A book that has changed my life has most definitely been the Harry Potter series as a whole. I read them all twice and when I was a child I would go to midnight book releases with my siblings. I just thought it was the most magical time!
5. What inspires you the most?:
My mother and father inspire me to love and lift others as I have watched them raise me and my six brothers and sisters supporting us at our good and bad times always.
Breanna and her son. <3
6. What’s been your greatest achievement (so far)?:
My greatest achievement that I never knew I wanted to achieve in life is motherhood. Every day, I am able to learn more about myself that I never knew was possible. It’s like the gift that keeps on enriching my soul, watching my six-year-old son grow.
7. What’s your guilty pleasure?:
I thoroughly enjoy my Costco membership at peak sample hours.
8. Have you ever pranked called someone?:
One time in my childhood, I was playing an online game, Neopets. When I spun the wheel of fortune, I landed on 10,000 neopoints and out of excitement (?), I called 9-1-1 and hung up…..not knowing later they would show up to my house and have my parents answer the door.
9. What food will you absolutely not, under any circumstances, eat?:
I am a human garbage disposal! I eat absolutely everything. Case closed.
10. What makes you feel nostalgic?
My journal makes me feel nostalgic. I have been writing in it ever since I had only little to say, such as: “hi it is this time. Okay, sleep good self.” 😆
11. Have you overcome one of your fears?:
I always told myself (due to being exposed to Jaws prematurely by my five older siblings) I would never surf, but as I can be quite the daredevil and having since moved out to LA – I tried it. I got up on the board my first try, and now I can’t wait to continue learning!
12. What’s the most embarrassing trend that you gave into?:
OVER PLUCKING MY EYEBROWS! I trust nobody before 2010, but thankfully had a unibrow as a child so they grew back fine, haha.
13. What are you most proud of?:
I am most proud of my son. Being a single mother, I was always worried that this would negatively affect him. However, I am proud to say that he is the most amazing and special little human that I have ever set my eyes on.
3. What motivated you to move from Australia to LA?:
I moved to LA from Australia to open up new career experiences. I have also never been to LA so I am super excited to explore and meet new people.
4. How is Australia similar to LA?:
Australia has similar weather from where I come from on the Gold Coast.
5. How is Australia different from LA?:
Australia has a lot less people, smaller population.
6. What, do you feel, was one of the best parts about growing up in Australia?:
The beaches. There’s nowhere like Australia and the beaches are amazing! I grew up living two minutes by foot near the beach
7. Where would you take your dream vacation?:
My dream vacation is Santorini, Greece. There is something about the dramatic views and stunning sunsets that look so dreamy. Everything about this place looks so incredible and i can’t wait to visit and experience everything in this magical place.
8. What inspires you the most?:
Strong, KIND and loyal women that work their arse off to be who they are!
9. Which superpower would you want to have?:
If i could have a super power it would be to fly. I think that would be the most incredible thing ever. You would feel so alive and free!
10. What’s your guilty pleasure?:
My guilty pleasure is definitely chocolate. It is so good but so bad!
I love to binge watch TV shows and drink tea. Netflix & Tea is life!
13. Which emoji would best capture your essence?:
14. What is your dream pet? (It doesn’t have to be traditional!):
My dream pet is definitely a dog. Very traditional but I am such a dog lover and those lil things make me so happy!!! No matter what, a dog can always put a smile on my face.
15. Do you have any mottos you live by?:
Have courage and be kind.
16. What are you looking to accomplish by moving to the USA?:
LA is definitely the next step in my career. I am so grateful for this opportunity and I can’t wait to see what LA has in store for me! This is my first time into America so I am so excited to experience the lifestyle and travel.
Donny & Marie Osmond’s classic hit, “I’m a Little Bit Country, a Little Bit Rock N Roll,” is playing through our ears while reviewing Aliya, Lee, and Phoenix‘s new shoot with Elegant Magazine’s August 2018 issue – and we love it! In Elegant’s recent issue, these Nous girls take a break from their big city lives, and embrace some good ‘ole fashion ‘American country’ living. The result = pure art! To see what we are gushing about, take a look at the full editorial below:
Where is the most beautiful place on earth and why?:
It would be amazing to go to Italy or Australia someday! But so far the most dreamy place I’ve been is Kauai, Hawaii. Kauai is all about nature – everywhere you look is green, lush, and so secluded. I would spend the day surfing and swimming in Hanalei Bay and then walk into town for a shaved ice with macadamia ice cream. HEAVEN!
What is your favorite era of music and why?:
I actually love 50’s music. It just makes me feel happy and bright and that all is right with the world!
What’s your guilty pleasure?:
Ice cream, ice cream, ice cream, ice cream!!! My absolute favorite flavor is Sweet Cream at Jeni’s. Splendid Ice Cream. When my uncle comes in town, it’s almost a daily stop!
Anne Hathaway’s new wardrobe in The Devil Wears Prada. I would kill for those clothes!!
It’s a tie between Liar Liar and Pretty Woman. Liar Liar makes me laugh harder than I ever have before, and Pretty Woman just makes me happy a girl.
What’s your favorite weekend activity?:
My perfect weekend day would be a day spent in Malibu, swimming and surfing at Surfrider beach, then grabbing some carne asada tacos at the taco truck on PCH and of course a stop at Jeni’s in Calabasas on the way home.
What are you most proud of?:
I would say I’m most proud of my grades at school. I work really hard and it’s paying off!
I am 16 years old and I am from Laguna Hills, a small area in Orange County.
3.) Do you have a book that changed your life?:
A book that changed my life was A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. It reminded me of the strength that all women have and the resilience of the human soul through tragedy and difficult situations. This book is a wonderful message to never give up and never let someone own you, be true to yourself always and find freedom through your own abilities.
4.) Which superpower would you want to have?:
If I could have one superpower it would be to read minds. I’m constantly trying to figure out what others are thinking. When I’m older, I am interested in being a therapist because honestly I’m just too curious about other people’s brains.
Photograph taken by Wes Klain.
Photograph taken by Wes Klain.
5.) What is the funniest thing that happened to your recently?:
A fun fact about me is that every time I’m with my friends, we all end up laughing hysterically about something and I say “this is the funniest thing that’s ever happened.” All my friends make fun of me because it could be literally 20 minutes later and I’ve already changed my mind about the “funniest thing that’s ever happened”.
6.) If you had to choose one thing you were most passionate about, what would it be and why?:
If I had to choose one thing I was most passionate about, it would be modeling. I’ve been modeling since I was 9 and have always loved being able to bring life to pictures with my expressions and connect with photographers. I always have a sense of fulfillment after a good shoot and I feel so confident. I almost feel like my on set personality is my alter ego.
7.) What’s your guilty pleasure?:
My guilty pleasure is eating cookies n cream ice cream and binge watching netflix shows instead of sleeping at night. Oops. 😉
8.) Where would you take your dream vacation?:
My dream vacation would be Paris during winter. I’m obsessed with Christmas decorations and the cozy feel during that time of year, so sightseeing in Paris, wearing fashionable scarves, boots, and sipping hot cocoa would be a dream come true.
Photograph taken by Wes Klain.
Photograph taken by Wes Klain.
Photograph taken by Wes Klain.
9.) What makes you feel nostalgic?:
Music makes me feel nostalgic a lot, for instance my mom always used to sing, “You are my Sunshine,” to my twin brother and I growing up. Whenever I hear that song, I always get a warm fuzzy feeling inside and long for the days when I was young and carefree.
10: What is your dream pet?:
My dream pet would be an adorable otter that I could keep in my bathtub and go for swims with. Don’t worry, I would invest in a swimming pool so it would have lots of room to play.
11.) How do you kick back and relax?:
I kick back and relax by reading, which I love because it transports me to a different place, and listening to jazz music on my record player, specifically Frank Sinatra. I’m obsessed with his music. I also love going to the beach and tanning with my best friends.
12.) What inspires you the most?:
What inspires me most are the small moments in life, for example when the sunshine warms your skin so nicely, a song speaks powerfully to your soul, or you see a rainbow that takes your breath away. In these moments I feel pure bliss and so connected to the universe. It reminds me of how much beauty there is in the world and inspires me to go out, do great things, explore, and experience more of this bliss.
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:
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?:
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 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!!
Digitals by Nous Model Management
Digitals by Nous Model Management
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!
Light displays in Tokyo.
The historical Great Buddha of Kamakura statue at Kotoku.
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!
I would definitely love to have the ability to fly because imagine the views! Also, it would reduce the amount of pollution from cars, and because I love birds!
5. Do you have a book that changed your life?:
As silly as this may sound, the one book that really shaped me to be who I am today, was actually a series that I read a in about 3rd grade called: “How to Train your Dragon.“
It really helped me to grow a passion for animals and it taught me how to be loving, and giving to others. There were other ramifications from reading this book at such a young age… a house full of pets, starting with a bearded dragon named “Weezy,” who is now eight years old!
6. Do you believe in ghosts?:
I think I have to say yes to that. I mean, how else would I lose all of my socks, my homework, and my jewelry? Obviously I didn’t lose them…
7. Which emoji would best capture your essence?:
This emoji – To me, this emoji is excited, fashionable, and ready for an adventure!
8. When you eat a bag of candy, do you save the best flavors for last? Or, do they go first?:
I’ve always tried to be one of those “save the best for last” types of people, as they seem to have so much willpower, but…it’s candy! I just can’t resist and I end up eating the best first, or whatever I see first.
9. Where would you take your dream vacation?:
My dream vacation would be to visit the country of Chile. My first stop would be the Santuario Igualdad (@santuariogualdad), an amazing animal sanctuary run by two beautiful people who rescue the most vulnerable creatures, having been victims of the meat and dairy industries. Then, I would head to the thousands of miles of amazing coastline and, of course, a hike into the beautiful Andes!
10. Favorite movie or T.V show soundtrack?:
The Stranger Things soundtrack is epic because it’s all 80’s classics and I love 80’s music. It’s so upbeat, fun, and no autotune!
11. What’s the most embarrassing trend you gave into?:
Oh man…too many for sure. Probably the most embarrassing would be the Silly Band era. I remember when there were days I’d go to school with Silly Bands covering each limb…fully.
12. What’s under your bed?:
Honestly, a lot of things. The secret to keeping such a clean and organized room is to shove everything under your bed!
13. What’s your favorite 1990’s-2000’s jam?:
Well, I don’t know if this is still my current fave, but it for sure used to be. When I was really young, I used to sing Gwen Stefani’s song called “Sweet Escape,” but to me, I referred to it as the “Woo Woo Song” (due to the main chorus background vocals). Interesting choice, I suppose?
14. Who/What inspires you the most?:
I would say that my mom’s passion and energy inspires me the most. She always puts in her best effort for anything and anyone, which takes a lot of compassion. She is also a very hard worker and she deals with a lot, but is always there to support me with all her heart in my career!
Thank you mom, for everything you do for me, I wouldn’t be typing this right now if it wasn’t for you.
I was born in Clearwater Florida and was back and forth between Florida and Huntley Illinois and a few other towns because I moved a lot.
4.) Whats under your bed?:
Honestly… Under my bed is not the prettiest sight. I am a very clean and organized person but sometimes I tend to throw a lot of pointless things under there. Like for example; I just looked underneath and I found a jumprope and 7 things of unfinished chapstick. Lol
5.) Do you believe in ghosts?:
Umm.. OF COURSE!
6.) What is your favorite era of music?:
2000’s for sure. Definitely some of the best singalong songs. My friends and I always play in the car or at home because we can literally sing our hearts out to every song.
7.) Whats your go-to karaoke song?:
“Summer Nights” from Grease.
8.) How do you kickback and relax?:
My ideal way to kickback and relax is wake up without an alarm, not have any plans, and just go with the flow. Maybe grab a coffee at a cafe, listen to some music, and journal. Or, sometimes I will literally do absolutely nothing and watch youtube videos all day about cooking and some of my favorite vloggers.
I’ve only broken one, which was my wrist. I am honestly surprised that I’ve only broken one taking for how clumsy I am sometimes, haha.
10.) What inspires you the most?:
My mom. HANDS DOWN. She is THE toughest person ever and I appreciate everything she has taught me along the years. I know I have a lot more to learn, but she is such a genuine and real person. I absolutely adore her.
11.) How would your best friend describe you?:
My best friend would probably describe me as super weird and… funny? I hope, haha. I’m actually with her right now so I told her to write something down. So lets see what she has to say:
“I would describe Coralyn as caring, honest, kind, and down to earth. She always puts others before herself because she cares about the wellbeing and happiness of others, as well as herself. She also cares about the livesof everyone, including animals, which is part of the reason as to why she is vegan. She doesn’t care about high-end clothing and spending tons of money on herself. She would rather buy more things for less money, even if it’s not designer clothing or items.
I love Coralyn’s personality because she is very honest about everything and will always give opinions when needed, which makes her a caring. Another thing I have noticed since being best friends with her for 13 years, is that she is such a kind person to each and every person! Her kindness makes her such a beautiful person because she doesn’t care who you are or what you look like, she will continue to be kind to you. I love everything about Coralyn, but these are just a few things that come to mind when I think of our friendship.”
I would love to be able to read a person’s mind. I think it would super interesting to see what people are thinking verses from what they actually say.
13.) What motto do you live by?:
“Be a bottle of water, not a bottle of soda.”
I actually just recently came across this and it kind of just… stuck with me? The bottle is you and what’s inside are your emotions/reactions.
In the outside world, people are going to shake you and drop you sometimes. If you shake a bottle of soda, when you finally open up – you’re going to explode. But if you shake a water bottle, once you open up- it’s the same calm water it was just before you shook it up. Don’t let other people disrupt your inner peace.
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.
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 – Pacific Rim 2016
Aliya – Pacific Rim 2016
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?
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?
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: