HLN industry focus: What it takes to become a fashion model in the North East
Blogger and model Virgit Canaz tells us what inspired her to dive into the world of fashion, what modelling is really like, and her must-have wardrobe staples
We’re always looking in envy at fashion models with their glamorous lives, gorgeous clothes and stunning beauty. But what are their lives really like?
Modelling isn’t just about being a pretty face and striking a pose. Being in a competitive industry takes hard work and determination to make sure you stand from the crowd.
Fashion blogger and founder of Preppy Fashionist, Virgit Canaz, definitely knows what it takes to make it in the business here in the North East. Having initially trained as a nursery teacher, Virgit’s eye for style and passion for fashion soon led her to set up her own blog. An incredible 5.3 million views on Google and a cheeky 89,000 followers on Instagram later, it’s safe to say that Virgit has more than made her mark in the fashion world.
Originally from Ecuador, Virgit spent around half of her life in Amsterdam, but now she proudly calls Newcastle her home. We caught up with her at our HLN Summer fashion shoot to talk about what her experience has been like in the industry…
How did you first get into fashion blogging?
I started a decade ago, when I was browsing the internet looking for inspiration. That’s when I came across the fashion website Look Book, which made me realise that people were actually posting about their fashion looks. It was there that I found out a little bit more about styling, shoots and mobile photography too.
I decided to look for fashion blogs in my own country, but I couldn’t find any. So I then began to find bloggers from Amsterdam, where I used to live, and found a woman who had an incredible fashion blog, which inspired me to start my own.
What do you love most about your job?
What I love most about my job is that you meet so many creative and talented people who are passionate about what they do.
What do you find most challenging about your job?
Finding brands that are willing to pay for your work, because it’s not just about taking a nice picture – there’s a lot of work behind every single image that we take.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I find inspiration from everyone and everywhere I go. When I go for a walk, I’m inspired by what people are wearing, by exploring the landmarks of the North East and even by local architecture. I used to find inspiration in movies, magazines and even older fashion bloggers too. My mum is also a massive inspiration of mine. I love how she used to dress very minimalistic. I didn’t really appreciate her style before now.
I used to wear many colours and prints when I experimented as a teenager, but now that I’m getting more mature, I’m into more neutral and minimalistic styles, just like my mum.
Where would be your dream photoshoot location?
Tokyo, because it’s so different from any other country in the world. It has so much culture, history and traditions, and the temples would be an amazing backdrop.
What’s your ultimate career goal?
I’m actually living my ultimate career goal. I’ve already been invited to fashion weeks in Amsterdam and London by fashion brands and I get to travel everywhere. Thanks to my blog, I’ve visited been to places I’ve never thought I would be able to.
So I guess when you reach the point where you’re being invited to fashion weeks, it’s when you know that you’re making it in this business.
What would you say to encourage other women in the North East to become a model?
I would say that they should just start anytime. It’s never too late. Some people argue that they’re too old or keep putting it off for whatever reason. It doesn’t matter; just be you and start now – you won’t regret it.
What are your wardrobe staples?
A good leather belt, a good leather bag and some good leather shoes! These will work with whatever style of clothes you’re wearing and they’re also sustainable.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to look sophisticated and stylish, but I always say to people that shoes and bags matter. You can embrace these leather capsule items by adding some colour and different textures from other pieces to finish off your look.