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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New York Fashion Week with Model Joi Simoné

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Photographed by Armando

It’s New York Fashion Week and what better way to celebrate than to introduce you to Joi Simoné?! I met Joi back in February during last New York Fashion Week. She was wearing a beautiful long black dress with butterflies on the top and flowers cascading down the dress.

Meet Joi:

1.) What was your favorite part of modeling for Couture Fashion Week?

My favorite part was meeting all of the wonderful people from different parts of the world!

2.) What was it like to be the last model to walk on the runway for a fashion designer at Couture Fashion Week? 

It was absolutely amazing! Initially, I was somewhat nervous. However, I knew I could do it. I felt very honored to walk for a celebrity designer Cory Couture Tran. Ultimately, I knew I had to work the runway and I did it!

3.) Do you wear makeup every day? Do you have a favorite brand?

I don’t wear makeup every day but I do enjoy wearing makeup occasionally. Some of my favorite cosmetics brands are L.A. Girl, NXY Cosmetics and BH Cosmetics.

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Photographed by: @jcivproductions1

 
4.) Who is your favorite animated character?

Lola Bunny because she is all about girl power. She may look beautiful on the outside but she never let the cute face fool anyone. She says girls can do just as much as boys can. She stands up for us girls. #girlpower #bossbabe

5.) Are you athletic or on any teams?

Yes, I dance. In high school I was on the “Basketball Dance Team” where we performed during the halftime games. Dancing definitely keeps me in shape and energetic!

6.) Are you adventurous? What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done (that I can publish on my blog haha) ?

Yes! I went zip lining. It is so incredible just to feel the adrenaline rush through your body while you are above the trees just looking at the beautiful skyline. It’s amazing!

7.) What are some of your hobbies?

Dancing – Dance has always come naturally to me. At the age of four, I started taking ballet. I worked my way up to Modern dance, African dance, Jazz (which is my favorite), and Hip Hop. Throughout high school I participated in the Tri-Cities High School Dance Magnet Program.

Creating different fashions – “Fashion Is My Passion.” Fashion has always been a part of my life. As a young child, my parents dressed me in beautiful fashions. Sometimes I spend my day on a fashion website named “Polyvore” where I create different fashion styles.

Making videos – I love to make videos for my “YouTube” channel [“Ms.Joi Simoné” ]. I mostly create makeup tutorials but in the future, I plan on including different activities.

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Photograph from Couture Fashion Week 

8.) If you could be a fruit or vegetable, what fruit or vegetable would you be?

I would be a kiwi because most people don’t expect it to look so beautiful on the inside. It’s kinda like judging someone before you actually get a chance to know them.

9.) What are your goals and dreams?

To become successful in the modeling and fashion world. I want to secure agency representation and become a featured high fashion model in editorials and campaigns. I also dream of walking the runway internationally. Lastly, I would like to be a mentor to females globally.

 

You can follow Joi Simoné on Instagram: @joisimone_

-Jenny A.

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Casting Auditions: What It Was Like To Be There

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Model Sadie Newman

Everyone’s been talking about the Victoria’s Secret fashion show auditions! For the past 3 weeks, Victoria’s Secret models have been

coming to New York City to audition for the big 2017 fashion show. While I wish I was actually able to watch the auditions, it was exciting to watch the models show up for their chance to be picked.

Each potential Victoria’s Secret model has shown up in a cute outfit while strutting her confidence as she walked into her audition. I knew when a model was coming since the paparazzi would snap into action and start taking pictures.

Some of the models would have some fun and would show us their practice runway walks. They would also do a quick photo shoot for some of the photographers.

IMG_1981Last Monday, the auditions took place during the solar eclipse! So there I was watching the breathtaking moment with both friends and some of the models. It was really nice because it brought everyone together where we were all sharing our eclipse glasses or homemade eclipse viewers. It was definitely a once in a lifetime kind of moment.

Victoria’s Secret model Liela Nda borrowed my friend’s solar eclipse glasses and the paparazzi took a photo. I really wish I had also taken a picture of it! I checked to see if the photo was released online but I haven’t found it yet. But I did find different pictures of the Victoria’s Secret models arriving at the office. Another one of my friends had snuck into the background of one of the photos! I couldn’t stop laughing! It was fun to Google pictures & videos of the past few weeks and see how many of the models I actually saw.

Good luck to all the models!

You go girls!

-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.

 

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/

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.