So you want to be a model? Well, it’s not as glamorous as it looks. So to get you clued up on the ins and outs of the industry, we enlisted the help of top American model Afiya Bennett.
1. How does one get into modeling?
One gets into modeling by taking some simple digitals and mailing or emailing them to their local modeling agency. One should do their research, make sure it is a credible agency. All of the agencies can be found on models.com.
2. How important is social media for upcoming and working models?
Social media is now one of thy most important factors if not thy most important factor for upcoming and working models. Your social media is your second portfolio. It has given models the ability to market themselves as well inspire others and obtain a fan base of people who want to see them succeed.
3. What are the challenges that women of colour might face when entering the fashion industry? And how have you personally overcome these roadblocks?
Models of color have so many challenges entering the modeling industry. For starters, “ you may be told that your look is not trending in “fashion” at the moment and there is no niche for you. This can be very discouraging to not see a representation of your self in fashion magazines or advertisements, and in turn feel that there is no room for you in this industry. Models of color also tend to have difficulties getting signed as most agencies appear to have a quota in regards to “models of color” on their board. Finally, on a job, there is normally only one spot for a model of color. Models of color come in all different shades, shapes, and sizes, and we should not be limited to being one in five or even one in ten on a job. Personally, I still deal with many of these issues every day. But as I continue to push toward the higher mark and continue to prove my self, doors begin to open.
4. What qualities should a model have?
A model should be passionate and knowledgeable about her craft. She should have an amazing personality, that is unapologetically herself but knows how to carry herself in all environments. She should also be well spoken and have a vision for herself and her career.
5. What have you learned from Naomi Campbell? And what can other aspiring models learn from her?
From Naomi Campbell, I have learned to never limit the power of self. After 30 years in the fashion industry, she continues to push herself and exceed all standards and limitations that the industry has set for not only her self but for models of color. As she continues to break down barriers, she creates a path for every little girl with a dream following in her footsteps. After making her imprint in this industry, she exemplifies,”if I can do it, so can you.”
SEE part 1 of our interview with Afiya, here.
For more career advice, click here.