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.
Born and raised by a single mom in Rwanda, Africa, model Lyndz Tuyishime left her family to go to America to 1) further her education and 2) to become a top model. She followed her heart and left everything she knew and loved to chase her dreams.
Lyndz came to America all by herself. She wanted to learn about the fashion industry and bring it back home to Rwanda.
She spent the first couple of years living in Maine and studying for her associates degree. While she was in school, she was modeling and taking pictures with her friend, a fashion photographer. She started doing photoshoots and posting her photos on Instagram. She began falling in love with the camera.
Even though Lyndz was modeling, she still felt like she was still living outside of the fashion world. She thought back to her dream…. the reason why she left Rwanda to become a top model… and decided it was time to take action. She was going to move to Atlanta, Georgia and try out for DC Fashion Week.
The moment she broke out of her shell was when she walked for fashion designer Ean Williams, the Director and Producer of DC Fashion Week. Ever since then, she hasn’t stopped! She’s modeled for Couture Fashion Week 3 times. I actually met her at Couture Fashion Week!
What really stood out to me is that Lyndz strives to give back and help people first-hand. Last year, she decided to have her own runway show fundraiser to raise money for women’s education back home in Rwanda. She went to the drawing board. She knew models and designers from her modeling career, and she knew the hotel industry from her day job. It put her in the perfect place to bring the community together to support her cause.
She reached out to her dear friend, model Ritha who loved the idea! That’s when Fashion 4 Hope was born! They got 5 designers together to showcase their collections at the runway show. Between the money Lyndz raised with Fashion 4 Hope’s runway show and her own savings, Lyndz was able to send one young talented woman to the University Libre Del Kigali.
“Fashion 4 Hope is about building each other up, supporting each other and standing together.”
I’m in awe of how Lyndz was able to 1) create her own fashion show and 2) bring the fashion world together to make a difference. Models and designers were working together to further women’s education. How incredible? Lyndz came to America to further her own education and now she is using fashion to help another young woman back home also further her education?! To me, that’s inspiring.
“We can make a big difference in communities and daily lives.”
“God put me on earth to be a voice for the hopeless”
Without further ado, here is Lyndz’s interview:
What inspires you?
My family. My mother. My brothers – Yves and Luc – and my cousin Isimibi who is part of our family. I want to make them proud and I want to make my country proud.
What was modeling for Couture Fashion Week like?
It was very tiring, stressful and a lot of waiting. A lot goes on behind the scenes…like waiting for hair and makeup. You have to be patient. If you leave to go get a sandwich, they might take another model.
What advice do you have for aspiring models?
Do your research. Look at the designer’s clothes and their makeup styles. Prep yourself mentally and see what the designer likes in terms of how their models walk. You have to practice, train, and go with the flow.
What is your hardest challenge?
Accepting that not everyone will like you and understanding that if a designer doesn’t like you, not to take it personally. Back in my country, I am too skinny. Body shaming is real. I’ve heard “you’re too skinny…you’re not beautiful”. When I lose weight, my shoulders bones show. Some designers love it. Some think I’m too skinny. It can give you a meltdown.
How do you deal with that?
I’m a positive person and look at life as a second chance. There are so many designers who love me and have become my friends over the years.
What was your most embarrassing modeling experience?
One time, I was so nervous that I walked the wrong way during the runway show… and I kept walking!
If you could be a fruit or vegetable, what would you be?
A carrot. Its’ good for your skin and I like them. You can eat them raw or cooked.
Who is your hero?
My mom. She has unconditional love for me which has saved me as a person. Even if we aren’t in the same country, we are still close. She’s a hardworking, single mom who inspires me everyday.
“Even if I can help one person have a better life, that will be enough for me”
Lyndz is currently working on another fashion show to raise money for more young women to go to college.
Are you inspired by Lyndz? Be sure to leave a comment below on what you think! Also, be sure to subscribe to my blog and follow my blog’s Instagram @newstylemode.
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.
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!
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.
I want to hear from you! Who is your role model? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
I love Valentine’s Day. Whether it’s a day to celebrate your partner, your friends or even yourself…it’s all about love. In honor of Valentines Day, model Kateryna Saveiko shared her guide to self love with us! Here it is!
Model Kateryna’s Guide to Self Love:
First things first. “You have to love yourself. When you love yourself other people will love you too.”
Give yourself the confidence you need. “You should wake up every morning, look in the mirror and say “I’m beautiful.” Tell yourself that you are beautiful. You have a beautiful soul, you have a beautiful heart, you are kind, and you are a great person.”
Take care of yourself. “Your body will be grateful for you.”
Have a positive outlook on life. “If you think your life is horrible, then it will be horrible. If you think your life will be great, then it will be great.”
Jenny A: Thank you so much for your guide. So tell me, what is the dating scene like as a model?
Kateryna Saveiko: It’s not easy. In New York, guys don’t take it seriously. You really have to find the right person.
Jenny A: What is the ideal Valentine’s Day present?
Kateryna: Writing a poem for your partner or even making them a collage of pictures.
Jenny A: What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced as a model so far?
Kateryna: Fighting with myself. I always thinking about what I look like… like if I gained weight. I’m always watching myself. I love food but I have to run everyday.
Jenny A: What advice would you give people who struggle with their weight?
Kateryna: Everyone needs to take care of themselves. America is bigger. You have to keep a diet. Even if it’s for 2 – 3 weeks at a time. If you want to live longer, you need to start watching yourself. Your body will be grateful for you.
Jenny A: What was your craziest modeling experience?
Kateryna: When I was 15 years old, we went for a body art festival in Odessa. When we won 3rd place, a Russian agency invited us to work with them for a month in Russia. During that time we went to one of the lakes for 10 days. We lived there in tents. It was the middle of the summer and it rained every day. There were no restrooms and I had mosquito bites everywhere.
During one of the photoshoots, I stepped in an ant hill and there were ants all over my foot! They were crawling all the way up my knee! I was professional about it and finished the shoot.
Jenny A: What do you think about when you walk down the runway?
Kateryna: My body. You have to control your back, your legs, your face…even the muscles in your face! Lots of people are looking at you when you are on the runway. You need to talk with your eyes.
Jenny A: Do you have a goal for this year?
Kateryna: I want to start a modeling blog with my friend who is also a model. Our blog will be about the modeling life in New York. I love this city and I want to help people to see New York positively. People think that the life of a model is easy but, there’s a lot to it. You’re hungry. Your heels aren’t comfortable. Your feet might be bleeding. You have to smile even when feet hurt or you are tired. You always have to be awake and fresh.
3 Fun facts about Kateryna:
Favorite hobby? Writing Russian poems
Favorite animated character? Catwoman. She’s strong, sexy, smart and she has her own opinion about everything.
If she could be a fruit or vegetable she would be… A grape because it can turn into a healthy juice or a fine wine.
What I really admire about Rachel is that she is a strong and independent model. She strikes me as the modern day princess, a little bit sweet & a little bit edgy. One moment she can be sitting in the makeup room getting glammed up to walk the runway, and the next moment she can be taking charge of her career and booking her own fashion shows.
Here is our interview:
Jenny A. (Me) : What’s your craziest modeling experience?
Rachel: Moving to NYC this past year was crazy. In February, I signed with New York Model Management. After New York Fashion Week, I had to go back home to LA to work. My NY booker encouraged me to come back to the New York area in August – October. I was so excited that I booked my whole trip – including my flight. Would you believe that a week before my trip, they dropped the whole runway department…including me?!
Me: What did you end up doing?
Rachel: I was determined to make things work. I still went to NYC and did it all on my own! I booked myself for every day of fashion week!
Me: What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced as a model so far?
Rachel: Taking Criticism. I’ve been told that I am too tall, too skinny, too fat, too ugly, and too old. Casting directors will comment on all of the things that they think I should change about myself. Taking that criticism and saying “thank you” is the most challenging part of modeling.
Me: Is there anything you want to say to those people who have criticized your look?
Rachel: At the end of the day, there are a lot of other designers that want my look. I can’t let those negative comments get to me.
Me: What do you think about when you walk down the runway?
Rachel: I think about my posture, my facial expressions and the beat of the music. I also think about making sure my arms are moving symmetrically, and figuring out where the cameras are. It’s all about getting that perfect professional picture!
Me: Have you ever lived in a model apartment?
Rachel: No, model housing is very expensive. When I went to model in New York, I stayed in Airbnbs and hotels, because they where just as expensive as the modeling apartments where I would have to share a room.
Norma C. :Did you always dream of being a model?
Rachel: Yes, I’ve always loved dressing up & being in-front of the camera. I was 5’9” at 15 years old when I signed a contract with LA Model Management. After high school, I went to college & took a break from modeling. At 25 years old, I was 5’11” & was still determined to be a model. I went back to LA Model Management & signed a new contract. I’ve been with them ever since. I am very thankful for all the work!
Me: What are your goals and dreams?
Rachel: My goal is to support myself and be independent. My dream is to do commercials, acting, and trying out stand-up comedy. I also dream that one day I can produce my own runway shows!
Me: What do you love to do?
Rachel: Besides for taking pictures, I love stand up comedy and going to shows. I started writing some jokes. I’m actually working with friends who are also models on some small comedy film projects.
“My goal is to support myself and be independent.” – Rachel Sklar
Me: Who is your favorite animated character?
Rachel: Cinderella because my life makes me feel like a fairytale. I always have to give my clothes back after a modeling job, just like Cinderella at the stroke of midnight.
Me: We’re exactly one month into the New Year! What was your New Year’s Resolution?
Rachel: To be more familiar with politics. I’ve been telling myself I would learn the basics. I want to watch the news more, read more, and be more involved in political conversations.
Me: If you could be a fruit or vegetable, which fruit or vegetable would you be?
Rachel: I would be a goji berry. Goji berries are expensive, hard to find, & they are great any way they’re prepared.
Thanks for reading! I want to hear from you! What does being a modern day princess mean to you?
After seeing the collection, all I wanted to do was rent a boat and sail off into the sea. All of the pieces in the collection have a feel-good vibe. I think they are a lot of fun. I love the message behind this line: shatter the norms and redefine the way you see beauty.
“Sea The Beauty of a soul’s depth and the surface will never again be enough.”
The Sea the Beauty collection is all about seeing the beauty within yourself. Loving yourself. Knowing that you are beautiful.
Nick Santonastasso was the opening model for the line. Everyone around me stood up when he walked down the runway. He was fierce. He was captivating. He was inspiring. “The most attractive thing you can be is different”- Nick Santonastasso
Shatter the norms. Redefine beauty.
“I am immensely proud of the brand I have created. I am proud of the unique designs but equally proud of the positive message I attach to them. I want to make a difference in the world. I want to leave the younger generation with a positive message and a positive image about themselves.” – Designer YDAMYS SIMO
These are my top looks from this collection:
What do you think about this collection?
I want to thank Red Bird Photography LLC for capturing YDAMYS SIMO’s collection. All photos in this blog post were taken by Red Bird Photography LLC.
Be sure to subscribe to my blog and follow my blog’s Instagram @newstylemode
“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.