There’s been a push for diversity in the workplace, but what about on the runway? Shouldn’t fashion be for all? What about the models? Shouldn’t the models on the runway also be diverse? While there are more and more models breaking into the world of fashion, is it really enough?
Who chooses what “the look” is? Is the press only giving exposure to certain models? Are designers only focusing in on models with a certain look? Are photographers only photographing and working with certain models? Or maybe it’s society who deems models should look a certain way?
While I can’t tell you where it stems from, I can tell you that having diversity on the runway is so important. It shapes the way we see things. I’ve always viewed models as rolemodels… people you want to look and be like. They’re always wearing the newest styles and showing me the next trends. When I went to get my haircut last week, I showed the hairstylist a picture of a model who had the hairstyle I wanted. Maybe it’s subliminal, maybe it’s not…But the fashion world impacts our views and models are a huge part of that.
Model Monifa speaks up about diversity in the fashion world. Watch her video here:
What do you think about diversity in the fashion world?
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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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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
“….Beauty is being able to walk a runway and silence a room by your presence…” – Victoria Whetzel
When model Maggie Doyle walked down the runway at the PLITZS Fashion Marketing’s model competition, captured my attention. I remember sitting at the Judges’ Table and looking into the chattering audience. The moment Maggie walked down the runway, the room they were silent. All eyes were on her.
Even though the PLITZS Fashion Marketing competition was Maggie’s first runway experience, she held herself like professional model. She was able to capture the room.
Almost a month later, when I was at New York Fashion Week, I was very happy to see her walking for Emuleos’s Tougher Than Diamond Collection. It’s really exciting to know that I was there to see the first step towards her modeling career. She walked for PLITZS Fashion Marketing during New York Fashion Week!
Jenny A (Me) : What was it like to win the Women’s Model of the Year Award at PLITZS Fashion Marketing’s model competition? Maggie: It was such an incredible feeling! I had no prior experience modeling but I worked hard leading up to the show. I practiced my walk and selected outfits for each category that would best represent me and that would look good on the runway. When I heard my number being called [as the winner], it was surreal. It inspired me to pursue further modeling opportunities.
Me: What do you think about when you walk down the runway?
Maggie: Before stepping onto the runway, I think about what I need to do in order to best model the clothing. As I take my first step onto the runway, the only thought I have is to exude confidence. I know what I am supposed to do as a model and once I’m on the runway it’s all about delivering that. If you’re not confident, people will notice, and they won’t buy what you’re ultimately trying to sell in both a figurative and literal sense.
Question from Kristy my followers: What was your favorite item to model?
Maggie: My favorite look that I modeled in the PLITZS’s Model of the Year competition was the black formal outfit. I chose a versatile black romper with an attached skirt and heeled booties. It was a bold look and made me feel very confident on the runway.
Me: What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced so far as a model? Maggie: I think the hardest challenge I have faced as a model is accepting that I may not always like the way the clothing looks on me or how the photos turn out, but it’s part of the job. In order to be a good model, you have to wear the clothing with confidence and make it look the way the designer intended on the runway. You have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone.
Me: What was your craziest modeling experience?
Maggie: With the little experience I have had, the PLITZS New York Fashion Week show was my craziest modeling experience. Modeling for twelve different designers in the span of 6 or so hours was hectic. I had no idea what it would be like beforehand! It was crazy walking off the runway to a team of people waiting to help me change outfits, makeup, and hair for the next designer.
Me: What are your goals and dreams? Maggie: My goal in life is to help others. I plan to graduate with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Social Innovation. There are far too many people in this world whose needs are not fulfilled and I want to change that. My dream in life is to one day see my photos in magazines.
Me: What are your hobbies? Maggie: I like to cook. I love cooking for friends and coming up with new & healthy recipes. I also like to paint! When I’m visiting home, my mom and I paint together in her studio.
Me: What is your favorite superhero or animated character?
Maggie: My favorite animated character is probably Remy, the rat from Ratatouille. He’s so determined to be a chef despite the fact that he’s a rat. I love his determination!
Question from Gabriella my followers : Do you have a certain workout routine? Maggie: I have a very busy schedule between work and classes so a lot of the time my workout is speed walking through Grand Central to make a subway or train! But when I do have time, I go for a run or take a SoulCycle class. However, I do follow a pescatarian diet and try to cut out any processed foods which helps make up for my erratic workout schedule.
Me: If you could be a fruit or vegetable, what fruit or vegetable would you be? Maggie: I would probably be a mango since it’s delicious and versatile. It also reminds me of being at the beach, which is my favorite place.
Maggie modeled for New York Fashion Week at PLITZS in Feb 2018. You can follow her on Instagram @maggiedoylem
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It was almost 11:00pm and everyone was getting ready to go home from the Unique Blend Models fashion show. It was such a long day but I didn’t want to leave without speaking with model Marcus Killebrew. So there I was sitting in the lobby with Marcus while he opened up about his modeling career.
After speaking with Marcus, I was inspired. He said that fear is an illusion and it only prevents you from moving forward. Very wise words. While there are many things that might be scary, I decided that right now I am going to focus on my own fears.
“Take more risks and see what happens.”
Model Marcus Killebrew is a personal trainer who believes in the power of takings risks and not letting fear stop him from accomplishing his goals. He shared that when he was younger, he used to be bullied and that lifting became a type of therapy for him. It helped him build up his confidence. Through his experience as a personal trainer, he is constantly tring to help others break through their fear and anxiety.
Marcus’s top goal is to grow himself into a strong brand for both (1) his modeling career and (2) as a coach. He shared that some of challenges he’s faced as a model has been trying to better understand the business side of the modeling world and adopting to all of the politics. Even through all of the challenges, he is always trying to learn and grow from his experience.
Marcus likes to hang out in the comfort of his own home. You can find him watching an episode of Game of Thrones or playing some video games. When he goes out, he likes to check out the different eateries and dessert spots which NYC has to offer. One of his most recently discovered places is Tipsy Scoop, which serves ice cream with a boozy twist. Cheers!
Fun Facts about Marcus:
His favorite weight training exercise is the deadlift.
If he could be a fruit or vegetable, he would be a raspberry because it is both sweet and tart.
Rush Hour 2 and The Matrix are his favorite movies.
Marcus modeled for the PLITZS Fashion Marketing and for the Unique Blend Models fashion show.
“If you want to be somebody, never give up and always be true to yourself.”- Natali Pillgrim
I love model Natali Piligrim’s piece of advice – “If you want to be somebody, never give up and always be true to yourself.” As a fashion blogger, I am always faced with different challenges. One of them is time. Since I conduct a lot of interviews with fashion models from all over the world, my calendar can fill up pretty quickly. Sometimes it can be hard to find time to schedule an interview. So when Natalie and I had to keep rescheduling our interview, we were patient with each other. We just had to keep on trying to find a time that worked for the both of us. I stayed true to myself and never gave up.
I was so happy when we finally sat down to chat! We spoke about her personal fashion experience as a model, her challenges and what makes her unique.
“If you want to be somebody, never give up and always be true to yourself.”- Natali Pillgrim
Here is our interview:
Jenny A. (Me): What was your craziest modeling experience?
Natali Pillgrim: When I did an underwater photo shoot. I had to stay underwater, keep my eyes opened and look both comfortable and hot. Did I mention, I don’t know how to swim!?
Me: How did you do an underwater photo shoot if you can’t swim?!
Natali: Using my imagination plus my strong belief that everything is possible. There was a pole that I could held onto in the water, just in case (laughs). From time to time, I had to grab onto the other models who were in the photo shoot with me…just to breathe. (laughs)
Me: What was it like to pose underwater?
Natali: It was hard to stay still. (laughs) The heavy dress kept pulling me up!
Me: As a model, what do you think is the biggest challenge?
Natali: To believe in yourself. Just because a designer tells you that you’re not good for a show or their clothes, don’t give up. It is just one person’s opinion.
Me: What do you think makes a successful model?
Natali: Someone who (a) never gives up (b) learns from their mistakes / experiences (c) is social and (d) always listens. Even if someone tells you are good, always keep practicing and growing.
Me: Where did you learn to model?
Natali: I learned through YouTube tutorials and videos, I looked at other model’s photos and asked people with more experience. Some photographers are very helpful and will guide you. Never be afraid to ask what you did wrong. It’s better to ask a question and look like a “fool” for five minutes rather than keeping silent and looking like a “fool” for your whole life. It’s very important to work as a team and communicate with your photographer. You can learn faster and have better results by working together with your photographer.
Me: Which fashion shows have you modeled for?
Natali: I was a part of last year’s FIT fashion show called “4 elements.” It was amazing! It was my first experience as a runway model and I grown a lot from then. There were so many talented students. I really enjoyed it and I am so thankful. When I was a part of NYFW ( Couture Fashion Week ), I was so impressed and happy with my designer, Pamela. It took her a several weeks to make each swimsuit. I also modeled in Tech Fashion Week, Brooklyn Fashion Week and many more.
Me: I noticed that you have a nose ring and a lip ring. Have your facial piercings ever affected your modeling career?
Natali: When I walked for New York Fashion Week, I took out both my nose ring and my lip ring since the fashion show wanted a more conservative look. Depending on the fashion event, some people don’t care about piercings or even want a punk rock look.
What do you live your life by?
Natali: My greatest inspiration is Leonardo da Vinci’s quote “Realize everything is connected to everything else.” If you want to be successful, you have to learn a little bit of everything each day.
Me: What do you like to do for fun?
Natali: I like to dance, travel, walk around and explore the city. I also like rafting and indoor ski diving.
Me: If you could be a fruit of vegetable, what would you be?
Natali: Broccoli because it is unique, healthy and makes you feel good.
Me: When’s your next fashion show?
Natali: I am modeling for the FACE THE SWEET FASHION SHOW 2017. It is a charity event to help raise money for diabetic supplies for people who have suffered from the effects of 2017’s natural disasters. The show will be held this Saturday, November 18th in New York City. For more information, please click here.
Happy Halloween! One of my favorite Halloween “traditions” is scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook and Instagram to see what people decided to dressed up as. Between the selfies and group photos, I love seeing how much creativity goes into each costume. I have to admit – this year’s costumes are inspirational. I love seeing the imagination and thought behind them. SO when I saw that some of the Victoria’s Secret Angels went all out for their Halloween costumes, I just had to share them with you!
Yikes! I wonder what the other guy looked like… #YouShouldHaveSeenTheOtherGuy
2. A hot mess or a bloody mess?!
3. Alessandra’s rockin’ the 70’s look
4. Is this Mama and Baby bones?
5. My eyes are up here
6. Tired eyes much? Maybe some beauty sleep can help 😉
7. Pretty in white
8. Two and a Half Hotdogs
9. Sexy cat vibes 😉
10. Lais shape-shifted into Mystique!
11. Scared of clowns? Not anymore! Face your childhood fears with Lais’s Sexy IT costume.
Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!