Where Are They Now #2 - Lauren W.

It has been so exciting to get back the questionnaires from fashion models featured in the first year of Vancouver Fashion eZine.  Their lives have taken some amazing turns and Lauren W. from the December 2007 issue is no exception.  Now living, modelling and doing a student exchange in Hong Kong, she's experiencing opportunites the rest of us can only dream about and loving every minute.

At 16, Lauren went with her high school to a career fair and won a free modeling course.  "I had always wanted to model and loved fashion, so when the course was over I found an agency, Richard's, and went from there."  THERE turned out to be a good place to start from.  Her first job ever was a European campaign for Wrangler Jeans.  Landing such a big contract right at the start gave her confidence that there was a place for her in the industry, but there were still moments of self-doubt.  "I felt a lot of pressure.  I really, really wanted to be successful and rejection bothered me.  I loved it though, and even then knew it was something I was meant to do."

After high school, it was off to Milan where she landed an editorial for a hair magazine.  "This was the first time I worked on a set where no English was spoken unless it was being spoken to me.  I have learned to get used to working in foreign countries, but will forever be curious as to what these people are talking about."   Over the next three years she travelled extensively, working in Milan, Barcelona, Vancouver, Seattle, Hong Kong and Shanghai.  Along the way several important lessons were learned:  you have to treat modeling as a business, a good relationship with your agency is a must and most importantly, you need to be a good agent for yourself.  "A model must sell herself in the industry, show them she is right for the job.  No one can prove to a client that you are the best for the job better than you can."

The thing Lauren loves most about being a fashion model is the chance to travel, meet interesting people and make money at the same time.  "It's truly been an education in itself."  Most frustrating is waiting for a job during an unexpected dry spell.  She wants to be challenged, so looks forward to the opportunity provided by each new assignment.  Her favourite job so far was working the Gucci showroom in Florence for three weeks - it was steady income, the models were taken very good care of and she got to wear beautiful clothes.   Surprisingly she has no favourite designer or photographer, but her reason is simple. She loves the variety of a working with diverse clients.  It keeps the job interesting and she enjoys everyone she works with.

When approaching any new booking, Lauren tries to think outside the box.  "If there was no camera or crew and I was in these clothes, how would I feel and what would I do."  She also tries to remember images from other shoots that have inspired her.  There are also a few personal beauty secrets.  "A good hydrating face mask can give you a glow that will last for days.  If you struggle with breakouts, a simple bar of Dove soap and spot treating the really dry spots with moisturizer will help."  She also recommends that you put olive oil in your hair overnight to make it silky and shiny, drink lots of water (I hear this from absolutely every successful model) and eat a proper diet rich in vegetables.  "If you're healthy on the inside you will show it on the outside."

Starting in September 2009, school has been added into the picture.  Home base is Toronto where she is now signed by Ford Agency and is enrolled at Ryerson Univesity studying Business Management and Marketing.  However, she is currently living in Hong Kong and studying on a student exchange at a university there.  A visit to Vancouver for a week or so is managed 2-3 times a year.  Lauren comments, "There are too many new places in this world to see and not much time to visit home." When asked if she has any advice for those just starting out her answer was, "You have to love it.  If you don't, move on.  Modeling requires a lot of dedication and it's not always rewarding.  LEARN - from the industry, from your experiences, from others.  Recycle that knowledge back into the business and you will only get better.  And be open minded to new experiences."

For information on booking, etc., you can contact Ford Toronto at 416-362-9208.  To read Lauren's article in our 2007 edition go to - http://vancouverfashionezine.com/magazineissue04/newface.html.
Her personal blog can be viewed at - http://chopsticksinasia.tumblr.com/