GET YOUR FOOT THROUGH THE DOOR powered by PUMA Cali Sport
Connect + Create workshops and events allow the opportunity for creatives to network and discuss ideas with like-minded individuals; sharing stories and learning from others.
Model/ Artist @fifi.anicah @art.maffia
Funnily enough I never actually aimed to be a model, I always dreamed of being a painter. My older sister suggested that I could be a model so I went to visit all the agencies and got rejected, but at the time I wasn’t fussed. I then went to university to study fine art where I gave myself my first job customising peoples trainers. I didn’t take university as seriously as my mum would have liked, I used a lot of my time taking pictures and through this built an Instagram following at a time where “insta fame” was still a new thing. From this, it helped the sales of my custom service and I got my first modelling client, House of CB. At the time (3 years ago) JD used to run a competition called “the face of JD” and I surprisingly won it, so I now had two modelling clients all of a sudden. I reproached agencies (lied about my height) and I got into Profile Models London! My first ever gig at my agency was a United colours of Benetton campaign and the rest is history. My final years of uni was when I started my modelling career, I actually missed my graduation day to shoot with Toni and Guy. LOL!
My next move was going to America to get an agency, but the cost of the trip came to at least £2,000. I thought to myself, how can I make some quick cash but leave my modelling money for my savings (and Moschino bags)? My most popular question on Instagram was “where did you get your hoops from?” I saw an opportunity. I bought and sold real gold plated earrings; to save the packaging costs, I hand sewed them using crisp packets and any other recycling I found. I invested £100 and turned it into just under £5,000. I am now signed to Photogenics in LA.
When modelling got so busy I had to take a break from art but I missed it so much, I’m so much more than just a face. It upset me when young girls would DM me things like “Fifi I really want to be a model but I’m not pretty enough”. I knew then I had to make a change and remind young women what it truly means to be one, not just looks. I started up my custom business again and I was approached by Bayy agency to set up a pop up shop which I still do seasonally. 2019 was the biggest turning point for my art. I finally stopped buying Moschino bags and bought my first property where I now have my own art studio. In January 2019 I shot my first feature film where my art was heavily involved within my role. I also did my first group and then solo exhibition with RDB gallery hosted by Box Park Shoreditch. My Instagram followers gave me the name “the modern day Frida” and I kind of just held onto that as she is one of my biggest inspirations. Magazines began to pick up on my creative side as I embraced it more publicly and Arcadia gave me my first magazine interview as a model/artist.
It is now my goal to try and shift the perception of models, we’re not all just these self-obsessed “perfect” humans we come across to be. We work hard and we have so many amazing skills and talents which put us in front of all our opportunities. I think it’s very important for women to embrace their skills and talents as opposed to their looks. I got my foot through the door because I worked really hard for it.
Model/ Environment Enthusiast/ Women’s Rights Advocate/ Bloody Good Period Ambassador @emmabreschi
I’ve also learned that even when say one door closes and it’s not what you expected or even hoped for, it’s ok because there are always other doors that are yours to open and step through. If that makes any sense?
I never expected any of what I have achieved to happen, but I always knew down to my core that whatever I was going to do, I was going to be great at it and simply focused on that. I focused on what mattered to me and who I am, and that allowed me to transcend in my truth.
I guess if there’s any advice I could give, it would be to master your craft and stay true to who you are. Focus on becoming the best version of yourself and no one else, because then everything else will naturally fall into place.
Stylist / Fashion director of GAFFER magazine @nayaabtania
I got my foot through the door by networking, not giving up and staying true to myself. I’ve always had the mentality of if I want something, I’ll get it and I won’t give up until I do. I also feel like because I’ve stayed true to myself, it’s transparent and I feel like people always know if you’re not being yourself.
I’m still very far from where I need to be but the biggest piece of advice I’ve ever been given is never give up and anything is possible if you put your mind to it and I truly believe because I’ve stuck by this I am where I am. I’m never content with what I’ve achieved, I’m always working onseveral projects at once.
ROSIE AMANDA VIVA!
Model/ Presenter @rosieviva
It was a weird journey for me getting into the fashion industry. I was first scouted to be a model at 15, in Camden, by a small agency based in Victoria. Unfortunately, a few months in I started to realise the agency was a little bit dodgy. I’d get chatting to other models on set from different agencies and found out I was earning about 1/4 of what they were for the same days work.
I looked online (Models.com) to find out which agencies in London where a bit more established - planning to go full time after my A levels. I walked into 3 very good ones, who all gave the same feedback - that I was too short to model (5”7 at the time). 6 years ago when having these meetings height really did matter, agencies didn’t care if you had instagram or not, or whether you may be able to do more commercial work. I decided to take a bit of a risk and put some wooden door stops in my bag when going to meet Select.
When the bookers indicated we move to their wall measuring tape, I asked
to go to the loo, and shoved them in my socks. I waddled over trying to look confident - got measured at 5”9 - and have been signed to them ever since. Who knows whether I have actually grown, but I’ve worked fine and avoided being measured again since.
Presenting wise, I am still pushing my foot through the door. I put together my own showreel - interviewing friends and people at music festivals. It is a little raw, but I sent this to Hoxton Radio - where I now work when I can each week around modelling.
I also sell beanies through my Instagram, and run a mental health organisation. Both of these projects have definitely been aided by having a good instagram following... something modelling is very lucky to fuel.