When I first got rejected from the top New York agencies, I assumed that path was permanently closed to me. It wasn’t until I was 24, when I was living in Jordan and started freelancing as a model there for local designers, that I realized there are 100 different pathways into this industry.
You should never feel that your fate rests with a few individuals who might have the power to tell you if you have “the look” or not. Obviously, working with a top agency is ideal if that is an option for you. If not, that should not stop you from modeling. I started modeling for local designers until I built up my portfolio. I would also go to castings for runway shows which even allowed me to walk during New York Fashion Week. Finally, after a year of working on my own, I was offered representation.
For models interested specifically in walking during the Cannes Film Festival, I would advise them to attend a casting held by Andres Aquino for New York Fashion Week. He holds castings for his New York shows but not for his Cannes ones. But if you can slip into New York, you can ask about attending Cannes.
I would also advise keeping an eye out for information about castings or fashion shows in Cannes starting in April or the beginning of May. Even if you don’t see a notice that is specifically about a casting, there is nothing wrong with contacting the organizer of a fashion show and asking if models are still needed. I have ended up on the runway more than once by simply reaching out and asking.
Bonnie Sofia shared what it was like to model for the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Here’s the inside scoop!
1) How does modeling in France different from your runway experience in New York?
In France the designers took a lot more risks on the runway. They were less likely to shy away from nudity. I have some runway pictures from France that I can’t even post on social media. I never had this problem with my runway pictures from New York. Another difference I noticed is that France is more tolerant of diverse looks when it comes to models. Even though the height requirement is still strict, there is a much higher tolerance for models who are different from the “cookie cutter” look.
2) What was the craziest thing that happened behind the scenes at the Cannes Film Festival?
I consider myself a very low drama and down to earth model, but I guess even I have my limits. During this particular show, there was an organizational mistake. Usually models are not allowed to book designers who are showing their collections one after another. However, this time they did not clarify, so all the models booked back-to-back designers.
Since I hadn’t come back from the runway yet, one of the organizers told my next designer to give the dress I was supposed to wear to a different model. It did kind of break my heart because the dress was an absolutely stunning creation from German designer Luciana Adulari. I was excited about being able to wear it on the runway and have pictures in it. So when I saw another model sewed into my dress, I couldn’t hold back the tears! Someone from the hair team got me a glass of champagne while 2 other hair stylists told me jokes to cheer me up.
3) How would you describe the atmosphere? Did you like any of the fashions or designers ?
The atmosphere of the show was incredible. It was definitely one of the best that I had ever been to. Designer Andres Aquino is a perfectionist and his shows are always flawless. One of the things I liked most about the show was its diversity. There was a wedding dress collection by Hany ElBehairy, as well as a lingerie collection by Duonvlang. One of my favorite designers at the show was Kelsy Dominick from DiDomenico Design. It was inspirational talking to her and walking for her, because she is just full of enthusiasm and motivation. She is an example of how far you can go in a short amount of time.
4) Did you experience a language barrier while modeling at the Cannes Film Festival? If so, how did you manage?
Fortunately, there was not too much of a language barrier. Since most of the designers and models were international, the lingua franca was English backstage. There were a few French models who didn’t speak English, but I have enough French to get my thoughts across at least. [But even for the non-French speaking models, it was not a problem at all, because the designers and organizers spoke English. ]
5) Did you meet anyone interesting at the Cannes Film Festival?
One of the most interesting people I met was Lionel Madiou, the photographer for the DiDomenico Design team. He is absolutely phenomenal. I’ve shot with him twice since Cannes and each time I was just blown away by the results.
6) What was the most challenging part of your experience?
For me, the most challenging part of any runway show is surviving the castings. I’m considered short for a model (5’8”), so I’m not always a top pick for designers with floor length gowns who need to ensure they are not going to be tripped on by the model. Kelsy of DiDomenico Design was the first of three designers who selected me. As soon as she did, I breathed a sigh of relief. I’m also thankful to my boyfriend, who was nice enough to let himself be dragged to this casting with me. He kept telling me not to stress. I think it doesn’t matter how long I have been modeling, castings will always be stressful.
7) What was it like after the show? How did you feel? Did you go to any after parties?
One of my favorite parts of a show is after it is over. Haha. This may sound strange, but this is a very special moment where everyone–designers, organizers, and models–collectively breathe a sigh of relief, pour themselves a whiskey, and bask in their accomplishments. The atmosphere after the show was unusual because there was an after party at the venue itself. So the runway turned into a dance floor! The guests, models, and designers all mingled and danced together. It is one of my favorite memories.