Interview with Model Sergio Delavicci

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New York Couture Fashion Week; Photography by @dennismadigan; Designer Vanyo Fashion by @vannytousignant

The first time I saw model Sergio Delavicci (A.K.A Gio) was when he walked the runway at Couture Fashion Week back in February. He was modeling for designer Vanno Fashion wearing an emerald green jacket, black pants with a matching black hat. I was impressed with how Gio was able to capture the audience with his fierce walk. I really wanted to introduce myself but I didn’t get the chance to.

Fast forward…

6 months later I’m watching the Unique Blend Models fashion show and guess who I see walking down the runway?!

GIO.

I told myself no matter what, this time I am going to introduce myself… and that’s exactly what I did. After the show, I found him speaking to a photographer while holding the bunch of red roses. When I told him I recognized him from Couture Fashion Week, he gave me a rose.

Meet Gio:

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Catou suit collection by @jochampagne; Photography by @kharisamerica

Jenny A. (Me): What is your favorite part of being a model?

Gio: It’s inspiring and motivating. It gives me an opportunity to travel, meet different people and open doors for muscular models with tattoos such as myself. I love the energy and the feedback I get from the crowd when I walk on the runway. I get excited whenever a designer tells me that someone wants to buy their clothes because they saw me wear them.

Me: What do you think about when you’re on the runway?

Gio: I really don’t think about it. I just have fun doing it. I’ve been modeling for a long time and at this point, it comes naturally. It’s all about selling the clothes and I enjoy doing it.

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Photography by @stylographybiz ; Fashion event @nysummerfashionexplosion  Designer @clavonswear by @clavonleonard ; MUA @crown_artistry 

Me: What is your biggest challenge in the modeling world?

Gio: I’m not a big fan of wearing makeup. Also, sometimes my modeling schedule interferes with my acting schedule.

Me: Random question… Who is your favorite Disney character? 

Gio:  I love Mickey Mouse because he’s positive, popular and always happy.

Me: What is something that is interesting about you?

Gio: I am Channing Tatum’s stunt double! I am also an actor, a boxer, a masseuse and a tennis trainer. Recently, I was also in a Steven Spielberg movie, Nor’ester.

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Photography by @dennismadigan

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

Gio: A watermelon. I like the fact that it’s healthy, juicy and good for your immune system.

Me: Is there anything else you wanted to share?

Gio: I’m very poetic, romantic and very spiritual.

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Photography by @michaelle.chapoteau

This year Gio walked the runway for New York Fashion Week, Miami Swimwear Fashion Week, Atlantic City Fashion Week, Bronx Fashion Week, Fashion on the Hudson and Rainbow Fashion Week. He was voted as the Top Male Model of the Year during Atlantic City Fashion Week 2017.

You can follow Gio on Instagram: @ruffryder_84

-Jenny A.

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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.

My First Unique Blend Models Fashion Show with Model Robbie Dema

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Photographer: Juan Carlos Guevara; Designer: Jude Charles; MUA: Steph Hair and Beauty

I met model Robbie Dema at the Unique Blend Models fashion show in New York City. When I first arrived, I was given a masquerade mask to wear! The first show was an all men’s fashion show. I really loved how much energy there was both on the runway and in the audience. Whenever a model walked onto the runway, the audience would cheer them on. Robbie had just finished walking the runway before I interviewed him!

Meet Robbie:

Robbie Dema is both an actor and a model! His passion for acting led him to his newest passion, modeling. He says one of the biggest challenges in modeling is staying fit while keeping a strong mindset. He says it’s important to always stay positive.

He works out through weight training, lifting and doing cardio which keeps him in great shape. Robbie shared that his daily eating habits are based on a heavy protein diet and not eating simple carbs like pasta and bread. He does admit that he loves eating dark chocolate and that his “cheat foods” are pizza and burritos.

If he could be a fruit or vegetable he would be a pineapple because it is both sweet & edgy, just like his style. After all, we all have our spikes to us! 🙂

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Photographer: Michael Katlow Cox; Designer: Diplomacy Clothing; HMU: Jude Charles

Fun facts:

#1 He is an exercise rider / assistant at Belmont Racetrack. Did you know that his barn had a horse named Gavin in this year’s Kentucky Derby?

#2 Robbie’s style is clean cut. He loves to dress up and wear a suit. SUIT UP!

#3 He just moved from Long Island to Manhattan.

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Photographer: Michael Katlow Cox; Designer: Diplomacy Clothing; HMU: Jude Charles

Robbie modeled for Unique Blend Models which was his 3rd time walking on the runway.

You can follow him on Instagram: @giveherthede_ma

-Jenny A.

Bonnie Sofia Shares Her Advice for How to be a Model

Honestly, I have made my own career path by fumbling through the modeling world and just learning along the way. The most important thing I would say is you don’t need to wait for a top agency to accept you in order to become a model. When I was 16, I was really excited about modeling. When I first got rejected from the top New York agencies, I assumed that path was permanently closed to me. It wasn’t until I was 24, when I was living in Jordan and started freelancing as a model there for local designers, that I realized there are 100 different pathways into this industry.

You should never feel that your fate rests with a few individuals who might have the power to tell you if you have “the look” or not. Obviously, working with a top agency is ideal if that is an option for you. If not, that should not stop you from modeling. I started modeling for local designers until I built up my portfolio. I would also go to castings for runway shows which even allowed me to walk during New York Fashion Week. Finally, after a year of working on my own, I was offered representation.

For models interested specifically in walking during the Cannes Film Festival, I would advise them to attend a casting held by Andres Aquino for New York Fashion Week. He holds castings for his New York shows but not for his Cannes ones. But if you can slip into New York, you can ask about attending Cannes.

I would also advise keeping an eye out for information about castings or fashion shows in Cannes starting in April or the beginning of May. Even if you don’t see a notice that is specifically about a casting, there is nothing wrong with contacting the organizer of a fashion show and asking if models are still needed. I have ended up on the runway more than once by simply reaching out and asking.

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Model: Bonnie Sofia Photographer: Jamie Cheyenne Instagram: @colorstorymagazine Stylist: Geneva / Cozy Closet MUA: Dayna Marie
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Model: Bonnie Sofia Photographer: Jamie Cheyenne Instagram: @colorstorymagazine Stylist: Geneva / Cozy Closet MUA: Dayna Marie
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Model: Bonnie Sofia Photographer: Jamie Cheyenne Instagram: @colorstorymagazine Stylist: Geneva / Cozy Closet MUA: Dayna Marie

A huge thank you to:

Model: Bonnie Sofia (@bonniesofia)

Instagram: @colorstorymagazine
Stylist: Geneva / Cozy Closet (@czycloset)
Photographer: Jamie Cheyenne (@chystudios)
MUA: Dayna Marie (@themakeupartivist)

-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.

 

Hello from Fashion Model and Designer Raven Ledbetter

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Photographed by: Ibe Bello

Meet Raven:

Raven Ledbetter is an American model and designer from North Carolina. She always lives in the moment! As a former army girl, she says that you always have to stay positive and believe good things will happen.

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Photographed by: Ibe Bello
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Photographed by: Ibe Bello

Raven LOVES heels. Not only is she always wearing a cute pair of heels, she also loves customizing them. Right now her go to fashion style is velvet and suede. Her favorite makeup brand is MAC. She wears a signature long ponytail which is inspired by her role model, The Queen B Beyoncé. #queen

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Photographed by: Ibe Bello

“I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it.”- Beyoncé, Formation

Raven is a go-getter and a risk taker. She doesn’t like taking no for an answer. She is inspired by dominating and empowering women. Her favorite Disney princess is Moana, a powerful woman who went out on her own to accomplish her voyage.

If she could be a fruit or vegetable she would be a peach because it is juicy, sweet and beautiful on the inside-out, just like her.

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Raven modeling her own design. Photographed by: Ibe Bello

Raven modeled a designer velvet dress from her own collection at Fashion Gallery’s New York Fashion Week. She thanks her beautiful daughter and fiancé for all the support.

You can follow her on Instagram: @KemiNEVAR

-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.