Your entry into the fashion world was slightly unconventional because you weren’t traditionally scouted. You decided to enter the arena of Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model; part of the highly successful worldwide franchise created by Tyra Banks. Eventually you went on to be successful in winning a contract with Europe’s leading agency Models 1 and booking a Revlon campaign.
Could you describe the decision making process and reasons for deciding to enter the competition as opposed to conventionally doing a walk in and did it give you an advantage when beginning your career post-competition?
I was walking through London on a day trip and was scouted by Britain’s Next Top Model and decided to give it a go! I wasn’t really thinking about it too much and just thought; why not? Luckily this worked out for me and I’m glad I did it for the experience and confidence it gave me. It gave me no advantage or disadvantage; if the client wants you, they’ll book you regardless!
Now we’re in 2015 and the start of the year is always one of reflection. Reflecting back on your career so far, what have been some of the highlights for you personally?
The highlights have been going to Mexico for 6 days for an Urban Outfitters Campaign, going to Berlin for a Bench campaign and I’ve just finished a commercial for a Spanish opticians which was something new and exciting!
Your modelling career has been very reflective of the modern world and the times we live in from being a part of a high profile reality show to being a very popular social media figure with a combined following of 47.8 thousand followers across Twitter and Instagram. We’ve seen you featured on Vogue for your work with the noted hairstylist Duffy, mentioned by Tyra Banks, (supermodel and creator of the America’s Next Top Model franchise) and in a host of high street campaigns representing a relatable model with your athletic body and iconic freckles.
Being one of the iconic winners of Britain’s Next Top Model, continuously working now for the past 7 seasons. Has being an iconic winner of BNTM helped open any doors and do you feel being almost your own brand with the use of social media has helped in booking jobs?
Having a lot of followers wasn’t something that I ever tried to get or wanted, I just post things about my work and personal life and I think my laid back, down to earth attitude to my success has attracted girls across the world. I’m relatable. I have sometimes got jobs through Instagram or Twitter and that has been a huge bonus! A photographer once posted a picture of me at a go-see that then got me work at Asos!
n your recent shoot for Atlas, you were transformed into the “New Era Bond Girl”, representing an iconic woman in pop culture but with a modern twist. You weren’t just the trophy but a part of the action and represented this fit, strong, unique woman.
Continuing on with the notion of being someone to admire or being a positive role model; who do you admire?
I feel most girls would put a celebrity here such as; Beyonce or Victoria Beckham! But I admire my mother more than anyone. Her determination to give us the best life possible, her struggle with being a single parent of five has never stopped her from making sure we had everything we wanted and we were all encouraged to believe we could do anything we wanted in life.
Through BNTM, you had the opportunity to be mentored by Elle McPherson and as previously mentioned, you’ve also been praised by Tyra Banks for your unique look. Who is your favourite model and Why?
My favourite model when started was Lily Cole. I saw her and I remembering thinking: “Maybe someone who is as different as me can be a model.” I also love Lara Stone, she has a fantastic womanly body and that stands out for me!
Lastly, to conclude this interview, now you’ve been in the industry for several years working: What advice would you have for anyone wanting to become a model and enter the fashion arena?
My advice would be to develop a thick skin, something which I’m still working on everyday. This industry is hard. If you have the ability to understand that some jobs you’ll get and some you wont, and that this doesn’t mean that you are not worthy and to pick yourself up and try again, you will go far!