Model Darien Willardson : Part 1

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Photo by Jennifer Alweiss 

When model Darien Willardson told me he was visiting New York, I was so excited to meet with him. I really admire his determination, energy and creativity. Even though it was snowing, he put on his cowboy boots and trudged into the city for our interview.

I loved how much energy he had both in front of the camera as well as off camera. I have to say that I really appreciate his acting experience! He was really comfortable in front of the camera. When I was testing my camera, he started making funny faces! He made the whole experience fun  – we were cracking jokes and laughing during the interview.

He didn’t mind when I made him do a few versions of his video interview which personally, was a huge relief. Not only was he patient while I got all the pictures and footage I needed, he also gave me different ideas for our interview.

Without further adoEnjoy Part 1 of our interview!

Meet Model Darien:

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Photo by Jennifer Alweiss 

What is your style? A mix between country, skater and hipster. I’ll wear skater boy shoes and slim fit jeans.

Where do you love to shop? H&M, Zumiez, PacSun, Calvin Klein, J. Crew, and Ralph Lauren.

Who is your role model? Johnny Depp because he plays all of his characters really well. Also, Heather Ledger.

What is your #1 hobby? Snowboarding. I actually used to be a snowboarding instructor at Powder Mountain.

Do you have any quirks? Hmm selective hearing? Day dreaming? I would say visually creating something in my head.

What is something that you can’t you live without? My friends and family. I like having people around.

What is your greatest accomplishment? Being a model and actor. I’ve been in 6 films – My top ones are Storm Rider, The Last Straw, Wild Horses and Noctrune.

What are your goals and dreams? I want write a book about my life and my recovery of being a heroin addict.  I was addicted to drugs for a year of my life when I was 19-20 years old. Since then, I’ve been clean from heroin.  I want to inspire people who are addicts to better their lives and dream big. I want them to think with an open mind and an open heart. I would tell the story about the young creative storyteller that went into drugs, got clean and is now acting in movies – It’s a huge jump. I was the black sheep in my family. Even the lone wolf – I want to show that you can change.

Do you have any advice for aspiring models? Find a hobby. You should have a deeper talent and broaden your talent spectrum. For example, learn how to snowboard. Also, you should also embrace your weaknesses.

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Photo by Jennifer Alweiss 
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Photo by Jennifer Alweiss 
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Photo by Jennifer Alweiss 

Darien has modeled for Theory Clothing Line (NY), Magnum Bikes ( Salt Lake City) and Jane.com (Salt Lake City).

You can follow Darien on Instagram here: @darienwillardson

Stay tuned for Part 2, our video interview!

Love always,

Jenny A.

 

 

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Model Carina Castagna Gets Real About Being a Model

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Photographer: Joe Harary

As a model, Carina Castagna’s biggest accomplishment was when she walked the runway for Style Fashion Week at Madison Square Garden. It was around her 18th birthday and she was praying that she wouldn’t fall on the runway. She looked out into the crowd that filled Madison Square Garden and felt her adrenaline rush. She decided to use her nerves and channel them into positive energy so that she could perform her best. And she did!

Carina lives her life by the saying “pressure makes diamonds” which her mom has always taught her. She says you need to put yourself out there even if it’s uncomfortable because, at the end of the day, you’re growing. “Everyone goes through pressure. You just need to be positive and grow from it.”

Although Carina has walked the runway in New York Fashion Week for a few years now, she hasn’t always had an easy time modeling. While Carina is a size 2 and is 5’10”, which sounds like a great fit for the runway, she’s experienced being called “fat” based on her athletic build. She has developed strong toned muscles from playing sports, where she has a strong core, and fit thighs. She shared that during one of her modeling castings, she had to measure her thighs with a tape measure to see if they were too big. “Honestly, it dehumanizes the model. We’re human.”

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Photographer: Gary Kirk Brown

If someone says she can’t do it, she’ll turn around and say “watch me.” She’s competitive with being her best self and takes that mindset from her athletics. Carina says that in modeling you have to have a “business self” and a “personal self.” When you hear “no,” you can’t take it personally. She believes hearing a “no” in a casting is the same as hearing “no” in a workplace. “It’s a job,” she explains “you cannot bring home negative energy about yourself, there is nothing positive that can come from that and it’s honestly not healthy.”

Carina explained how intrigued and happy she is with France’s new laws where models need to give a doctor’s certificate to show that they are overall physically healthy. She says that models shouldn’t have to starve themselves to be thinner. Every individual is an individual, and they shouldn’t be compared to one another. “A rose can never be a sunflower, and a sunflower can never be a rose. All flowers are beautiful in their own way, and that’s like women too.”- Miranda Kerr, Australian Victoria’s Secret model.

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Photographer: Joe Harary

Carina’s role model is Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima. One of the reasons why Carina admires Adriana is because she also has an athletic build like Carina. She’s happy that Victoria’s Secret promotes working out and being athletic.

Carina looks forward to finding a big modeling agency to sign with. She is excited for what her future endeavors are.

You can follow her on Instagram @Carinacastagna6  and on Twitter: @AngelCarinaC

Love always,

-Jenny A.