Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Betsy Leimbigler a model to wait for...


 [photography: myself] 

I had the pleasure to meet her about 2 years ago when I recently moved in Canada (Ottawa). I was definitely looking to volunteer or intern in the fashion industry. I finally volunteered for a fashion week in Ottawa (it was my 1st!). 
That's when I met this lovely, talented person /model, Betsy. After that I had a new blog(tasteoffashion), I decided to interview her because there is so much to discover & learn about fashion in this city. I had a chance to interview her at Starbucks and learnt more about her journey.
Here is the interview right below. Enjoy!

1. Tell us about yourself: Why do you want to work as a model? Why are you interested in this Career? What led you to apply for this job? How did you start in this industry? How did you get discovered?

My name is Betsy, I’m a 20 year old red hot chili peppers enthusiast and parliamentary nerd, and I am from St. Jerome, Quebec. I never considered modeling when I was younger. I was a pretty awkward kid, always the biggest and youngest one in my class, and when I was 14 I had a growth spurt. I was living in Japan with my family, and I was “discovered” when this lady who knew a fashion photographer approached me after seeing me in my high school musical. I was so embarrassed, I didn’t react for a long time.

I waited until I had moved back to Canada to find an agency. It was a combination of dumb luck and perseverance - I wanted to try something new, and I love the creative aspect of modeling, the chance to meet interesting people , and travel the world. I also like the idea of breaking stereotypes of this industry. I started booking jobs for mall campaigns and various designers around town and now I’m planning on trying out a new market.

2. Tell us about your education? What languages do you speak? Have you attended fashion modeling courses? What courses have you taken?

I just graduated from the University of Ottawa in International Studies and Modern Languages. I speak French and English fluently, as well as German, and some Chinese and Japanese. I took a few “classes” at my first agency, which was basically just to learn how to put on makeup and walk in heels…I never touched the stuff before that.

3. What do you like to do during your free time?

Free time? What’s that?! I usually keep busy with volunteering, school and work…in between, I love to run, cook, play piano, learn guitar (I’m still a beginner), and read American literature and contemporary political issues…(nerd!)

4. What does your friends/family think of you modeling?

My family is pretty supportive. My grandma was a model on my Austrian side so at least it’s not something totally foreign to them, but my parents are very concerned about me traveling abroad. I think it’s normal for parents to worry a lot, though. My best friends joke about it, but we usually talk about other things anyway.

5. What are the heights & the size requirements for a high fashion model?

High fashion models generally have to be very skinny and very tall. At least 5’9”, and measurements around 34-24-34 – that’s pretty standard. High fashion also depends on your “look,” though.

6. Are modeling conventions are good way to start your modeling career? If yes why? If not why?

It really depends on the individual. If you have a great agent, then in my opinion, you don’t need a modeling convention to start your career. 

However, if you’re starting out, if you don’t have an agent or if you’re just interested, it can be a really great way to learn about the industry and get a bit of exposure, since conventions like CMTC provide workshops that are very informative. So, it really depends where you are in your career, and make sure to attend a legitimate convention!

7. What are your goals as a model? How do you see yourself progress in this field?

My goals are to break stereotypes, promote healthy body image, and emphasize the importance of staying true to yourself. I’ve also been really interested in seeing how fashion works in tandem with charities, as we’ve seen at Ottawa Fashion Week as well as various charity fashion shows around the city, and in the future I’d love to contribute more to the growing fashion scene in Ottawa and also travel to interesting places. 

Next up on the bucket list: Thailand! Another one of my continuous goals is to uphold my morals and develop thick skin. I have been told countless times to change various things about my body/hair, and part of being a model is being resilient and believing in yourself – meaning you don’t quit when you hear criticism, and learning to say no if something is making you uncomfortable.

8. Do you often get the chance to travel with other models for a photo shoot or a meeting?

Yes, you often see the girls from your agency and other agencies too at the same castings, but you also constantly meet new models at shoots.

9. Why is a portfolio that necessary in the modeling industry? What does it bring?

Your portfolio is super important, as it is the collection of your work – both test shoots as well as bookings you’ve done - and proves to clients that you have experience in the industry. It shows the various different poses, expressions, and movement that you can get across in photos. This is very important as to whether a client will pick you for their campaign. If you’re starting out, you have to invest in a portfolio and keep it up to date.

10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Five years? I don’t even know where I’ll be next month! That’s a tough question - in five years…I hope to be done with my Master’s and possibly doing a PhD somewhere far, far away in something related to international studies. I have a lot of dreams, such as biking across Africa and working for an NGO and exploring interesting parts of the world, but I’m not sure as of yet where I exactly see myself. Perhaps in the foreign service, perhaps doing research on something related to international organizations. But really…who knows? Maybe I’ll still be modeling!

For those who want to pursue a career in the modelling industry take her advices!


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