Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Lea T

Lea T is a Brazilian born transgender model, her last name T stands for Tisci. She is 36 years old and was born in 1981. She is the daughter of a well-known Brazilian football player and is part of the LGBT community. In 2011 she stated in an interview that she was going to be undergoing sex reassignment surgery. Her surgery went ahead in 2012, it took 2 weeks after the surgery before she felt happy with the results. Even before she had the surgery she was already in the modelling industry and became the face of Givenchy in 2010 as well doing her first runway at Sao Paulo Fashion Week.

Working in the industry she has worked for Vogue Paris, Interview Magazine, Cover Magazine and Love Magazine. In one of her covers on Love Magazine she is featured with Kate Moss another incredibly well known model. She has been named by Forbes Magazine in 2015 as one of the 12 women who have changed Italian fashion. She was very proud in 2014 when she became the first openly transgender model to front a global cosmetics brand which was a hair company from America named RedKen. Come 2016 she was still making her way through the industry and creating a name for herself when she lead the Brazilian team in the Olympic opening ceremony into the stadium on her bike in RIO. She has had so much opportunity in the industry and has taken all of it to better herself and help show that being transgender does not make you unable to be in the industry.

Lea’s Givenchy’s add was her break in the industry. This campaign was created to fund Lea’s surgery as she was struggling to find the money since her family were unsupportive of the idea at the beginning she and even considered selling her body for prostitution to get the money. Tisci was not in agreement with this which was what inspired him to create the campaign. There were a number of transgender models used in this AW campaign in 2010, when creating the campaign Tisci did not worry about the impact of using transgender models would have on his campaign he just wanted the campaign to be successful. Even now years on after the campaign Tisci and Lea are still close friends.

In an interview that Lea had with New York Magazine she was asked “you don’t see yourself as a 
beauty icon?” and she stated that no she didn’t. Also she stated that she believed since Caitlyn Jenner became transgender people have started opening their minds more to the idea of people being transgender and that more people are opening up as it. She is an inspiration to other transgender people who are in the industry as well as those who are looking to break into the industry. She believes she was put on earth for a reason and this is what she was made to do. 

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Diandra Forrest

Model and actress Diandra Forrest is 27 years old was born in the Bronx in NYC she has a unique look that is albinism. It is a condition that only affects every 1 in 17,000 people and causes a loss of pigment in hair, skin and sometimes the eyes. More models in the fashion industry are popping up with this look now, since it is becoming more accepted. They are great role models for younger people who suffer from the condition.

Diandra Forrest is African American and was the first female model with albinism to be signed to a big label to start her career. Her look is unique and has caught the attention of a lot of designers and magazines in the industry. She grew up with 4 brothers and sisters and realised she was an albino at the age of 9, only her brother and herself inherited it. Many of her friends asked if she was adopted because she had a different look from others in her family, as well as this there would be adults who laughed at her as a child and she struggled to understand why. When she was a child she was moved to a school for children with special education to try and stop the bullying she was experiencing. She believes this was all due to a lack of understanding on their behalf and believes that is also how things are now, people don’t understand albinism fully so don’t know how to react to it. Finding confidence in herself really helped her get into the industry but she still hopes for change in the future and that people won’t have to go through what she went through. She wants to work with children and parents of those who have albinism to support them and help them to understand the condition.

She has done some great work in the fashion industry from magazine covers to music videos. Discovered when she was out shopping, she soon after joined the agency Elite Models NY. Now more deep into her career she has worked with models such as Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier and MAC cosmetics. She has featured in a couple of music videos including Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts” video and Kanye West’s music video for his song “Power”. These artists are massively known around the world so it created a lot of attention for Diandra. In 2016 Diandra walked the New York Fashion Week runway holding her seven week old child. On lookers had different opinions on this as some thought it was really nice that she got the opportunity to do that but some believed she was actually breast feeding whilst walking – which wasn’t true – and frowned upon this for putting her baby into an environment like that.

Since she is so interested in supporting other with albinism, especially younger people with the condition. She worked with an organisation called Tanzania called Assisting Children in Need, they are there to fight discrimination against the Tanzanian albino community. She is another model who would like to known for being a model and not be defined by something that makes her different from others. 

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Jillian Mercado

Jillian Mercado who was born and raised in New York, started her modelling career in 2014. Born with Muscular Dystrophy she is one of the small amount professional models with a disability therefore making her unique in the industry. As a wheelchair user she is an inspiration to all those who suffer from disabilities as it shows it doesn’t stop you from achieving your dreams. Her love of fashion came from her parents who were a dress maker and a shoe salesman, so it is an industry she grew up close to. As she grew older she became a fashion student at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and interned with Veranda and Allure magazine which were great opportunities for her. After this she continued to attend fashion week as a volunteer to create more contacts within the industry and created the opportunity for her to cover society events for a photographer at PMc magazine. 

In 2014 Diesel were the first to use Jillian in one of their campaign which then led her to gain a modelling contract with IMG Models in 2015 who also have contracts with models such as Gigi Hadid, Miranda Kerr and Kate Moss. She has also done a few pieces of work with Nordstrom who own a chain of luxury department stores as well as being part of the CR fashion book.

2016 took an even bigger turn for her as she was announced as one of the three models to appear on a campaign for BeyoncĂ©’s own website promoting merchandise featuring lyrics from her formation album and her 2016 Formation tour. This being one of her biggest pieces of work yet it then later that year landed her editorial features with Glamour and Cosmopolitan magazine and again early this year in February 2017 she appeared in Glamour.

Jillian has been set on creating more diversity in modelling since the beginning of her career as a disability activist. She has teamed up with Instagram and other models who want to see more diversity in the industry recently to create moving pictures for Instagram showing its ok to have different looks in the industry. The modelling industry was never something she had planned to get into as she didn’t believe it was something she would be accepted into but as she met more photographer friends who she modelled for as a bit of fun she considered it as a possibility. Looking how far she has come in the past 3 years is incredible showing her determination to get her name out there. Throughout her career she has worked alongside many models with unconventional looks including Ashley Graham and Winnie Harlow who you can find information about in previous blog posts. She wants people to know her as a model and not be seen as a ‘disabled model’ in the future as she believes at some point people won’t label people just because they aren’t all the same.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Carmen Dell'Orefice

Carmen Dell'Orefice born in 1931 in New York has been in the industry nearly her whole life starting off at age 15 and being on the cover Vogue before she reached the age of 16, since then she has had many great opportunities come her way throughout her life. In 2012 she was known as the oldest working model in the industry at the age of 80. So what has she done over these past 65 years?

Her career began as she was approached by the wife of a photographer on the bus at age 13 and within a couple of years of this she was being signed by Vogue and shot her first cover straight away aged 15. The next year she did another Vogue cover dressed as different Disney characters. Carmen and her mother struggled to survive on the wages she received as a model and she was so malnourished her dresses had to be pinned back at shoots. She always had the dream to become a ballet dancer but after being ill for a year she had grown too weak and tall so all hopes of this were gone but if she had gone on to be one she would never be where she is now. At age 21 she married her first husband after being with him for 5 years prior. At 28 they conceived their first child only for him to become unfaithful and leave. She then went on to marry her second husband who was one of her photographers who also then later decided to leave her. Her third marriage was also unsuccessful and also faded out after 11 years which is when she realised it was time to give up on it and now enjoys living herself. Carmen did not realise at her young age what all these people saw in her and did not believe herself to be a cover girl like the other models. She was not as outgoing as the other models and very much kept herself to herself but believes modelling gave her experiences she never would have had if she hadn’t got into it.

More recently in her life her look has become iconic as she is so well known in the industry and to still be able to model as she did before is incredible. At aged 85 this year she walked the end of the Paris summer fashion week showing she’s still got what it takes. “Im going for 105 and then I’ll see if I want to change professions” she quotes to a Harpers Bazaar showing she will always be interested in working in the industry. 

Over the years she has worked with many great photographers including Richard Avedon who she worked with in Paris, he helped her become great by showing her how to let people see her best features in every picture taken. To help keep her beauty she has had regular procedures done which have included frequent silicone injections, a skin lift to get rid of her sun damaged skin and electrolysis to get rid of her hairline. Even if she hadn’t had these procedures I’m sure she would be looking just as good and would still be where she is today, walking on the runway.  

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Chantelle Brown-Young "Winnie Harlow"

Winnie Harlow who you may know from being a contestant on America’s Next Top Model, She is a Canadian model who is well known for having a skin condition called vitiligo. This has never stopped her as she has created a great name for herself in the industry.

Born in 1994 as Chantelle Brown-Young and at age 4 she was diagnosed with vitiligo which cause depigmentation to her skin. Throughout her childhood she moved from many schools due to bullying which eventually led to her contemplating suicide. In 2013 she was asked to be part of a music video for a song called “Natural Me” which then opened the door to her modelling career as she started to get noticed.

Work in the industry 
Chantelle was discovered on Instagram by Tyra Banks the host of Americas next Top Model in 2014. She made it all the way to the second week of the finals coming 6th overall in that year’s competition. Following her elimination from the show she went on to model for a Spanish company Desigual and is now their official brand ambassador alongside Adrianna Lima. 2015 was another great year for her as she walked in the spring/summer London fashion week and then went on to work with Diesel as well on their spring/summer campaigns. Magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Italian Vogue and the Spanish equivalent of Glamour have all featured Winnie showing she has created her name for herself all over the world doing some great campaigns. As a young model in the industry she is definitely on her way up. Taking part in advertising campaigns for Sprite and Swarovski and being chosen as one of BBC’s 100 Women shows her career is only just starting.

“I’m Proud of my Skin"
The Guardian spoke to Chantelle to find out more about her breaking into the industry and they believe she is successfully challenging the face of fashion with her look. In the interview she stated that "If one day I'm all black I'm still a model. If one day I'm all white I'm still a model." Showing that she doesn’t let her skin define her look. She doesn’t just want to be a spokesperson for vitiligo she wants to be signed by an agency and become a model just like everyone else in the ever changing industry. The comments that get made towards her, that she bleaches her skin and controls how her skin changes are all false and are what makes her stronger and more determined. In the interview she makes a joke and laughs that she can step away from all the hate and look at her bank account and know that she has done well.

Inspiring Others
In 2011 a video was posted on Youtube titled “Vitiligo, A skin condition not a life changer” filmed by Chantelle about her skin condition and how she hasn’t let it control her life. She has also spoke at a TED presentation to give inspiration to others who suffer from the skin condition. April Star an aspiring young model has been supported by Chantelle to overcome the mean words and taunts she has experienced from her peers.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Ashley Graham, Plus Size Model

Ashley Graham, one of the most popular plus size models in the industry right now has appeared on the covers of fashion magazines such as Vogue, Glamour and Elle. Born in Nebraska, USA she was discovered by the I & I agency whilst shopping in an American mall in 2000. Her career started when she signed a deal with Ford Models, then in 2007 she was profiled in Vogue magazine which really got her name out there. In 2009 Ashley featured in the Glamour editorial “These Bodies are Beautiful at Every Size” along with other plus size models. Throughout her career she has worked alongside companies such as Levi’s, Macys, Simply Be and Calvin Klein creating memorable campaigns. In more recent years she has been on the cover of the June 2014 cover of Elle and in 2016 was even the first plus size model to appear on Sports Illustrated – the swimsuit edition – which was a great achievement for her in this modern industry.

“Why Ashley’s our Girl”
Now in 2017 she has bagged herself a cover page on Vogue and an article called “Why Ashley’s our Girl”. This great piece was written by Scarlett Conlon, a news editor at Vogue. She believes Ashley has got the looks, style and energy to be seen on the front page of Vogue. Ashley stated in the interview “For 10 years I’d been told I was always going to be a catalogue girl, never a cover girl. Well, I got with IMG and did five covers in a year, boom, boom, boom". Showing she has the charisma to keep becoming better in the industry. 

Body Activist
As well as being a plus size model she is also a body activist. She wanted to get into the industry, yet she didn’t want to get into the industry as a size 2 or 4. Her way of doing this was through putting her own name out there, posting all over social media using the hashtag “#BeautyBeyondSize” which is what she stood for and believed in. 10 years on and she still stands strong against that which is hard in such a critical industry, she is a modern day super model. In the 2017 New York fashion week 27 plus size models walked the run way and this number should continue to increase over years.

 She has travelled around high schools giving talks about body acceptance to teenagers and how she believes its ok not have a stereotypical look and be different from others. As well as being a body activist she has worked alongside the Themba Foundation in South Africa supporting the orphaned and those suffering from starvation. Putting so much of her spare time into supporting others it shows she cares about making a change in the modern day. In 2016 she spoke some great words at Beautycon with a memorable quote “There’s no reason we need to start telling women who they are because of a number inside of their pants”. She is an inspiration to women all over the world and will hopefully continue to embrace her look for many years. 

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Modelling in the Modern day

The world of modelling has become so diverse in recent years with so many different shapes and sizes but, what really makes a model?

People’s opinions have become more open to the idea of a model not being your stereotypical women with legs that go on for days and a figure that everyone wished they had. A prime example of these being the Victoria Secret models who many people look up to as fashion icons and for body inspiration. What people don’t think about is the fact all these models do is train and eat healthy constantly and that it is their full time career to look this way. Then there is also all the photo shopping that can be done to pictures to create the perfect look. There are so many unique looks out there now that need to be appreciated for example Winnie Harlow who was a contestant on Americas Next Top Model or Jillian Mercado who was the face of the Diesel spring 2014 campaign.

Modelling agencies have started opening up to the idea that not all women and men look a certain way and that it’s ok for them to be unique and different in ways. One agency that embraces different kinds of people is the “UGLY models agency” which is based in London, UK.  Something that has also helped different people express themselves and the way they look is blogging, it has given people a platform to express themselves no matter how they look. It also given people the freedom to give their opinion and share their interests in fashion and the media and show themselves off which will help to create body confidence.

The industry is so wide and is used all over the world in many countries which also creates such diversity. Different countries have different beliefs towards modelling and different ways of doing things depending on their culture. There are many types of models out there that can include catwalk, fashion, commercial, plus size, glamour modelling, fit modelling and many more. Models can be of all ages but if they want it as a full time career it can be a good idea to get involved at a young age so the ways of the industry can be learned early.

In this blog there will be posts about the different kind of models out there in the industry and what makes them unique, with each post talking about a different one. There will be a range of different models looked into including different ethnic groups, age groups, models who have a disability, male models, non-conventional looks and some others. It will tell you a bit about the model themselves and explain some of the work they do and how it has an impact on the media since they aren’t your stereotypical white female model. It will also be looked at how they are seen as models whether it’s on the catwalk or in a magazine and advertisements. Posts will also include images of the work that they have done and explain some of the campaigns.