NOUS LIFE

 

School is out and summer is in session! ☀️ For many high schoolers, this means kicking back, heading to the beach, and spending quality time with friends and family. 👭🏖

However, recently signed Nous Model, Dakota Marquiss, had a different plan this summer. Eager to expand her modeling career, Dakota and her family traveled to Tokyo, Japan 🎎, for not only a fun family vacay, but also to meet with various agencies. It’s not a simple task breaking into the Eastern-Asian market, but with Dakota’s natural zest for exploration – it was a trip full of joy. 🎊

To learn more about Dakota’s first-time travels to Japan, peep 👀 her interview below:

Dakota, captured by: Wes Klain.

1.) Name?: 

Dakota Marquiss.

2.) Age?:

I am 16-years-old.

3.) Where did you travel to?:

Tokyo, Japan.

4.) What brought you there?:

I went with my family for summer vacation/visiting agencies.

5.) Before arriving what made this country stand out to you?:

The culture. In Japan, the (historical) culture is still so present, that it is really different from all the other places in the world.

 

6.) What agencies did you meet with while you were there?:

Yes. I met with four agencies – Zucca, Team, Image, and Satoru.

7.) What was the fashion like where you visited?:

I absolutely LOVED the fashion in Japan. A lot of it is pretty similar to what you would find here, however, the one thing that really stood out to me was all of ‘babydoll’ style clothing. I had heard about this before going, but I never thought that I would like it as much as I did!

The famous Japanese Harajuku ‘baby doll’ look.

8.) How did you get to place to place in the city you visited?:

The view from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s building.

In Japan, I walked and took the train most of the time, which, while being a little more difficult than driving, was definitely worth it! It gave me a chance to really experience the city and the culture.

9.) What songs/ type of music do you listen to while traveling?:

During this trip, I was obsessed with the Khalid album, American Teen, in particular. The songs  – “Saved” and “Another Sad Love Song” are seriously sooo good.

10.) What are some of the best locations/ hidden gems that most people have not heard of in the city that you visited?:

I don’t know if this technically considered a hidden jem, as I had never heard of it, but the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. We went at night and it was amazing! From the top of the building, you can see the entire city lit up and the view is incredible! It is one of the most beautiful things that I’ve ever seen.

Dakota captured by: Wes Klain.

Dakota is all smiles as she explores the city of Tokyo.

11.) What do you do to stay healthy while traveling?:

The streets of Tokyo, Japan as captured by Dakota.

I spent A LOT of time walking in Japan so I think that definitely helped. I did have some trouble eating there, so what really helped was bringing some of my own snacks. With my own snacks, I could continue eating healthy without starving or eating something that I knew wouldn’t be good for me.

12.) What is something you brought that is not absolutely necessary but you liked having?:

One thing that I’ve always needed to have with me when I travel is something to read on the plane. This trip I brought the book “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. It was really great way to kill time on the plane.

Dakota having her favorite Japanese meal, Ramen!

13.) What is one food that you could now never eat in your home country because you’ve tasted the original version in it’s country of origin and you’ve now been forever spoiled?:

Definitely ramen! I’ve always loved ramen, so honestly I’ll probably still eat it here, but it will NEVER be the same!!

 

14.) What was your favorite thing about your trip?:

By far, my favorite thing about Japan is how different it is than here (California). It’s almost like being on a different planet, definitely in a good way though. Pretty much everything is different there, which I think is what makes it so interesting!

 

 

Dakota taking in the more nature-esque side of Japan.

15.) What is the best time of year you believe to visit your city?:

I’ve heard that the best time of year to visit Japan is in the Fall because it’s not as hot and humid as it is during the Summer… which would definitely be a relief! Although, I would really love to go in the Spring because that’s when the cherry blossoms are in bloom and I’ve wanted to see that since I was like 13!

16.) Did you snag a cool item when you were abroad that you are excited about?:

Definitely!!! We spent a day shopping in Harajuku and I got some really great clothes that I don’t think I would’ve been able to get back here. I’m really excited about that!

18.) Do you have any additional advice for others that wish to travel to this location?:

Tokyo is a HUGE city and there is so much to see there! So, if there is something that are wishing to see, but it doesn’t work out, just let it happen because you will mostly likely run into something just as great!


Tokyo, Japan – Snapped by Dakota.

 

Can’t get enough of Dakota? Check out her portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

 

 

 

“The only thing better than singing is more singing.”

– Ella Fitzgerald

What makes a new artist rise in the music industry in 2018? With tons of ongoing competition surging into the charts each day, it takes a special person to stand out, emerging beyond anonymity.

When songbird and Nous model, Lee Rodriguez, first entered Nous – we were immediately blown away by her vocal talent. 🎤 Not only did she possess versatility (triple threat: model, actress, AND singer), but she was also extremely driven to start her career as a musician. After listening, we believe that she has what it takes. 💞 In an effort to learn more, we sat down with her and asked her questions about her history with music, as well as what her plans are for the future. ✨

To learn what Lee had to say, take a look below:

 

 

Photo taken by Brian Love.

 

1. Name?:

Lee Rodriguez.

2. Where are you from?:

Hesperia, California.

3. When did you first realize that you were a “song bird?:”

When I was a little girl! I always loved to sing along to songs, and have mini concerts in my bedroom.

4. What do you enjoy most about singing?:

I enjoy telling the stories of the songs.

5. Is there anything/anyone that has inspired you to partake in singing?:

My inspiration to become a singer happened at such a young age, I don’t have a specific memory on how or who inspired me. However, I remember always turning my tv to music channels, singing along to whatever artist came on, and that feeling alone was very inspiring to me.

Lee Rodriguez singing a cover of Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb:”

 

6. What’s your favorite piece of music and why?:

At the moment, it’s “I Know Where I’ve Been” from the musical Hairspray. I’ve had the privilege to perform this song multiple times, and it is just one of those feel good songs where you can just emotionally engage every time. The meaning of the song is very moving as well, and very relevant to current times.

7. Do you like to write music?:

Yes, I usually start off by finding a couple melodies, then come up with a couple chord progressions that fit best around it, following an improvisation of lyrics, and I do that until I come up with something I feel good about.

8. When do ideas come to you?:

They come at most random times! Usually when I’m driving, though.

Lee Rodriguez covering “Creep” by Radiohead:

 

Photo shot by Wes Klain.

9. What inspired you to learn how to play the guitar?:

Well, for my birthday my awesome agent (Alex Fox) and manager (Atil Singh), bought me an acoustic guitar, and I fell in love the moment I started playing! I’ve been taking lessons, and playing for 6 months now. Overall, I am glad that I’m able to expand my knowledge musically, and artistically. Big thanks to my agent, manager, and awesome guitar teacher!

10. What was the first song that you learned to play on your guitar? Did you find it to be challenging?:

It was actually a song I wrote! Yes, it was a challenge because I was just getting comfortable with chords at the time. Also, having to switch from chord to chord made it ever more challenging, because my hand would cramp like crazy!

11. What is your favorite genre of music?:

At the moment, alternative R&B.

12. At what age did you perform in front of a live audience for the first time? Did it make you nervous?:

Funny story: I was about 6 or 7 years old in the casino of the Buffalo Bills hotel. I was watching this lady from afar sing on a stage at the bar. After, I then begged my mom to let me sing on the stage. So my mom asked the manager of  the hotel if it was alright, BUT of course, I had to be 21 years of age to even enter the bar. So instead, the manager let me sing on the staircase at the entrance of the hotel. My mom gathered people who were walking into the casino to watch me sing at the top of the staircase to “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus (for some reason as a 6 or 7 year old was my go-to song). I was nowhere near nervous! I was living, and treating it like one of my bedroom concerts!

Lee Rodriguez performing “America” from Westside Story:

 

 

Lee Rodriguez (on the right) and friends striking a pose in anticipation of their high school production of High School Musical.

Photo taken by Brian Love.

13. Do you ever get nervous when you perform?:

Every time before I go on stage I get an insane amount of nerves. But once I finally get on stage, and the music starts to play, I become more grounded and present, and the nerves go away.

14. If you had to pick one: Beatles or Michael Jackson?:

KING of Pop!!

15. Where do you see yourself in 10 years as a singer?:

Having an album dropped, and touring!

 

Lee Rodriguez performing “All I Want” by Kodaline:

 

 

 

Can’t get enough of Lee? Check out her portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

 

For many Americans, the summer months mean taking a break from regular routines, urging us to go on our next adventure. This year – Nous Model, Katya Vladykina, had the opportunity to travel across the Atlantic Ocean, and explore various hotspots in Italy. From bathing along the southern coastline of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, to exploring the famous landmarks of Rome – Katya’s trip was one for the books! To get some serious wanderlust, take a glimpse at her adventure below:

 

Katya looking radiant while traveling around the city of Rome.

1. Name?:

Katya Vladykina.

2. Where are you from?:

I’m originally from Minneapolis, MN.

3. Where did you travel to?:

I traveled to Rome, Florence, and the Amalfi Coast!!!!

4. What brought you there?:

This was basically just a long awaited trip that finally happened with my fam bam, since we have wanted to go to Italy for sooooo long.

 

Katya is all smiles as she tours Rome’s famous landmark, The Colosseum.

5. Before arriving, what made Italy stand out to you?:

Ugh, the question should be what DIDN’T make Italy stand out to me – everything about it has always fascinated me. The gorgeous photographs I’ve seen, the culture, the history, and don’t even get me started on the Italian FOOD!!!!!

A delicious meal that Katya enjoyed on Italy’s Amalfi Coast.

 

A beautiful and sunny day in Positano, shot by Katya.

6. How did you travel from place to place (walking, car, bus, train, etc) in the city you visited?:

Within Rome and Florence – we walked EVERYWHERE. That’s one of my favorite things about traveling to European cities, the ability to walk everywhere and experience GORGEOUS things and not be stuck on your butt in a car for hours.

However, while exploring the Amalfi Coast – We drove from there to Florence, renting a car. The car ride from the coast to Florence was through Tuscany, which held some of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen!!!

 

 

Katya shot by Stacy T.

 

7. What’s something you packed that’s not absolutely essential, but you liked having it?:

For me this is always, always, always a camera. On this trip, I also brought a polaroid camera, which was so so fun to play with and now these polaroids will be memories which I can look back upon forever.

Gelato – That’s amore!

8. If I visit Italy, what’s the one meal I shouldn’t miss?:

Oh man, don’t do this to me!!!!

Every meal, to me, was freaking incredible. The pizza, the pasta, the desserts, the coffee… UGH! The pasta there is cooked al dente, which makes it a little undercooked. Growing up, I was a total weirdo and would beg for my mom to undercook my pasta since I loved the crunch – so I was in al dente HEAVEN!

However, if I had to choose one meal, it would be the gelato. And yes, it can be a meal….for every meal of the day. It was the freshest, most mouthwatering amazingness I have ever tried!

 

 

There’s nothing like having Gelato in Rome!

9. Are there any social norms or practices you’ve encountered on your travels that you wish were more common in the USA?:

I loved how emotional the Italian people seemed to be. Any fight, any laugh, any conversation, was heard with so much emotion. I wish more Americans weren’t afraid to be emotional, openly show their feelings.

I also loved how people allocated time every day to relax, socialize, eat amazing food, and have amazing conversations. It’s important to find pleasures and experience them for yourself every day!!!

10. What is one food you could now never eat in your home country again because you’ve tasted the original version in its country of origin and you’ve been forever spoiled?:

The gelato would have to be my answer for this one. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still eat the fudgey, artificial Ben & Jerry’s pints every once in a while!!! But, anything labeled as “Gelato” here is just a fraud to me now.

Katya visiting The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512

11. What was your favorite thing about your trip?:

I was absolutely blown away by the history. It was my most favorite subject in high school, so all of the art museums, ancient Roman landmarks, and incredible stories literally brought tears to my eyes. Seeing and validating everything I learned about was fascinating like no other.

12. What time of the year do you believe would be the best time to visit your city?:

I LOVED going during the summer. Even though I’m sure it’s peak tourist season – there’s something about the idea of an Italian summer that just totally pulls me in.

Cooling yourself off with granita or gelato, or taking a dip in the Mediterranean in the Italian heat is just how I picture Italy!!! Although, I could eat that ish all year long….

 

 

Katya loving her new leather backpack.

13. Did you snag a cool item while abroad that you are excited about?:

Yes!!!

While in Florence, I visited one of the biggest street markets, which was a giant leather market as well. Italian leather is known to be the best of the best so I snagged the CUTEST little black leather backpack that I carried everywhere with me. The smell of the leather still reminds me of the trip.

14. What do you do to stay healthy while you travel?:

One of the BEST things about traveling, in my opinion, is the ability to be active, fascinated, and healthy while completely not thinking about it. Just the amounts of walking, skipping, and dancing through the streets as I explore them is usually more than any workout I do. I’ll get home after longdays of adventures and realize that I’ve walked 30,000 steps or more, which boggles my mind because it doesn’t even feel like a workout.

Views in Positano (The Amalfi Coast).

15. Do you have any additional advice for others that wish to travel to there?:

ALWAYS keep an open mind while travelling!!! Take some time to really immerse yourself in the culture and learn as much as you can about it. Get an Airbnb instead of a well-known hotel. We booked only Airbnbs and the hosts were so passionate about their city, giving us secret spots and hidden gems that are now my favorite places there!

 

 

 

Can’t get enough of Katya? Check out her portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

 

Nous model, Aliya Protto, has only been signed with us since the beginning of twenty-eighteen – yet, her experience in the entertainment industry is already layered with success.

As a newly-retired USA athlete, Aliya has spent over a decade of her life performing in the competitive sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics. Now that she has officially transitioned into the modeling-sphere, we became eager to learn her backstory, understanding the wisdom that comes along with competing in a national sport. To read about her journey, as well as gain insight as to how rhythmic gymnastics has influenced Aliya’s modeling strengths, take a glance below:

 

 

Flashback to a young Aliya, who’s about to ‘get the ball rolling’ with her Rhythmic Gymnastics career.

1. At what age did you start participating in Rhythmic Gymnastics?

I started Rhythmic gymnastics when I was seven years old.

2. What motivated you to partake in Rhythmic Gymnastics?

Rhythmic actually kind of came to me. I was scouted outside of a gymnastics school, and went to a few trial classes. After that, my mother told me: “Ali, you can’t do gymnastics and take all these other recreational classes. Either it’s Rhythmic or you stay in swimming, art, and all those other activities.”

So, from there, I had made up my mind to stay with Rhythmic and gave up everything else. That was the first time I’d fallen in love with something.

 

Aliya training for her next competition.

3. When training, how many hours a week, on average, did you participate in rhythmic gymnastics?

On average we would train about 25 hours a week. During competitive season, we would train anywhere from 4 to sometimes 7-8 hours a day. Usually these hours were broken up, but sometimes they were all in one big chunk, which could be grueling!  National Team camps and international training sessions were the most intense, but they were also an honor to be a part of, and extremely rewarding.

4.  Describe your daily life as a professional athlete.

My professional training really picked up in my teen years, after I had made the National Team at the age of 16.

My daily life became: wake up, go to first practice in the morning, come home to study/finish my homework, squeeze in a quick nap if time allowed, and then I would be off to a second evening practice. I would usually get home around nine, have dinner, study some more, go to bed, and then be ready to do the same thing the next day.

Aliya taken by Marcel Indik.

 

Aliya Protto (USA) competing in 2015.

5. What ‘life tools’ do you feel rhythmic gymnastics has taught you that you may not have gotten anywhere else?

Towards the end of my career, I really learned to not care what other people thought of me. At first, it was extremely intimidating when I started to compete on the world stage, with such amazing gymnasts. I felt very insecure, like I didn’t totally belong. But, as time went on I just came to this realization that none of it mattered, I didn’t need validation anymore because I understood that I was “enough” the way I was.

It also taught me the importance of being passionate about something. Life isn’t perfect, and things don’t always happen the way you want them to, but it’s all irrelevant if you’re passionate about what you do. Passion is the force that keeps you moving forward, no matter what life throws at you!

6. What was your single greatest achievement in rhythmic gymnastics?

There were some really amazing moments, but the single greatest was in 2016. I was Senior All-Around Champion at Pacific Rim, winning 5 gold medals! I was happy because, in that competition, I was totally in the zone, and I had so much fun performing. It made the event all the more special!

 

Aliya – USA Gymnastics Championships 2015.

7. What was the hardest move to master in rhythmic gymnastics? How did you feel when you accomplished it?

There were sooooo many, haha! I cant really single one out, but the feeling of mastering a trick or a move is exhilarating. It’s that moment that everything clicks and falls into place, and just creates this amazing mix of joy, relief, and excitement!

8. Were there any role models that inspired you?

Omg Yes! I looked up to so many beautiful gymnasts that I still admire even today. There was the beautiful Anna Bessonova from Ukraine, Irina Tchachina and Evgenia Kanaeva from Russia, and Liubov Charkashyna from Belarus! They were the reasons I pushed and trained so hard because I wanted to be on the world stage like them!

9. It’s no secret that rhythmic gymnastics is an extremely physical sport. What were some of the things that you did to upkeep your fitness?

Aliya’s digitals taken by Nous Model Management.

A lot of what we did revolved around stretching, technique, strengthening, and diet. We stretched everyday to stay flexible and keep muscles lean. We did many hours of ballet for technique, and strengthening exercises to keep strong and maintain proper form. We also had to maintain a very healthy diet and very little body fat, to ensure we could jump high and maintain speed throughout our performances.

10. On any given day, what would have been the top reason that may have deterred you from practicing?

Pretty much being sick with the flu and not being able to remove my body from my bed!!!

11. What was (or is) your favorite song to work out to?

I had two! One was “Lean On” by Major Lazer! That was my workout & pre-performance jam, I listened to that song before going into the gym! The other one was “The Fire”  by the Roots, that song I also listened to religiously while warming up before a competition!

12. What inspired you to transition into modeling?

Aliya modeling for Lululemon.

Being in rhythmic, I felt very connected to the arts. It incorporated the art of movement, expression, grace, music (considering we performed to songs that came from various musical categories) —we even had beautiful ornate costumes! So to me, the idea of modeling, and the idea of being a part fashion seemed like a perfect fit. I saw modeling as being a part of another world of art, and I felt that would be the best transition for me.

13. Thus far, have you had the opportunity work with any athletic brands since joining Nous? What was it like to work with these brands?

Yes I have! I have booked quite a few jobs with Lululemon, which has been such a fun experience!! It was exciting for me having the opportunity to model clothing that my teammates and I used to train in, as well as being able to showcase some of my skills for the brand!

14. Is there anything that rhythmic gymnastics and modeling have in common?

Actually yes, in both areas I find that the way of telling a story is very much the same. You cant speak in either modeling or when performing in Rhythmic, so you have to really rely on your facial expression and body movements to really communicate and express yourself.

Aliya’s digitals taken by Nous Model Management.

 

15. Do you still participate in rhythmic gymnastics on occasions for fun?

Not as much. My main focus now is modeling, but I still will get out my equipment every now and then and play around a bit, and still work on maintaining my flexibility.

16. Do you feel that having a background in Rhythmic Gymnastics has helped transition you into the modeling world? In what way?

Absolutely!

Rhythmic really gave me some tough skin, and I think that has helped me so much in pursuing modeling. It has given me that “I don’t quit” mindset, and even when things don’t go smoothly, there is this resilience that my former athletic mind has instilled in me. It has also given me a great understanding of my body and how it moves, which I feel is essential for modeling as well. I feel that this aspect makes me different, and that I can bring something different to the table besides just a pretty face. It has also served me very well in the aspect of discipline, and hard work. At the end of it all, nobody cared if you were tired or things were hard, the only thing they remembered was if you did your job, and did it well.

 

Aliya is all smiles as she accepts her award.

 

Can’t get enough of Aliya? Take a look at this video of her competing in the 2015 USA Gymnastics Championship:

 

 

Check out Aliya’s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

“A best friend is like a four leaf clover, hard to find, lucky to have.”

In honor of #NationalBestFriendsDay, we asked two of our celebrated Nous Model BFFs, Britt and Maggimae, to share what it is like to be each other’s gal pals. From various inside jokes, to their mutual love of dogs: these ladies are the epitome of good camaraderie. To view the full interview, look below:

Britt and Maggimae on set for Boys & Arrows.

When and how did you first meet?

Britt: We met on an Armani job! It was friends at first sight! We became friends before we were even out of hair and makeup!

Maggimae: We met while on an Armani job together!

What are the two things your best friend does not know about you?

Britt: Trying to think of something ….. drawing a real blank …

Maggimae: We share a toothbrush on occasion so she knows everythinggggg, lol.

Can you describe your best friend in one word?

Britt: Wondrous.

Maggimae: FUNNEST.

What part about your best friend do you like the most?

Britt: How she makes me laugh. We could be doing anything and we always share the best laugh till you cry moments. We even worked a 16 hour day once and were laughing till the end.

Maggimae: How we are literally always laughing together. Cry laughing.

What is the best advice that your best friend has ever given you?

Britt: Maggi is like my little sister and the thing I receive the most from her is that she always believes in me and encourages me just when I need it most.  She helps me stay light hearted and believe the best in life.

Maggimae: I seriously text her and get advice about everything, but the most important and helpful advice is always something model-related. For example, how to dress for castings and do my hair and makeup and all that jazz.

What is their favorite food?

Britt: Sonic….  I’m not sure, but Maggi is so hardcore with health. Yet, then on her cheat day, she knows how to get down like the good ole Midwestern girls that we are!

Maggimae: Pizza for sure. Anything on @soyummy Instagram.

If your best friend has a scar, how did they get it?

Maggimae: On her lip, a dog bit her when she was a kid.

 

Britt and Maggimae on set for Boys & Arrows.

Which is your best friend’s favorite season and why?

Britt: Maggi and I are both sun worshippers! So, summer! We love the beach, bikinis, and ice cream!  Give us more summer! Kansas girls gone Cali!

Maggimae: Summer!!!! All the fun summer things. BBQs, the beach, being tan.

Britt and Maggimae on set for Boys & Arrows.

What is your best friend’s dream job?

Britt: Maggi would love to be Mother Earth…. the end.

Maggimae: Comedian and, trust me, she should be looking into that.

If you were out together, what would your best friend eat?

Britt: If it’s cheat day???? Maggi loves Midwest fast food. It’s hilarious because on all other days she is so healthy and some kind of organic vegan cult leader…

Maggimae: Depends on if it’s a cheat day or not. If it’s Friday, loaded fries, pizza, cheese platters.

Would your best friend watch a chick-flick, action, comedy or a horror movie?

Maggimae: Comedy all the way.

Maggimae and Britt looking stunning at GUESS event.

What are the three items your best friend always carries with them?

Britt: Homemade Organic Shea butter, phone, and water bottle (always).

What is your favorite inside joke?

Britt: We never take ourselves too seriously and we love to joke about how we are “professionally good looking,” Zoolander style! We like to make model jokes and have good ole fashion (get it “fashion”) fun!

Maggimae: If we told you then we would have to kill you. 😉 Lol, we have so many there’s no way to even type all of it out! Just know we are a hoot and there’s a lot.

What is the name of your best friend’s crush?

Maggimae: Isaac – her husband haha.

Britt: It was John Stamos (one time she had me help her DM him on Instagram… thank you liquid courage), but then after some questionable speculations concerning his character: she now loves John Ham.

Britt and Maggimae on set for Boys & Arrows.

Between the two of you, who takes longer to get ready?

Britt: Me 100 percent. I have to force Maggi to brush her hair and wear makeup. Good thing she is naturally beautiful because that girl is all tomboy.

Maggimae: BRITT 100%.

What is a favorite memory that you two share?

Britt: Maggi and I were at a GUESS event and let’s just say we had a red carpet blooper that had us laughing till we almost peed our pants… again.

Maggimae: We always have so much fun no matter what we are doing… even laying on the floor or cleaning Britt’s room, hahah, but some of my favorite times are when we work together because those days are definitely not even considered work in my book!

Does your best friend have any nicknames?

Britt: Actually, we just combine our names to make the awesome hashtag: #itsbrittmae.

Does your best friend have any strange phobias?

Maggimae: She hates feet.

What is your best friend really bad at?

Maggimae: Coordination is not her best friend, let’s just say that.

Britt: Maggi always shocks me w/ her athleticism, which I lack. So maybe anything girly like hair & makeup.

What is the last book your best friend read?

Maggimae: She reads every dang day. Like one thousand books a week. Last one is “Name of the Wind.”

What is your best friend’s favorite animal? 

Britt: Her dogs are her life

Was your best friend named after anyone? If so, who?

Britt: Rod steward’s song, Maggimae.

What is your best friend’s greatest achievement?

Maggimae: Adopting her adorable perfection baby boy, Shiah!!!

 

Fun Fact: Britt Koth is also a master at creating ‘beachy hair waves.’ To view the tutorial that she filmed with Maggimae, press play:

 

Can’t get enough of Britt and Maggimae?

Check out Britt’s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

Check out Maggimae’s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

On stands now!

The lovely Amy Bracco Biden met with Dveight Magazine (Tastemakers: Issue 9) to discuss everything from her family-life, how social media has changed the game, as well as her personal style and hobbies. To read the article, view below:

 

(click on image to enlarge)

(click on image to enlarge)

Behind the Scenes:

 

Can’t get enough of Amy? Check out her portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

Check out Dveight Magazine and follow them on Instagram.

Hair – Michael Thomas Slollo | Instagram, Website.

MUA – Moani Lee | Instagram, Website.

Creative Director  – John Paul Tran | Instagram, Website.

Small town girl with big dreams! Nothing inspires us more than the transformation Moe took on when she decided to leave her hometown for the City of Angels. To learn more about her journey, take a peek below:

Moe taken by Wes Klain.

 

1. Name:

Hello! My name is Monique Marie Stuck A.K.A Moe.

2. Where are you from (City, State): 

I was raised in Council Bluffs, Iowa, home of the rolling plains & cornfields!

 

3. What were the first steps that you took after deciding to move to California?:

SAVE MONEY!!! Then, naturally, I attempted to plan it all out detail by detail for about three months in advance, only to find out that LA doesn’t do anything one month in advance, let alone three! So, after pulling my hair out up until about a week before we left, I gave up, booked an airbnb, and decided that I would drive cross-country. If it was meant to be, it would all work out if I tried hard enough. If it didn’t work out, I knew it would make for a great adventure!

A little Moe thinking about all the exciting adventures that lie ahead.

4. What initially prompted you to move to Los Angeles?:

I knew from a very young age that I wanted to experience living elsewhere the first chance that I got. It just so happened that chance came after graduating college. As for my decision to move to LA… that was fueled by the fact that it was one of the few places I had already traveled to and really enjoyed. Do I think I’ll be here forever? Probably not. But LA is a great place to start with its limitless opportunity and beautiful weather.

5. What was something that stuck out to you/inspired you when you first arrived in LA?:

People in and around the city are much more health conscious in terms of leading active lifestyles and what kind of foods they’re eating. I’ve learned how important the foods you’re putting into your body is for your overall wellbeing. There are also so many fun ways to keep fit and healthy here! I’ve been inspired to seek out all these new ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Moe enjoying her day out in nature.



I didn’t know much about things like pilates, yoga, cross-fit, boxing… I mean the list goes on and on! And don’t even get me started on how amazing the food choices are here. If you had asked me about going to a vegan restaurant before I lived in LA, I would probably have rolled my eyes. Now, I really do understand the hype. It’s amazing how much happier you can become when you open your eyes up to new things and educate yourself on what being healthy really means. Here in L.A., it’s a lifestyle and it’s fun, delicious, and exciting!
 

Moe at Boxing Class.

Moe taking in the view of the wild, wild west.

Moe shot by Alina Schessler.

6. Did you find it easy to ‘fit in’ in Los Angeles? What advice would you give a prospective model who fears that they may struggle with this?

I have never really “fit in” and I still don’t. I would never tell an aspiring model moving to LA on what they should do to fit in. LA is perhaps the best example of a city made up of “transplants” (people from other cities and countries who move here). I think it’s one of the reasons why it’s such a fun and exciting place to live because it’s made up of all these unique cultures and flavors. That wouldn’t happen if people didn’t stay true to who they were and where they were from.

My advice to anyone who’s struggling to “fit in” in a new place or even in the same place you’ve been for years – STOP TRYING TO FIT IN! We are all different and weird in our own unique way. Just be the best version of yourself and naturally, people with similar values will gravitate towards you.

 

7. How have you managed to stay humble in Los Angeles?  

Well for one, I was raised to believe that every person is equal and should be treated with respect and kindness regardless of where they come from, what they look like, or how financially secure they are. That very principle is the foundation in which I was taught to build everything else.

Moe giving her biggest smile after cheering.

I was also taught to work hard for the things I want. Everything I have, I’ve had to work hard for and I know that if I want anything greater, I must continue to do so. I knew it was going to be tough sometimes and there would be days where I second guessed moving here, but I arrived here in a good mindset, with a happy soul, and I’ve only grown since then. I’m not saying I don’t have bad days (or even weeks), we all do, but I feel that I have really good, strong core values and those align with always trying to stay humble.

I think that appreciating your successes and accepting there will be failures along the way are both keys to remaining humble. I try to do things that reinforce that, like listening to Oprah’s super soul conversations on apple podcast and reading inspirational books!

 

8. Is there something particular that you feel new-comers to L.A. may potentially struggle with that you feel is preventable?

I can’t stress how important it is to surround yourself with the right group of people, not just remotely in Los Angeles, but anywhere. I’ve been lucky enough to have a group of friends here, as well as a family back in Iowa, that are so supportive and genuine. They all are also willing to remind me of how lucky I am to live where I do and have a career in modeling. That helps me stay grounded more than anything.

Moe twinning with her Mom. 

9. Out of your family, who is your biggest cheerleader? How have they expressed support for your dreams? (If you could include a photo of this family member with you – that would be awesome!)

My mother and my grandmother. They both support me in completely opposite ways. One is my limitless cheerleader while the other my voice of careful reason. They are both a force of nature!

My Mom is a single mother of six children. My grandmother is a single mother of two and has been confined to a wheelchair since she was in her early twenties after a plane crash. I always say that the amount of calamity that has taken place within our family would put the soaps to shame, Hahah! However, never once have I heard that been used as an excuse as to why something couldn’t be done. The words “I’m a single mother” and “I don’t have working legs” were never part of their vocabulary and it wasn’t until I left home, was on my own that I realized how hard both their lives must have been. Yet, they both went through life with all their hardships so strongly. Nothing has given me greater support for my dreams than having both of them as examples to show me I can do anything regardless the setbacks I have faced in life. They taught me to use my worst experiences as motivation and growth, rather than use them to hold me back.

 

Moe looking adorable in her hometown of Council Bluffs, Iowa.

10. What is the biggest difference between Los Angeles and your hometown?

After asking this question to a fellow Iowan friend, who also resides here in LA, her answer was TIME. She stated that time seemed to go at such a different pace than it did here in LA. Then I thought about my own answers such as traffic, population, and weather. I realized that all these things added up to TIME and how much more of it you seem to have in Council Bluffs, Iowa. All the commotion of the big city and even the beautiful weather all year round, make time go by so fast!

10. Is there anything that your hometown has in common with Los Angeles?:

We both have great food!

Moe rocking a simple white wardrobe, complimented with a fashionable pair of Pooh Bear slip-ons. Definitely a fashionista from the start!

 

11. In your opinion, what is one of your most valuable lessons that you’ve acquired after being raised in Iowa?:

Simplicity.

It’s not really a lesson, but I feel that it’s one of the most defining factors in how Iowa made me, well, ME! Iowa is comprised of mostly small towns, except for a few cities. When you don’t have 4 million people bustling around a town, life is much simpler.

The simplicity of my small town taught me humbleness, compassion, generosity, honesty, commitment, and most important of all, gratitude. When your town offers less to do in comparison to a big city, you appreciate and get excited about little things, like driving to Walmart with your mom to get groceries! I learned to truly value the little things, which is a lesson I’m finding out myself because I’m slowly realizing, that the little things are all that really matters.

 

12. Is there anything specific in Iowa that you wish you could put into your pocket and bring to Los Angeles, but can’t?:

My family, so every time I experienced something new and exciting, they could be right there with me.

13. Are there any stereotypes about Iowa that you feel should be put to rest?:

That we all live on farms, own a tractor, and say ‘Merica!

14. Do you ever feel homesick? How do/did you cope?:

Yes. I miss my family, but technology makes things a lot easier to cope. I love Iowa and wouldn’t trade my experience growing up there for anything. It will always have such a special meaning to me. I think it helps considering how many people in LA aren’t from LA; everyone understands the difficulties of being away from home.

Moe hiking the coastline of California.

15. Are there any new hobbies that you have adapted to since moving to Los Angeles?:

Hiking! It’s free and it makes my soul dance.

16. Has there ever been a favored moment in LA where you had to pinch yourself and say “this is surreal?”:

Yes! When Nous signed me I remember thinking, “this is surreal because I look like an ogre a lot of the time,” Hahaha! No but really, Nous was my number one pick in representation so getting that offer was a very surreal experience. I still have to pinch myself now and then to make sure my life is real.

17. How long did it take for you to feel ‘at home’ in Los Angeles?:

It’s weird because that feeling, of being at home, left me when I was about 14 and I didn’t get it back until about a year ago. I think home is where your soul feels most at rest and happy. I don’t think it’s constant, either. Everyone experiences that feeling at different times and I don’t think it’s entirely dependent on where you are, but rather how you are.

19. Do you have any other advice for prospective models that are looking to move to Los Angeles?:

JUST DO IT. If you have the right mindset, you’ll know that regardless what comes of the leap, the one thing you can be certain of is that it will make for an amazing adventure and a life changing experience.

Just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. What modeling looks like in the magazines and on the TV shows is much different than what it is actually like in real life – for most of us. You have to take care of your body and work hard, there is always going to be an element of rejection involved with the casting process, and you will be pushed out of your comfort zone at times – but hey, that’s true for anything worthwhile!

Can’t get enough of Moe? View her portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

With a new year on the horizon, people are embracing retrospection and reevaluating the impact that 2017 played on their lives.  In an effort to learn from, as well as celebrate each and everyday, we asked Nous girls, Maggimae and Logan to reflect on what made 2017 stand out, as well what they are anticipating for the upcoming year. Read below to find out what they have planned for in their next chapter!:

Hi ladies! Thank you for sharing your time with our readers. Pick three words to describe 2017.

Maggimae: Happy. Busy. Fun.

Logan: Relentless. Far-fetched. Prosperous. 2017 has easily been the wildest year of my life! It threw new challenges and opportunities at me left and right. It also led me to great friendships and revealed the best support team I could ever imagine.

Maggimae having a blast in her home state of Kansas.

Did you travel anywhere? If so, where?

Maggimae: As usual, I went back to Kansas for some of the summer to see my family and that’s always the best ever! My parents also got a house in New Mexico on the river up in the mountains (also 4 miles away from a natural hot springs) so I additionally traveled there. It’s so gorgeous and inspiring to be in nature!! I want to be a mountain woman someday, haha.

Logan: Yes! I think my 2017 consisted of half land-time, half air-time. In the first week of January, I flew to Shanghai, China to model for the agency, Feliz! I lived there for three months and then flew home to Minnesota for about two weeks until I was in the air again! After those two weeks, I made my way to Mexico City to model for the agency, Wanted! Once I returned home, I planned my initial week trip to Los Angeles to interview with modeling agencies! It did not take me long to pack my life into my car, round-up my parents, and start the twenty-seven-hour drive to my new home in Los Angeles!

Logan on set in Shanghai, China.

What was an unexpected joy this past year?

Logan: I really did not expect to like the food in Shanghai, China as much as I did! I will confess that sometimes I was unsure of what I was eating but for the most part, it was really good! Shamelessly admitting that I ate the street food for dinner almost every night!

Most overused phrase during this past year?

Maggimae: “Dead.”

(Urban Dictionary Translation: When you’re passed the point of something being hilariously funny; when you’ve laughed as hard as you possibly can!)

Logan modeling for Nupcias Magazine in Mexico City.

Was there a goal that you accomplished in 2017 that you can now cross off your bucket list?

Logan: There are two things I can now check off my bucket list! The first one was to be on a billboard. When I was in Mexico City, I shot for Liverpool’s Thats It back-to-school campaign! The photos were being used all over Mexico City including on billboards!! It was definitely an exciting surprise to see when I was walking around the city! I can also cross “climb a pyramid” off of my bucket list! When my parents came to visit me in Mexico City, I took them to climb the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon! It was such a great experience with an even better view. I am happy I got to experience the climb with my parents!

If you had to pick only one, what was one of your favorite jobs that you booked this past year? Why?

Maggimae modeling alongside her BFF and fellow Nous Model, Britt, for Boys & Arrows.

Maggimae: I would have to say the Boys and Arrows campaign. It was super fun to shoot with my BFF Britt, stay in a hotel with her, and shoot with a really creative crew. It was basically just us dancing around and having fun the whole time at the shoot. Def more play than work!

Logan: One of my favorite jobs from this past year took place when I was living in Mexico City! I got booked to shoot two editorials for the bridal magazine, Nupcias (pictured above). The company flew the crew and myself to a resort in Punta Mita where we stayed for almost a week! The resort was beyond beautiful and the crew was incredibly fun so it pretty much felt like a vacation!

 

Did you discover any new effective ways to spend your time this past year? (Planning methods, new hobbies, etc.)

Maggimae: My mom taught me how to macrame so I have been making super cute plant hangers. Also this year I have been doing lots of different kinds of hikes around LA. It’s really is gorgeous here!

Logan: There are a few new hobbies I have picked up this past year that I really enjoy doing in my down time. One of them is to write letters either to friends (both from home and the friends I have met along the way) and also to family members. Who doesn’t love getting mail?! Plus, writing really helps me relax and de-stress for the night so it’s a win-win situation. Another way that I use my time is by doing research on literally anything and everything. There is an endless amount of information we can learn and it is always fun to expand our knowledge!!

 

Logan rocking her favorite bell bottom jeans.

What was your most worn clothing item of 2017?

Maggimae: My vintage Levi‘s denim jacket. It goes with evvvverything!

Logan: That would be my Flying Monkey bell-bottom blue jeans! They are SO COMFORTABLE. It is hard to find bell-bottom jeans that are the right length, but these are perfect. They are made for being travel day and casual day pants!

Name a trend that you’d like to see continue from last year into this upcoming year.

Logan: Talking fashion, the trend that I would like to see continue into 2018 is the 70’s and 80’s style of clothing! I loved the wide-leg flares of the 70’s, but also fell in love with florals and pinstripes of the 80’s. Really anything that is a “blast from the past” trend is something I will be excited about!

If there was one thing you could change about 2017, what would it be?

Logan: I would change my answers from “no” to “yes” when being asked to hangout or go out! I want to work on stepping out of my comfort zone and start saying “yes” more to invitations. If I would have agreed to these invites, I might have made more friends, more memories, and I would have been available for more opportunities!

Maggimae: Anything I worried or stressed about because, as always, everything turns out okay!

What were some of the best books that you read during this past year that you are eager to recommend?

Maggimae: I know it’s late and I’ve had the book since like 2011, but ‘The Secret.”  If you actually apply the tips that it says for you to do each day, it really is helpful with dealing with the small, stressful stuff in life!

Maggimae with her two dates for New Years!

Do you have any exciting New Years Plans? If so, how are you celebrating?

Maggimae: I always love spending New Years in hanging out with my furbabies so I wake up refreshed for the new year. 🙂

What is something that you are looking forward to this year?

Logan: I am looking forward to making California my home! I will be building new relationships and gaining new experiences this coming year and I cannot wait to see what that involves!

What are you hoping for more of this coming year?

Maggimae: Start booking commercials!

Pick three New Year Resolutions that you hope to stick with throughout this upcoming year.

Logan: Learn another language (Spanish) and become bilingual, Volunteer more on the weekends, Say yes to adventures.

Maggimae: POSITIVITY (always try to see the good in people and situations), health (stick with working out and eating lots of greens and fruit), and to enjoy the little things/be grateful!

Logan shot by Matt Shouse.

Check out Logan’s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

Maggimae shot by Creative Smiles.

Check our Maggimae’s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

Summer may be over, but the memories are not! We caught up with two of our jet-setting Nous girls, Tori and Grace, to speak on their recent adventures overseas. Here’s what they had to say ~


Tori Bass spotted in the Clapham district of London photographed by Shonay.

First and foremost, Where did you girls travel to?

Tori: I travelled around London and made a quick visit to Cologne (Germany).

Grace: Hong Kong with occasional visits to Guangzhou.

What brought you there?:

Tori: A mix of a vacation and work.

Grace: A few months prior, Nous spoke about sending me somewhere in Asia after I graduated from High School, but I wasn’t sure as to where at the time. Then in August, I got an email making sure that my passports were current, and to prepare to leave for Hong Kong; few days had passed when I got an email saying that I’d be leaving the next day! 24 hours later, I was on a plane to begin a new journey in my modeling career!

Grace opening the runway show for FFIXXED STUDIOS  in Hong Kong.

 

 

Where have you stayed or are staying for the majority of your trip?

Grace: I’m staying in a neighborhood on Hong Kong Island called Kennedy Town, which is an area where a lot of families live. It has only recently started to become more connected to the rest of the island because of its MTR station that was added in January. Because of this, the area is a more “hipster” part of Hong Kong, and it’s not as modernized as the more downtown areas such as Central.

Tori: I stayed in Greenwich, London. It has some of the best views of the city.

City views in Greenwich, London.

 

Did you girls get to visit any cool historical landmarks that you can now cross off your bucket list?

Tori: I went just about everywhere. Being the history nerd that I am, we visited Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Hever Castle in Kent, Kensington Palace, Churchill’s War Rooms, and a whole lot more! I was so happy to finally cross them off my list of places to visit.

What is the fashion like where you two visited?:

Grace: The fashion is pretty similar to that in the states, due to the western influence in Hong Kong. I’ve noticed that people tend to look ‘on-trend’ and put together, and I’ve seen more people carrying designer handbags than in Los Angeles (although maybe some of them are awesome knockoffs, who knows?).

Tori: Everyone is London seems to dress super fashionable. A sort of “elegant but comfortable” vibe.

Grace backstage for FFIXXED STUDIOS runway show in Hong Kong.

What’s something you packed that’s not absolutely essential, but you like having it?

GraceProbably a journal. It’s been a good way for me to reflect on what I’ve learned throughout this trip in Hong Kong. I’ve also been making a list of lessons in it to take away from this experience, ranging from simple ones like never leaving the apartment without a portable charger, to more personal ones!

Out of all of the foreign cities that you have visited recently, which place stuck out the most?:

Grace: Out of the two cities, definitely Hong Kong. I love how everything is super connected and easy to get to, and how it has several cool places in nature that you can go to if you want to escape the city.

Tori: Probably Cologne. I had never been to a German country before so I didn’t know what to expect! It was so beautiful and the weather was perfect!

A street view of Cologne, Germany’s sensational architecture.

How neat! That’s great that you found a easy way to get around the city. This brings me to my next question – What did you find to be the most effective form of transportation (walking, car, bus, train, etc) in the city or cities that you visited?

Grace: In HK, I usually take the subway system, called the MTR, and then walk the rest of the way. But when I’m in Guangzhou, we go to castings and jobs in taxis and vans, which makes for great book reading time.

Tori: I did a little bit of everything, but mostly stuck to the ‘Tube’ (London’s underground public rapid transit system). It makes it so easy to get practically anywhere in London.

Grace scanning her options at the Ladies Market in Hong Kong.

Thank you for your advice! Both sound like great tools to use when navigating through London and Hong Kong. Yet, while venturing through each city, did either of you guys discover any ‘hidden gems’ that most people have not heard of?

Tori: Greenwich Palace is fairly popular, but if you’re into history like me, then it’s definitely a good place to stop. It holds a lot of history that I had no idea about.

GraceThe Ladies Market in Mong Kok is great for finding cheap items, and for a bargaining, too (although my friend I went with did most of that for me haha).

Both of those places sound interesting! Now- let’s talk about people. Did either of you meet an interesting person while traveling that you felt has positively impacted your life?

Grace: Yes, just recently I had a conversation with a new friend at dinner, while I was feeling a little homesick. I asked her if she ever felt that way, and she told me that while she does miss home, she uses those feelings to motivate her to go even further in her modeling because she knows that she’ll always be supported by her loved ones. This caused me to think about homesickness in a new way, and it also motivates me to work harder as I continue to model in HK, because I want my family to be proud of me when I return.

Tori taking the summer sunshine in while working in London.

I love that you shared this with our readers, as it broadens the perspective for those that fear that modeling would disconnect them from their loved ones (by traveling so frequently). Moving forward, what time of the year do you believe would be the best time to visit the city that you traveled to?

Grace: Probably in the fall. I arrived in August, and it’s been really humid and hot here so far. In the fall, it’s supposed to cool down and become less humid, so I’m definitely looking forward to that.

Tori: Visiting London in the Summer was the best decision. Since it tends to be rainy and cold (during a large portion of the year), it was nice being able to experience the city while the weather was still beautiful! However, I’ve heard London is stunning during the Christmas time too, so I’ll have to visit again soon.

Now, I’m sure while visiting these cities you two also had some pretty spectacular meals. If someone was planning to travel to the cities that you visited, what’s the one meal they shouldn’t miss?

Tori: If you visit Cologne, you have to visit Freddy Schilling! I’ve never had a better veggie burger in my life!

Grace: If you visit Hong Kong, Dim Sum! You order a bunch of small plates and it’s especially good for a weekend brunch.

Dim Sum, a famous meal local to Hong Kong, spread out in all it’s yummy glory.

Oh my- both of these dishes sound delicious. I am sure with all tasty options near by, it can be hard to focus on health. What do you do to stay healthy/fit while you travel?

Tori: I found that finding healthier vegan options in London was a lot easier than I would have imagined. I never had a problem finding something to stay within my dietary preferences.

Grace: There’s this unsweetened Jasmine Green Tea that’s sold in almost every convenience and grocery store that has been one of my go-to drinks. I’m going to miss it when I arrive back in the states.

Tori’s passport ready to embark on her adventure with her to London and Cologne.

Thank you both for sharing. Both sound like solid ways to stay fit while abroad. Now, in a more generalized sense, I am sure our readers would love to know: what was the most exciting thing about modeling abroad?

Tori: Traveling has always been a passion of mine, so having the opportunity at all is amazing! I love having the chance to meet different people that I maybe wouldn’t cross paths with back home.

Grace: Probably having the experience of living on my own for the first time, and being nearly halfway around the world from home too! Also getting to experience the culture and lifestyle of Hong Kong has been wonderful for me.

Did either of you find any differences between modeling in the United States VS. abroad?

Grace: Yes. In the US, I would do mostly editorial style modeling. But in HK and Asia in general, modeling is much more commercial, and I had to learn to adapt to this style (I didn’t have much experience with it prior to coming to Asia). But I feel that it has only helped me grow as a model,  because I’ve learned to be more familiar with this style.

Tori Bass working her magic for ASOS in London.

Tori: Yeah definitely. It’s hard to point out any single difference between working in the U.S. and U.K., but I really did love working for ASOS. They’re a massive company so there’s lots of going on/people on staff, but they still manage to put out a very relaxed, and easy going vibe to keep everyone motivated.

Are there any social norms or practices that you’ve encountered on your travels that you wish were more common in the USA?

Grace: I’ve noticed that people who are sick tend to wear face masks. I wish that was a thing in the US, especially at schools, because I feel that fewer people would catch colds here.

Do you have any additional advice for others that wish to travel to this city?:

Tori: When it comes to traveling around London, be sure to visit as many markets as you can! I loved seeing all the different types of foods, crafts, and clothes that all of them had to offer.

Grace: Be prepared for the humidity and high temperatures! It does get cooler in late September (as I’ve been told). Also, living space is much smaller in HK than it is in the US, so don’t overpack.

 Love what you see so far? Check out this video of Grace opening FFIXXED STUDIOS‘ SS18 Runway show!:

View Grace’s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

& also, take a peek at Tori working her magic in London during a shoot by Shonay:

View Tori’s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

Wave goodbye to Summer, as the back-to-school season is now upon us! As students nationwide prepare for their first day, we decided that it was only fit to sit down with a few of our girls (ChonzieEmily, Kyndall, and Lily, ), revealing what is it like to manage a blossoming model career, all while taking on the load of being a full-time student. We hope that their advice can gear prospective models in the right direction, showing them that they too can have the best of both worlds! Read below to see what the girls had to say:

Hi girls! Thank you so much for doing this. I know things can get a little hectic this time of the year. Let’s start with a little background info. What is your age and what year in school is this for you?

Emily: I am 18-years-old and am in college. I attend Fordham University, and I am doing their online program for the second semester, majoring in Business.

Kyndall: I am 16-years-old and am a Junior in High School.

Chonzie: I am also 16-years-old and am a Junior in High School.

Lily: I am 17-years-old and am a senior at Stanford University’s Online High School.

Emily, as the only current college attendee out of the bunch, what’s your plan for the future?

Emily: I want to graduate college and continue on to do something else! Since I model full-time in New York, I am doing online classes because I love to learn and want to continue to challenge my mind in a way that isn’t related to modeling. So, with that being said, I will continue to do this and then finish college and potentially go onto grad school. I have always wanted to be a lawyer.

Lily, shot by: Megan Taylor

Very cool! I am sure with the communication skills you are acquiring with modeling, you will be an excellent lawyer. Next question is for Lily – what is your favorite thing about finishing high school online?

Lily: In this wonderful program, students and instructors attend live classes remotely from all over the world via the webcams and microphones on our computers (it’s like a web conference, or Skype). It’s a unique and powerful way to learn. I was even able to schedule some of my classes in the evening to free up more days for work.

As for a favorite, there are so many amazing things about Stanford Online High School. I think the most rewarding part of an online education is that I get to learn with, and from, students who live elsewhere. I’ve had the opportunity to discuss politics and philosophy with kids from throughout the United States as well as Europe and Asia. Needless to say, my educational experience has broadened significantly over the past year that I’ve been attending this school. Everyone is approaching the class material in the context of their own local culture and experiences, and that has put my own assumptions and beliefs into the proper, international perspective.

How insightful! It also seems very convenient for those that are fearful that castings will get in the way attending classes, but enough about all the technical stuff! What does education mean to you on a personal level?

Emily: An education, whether it be inside or outside of the classroom, is expanding your mind so you gain a deeper knowledge of things you didn’t know about before. You are learning and just gaining a deeper understanding of different subjects.

Chonzie hanging out in class with one of her favorite teachers.

Chonzie: Education is extremely important to me. My father immigrated to the United States from Tibet. He wanted to attend an American University to obtain an education in order to have a future. Coming from a family where opportunities were limited and were just a dream for him, I am extremely grateful to have an opportunity to attend a school where education is available to everyone.

Kyndall: To me, education means everything.  Learning new things and gaining knowledge is crucial to success in whatever I do.  A person never stops being educated in some way or form throughout their whole life.  However, primary education is the most crucial, which is why I am so grateful to go to the school that I do where I have the opportunity to learn so many new things.

I love the role that education plays in all of your lives. It seems to hold many positive attributes. However, it can’t be all that easy while pursuing a modeling career. Were their any concerns you had before signing your modeling contract? Has these concerns lessened over time?

Chonzie: When I signed my modeling contract, I just finished middle school and was about to start high school. I wasn’t aware of the challenges that I would be facing when it came to missing school for modeling. Some administrators find it difficult to understand why I need to miss school for a “casting” or a “photo shoot,” which can be really frustrating. Another thing I was unaware about is when you miss school for a job, you don’t have much time to catch up on what you’re missing. You are mostly spending the entire day on a photo shoot. I generally do my school work while traveling on a plane, in order to keep up with my school work.

Well, that’s great that you have figured out a system that works for you! This brings to me my next topic. Do any of you guys have a special technique that helps you manage your time between studying and jobs that you feel would be helpful to others?

Kyndall’s go-to headphones to study with.

Kyndall:  One way that I learn is through music! For example, how did I learn my ABC’s? Through singing a song!  So my advice to others that are worried about missing a study time between castings is to listen to a song on the radio with a really good beat, and change out the words to a topic that you are learning about in school!  An example of one that I did to help me remember information from my math class was I changed the lyrics of Kesha’s lyrics from her song, “Tik Tok,” to geometric formulas.

Lily:  One of the most exciting, and sometimes challenging, aspects of this line of work is the varying and unpredictable schedule – shoots and castings may either be confirmed or canceled up until the day before they happen. Because of this, I can’t always count on having a free day during the week to complete schoolwork or study for upcoming exams. One time management technique I had to learn this past year was to stay at least a few days ahead, without fail, on all of my assignments and other school responsibilities. That way, if an unexpected work event came up and I was busy for ten hours one day, I wouldn’t have to worry about rushing to meet a deadline. This probably seems obvious but it really took discipline to get everything done ahead of time, especially after a long day in LA!  I also prepare for all shoots and castings the night before: setting up directions, choosing clothes, getting my portfolio and comp cards together, and packing lunches and snacks.

Chonzie, taken for Claire’s Spring ’16 Prom Campaign

Emily: I think that scheduling things out on paper with a pen is the best way to go about things. I always feel more confident about my day, especially if it is hectic, if I can see it written out in front of me and not written out on a screen.

All these techniques sound super helpful in terms of time management! Branching from my last question, what have you found to be absolutely essential to your success in school and/or work?

Chonzie: My earbuds are honestly so helpful for me, and play a big role when it comes to succeeding in school. I work best when I’m isolated, and my earbuds totally zone everything out and help me focus on whatever I’m doing.

Kyndall: Support is vital to success in school and work.  My family has always been behind me to support and help me in any situation, whatever the circumstance.  Whether it be not knowing the answer to a homework question and my parents sitting with me and helping me until we figure it out, or my grandpa driving with me for four and a half hours through L.A traffic to get to my casting.

Lily:  One of the most important things I’ve learned this year is that even though I have lots of varying responsibilities, it’s essential to be fully present in whatever I am currently doing. Even if I know I have a lot of studying to do after work, I stay 100% focused on the task at hand without letting any one thing impact how well I do somewhere else. It’s all about taking things one step at a time. Even more importantly, being professional is definitely essential to success, and that is another commitment of mine.

Kyndall dominating the school yard in a photo shot by: Tina Jo.

Absolutely! I can see how all of these things can strongly benefit you in the long run. Now, let’s get to the fun stuff. If we took a look at your locker or dorm, what celebrity crush would probably be posted?

Kyndall: Hmmm… that’s a good question.  I think it would most likely be Prince Harry of Wales.  I adore the royal family, and Harry is just positively charming!  I have little picture frames in my locker, so I wouldn’t be surprised if his picture found it’s way into one of them!

We all have our preferences – hot or cold lunch?!

Kyndall: 100% cold lunch!  I eat the same thing for lunch pretty much everyday: a protein bar with at least 12 grams of protein since I’m vegetarian, a piece of fruit for necessary vitamins and minerals plus fiber, and roasted chickpeas for carbohydrates to fuel me for the rest of the day.  And don’t forget lots and lots of water!

Kyndall’s favorite bars to snack on.

Lily: Cold lunch – maybe that’s just because it’s August and 80-90 degrees in LA! 🙂

Haha! I think it is safe to say that cold lunch takes the lead – which I am not mad about! Healthy is happy, after all. This brings me to my next question: is there a subject that you are always happy to learn about?

Lily sharing her bright ideas in a photo taken by: Tina Jo.

Lily: This is a difficult question to answer. I really do love them all! But, if I had to choose one, it would probably be calculus. There’s a unique beauty to mathematics in general, but when I was introduced to calculus it was like I had discovered the hidden mechanism of the universe.

Emily: I have always been a history fan. My history teacher in High School taught it really well, and I just loved to learn about all of these events that happened in history and how it shaped our current world. It is fascinating to me how one day we will be in history books for certain events.

Amazing! Is there anything that you are excited to learn about this upcoming school year that is new to you?

Lily: This year I am taking an elective history course called “Globalization and Imperial Exchange: From Alexander the Great to NATO.” The class is centered around the growth and decline of different empires throughout time. I am interested in how cultural identity is shaped by power struggles and outside influences.

Do you feel that modeling has helped your performance at school in certain areas?

Lily: Actually, yes, it really has helped, both in school and in life. I tend to be more introverted by nature and when I started modeling it required me to enter another, more extroverted dimension of my personality. I’ve noticed that since I’ve been working I’ve become more and more comfortable with this side of myself. Although I’m still the same person, my inner extrovert is now on display quite often, and I see and feel a difference in my performance in school presentations and discussions. I’m a bit more voluble and confident in expressing my thoughts and opinions than I was previously.   

Chonzie having a blast with her fellow classmates in-between classes.

Chonzie: I believe that modeling has helped me a lot when it comes to communicating with teachers. I have to communicate to my agency especially when I am living in Colorado, not California. Because of that, I’ve had to really work on expressing all my needs and making an effort to keep them updated. Therefore, modeling has really helped me when it comes to communication with others.

Kyndall: Absolutely.  If a person is failing all of their classes, it’s going to be extremely difficult to have a successful modeling career, because they will be too worried about keeping their grades up to do anything else.  So for me, modeling provides the motivation to pay attention in class, in order to excel in school and get good grades so that I can continue to do what I love: model.

One of Kyndall’s favorite outfits to wear to school, purchased from TOPSHOP.

It’s great to see how modeling has impacted all of you so positively! Now, is there a specific hobby that you like to do when your not in school, that is not modeling? 

 EmilyMy favorite thing to do is either to shoot/model, play the guitar, or spend time with my friends. I think it’s a nice balance!

Kyndall: My favorite thing to do when I’m not in school aside from modeling, is to design clothes.  I have a journal that I keep by my bed so that when inspiration hits, it’s there for me to sketch in. Lately, I’ve received a lot of inspiration from the dress Kim Kardashian wore to the Met Gala, so I have been inspired to create a collection that is entirely black and white with a futuristic twist.

Lily: I love to read a good book or play with my dog, Pansy.

She got it from her mama! Lily’s beloved dog, Pansy, modeling in the sunlight.

Chonzie, taken by: Alex Geim

Very cool – To wrap things up, do any of you gals have any other advice for aspiring models that are also enrolled in school?

Chonzie: My advice for an aspiring model who’s enrolled in school is to keep up with all your classes. The worst thing is to be leaving town when your grades are struggling. If you’re on top of everything, you won’t be as stressed when you have to leave. Also, make a serious effort to really communicate with your teachers.  For example, before I leave for a job I ask them, “I’m leaving town for ___ day(s), what am I going to be missing? And when can I make it up?” That way you can have a good relationship with your teacher, and feel better about missing school.

Emily, Shot by: Troels Jepsen

Emily: I would say just make sure you plan out your days and your schedules every week to make sure you have time to do school. I know as a model, we don’t typically get our schedule until the night before but if you know you will have a busy day, print some reading out and take it with you to read in-between castings or during down time on set. It is all about organizing and planning and you can stay on top of things.

Kyndall: Don’t be afraid to go for your dreams!  Anything is possible if you put your mind to it, so if your desire is to be a model, don’t let anything stand in your way.  Things have a way of working themselves out, and there are amazing people like the wonderful women of Nous to help you fulfill your dream.

Emily, taken by Senreve

Check out Chonzie‘s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

Check out Emily‘s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

Check out Kyndall‘s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

Check out Lily‘s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.