Model or Role Model? Abby-Leigh is Both

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Photographer: V. Howe

RESPECT. EMPOWER. BE A ROLE MODEL.

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.

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Photographer: @ianjam6

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!

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Photographer: V. Howe

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.

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Photographer: @ianjam6

I want to hear from you! Who is your role model? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Also, be sure to subscribe to my blog and follow my blog’s Instagram @newstylemodeYou can follow Abby on Instagram @abbyleigh7504

Love always,

Jenny A.

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The Model Who Never Stops Dreaming : Raven Farrington

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Photographer: FayeAndera @fayandrea 

Meet Rae:

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.

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Photographer: Lisa Visser @lisavisserphotography

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.”

Photographed by: Nick Dale @nick.dale

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.”

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Photographer: FayeAndera @fayandrea 

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?

Be sure to subscribe to my blog and follow my blog’s Instagram @newstylemodeYou can follow Rae on Instagram @_ravenfarrington13.

 

Love always,

Jenny A.

Starting Off New York Fashion Week with Supermodel Farah Zulaikha

 

This is one of my favorite times of the year! To celebrate, I’m sharing my behind the scenes exclusive with supermodel Farah Zulaikha.

Farah is one of the most open, edgiest yet sweetest models that I know.  When I was first thinking of creating my fashion blog, I didn’t know where to start.  I remember walking into the makeup room at New York Fashion Week and finding Farah. I knew that I wanted to start a fashion blog but i didn’t know if I was truly ready. I ran the idea by Farah to see what she thought of it. Farah loved the idea and encouraged me to just start… all while getting her makeup done!

Would you believe two years later, we had our exclusive interview in that same make up room?!

The video above shows my exclusive behind the scenes look with Supermodel Farah Zulaikha while she was getting ready for designer Alexandra- Popescu-York’s fashion show in New York City.

Happy New York Fashion Week!

XOXO

Jenny A.

From Last Year to This Year: Meeting Victoria’s Secret Model Sadie Newman

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Jenny A. (left) & Sadie Newman (right)

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.

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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.

XOXO

JENNY A.

Nothing is Impossible: Charlotte Smith Models for Designer Dan Liu

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“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.


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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!

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Photographer: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images North America

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.

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Photographer: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images North America

 

Check out my first blog post about Charlotte and her sister, Natalie Smith. You can follow her on Instagram @charlotte.smith

I want to give a special thank you to photographer Frazer Harrison / Getty Images North America for the photos. Thank you! 

Be sure to subscribe to my blog and follow my blog’s Instagram @newstylemode 

Love always,

Jenny A.

 

 

 

The Tougher Than Diamonds Collection by Emuleos at New York Fashion Week

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Photographed by Emuleos

“Upon the onslaught of doubt, lift your chin and raise your gloves.” – Emuleos

Channel your inner boxer because designer Emily Prozinki’s Tougher Than Diamonds Collection by Emuleos was kickin’ ass at New York Fashion Week. My jaw dropped open when the first model strutted onto the runway and modeled like a female boxer. She wore boxing inspired hand wraps and threw some “punches” in front of the cameras while wearing a beautiful off the shoulder black dress with diamonds on the side of her torso.

Glamour meets a fighter. Each piece was a mix between a stylish diva and fierce warrior. I noticed that all of the models were wearing either wearing boxer inspired hand wraps or bedazzled boxing gloves. Every model wore a sparkling visor protecting her eyes along with one of the shimmering outfits from the collection. I really love the fact that each outfit has a killer name like Dimond ClassRival, Monarch and Showstopper. 

When I saw Emuleos’s collection on the runway, I immediately knew that I needed to get the inside scoop. The collection represents facing yourself and shattering your inner demons. Designer Emily Prozinski asked me “what’s tougher than diamonds? Women are!” She explained to me how as woman, we often doubt ourselves and we shouldn’t.  We should say “I can” and not the words “I can’t.” All of her pieces were influenced by female boxers who fight their battles. The message behind her collection was extremely empowering.

Her collection really spoke to me since the past few months have been challenging for me both personally and professionally. I have to remember that I am tougher than diamonds and no matter what comes my way, I need to stand my ground. Sometimes you just have to raise your gloves and fight for what you believe in. I can tell you that I might not literally be wearing boxing gloves but there is a fighter inside of me. I am so glad that Emuleos expressed the female warrior though her collection.

Behind the Scenes:

Here’s an exclusive interview I had with designer Emily Prozinski where she explains the inspiration behind her collection. Standing next to Emily is model Alicia Ann, modeling the outfit named Diamond Class, the collection’s signature look. This is the first time that I added subtitles to one of my videos, so if you would like to use that feature, it is available to you. Just click the little “cc” button on the bottom of the video and the subtitles will appear.

My Top Runway Looks from this Collection:

  1. Rival

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Photographed by Jenny Alweiss

2. Monarch

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Photographed by Jenny Alweiss

3. Showstopper

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Model Maggie Doyle, Photographer Sean McCoy

 

If you want to check out more of the Emuleos collection, you can click  here to see more!

I’d love to know… What are your thoughts on this collection?

Love always,

Jenny A.

Model Victoria Summer Whetzel Speaks Her Mind

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Photographer: Jake Pierce

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.

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Photographer: Jake Pierce

Meet Victoria:

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. 🙂

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Photographer: Jake Pierce

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

Be sure to subscribe to my blog and follow my blog’s Instagram @newstylemode 

Love always,

Jenny A.