NYFW with Fashion Model Tommy Maksanty

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Photographer: Jose Rodriguez

As New York Fashion Week comes to an end, I thought it would be the perfect time to publish my interview with 2016 Mr. NYFW Model of the Year, Tommy Maksanty.

Meet Tommy:

Jenny A. (Me):  Which celebrity do you think you look like the most? 

Tommy (TM): People say I look like Edge the Wrestler if I were to put on weight.

Me:  What is it like for you behind the scenes of a fashion show?

TM: I’m pretty much laid back. I just watch and take a lot of things in.

Me: Does it ever get hectic?

TM:  I live in Virginia but I travel up to New York  for fashion weeks. Some days I’ll overbook myself.  In September 2015 I had 9 fashion shows back to back. I would go to a fitting where I would hop on my longboard and travel to the next fashion show. Last February 2016 during the snowstorm I snuck backstage during Style Fashion Week and ended up walking for M the Movement and accidentally closing Style Fashion Week for Richie Rich @richirichworld.

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Credit: @amconyc @soulmodelmanagement @clickmodelny

Me: What’s your worst fashion experience?

TM: Back in April 2016 I had a fashion show up at the UN and my taxi cab drove off with my knapsack, longboard and all my stuff. It was a complete nightmare. I lost everything from February New York  Fashion Week.

Me:  If there was one designer you could model for, anyone in the world, who would it be?

TM: Tommy Hilfiger.

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Photographer: @chrisbrownofficial

Me: How would you describe your style?

TM: I wear what fits and I make it work.

Me: What are your hobbies?

TM: Walking on the runway, longboarding, traveling and other outdoor activities.

Me: Where do you like to hangout?

TM: Anywhere by the water, somewhere on a mountain and sitting VIP at fashion events.

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Photographer: Jose Rodriguez

Me: What are 3 things you always carry with you?

TM: When I’m in the city I always have my longboard since I don’t like to walk –it’s too congested. I’ll also have my Bluetooth headset and portable phone charger on me.

Me: What’s your dream job?

TM: Getting paid to work out and smile.

Me: Who inspires you?

TM: My father. He gets up around 5:00am for work every day and doesn’t come home till late. He taught me how to be a hard worker.

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Photographer: Jose Rodriguez

Me: Who is your favorite demigod?

Hercules. I like the way people idolize him. He’s pretty cool.

Me: If you could be a fruit or vegetable, what would you be?

TM: A watermelon – because everyone loves watermelon and it’s my favorite fruit.

Me: How would your friends describe you?

Tommy actually had his friend Ben answer this question.

Ben:  Tommy is like Johnny Depp’s stunt double. He’s smart, good looking, and has a great body with cut muscles.  You can put him on any billboard and any product will sell– he’s the real deal.

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Photographer: @sarosh_photography ; Designer: @imalandrinibeachwear

Tommy won the September 2016 Mr. NYFW Model of the Year by ASC Productions. He was even featured on a billboard in Times Square for winning! He was awarded Model of the Millennium by the King of Fashion, Andre Galliano. Tommy has modeled for New York Fashion Week in 2015, 2016 & 2017. Tommy also promotes onemama.org lolafo.com luminousworldwide.com eznethaircare.com.

You can follow him on Instagram: @TommyMaksanty

-Jenny A.

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Modeling Advice from International Runway & Catwalk Coach Mandy Dyonne Lieveld

 

Do you want to become a professional model? International Runway & Catwalk Coach Mandy Dyonne Lieveld shares her advice on modeling with fashion blog New Style Modé!

For more information about Mandy Dyonne Lieveld’s classes, please visit: http://www.runwaycoachnyc.com/

Top 5 Tips for the Summer

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Model Tanasha Nelson; Photographer Chromatic Culture

Model Tanasha shared her top 5 ways of how to spend the summer like a model.

  1. Wear your outfit like it’s a statement! Whether it’s a simple t-shirt & shorts, or a sassy dress, always rock your unique style. Bring out your best self!
  2. Go outdoors and shoot. Meet with your local photographers. If you have your own camera, bring your tripod with you and shoot in unexpected places. You’ll be in love with how amazing you feel afterwards.
  3. Travel! Travel & modeling go hand in hand! It’s really an exciting feeling to just get out of your comfort zone and shoot with photographers from different states. Personally, I can’t wait to begin my summer travels where I will get to create and network.
  4. Be body positive! Always keep a light spirit. As a model, I have to be able to be myself in the best way possible. That is what brings out the beauty of a model. My authentic self is everything.
  5. Love yourself. Before anything, know that you’re a model and love yourself in your own skin. Believe in you!
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Model Tanasha Nelson; Photographer Chromatic Culture

You can follow Tanasha on Instagram : @Shezamodel

What are your top tips for the summer? Share them below in the comments!

-Jenny A.

Model Bonnie Sofia at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival

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.

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Bonnie Sofia (left); Becca Avill (right)

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.

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Bonnie Sofia (left) and Lucy Bale (right)

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.

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Designer DiDomenico Design. Photographed by  Lionel Madiou

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. ]

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Bonnie Sofia (left) and Lucy Bale (right); Designer DiDomenico Design

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.

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Lucy Bale (left); Bonnie Sofia (right); Designer DiDomenico Design

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. 

You can follow her on Instagram: bonniesofia

-Jenny A.

 

An Inside Scoop of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival

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Becca Avill (left), Lucy Bale (center)  & Sophie Levine (right)

Meet Models Becca Avill, Lucy Bale & Sophie Levine:

Lucy, Becca and Sophie gave me an inside look into what it was like to model for the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Here’s the inside scoop!

1) What was it like to model at the Cannes Film Festival? What was the atmosphere like?

Lucy Bale: It was one of the best experiences. Everyone was excited to be there! Before every change, it was chaotic and mad. Everyone was yelling. But it all came together and was absolutely AMAZING when we got onto the catwalk. Before a show, I can be shy. But when I get onto the runway, I am a different person. Shout out to Jera, my modeling agency. Thank you!

 Becca Avill: It was chaotic, super busy and fun! We were booked every day that we were in Cannes. During the mornings we had castings and during the days we had rehearsals. I love doing catwalks because they are a lot more social and I get to meet other models.

Sophie Levine: It wasn’t the most organized but it was a lot of fun. When we were getting ready for a show, people were joking around and just having fun. The makeup artists and hair stylists were really nice. My hair was short for the shows so when I heard the words “slicked back” while they were talking about my hair, I was so nervous. It actually came out amazing!

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Lucy Bale modeling for DiDomenico Design. Photographed by  Lionel Madiou

2) Have you ever modeled for other international fashion shows? How was it different from your runway experience here?

Lucy: Yes, I have also modeled in the UK. Cannes is more structured. They pick their models beforehand. They know what they want. If you’re not what they’re looking for, you’re out. In the UK, it’s less structured. When you show up to a fitting you can change their mind and show them why you’re there. Also there were a lot more people working at the Cannes Film Festival.

 Becca: I started modeling internationally across France and London.  When I was in Cannes I was asked to stay and model for a few more days. I would say a major difference between my experience in France and in the U.K. would be the food. In the UK, it’s unheard of not to provide food and refreshments during a modeling event. In London, it’s important to watch over the models and give them food.

Sophie: Cannes was my first professional show… Though I have done student shows. In the student shows they’re always indecisive about what you’re wearing. They’ll have all the models try everything on before deciding who wears what. In the Cannes Film Festival, they were more decisive on what the models were wearing. They would give us something to wear and say wear this. I prefer Cannes. It was more relaxed.

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Becca Avill modeling Luciana Adulari. Photographed by: Lionel Madiou

3) What’s the coolest thing that happened behind the scenes? What was your most exciting moment?

Lucy: Being given the opportunity to do more shows. Designers would come in after a show and ask if we wanted to model for them. Yay! It was very self-uplifting… it was awesome!

 Becca: I met Leonardo DiCaprio! Oh and I met Fat Joe and Tiger at one of the places I went to. Cannes is a very good place for networking for international modeling agencies.

Sophie: Meeting everyone and especially the other models. Everyone was very friendly. The models took each other’s pictures backstage. It was cool how people recognized me after the show. They would say “you were on the catwalk!” It was also really nice to meet the designers. Some of the dresses were absolutely stunning.

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Sophie Levine modeling for Tjaša Škapin. Photographed by: Lionel Madiou

4) What was the funniest thing that happened?

Lucy: All of the models were hungry and were trying to sneak out and buy croissants to feed everyone. I learned that next time I have to pack a lunch!

Becca: Going out at night directly after a catwalk – I made some fairly bold fashion choices on a few occasions.

Sophie: Walking around with my hair and makeup. The hair stylists were dancing behind the scenes while they were doing my hair! With no music!

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Lucy Bale (left) & Becca Avill (right) modeling Luciana Adulari. Photographed by: Lionel Madiou

5) What was it like to be backstage?

Lucy: Models would be half naked and the people working backstage would come up to us and help us change into our outfits.

Becca: I’ve done a lot of fashion shows and they’re always very fast paced and exciting. The only downside is that people do seem to forget you’re human and everyone and their mum wanders in while you’re changing.

Sophie: Everyone kept an eye out when the models were changing. The media would come behind the stage and just start filming even if models were changing in the background. I liked how all the models would stand in front of the camera so that the other models that were changing could have some privacy.

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Designer Andres Aquino. Photographed by: Lionel Madiou
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Designer Tjaša Škapin. Photographed by: Lionel Madiou
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Designer Tjaša Škapin. Photographed by: Lionel Madiou
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Designer DiDomenico Design. Photographed by  Lionel Madiou
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Designer Hany El Behairy. Photographed by  Lionel Madiou
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Designer DUONVLANG. Photographed by: Lionel Madiou
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Designer Luciana Adulari. Photographed by: Lionel Madiou

I’d like to thank Becca Avill, Lucy Bale  & Sophie Levine for giving me their time to interviewing them. I’d also like to thank  Lionel Madiou for his beautiful pictures. Thank you!

-Jenny A.

Model Lilly Norris

P1060521Meet Lilly:

Model Lilly Norris absolutely adores the outdoors! You can find her camping, hiking, rock climbing or even just enjoying nature. If she could be a fruit or vegetable she would be a strawberry, because they’re (a) delicious, (b) very cute, and (c) they grow wild…just like her!

“My dream is to model for Vogue and to be able to make a positive change in the lives of women who are suffering from trauma.”

Her main goal is to be able to use modeling to travel internationally and raise enough funds to open her own Women’s Trauma Centers in underprivileged areas. She is currently studying business so that she can help provide the necessary resources to trauma victims.

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Fun fact: She’s competed in nationwide engineering competitions where her team electronically wired 120lb. robots!

Her favorite tv show to binge watch is Game of Thrones because the women in it are so kick ass. “Daenerys could have my heart any day of the week.”

Lilly is fascinated with super villains. Speaking of which … Poison Ivy is her favorite. She likes to cosplay and go to different conventions.

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Fun fact: Lilly creates her own cosplay outfits.

Her style is a mash up between (1) a sexy Gothic club goer (2) a hippie straight of out Woodstock and (3) a CEO of a major company.

Lilly has modeled for Charleston Fashion Week 2015, 2016 TIBI NYC 2016, Atlanta International Fashion Week.

You can follow her on Instagram: lillyofficially

-Jenny A.

Model Christina Coleman

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Photo by: Jenny A.

Meet Christina:

Christina Coleman is a Philadelphia born model based in DC who is bold, beautiful and inspiring. She is obsessed with turning her dreams into a reality because she wants to help young women improve their self-image by using entrepreneurship as a vehicle for freedom, independence, and creative expression.

She dreams of traveling the world as a supermodel/actress, becoming a best-selling author and a motivational speaker. Last year Christina spoke to a group of aspiring models on how to be confident.

If she could be a fruit or vegetable she would be an avocado because when you first look at the outside of an avocado, you would never think it’s delicious …but once you get to know Christina, you’ll love her!

Christina describes her style as couture street wear– a blend between luxury and simplicity. You can catch her wearing a luxurious watch, a thrift store bought coat paired with sweatpants and sneaker wedges.

Christina has modeled for Kanye West, Couture Fashion Week, and has traveled the country as a promotional model for Google and Under Armour. She was also featured on Vogue.com, Hype Hair Magazine and Billie Blunt Magazine. Christina is currently a spokeswoman for Magie Bleue Luxury Virgin Hair Extensions.

Follow superstar Christina’s adventure on Instagram: @christinacoleman

-Jenny A.