Fashion Reverie has quickly become one of the premier destinations for all things fashion and as a part of Fashion Reverie’s initiative to facilitate more interactivity with our viewing audience Fashion Reverie has established a bi-weekly question and answer segment with our esteemed colleague, supermodel Coco Mitchell. Every two weeks Coco Mitchell will answer 3 to 4 questions from our viewers about fashion, modeling, and life.
In this first installation, Coco Mitchell responds to questions about starting a modeling career, good skincare, and transitioning from college into the world of work.
Question: If someone lives in a small town and wants to be a fashion model what can she or he do to make it work for them? —Small Town Girl
Coco Mitchell: If you live in a small town and aspire to be a fashion model you can start preparing yourself where you are. Here are a couple things you can do in your small town before you hit the big time.
1) Buy a pair of high heels and practice walking in them. Remember, you will have to walk in high heels and all types of crazy shoes on international runways.
2) Use the internet to familiarize yourself with what is currently going on in the fashion industry. You Tube is a great resource to view all the current fashion weeks in New York, Paris, Milan, London, and other international cities. You will even find videos of me walking in some shows. Wink, wink!!
3) Purchase fashion magazines (Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Marie Claire), and if you can afford it, subscribe to a few. Don’t just peruse the beautiful clothing; study each issue from cover to back. Learn the current trends and observe the styling in each editorial. And most importantly, study the attitude and poses of each model from head to toe. Remember, an educated model is a working model!!
4) Work on your personal style. Industry models look like models all the time, even if they are doing laundry. Lucky Magazine is a good source on style and ANTM’s Aminat Ayinde gives good advice in her recent Fashion Reverie interview.
5) See if there are any local modeling agencies where you can get experience. That said; never, ever pay for photos upfront at a local agency. Reputable agencies only subtract for portfolio development based on paid assignments, not prior to signing or before models have received paid work. If the local agency request funds upfront, RUN for the hills!!
6) Last, but not least, in all honesty, you eventually will have to develop your career in a major fashion capital, like New York City. So, PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE!!
Question: For young women transitioning from college life to becoming a young professional what is the best way to break into a new field and create a presence? —Erica
Coco Mitchell: The transition is not as hard as you might think. While you were in college you chose your field of interest. While you were an undergraduate you may even have had work-study jobs in your desired field. So, you are already on the right course.
In becoming a young professional you can interview and acquire a position in your field of choice immediately after graduation or you can test the waters and apply for paid or unpaid internships, which can you hands-on experience. If the internship is a little more than being a gopher, be the best gopher you can possibly be. Remember, your future is your own hands, and there is something valuable to be learned from every work experience. By showing initiative and doing your best you are creating a presence.
Throughout your work and personal life you will always experience change. But with hard work, guts, commitment, determination, focus, and most importantly trust in the Divine, the transition won’t be difficult.
KEEP LOOKING UP!!
Question: What is the biggest piece of advice that you would give to a woman of color starting out in the fashion industry. How do I stand out and make a name for myself, without falling prey to stereotypes and being overlooked? Also, any skin care advice for flawless aging would be appreciated. —Sandra B.
Coco Mitchell: My biggest advice to you as a woman of color just starting out in the fashion industry is to recognize that you are God’s beautiful creation and other people’s perceptions of you have nothing to do with your beauty and potential. Remember, you make your own opportunities.
Show yourself approved and stand out by being the ultimate professional. Ask yourself if you have prepared yourself for a career where the girls that are working are BEYOND, regardless of their race or ethnicity. Stand out by being current and knowledgeable of your craft.
If you search the internet and fashion magazines there are more women of color working in fashion as opposed to a few years back. So, the industry is catching up to what the rest of the world looks like.
As for advice on flawless aging skin, I apply the 8 Rule; 8 hours of sleep every night, and eight 8 ounce glasses of water every day. If you wear makeup, never sleep in it. Invest in a good skincare regime. If you can afford it, get your skin analyzed by a professional aesthetician.
LOOK UP AND LIVE!!