One of the best things about being a fashion blogger is getting to know the stories behind the faces on the runway. It’s so easy to just look at a model and just see what they are wearing. But I like seeing the models on the runway and knowing who they are, where they came from and how they got there.
I was excited to finally meet model Kevin Christie. I first saw him walking for designer Janelle Funari last year. So when I saw him again and he agreed to be interviewed, I was psyched. Funny story – we actually had to film the interview in 3 different locations to get the lighting right! Sorry Kevin! But I must say that Kevin was a trouper and I really appreciate that.
SO without further ado, here’s our interview.
Meet Model Kevin:
What did you think about the interview? Be sure to leave a comment below! Also, be sure to subscribe to my blog and follow my blog’s Instagram @newstylemode.
I just want to start by saying how proud I am of designer Janelle Funari. Last year, I asked her what she hoped to achieve within the next year. You know what she said? “To open my first FUNARI store in NYC!” Guess what?! She did it! Janelle opened up her very own store in DUMBO, Brooklyn. I had the honor of attending her fashion show. As I watched her cut the red ribbon, all I could think about is how dreams really do come true.
Beautiful. Dynamic. Indestructible.
Last week I wore the FUNARI tank top that I received from the fashion show to my spin class and I was on fire! I was peddling up this really tough “climb” and I really thought I wouldn’t last through the song. My heart was racing and I could feel the sweat dripping down my neck. I looked at the woman staring back at me in the mirror wearing my FUNARI tank top and thought ” I can do this.” Seeing myself wearing FUNARI gave me the extra push to work harder, be better, and be on fire.
So without further ado, here is the my exclusive interview with designer Janelle Funari.
Jenny A. (Me): Tell me a little bit about the collection that I saw on the runway. What is the collection about? Was there a message behind it?
Janelle: The collection is called Fire! It was the launch of the men’s and woman’s swim line. The collection is all inclusive with unisex styling and gender neutral pieces that can be worn by all. There is something for everyone in this collection! The message behind the collection was about showing diversity in size, shape & color! We want you to feel good in your skin, good about where you are in your life & good about your fitness journey. Beauty comes from within! We want to empower both men and woman to feel confident, sexy and bold.
Me: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Janelle: My inspiration comes from living and breathing the NYC lifestyle. Being around this multicultural city which is constantly moving, keeps my mind spinning towards new styles and designs! Living in NYC has inspired me to want functionality, practicality and amazing edgy styles.
Me: It was so exciting watching you cut the red ribbon at your store’s Grand Opening! What was it like to cut the red ribbon on the runway?
Janelle: Cutting the red ribbon was a BIG moment in my career! I have waited a long time to open a store and cutting this ribbon made me realize all I have overcome in this life. I now know and believe that with perseverance and determination, dreams can come true!
Me: Just like the people who live in New York, I felt like your models were very diverse. How do you find your models?
Janelle: The model selection is very important to me. I am always looking for confidence and an athletic look. I feel the models now understand my vision and that the universe sends them to me. There are models I find on Instagram and request them to walk in my fashion shows. I am always ecstatic when they say “yes”! I love working with dancers because it shows that movement is possible in my brand. I want clients to know my products are beautiful, indestructible and can stretch and move with you!
Me: What was it like to have your very own fashion show?
Janelle: Having my own show was a great experience! I was able to control the concept and really put my heart into it. It was nice to be able to show my inspiration and not have anyone hold me back from my vision. I know I can have outlandish ideas but I believe I can always create a bigger and better experience. I think shows can only improve. It is important to a brand and the designer that it needs to feel authentic and genuine for someone to buy the brand; they need to feel a connection. This is what I am trying to accomplish with my presentation.
Me: Which outfit from your collection was the most challenging to create / design?
Janelle: The most challenging piece would have to be the tailored athletic looks. For this collection that would be the 3/4 camouflage coat. I was mixing (1) a water proof denim bonded fabric with (2) a recycled textured poly backed with (3) wool lined with (4) cashmere with (5) a leather trim. The cut had to be tailored to the body and fit well. It is very complicated and challenging to sew together fabrics that stretch and don’t stretch. It’s a slow and steady process but in the end it is very rewarding!
Me: Do you have any advice for upcoming designers?
Janelle: Always follow your dream. Push yourself to be different then the rest, constantly sketch, and learn “The Business”! I always tell students that it is best to learn the business side of fashion and to also be creative. Take a job in a store or intern with a business. With both of these things you can be successful!
Be sure to check out Janelle’s store which is located at:
145 Front Street, Dumbo, Brooklyn. (Right off the F train York stop)
Right now they are appointment only. In spring/summer, the hours will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday with NO appointment necessary from 11-7pm.
A special congratulations and thank you to Janelle Funari for her fabulous fashion show! Check out my top looks from the Fire collection here. 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.
Like this post? Be sure to leave a comment below on what you think! Also, be sure subscribe to my blog and follow my blog’s Instagram @newstylemode.
In celebration of my fashion blog’s birthday, I wanted to do a special post on FUNARI NEW YORK.
I was so pumped after watching the FUNARI NEW YORK collection at Style Fashion Week. All I could feel was the energy and excitement flowing through the air. The show left me dancing in my seat and wishing that I was also up on that runway.
I’m no stranger to FUNARI NEW YORK. Last season I saw her show and was very impressed. This season, designer Janelle Funari took it to the next level with her Fearless collection.
When I asked Janelle what makes her fearless she answered, “I try new things and I’m not 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!” – Janelle Funari
My absolute favorite part of the show was when 2 of the models opened the show by dancing on the runway. They were doing flips and splits! They were jumping around and just lighting up the runway. I was completely gripped when they walked to the end of the runway, posed, looked at each other, 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.
They were fearless
I wanted to be them.
The couple’s outfits were so cute! The Fearless collection is elegant, comfortable and practical! It can be worn all day and all night. Can you imagine you and your partner going to the gym together and then going out to dinner in these matching outfits?!
“In this crazy world, we all need someone to turn to.” – Designer Janelle Funari
My Favorite Looks:
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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Model Carley Beck’s hair is crimped for designer Alexandra Popescu-York at New York Fashion Week
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This season I decided I wanted to switch it up and try something new. Usually I ask fashion models questions that I come up with during New York Fashion Week. This time, I wanted to make it a little fun and asked my friends to come up with questions that they were dying to know about fashion models.
My friend, Mara from the Upper West Side wanted to know : Does all of the runway prep – like dressing up and getting your hair and makeup done – take away from the fun of doing it on your own free time? Watch the video to find out!
Thank you so much for your question Mara!
A little backstory behind the video:
I was behind the scenes at Couture Fashion Week when I saw model Carley Beck getting her hair crimped for her next fashion show. While I’ve seen different crimping videos online, I’ve never scene it in person. So I wanted to get an up close view. I started talking with Carley and we really connected. When we exchanged Instagram accounts, I was so surprised. I was already following her! I looked up and saw that she had the same look across her face. Apparently she recognized my logo and was already following me too! It was so funny! While we didn’t figure out exactly how we know each other, I have a pretty good feeling that it was probably through all my work at past New York Fashion Weeks.
Watch Carley getting her hair crimped by hairstylist Ramika Guillory:
I want to hear from you! What do you think about the crimped hairstyle? Be sure to subscribe to my blog and follow my blog’s Instagram @newstylemode
For more of Carley’s fashion adventure, you can follow her on Instagram @carley_beck
“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.
“….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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“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.