Shop Talk is written by OM senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, OM account executive and fashion maven.
Every day we seem to receive another announcement about a casting call or new up-and-coming model in the area. We’re not sure if it’s because of the steady growth of Ottawa Fashion Week or the skyrocketing success of models like Herieth Paul — either way, we figured it was time to poke our nose into the world of modeling and take the pulse on the local scene.
This week, we tracked down the latest name making headlines: Veronica L. She’s just 13 years old, but has just landed a free modeling contract with Models International Management (MIM). At 5’11”, she easily surpasses the industry standard of 5’8″ and sports an athletic frame honed from years practicing synchonized swimming and gymnastics.
While MIM spokesperson Jessica D’Angelo describes Veronica as humble, she made no mistake about her talent:
“In front of the camera, Veronica had a serious fire about her,” says D’Angelo. “She was very shy, but so open to putting herself out there.”
Veronica beat out over 60 people — men and women, kids and teens — at the event, held at Bayshore Shopping Centre.
She describes the event as fun and “not stressful at all.” She found out about the contest through her friend, Megan W., who currently models with MIM — plus her mother has some modeling experience, so maybe it runs in the family!
Next up for Veronica: the Ottawa Fashion Week casting call.
We touched base with OFW spokesperson Christine Achampong to gauge Veronica’s chances — and get this scoop on this event, which takes place this weekend.
She certainly fits the height requirement — Christine also mentioned the 5’8″ industry standard, though she added that some designers make specific model requests that reflect their current collection.
“Fashion designers are artists – they’re inspired and influenced by beauty, regardless of its form,” says Christine. “Certain designers like to diverge away from the industry standard and because of this, we like to encourage models of all sizes, ethnicities, ages and experience to come to our open casting.”
Last season nearly 400 people came out for the OFW casting call, and 100 were chosen. For those interested in participating, Christine has the following advice:
1. Be confident! It can be a little bit nerve-wracking to be put on the spot, but the worst that can happen is getting a “no” from designers.
2. Have a good attitude. Designers have worked hard on putting together their collections, volunteers, and staff have worked hard on putting together this casting and negative energy shows on the runway.
3. Have fun! Fashion is not rocket science — we’re not saving lives, we’re all coming together to celebrate an art form and enjoy ourselves in the process.
As for Veronica, she has her three-inch heels picked out for the occasion and we wish her the best of luck!
The OFW casting, which is open to signed and unsigned models, takes place Saturday, Feb. 4 and Sunday, Feb. 5.
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Executive Meeting Space, Westin Hotel Ottawa, 11 Colonel By Dr.
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