Monthly Archives: September 2011

Interview with Arizona Model Micki Le

Micki Le is a beautiful, 16-year-old model from Arizona. She has been modeling for almost 4 years. Micki is agency represented, and specializes in fashion, commercial print and runway modeling. It was my pleasure to interview her about her career.

AVIVA: How long have you been modeling?
MICKI LE: This will be my fourth year. The first year was like a warm up with small jobs and agency searching. I started to get really serious about it probably two years ago when I was contacted by some agencies in larger markets such as Los Angeles (Hollywood), Scottsdale, and New York City. Since then, I’ve been busting my butt trying to keep up with it all. This year so far has been really hectic, I’m going to castings and doing shoots and shows almost every week. I love them (my specific agencies) so much and am so grateful that they believe in me, even though I’m short of the 5’9″ mark so many agencies are obsessed with.

AVIVA: What inspired you to become a model?
ML: My mom. She inspires me to do everything. It started in sixth or seventh grade, she kept bringing up the idea of modeling to me. I finally took her advice, sent my photos and measurements to some agencies and BAM! Here I am! I think when I was younger, somewhere in the back of my mind I think I always wanted to be a model. When I was really young I remember sneaking into my moms bathroom and sitting on the counter putting on her makeup and walking around in her heels. As I got older, I took pictures all the time always trying to showcase my clothes and makeup.

AVIVA: What would describe your ideal shoot?
ML: My ideal shoot would probably consist of very dramatic makeup and hair, something out of the ordinary to wear, along the lines of something you’d see on vogue. Most importantly though, a beautiful location and a team of awesome dedicated people to make it all happen.

AVIVA: What accomplishment as a model are you most proud of?
ML: I’m really proud of the publications I’ve been able to be in. The magazine opportunities have contributed so much to my success and exposure as a model. But every opportunity I’ve been given has been a privilege and something I’m proud of. I’m currently planning a project for my International Baccalaureate project in High school that will be a huge fashion show to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation. It will be a very big event sponsored by many well know people, organizations and companies. Along with the high fashion models from my agencies, I will be having terminally ill cancer girls, with a dream of modeling, walk in the show so that that may fulfill that one dream. A large amount, if not all the proceeds will go to the charity. If I can perfectly execute this, that will be my greatest and proudest achievement not just as a model but as a person.

AVIVA:  What advice do you have for other young girls who would like to become models?
ML: There’s so much someone needs to know about this topic. 1.You need to have the dedication for this. Modeling is so much more than being pretty. Dedication is vital for success as a model. 2.You got to make yourself known. Agencies, designers, and others of the fashion industry aren’t going to find you out of the blue. Send yourself out to agencies and industry people. And 3. Avoid the scams and fakes! I can’t stress this enough. I’ve worked with so many talented and legit people in the industry to know that if ANYONE asks you to pay for something that you don’t feel is completely necessary you need to walk away. If you have what it takes to be a model you’re agency or industry professionals will teach you what you need to know if necessary. A lot of “agencies” make you pay for classes and upon completion will “sign” you. Don’t be fooled. Top agencies around the world don’t force you to take classes, they will automatically sign you, even with no experience at all if you have what they’re looking for. I’ve never paid for anything while modeling except the gas to travel and a portfolio book to keep my images in and my agencies have never asked me for any sort of payment. They get me GREAT jobs for designers and publications and the only money from me that they get is their 10% agency cut. I know so many girls who have been scammed and tricked into spending a lot of money just to be signed to a petty agency that gets them small jobs with little to no pay and I truly feel bad.

AVIVA:  In your time as a model, what has been the biggest lesson (about the industry, etc) that you have learned?
ML: This industry is tough, you’ll be told things you don’t want to hear. They will reject and criticize you but that’s how the modeling and fashion world works. I’ve learned that having the pretty face and figure isn’t everything when being a model. You need tough skin, dedication, and discipline. I’ve been told to lose weight even being under 110 pounds, the prettier, taller girls have been chosen over me and I’ve faced a lot of rejection, but I don’t let that get to my head and affect how I am as a model.

AVIVA: Do you have a funny/crazy/weird shoot story that you would like to share?
ML: I did a shoot a while back in an area with walls heavily spray painted and vandalized. Everything was going great so we decided to extend the shooting time to get a couple more shots. The area was pretty bad so police made a few trips around nightly. They pulled up and started telling me that destruction of state property was illegal and that the photographer should not support my “illegal actions” by photographing. I spent over 15 minutes trying to prove my innocence. The empty cans of spray paint near by didn’t help my case.


AVIVA: Do you have any models that you admire and that you feel inspired by, and if yes who?
ML: I have so many but one of the more well known is Devon Aoki. She’s beautiful and for being only 5’5, her success is amazing! You won’t find any shorter girls like her who can be represented by top agencies around the world and be on the cover of publications like Vogue and Numero. She gives shorter models hope in breaking the strict high fashion modeling rules. I also admire Gemma Ward. She has such a unique look like Devon Aoki. Her list of clients is unbelievable like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Miu Miu, and my favorite, Hermes. I especially admire how she was the youngest girl to be featured in Vogue.

AVIVA:  Do you have any additional comments?
ML: Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be interviewed. Its been great being able to share my experience and thoughts on modeling. And for all the girls trying to make it in this industry, good luck!
_______________________________________________________________________________
I would like to thank Micki for her interview and I wish her all the best for many years to come.


 

NOTE: Images were submitted by Micki Le, and are copyright of the photographers who took them.

Interview with Fashion Model Katlin Sumners

Katlin Sumners is a beautiful and talented runway fashion model with over 3 years of industry experience. Throughout her career, she has worked with hundreds of photographers, designers, make-up artists and stylists. It is not a surprise that she has been published multiple times and I am sure that she will continue to thrive in the fashion world. In her spare time, Katlin enjoys doing yoga, making her a huge asset at photoshoots which call for unique posing, requiring flexibility. In addition, she is great at hair styling and doing her own make-up, so that means that having Katlin at a shoot is like having a whole team of talented individuals.

Above Image credits: Photo by Lotus Josephine, Makeup by Morgan Panter, and Wardrobe by Karen (Art Farm)

AVIVA: How did you get started in modeling?
KATLIN SUMNERS: I began modeling in November 2007 not too long after I turned 18 and was inspired by a friend’s modeling pictures. Although her photos were taken by an amateur photographer and were not all that professional, it was enough to inspire me to get really serious and begin networking and building up a small portfolio, and after that there was no where to go but up.

AVIVA: What excites/inspires you the most about your job?
KS: The people. Its such a wonderful experience to be able to meet and work with so many talented individuals from all over the world and with so many different backgrounds and personalities. I’ve really enjoyed meeting all the people from all over, and many of those I’ve worked with have become friends. Each one of them has such a different story, its really an amazing experience and an honor to be able to meet so many diverse individuals. Where else would I be able to meet such a variety of people except in the modeling field?


Above Image Credits: Photo by Mickle Design Werks, Collar by Sintillations, Dress by Empress Mess Makeup/hair by Nicole Lamedica

AVIVA: What achievement(s) in your career are you most proud of (publications etc)?
KS: Though I am always proud and excited for any publication I receive, I am most proud of my recent work that came out in Giuseppina’s “Pride” issue this July 2011… This is because aside from some featured photos, I also had the chance to write a piece about my life and what it was like growing up with lesbian parents in the 1990s. Its really a special experience to get to share with the world, and supporting awareness and Pride for the gay community which I grew up close to is wonderful.

AVIVA: Have you always wanted to be a model or did you have other career aspirations when you were younger?
KS: I have always wanted to be a model, honestly. When I first began modeling I got really into the spirit and colorful concepts of Alternative modeling, and though I transitioned into fashion modeling where I feel most comfortable, I think you can still see a little bit of that initial influence in my more avant-garde photos now.


Above Image Credits: Photo by Echelon Photography, Makeup by Jasmine Vaughn, Tribal Necklace by One Sweet Peach Jewelry, Hair by Echerrie

AVIVA: If you could meet a famous person, who would it be and why?
KS: Honestly, this will sound cliche, but I can’t really think of a celebrity or famous person that I would want to meet- even in the music industry.

AVIVA: What do you feel has been your greatest challenge that you had to overcome as a model?
KS: My height and age. Though I am tall for a female at 5’8 and 3/4 and only 21 years old, most major fashion agencies start training girls for runway at 12-17 years old, and most major agencies want girls who are 5’9 and over. This means I end up doing a lot of commercial projects, but honestly, I enjoy that so it’s not so bad.

AVIVA: What piece of advice do you have for aspiring models?
KS: Network yourself early and network yourself well- really strive to put your work out there in every single way possible. Always be polite and professional, even when someone else is not doing so- be the bigger person. Knowing basic makeup and hair skills has come in handy more times than I can count, practice your skills as often as possible. Last but not least always, always leave an hour earlier than you need to for a photoshoot. Being early is never a bad thing!


Above Image Credits: Photo by Mickle Design Werks, Styling by Katlin Sumners herself.

AVIVA: What are your top 3 goals (career or personal) for the next 5 years of your life?
KS: I have a silly but fun personal project I’m working on for modeling, which is to shoot with as many farm animals and exotic animals as possible during my career! So far I have shot with several horses, cats, my puppy, a black German shepherd, a goat, a polish chicken, a peacock and a pigeon. To do a model tour of Europe, hopefully for a few months next year after I finish my associates degree. To finish my bachelors degree.

You can view more of Katlin’s work on her Model Mayhem; become a fan on Facebook; read her blog; and follow her on Twitter.

I hope you enjoyed this interview, and please come back for more!
Aviva 🙂

Win a $3,000 Exclusive Shopping Spree/Experience at The Bay

WOW! This is so amazing! The Bay Centre in Victoria is giving away a prize valued at $3000, which would be an unforgettable shopping experience for a few lucky ladies.

I usually don’t enter things like that, let alone take the time to share them on my blog, but this one is too good to pass up, especially if you are in Victoria. I just filled out my entry form, so fingers crossed 🙂 I know I could use a new wardrobe.

Directly from the The Bay Centre News Section, here is what the winners will receive:

“· $1,500 in Bay Centre Gift Cards


· A STYLIST for a day to shop with (style assessment & personal shopping with Stylist Shai Thompson)


· COMPLETE M.A.C ME OVER! from M.A.C Cosmetics in the Bay Downtown


· FACIALS at Eco Chic Aveda Salon & Spa


· DINNER FOR 3 at Earls


· LIMO SERVICE to The Bay Centre


· ONE NIGHT STAY at The Fairmont Empress


· VIP Shopping gift bags


· BONUS: Three 3-month GoodLife Fitness memberships”

You can check out The Bay Centre HERE.

***Note: I am not compensated in any way for sharing this contest here. I want to share it for the sake of sharing, as I’m sure I’m not the only one who needs a new wardrobe, and who may want to enter***.
Good Luck!

Aviva