No two models have the same career trajectory, but they all got their start somewhere. Whether they were scouted in the streets, won a competition, or knocked on agency doors themselves, we asked our models where it all began: “How did you become a model?”
I always loved performing as a young girl, whether it was dancing, acting, or musically. I have also always loved the fashion industry, so modelling seemed like a good mix of the two! It was a friend who actually encouraged me to approach an agency and it went from there. To begin with, it was very much just for fun. However, now I see it as a way to set a good example on a number of fronts. Alongside my modelling, I am studying law and I am very passionate about maintaining a fit and healthy body. I like to think young girls can see that you don’t have to limit yourself to one thing—it’s possible to excel in multiple areas of your life. I am also a strong advocate for the “healthy” model and pride myself on maintaining my fitness, again as an example to younger girls. Basically, to me, modelling can be far more than just having your photo taken or sauntering down a catwalk!
Isn’t it because I am really good looking? I started my modelling career quite late. I am the fat, ugly caterpillar that blossomed into a beautiful butterfly, so I have no real natural talent when it comes to modelling. I was actually working in radio when I got scouted. Head for radio—I don’t think so! I’ll tell you why I said yes to modelling, though: the clients and people I meet are amazing, I make great money from knowing and doing very little, the brands I deal with are always interesting, and I’m always a part of something new and exciting. I’m truly blessed to participate in such a seriously fun workplace. -Beautifully said.
My dad was a model back in the day and I always wanted to give it a crack. After being rejected around eight times from different agencies in Sydney, Chic took me on board. I believe I was 20 when this happened.
When I was really young I always wanted to model, just like my mum did. I ended up getting scouted at five-years-old in my local shopping mall and the rest is history. I love being able to call this my job.
I was 14-years-old and on a weekend trip to London with three friends. We had planned a weekend of shopping and eating. It was Saturday morning and we headed to Camden Market. My outfit of choice was a pair of large, over sized jeans that dragged on the floor, my chunky DC trainers, and a silver chain that hung off my belt straps. I wore a tight, pink, floral dress over the top (because dresses over jeans was cool back then). My hair was a pixie cut.
We took a lunch break. I was halfway through slurping up a noodle when two ladies tapped me on the shoulder. “Hi, I’m a scout at [a modelling agency]. Do you model?” Well, what 14-year-old girl doesn’t want to hear that? They told me to come along to the agency for polaroids. As soon as they walked away, I was overcome with excitement. I called my parents immediately, who, once they checked out the agency to make sure everything was legit, gave me the thumbs up to go in for some snaps. I went in to meet the other bookers, take some photos, and arrange a time to come in to sign the contract.
I kind of fell into it, actually. I was leaving my school at the time, just crossing the road to get to the station, and I was pulled over by a lady who I felt staring at me prior. She asked me, “Have you ever thought about modeling?” Before then, I thought of it as an unattainable dream. She wanted me to join her agency, one of the biggest in Sydney and a worldwide chain. As a 15-year-old excited girl, I rushed home to tell my parents of the exciting news. I thought, as it was so rare to be scouted, that this opportunity wasn’t even a choice.
However, they said that I wasn’t allowed to sign until I had completed a deportment course. Determined, I graduated from the two-week intensive course, and to my luck, was scouted again by a different agency. Feeling like it wasn’t the right fit, I held out. Soon after, I signed with an agency and stayed for just under two years. I then moved to Chic and Scoop. Honestly, I’ve never felt a better fit. These people are my colleagues, friends, and family, always looking after my best interests and treating me with the respect that every model forgets she needs
My father was a model and actor in his spare time. He’s American and a lot of American TV ads used to film here in Sydney. So, I started at age nine, appearing in ads with my father and then by myself because I had a knack for accents. Before I found Scoop when I was 16, I was freelance. I did my first photo shoot when I was 13 for Fudge hair products. I went to the casting with no portfolio because I didn’t have any photos, and I booked my first job.
I was scouted at 13 and became a national finalist in Girlfriend Magazine’s model competition. I didn’t start modelling properly until I finished school. What interests me is the artistic side of modelling, creating and then portraying a story/fantasy on set that reflects what the designer/brand wants to communicate to their market. It’s always different and keeps you on your toes.
I sort of fell into modelling after I finished school. I grew up in Hong Kong and I began walking in student fashion shows and working promotions to earn a bit of money on the side. Eventually, I joined a small boutique agency and started working more on shoots. I soon moved to Australia and continued modelling there, all the way through university and after graduation. I’ve always enjoyed the flexibility that modelling gives you; you never know what you’ll be doing next week or even the next morning.
I reluctantly entered a competition (with a big push from my mother) with the bite-sized name of “Vivien’s Live City Face Model Search Competition”. I ended up getting runner up to my darling friend Nicole Trunfio, and the rest, they say, is history!
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