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Talking Trends with Simmone Collins

In late 2022, I had the pleasure of meeting a talented, creative, and ambitious individual and immediately cultivated a wonderful relationship. Simmone Collins is a model from Colorado with runway, editorial, commercial, and fitness experience.

Simmone values and emulates ReModel’s mission in her everyday life, which made her an exciting and perfect fit for our first interview feature. We rendezvoused about the progression of the fashion, divulged over new and resurfacing trends, and discussed the gaps of industry.

Interview with Model and Creator Simmone Collins

1. How did you get your start in modeling?

I was told at a young age that I should try modeling. I was 5'10" in 8th grade and very lanky. However, I was so focused on sports and hopefully getting a scholarship, that I rarely had free time to pursue something like that. Of course, like most young women, I was obsessed with fashion trends, super models, Victoria’s Secret fashion shows, and America’s Next Top Model - so it always loomed in the back of my mind. Once I graduated and lived on my own, I applied to several agencies in my city. I was 22 at the time I signed my first contract. During this first contract is where I gained most of my experience in commercial, editorial, runway and e-commerce modeling.

2. Based on your experience, how has the industry evolved in the past decade?

I think it's safe to assume that body positivity is the largest shift the industry has seen. Not only the shape of your body, but the height, weight, and skin condition as well. Social media is to thank for that. Brands realized - with the growth of YouTube, and TikTok, and influencers in general - that the people with the most engaged consumers/followers aren't always your size 2, white woman. Now, do I think there is still bias and discrimination? Absolutely. Brands want to make money first, be inclusive second.

3. What are the biggest challenges you faced while working in the industry?

The biggest one for me is the lack of hair and makeup artists who know how to deal with non-white hair and makeup. It’s so frustrating that as a model who, worked hard to audition/book/perform, I was unable to get a decent foundation shade the day of the shoot. I've worked with clients who destroy my hair, or don’t even attempt to do it at all. In my opinion, you’re not a pro until you can master all shades and curls.

4. Favorite fashion trend of 2022?

Self-expression. This mindset of wearing whatever the hell you want as long as you feel confident really took off last year. It was so fascinating to see what influencers and models were wearing when the trend was literally "be original"; it just goes to show that the only person's opinion that matters is your own. Now of course there was the "clean girl" aesthetic that really exploded, but truthfully, that didn't entertain me as much.

5. Go-to street wear look?

Black leggings, chunky sneakers, oversized crewneck, low bun. Very model off-duty, chic, active woman vibe.

6. Finally, what is your advice to those looking to get into the modeling & fashion industry?

One, know yourself first. The modeling world is shallow, superficial, stressful, and time consuming. No one really wants to hear that, but it's true. If you are someone who struggles with body image, confidence, or anxiety it would be best to tackle those before entering a contract rather than seeking validation from a contract to heal you. You will get 1 yes for every 20 no’s and you must keep pushing.

Two, don't go broke trying to make modeling your full-time job, especially not in a small city. Top cities to consider in America: LA, Miami, NY, Chicago. Anywhere else will be a struggle to find truly consistent, respected, high paying work.

Three, be kind. To everyone. You couldn't imagine the repeat-work and connections I managed just by being a decent human and thanking people, chatting with assistants, and introducing myself to everyone on set. Models who are snobs are either replaceable or blacklisted, and very few are irreplaceable.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Simmone and hope you gained insightful advice and experience; I know I did. Be sure to give Simmone a follow on Instagram @_rae.ofsunshines

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