Accumulating a mass 150,000+ followers on Instagram, Sophia has also cemented her social media presence. Like her mother, reality TV housewife Larsa Pippen, Sophia’s passion for fashion has landed her spots on the frontpages of magazines and placements walking in numerous fashion shows. Interested in pursuing more modeling ventures in the future, this 5’8 Prada-loving superstar is swiftly emerging as a Gen Z fashion icon.
As a Capricorn, Sophia possesses a unique ambition and determination to excel in all of her projects. The passion and drive that Sophia has at such a young age resembles that of her NBA legend father Scottie Pippen. Her dedication to perfecting her craft sets her apart from other influencers, models and actresses in the same age range.
360 had the opportunity to chat with Sophia regarding her involvement in the industry, and just what we can expect to see from her soon.
Q: What has it been like growing up in the constant spotlight?
A: It was difficult when I was younger but surrounding myself with friends that are in the same situation has helped me change my perspective. I like being active on social media in hopes that I’m inspiring kids my age to follow their passions.
Q: What was your biggest takeaway from DWTS Junior?
A: DWTS Junior taught me the importance of hard work and dedication. After the show, I started taking more dance lessons because of how much I fell in love with it.
Q: Tell us about your past modeling experience.
A: I started modeling a couple of months ago, I recently did a photoshoot for a clothing line, and I also did one for my jewelry line in the summer.
Q: What goals do you have with modeling?
A: My goal is to be on the cover of magazines, walk on runways, and to do campaign shoots for brands.
Q: Would you like to pursue acting further?
A: I love the art behind acting which is why I’m currently taking classes to pursue an acting career.
Q: What is a new passion or interest that you would like to pursue in the future?
A: I want to become an entrepreneur and pursue my passion in fashion and start my own clothing line.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: I see myself modeling in the runway 10 years from now, having my own business and starting a charity.
Gisele Bündchen Joins DraftKings as Special Advisor to the CEO and Board for ESG Initiatives
Bündchen to Counsel Company on Environmental and Social Objectives
DraftKings Launches Earth Day DFS Contest as First Step to Reach Goal of Planting of 1,000,000 Trees
DraftKings Inc. (Nasdaq: DKNG) announced the appointment of Gisele Bündchen, environmental activist, philanthropist and former super model, as a special advisor to the company’s CEO and board of directors for environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) initiatives.
“Gisele Bündchen is a global icon who has utilized the platform she established in modeling, fashion, and entertainment, to lead and advocate for vital environmental and social causes,” said Jason Robins, co-founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of DraftKings. “I believe that the strategic counsel and unique global perspective that Gisele brings to me and the board will be indispensable and, as evidenced by our Earth Day campaign, her impact will be immediate and far-reaching.”
As outlined in the company’s recently released inaugural ESG report, DraftKings is committed to fighting global sustainable development challenges, including climate change, in alignment with the U.N.’s sustainability development goals. In collaboration with Bündchen, DraftKings has set a goal of planting 1 million trees by Earth Day 2022. As an initial step, DraftKings has launched several opportunities for customers to directly support the effort, including through charity daily fantasy sports contests and free-to-play pools. In coordination with the Arbor Day Foundation, DraftKings has pledged to plant the first 100,000 trees in several U.S. states, including California, Florida, Michigan, Oregon, Vermont and Virginia.
“I look forward to working with the DraftKings board of directors in continuing to find ways to make the most positive impacts through meaningful social and environmental initiatives,” says Bündchen. “It is very important for successful corporations to make the necessary shifts in ESG initiatives to truly make a difference on a global level. In today’s world, in my opinion, it isn’t enough for companies to just be successful financially. Companies have to be successful in ALL areas, including social impact and sustainability initiatives that impact the future for all of us around the world.”
Bündchen has been recognized in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and 100 Fashion Icons lists, appeared in hundreds of campaigns for the most prominent and iconic brands, graced more than 1,200 magazine covers worldwide and walked the runway in close to 500 fashion shows. She is a prominent supporter of numerous environmental and social projects, including Projeto Água Limpa (Clean Water Project), which implements sustainable environmental water management systems near her hometown in Brazil. In 2020, she launched the Viva a Vida initiative which raised funds to plant over 260,000 trees along the Xingu and Araguaia River in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. Bündchen has also served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environmental Program since 2009.
Bündchen’s status as special advisor to DraftKings’ CEO and board of directors for ESG initiatives is effective immediately. Further information about DraftKings is available at DraftKings and the latest company updates can be found on Twitter.
Argentine-born “it” girl, stunner, and globe trotter Mena Garcia is in the process of launching her sustainable, vegan, and cruelty free fashion and beauty brands, as she searches to keep mother nature at the top of her priority list. Gone are the days of harmful damage to our beautiful earth as we move towards ensuring a green future and Mena wants to play her part in proving that fashion doesn’t have to be harmful to the planet. “In the past technology and the science of materials was limited to just niche sectors such as medical clothing, technical clothing, and sportswear. I’m here to put my spin on things and bring the fantastic technology we have to the forefront and prove that we can all wear sustainable clothing,” said Mena.
As scientists, researchers and designers join forces to try to reduce the carbon footprint that the fashion industry currently stamps, independent designers like Mena will be crucial to leading the way and showing fashion giants that if she can do it, so can they. “I believe we can really make a difference by using our voice on social media platforms and by setting online trends to really catch the attention of the largest fashion brands around the world. Independent brands like mine can truly make the difference here.” Mena, who has been modeling since her teens, has almost three-quarters of a million Instagram followers and this platform will undoubtedly help her cause.
She talks passionately about using “waste from oranges to make silk,” or “pineapple leaf for a leather alternative” and spectacularly “agricultural waste bacteria.” As Mena continues to learn more, she’s using her education to find out interesting new ways to create sustainable fashion in a term she coins as “trash fashion” – using literal waste to create something new. “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure certainly comes to mind!”
“I’ve been studying with expert Mila at Estudio MG in a special collaboration with Closet Sustenable in Argentina. I’ve learned so much, including some incredible things. One of the main focuses is creating materials inspired in nature where cells and proteins are being used to create different types of real leather but in a totally sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free way.”
However, it’s not all smooth-sailing or simple. To be true to the cause, it is essential to be sustainable throughout the whole process. Everything from material sourcing, grading, dyes, and packaging needs to be clean and green. Mena said “I want to also make sure that workers during the production process are treated fairly, with respect, are safe, and paid fairly. To be truly sustainable, the entire process needs to be true to the terms “sustainable, cruelty-free, and vegan.”
Mena is certainly one to watch in 2021 and 2022. She says “it will take some time because piecing it all together perfectly is crucial, but I’m ready for the challenge and encourage everyone to join the cause! You can follow Mena on Instagram or her website for more about her modeling, image-consulting, and her upcoming brands.
The modeling industry has two very different faces. One side are supermodels, like Gigi and Bella Hadid, glamorously modeling, making millions of dollars, and traveling the world. The other are the unknown models working job to job, facing exploitation and manipulation by their agencies and clients, and trying to make their name in the industry. The mistreatment of models is as old as the industry itself. Skinny, cis, and white models experience this brutal reality. Working as a model is only worse for people of color [POC], LGBTQA+, and immigrants because of the lack of transparency or regulation and rampant misconduct.
The current push for diversity and inclusion has caused a much higher demand for POC, and LGBTQA+ models with different body types. In recent months, a few new players in the game are building their reputations on accountability and proper treatment of the models and creatives they represent. Several small agencies and one superpower are disrupting the model representation world: New Pandemics, Zandwagon, Community New York, We Speak Models, and film and television power player Creative Artists Agency (CAA). The way modeling deals traditionally work is that a model signs to an agency, such as Next Models, Ford Models, IMG Models, or Wilhelmina Models. The agency provides its models with certain services such as housing, transportation, portfolio shoots, and more. In most cases, anything an agency provides for a model they have to pay back to the agency, often at a high-interest rate. The interest rate means the longer they take to pay it back, the more they owe to the agency.
Although models sign contracts to agencies, they are not considered employees of those agencies and instead are independent contractors who the agency aids in booking jobs. The agencies do not keep models on their payroll. They do control the money that the models earn on a job and how their money models earn is distributed. Bad payment practices reach far beyond the agencies. The agencies are responsible for billing the client right after the model completes their job. Payment for jobs by agencies to their models is notoriously sketchy because clients are not required to pay upfront before shoots and can legally take up to 90 days to settle up. Most agencies take at least a 20% fee out of any money their models make and charge clients a “booking fee,” so for a $1000 job, they would charge $1200 but only pay the model $800. Worst of all, if a client does not pay the agency for work a model did, the agency does not owe the model the money they earned. The common practice in the industry is that the model only gets paid if the agency gets paid.
The film and television management world contrasts the modeling world in many ways. The modeling industry as a whole is riddled with misconduct, manipulation, and poor treatment of models by their agencies and brands. Many modeling agencies use contracts that include fees and costs they can pull out of the model paychecks and use debt, housing, and visas to keep their models dependent.
Agencies in other media such as film, only make money if their clients make money. In film, the percentage is around 10% because of unions. Although, none of these industries are flawless especially considering scandals in the film and tv world with predators like Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer. Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has a long history of representing talents across film, tv, music, and more. In August of 2020, CAA announced their partnership with KCD Worldwide, a fashion services agency, which signaled CAA’s entrance into fashion model management for the first time in the agency’s history. CAA has a strong legacy of representing high-profile individuals and building their careers. They have also stated that they only take a 10% fee out of their models’ earnings, half of the general standard of 20%. Despite their claims for better treatment of models, CAA is not blemish-free when it comes to allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct. Multiple former CAA agents have faced lawsuits.
Additionally, CAA has previously represented multiple people accused of misconduct, including Shia LaBeouf, Chris D’Elia, and Marilyn Mason; all of whom are no longer represented by CAA. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the smaller boutique agencies mentioned earlier, New Pandemics, Zandwagon, and Community New York. New Pandemics is “a casting and management agency dedicated to increasing LBGTQ+ visibility.”
Zandwagon is “a talent management company that could guide everyday life individuals who are breaking beauty standards daily” according to their website. Community New York is run by Butterfly Cayley, Moe Lamstein, and Richie Keoall, three first-generation immigrants from Laos, and “is founded on inclusivity and progressive values by changing not only the style but the very structure of management.” Cayley, Lamstein, and Keoall have impressive experience at agencies including DNA and Elite Model Management. Community New York now represents stars such as Hunter Schafer, who is well known for her work on the hit HBO show “Euphoria” and is now a brand ambassador for Shiseido.
With small diversity forward agencies up and coming, the existing modeling industry is under attack from all sides. All three of these agencies emphasize how much they value representation and inclusivity in this industry that has avoided breaking societal beauty standards for so long. They also claim they will be different from other agencies and provide better treatment for their clients. These agencies are sending the message that you’re either with them or against them, and they’re willing to think outside of the box to get proper treatment and equity for models from all walks of life.
Same Old Problems
Many of the biggest fashion houses in the world are still reckoning with the #MeToo movement. The fashion industry is known as a highly predatory business. Many of even the largest names in modeling have had to survive people abusing their power on sets and behind the scenes to become who they are. Household names, such as Kate Upton, Coco Rocha, and Cameron Russel, have all spoken out about their experiences with the abuse they’ve experienced while working as models.
Kate Upton spoke out against Paul Marciano in 2018, which led to a total of $500,000 in settlement agreements involving five individuals. He has remained an active participant at GUESS as a board member and chief creative officer, despite resigning from his position as an executive. At the beginning of February, the news broke that Marciano is once again being sued over sexual assault allegations by a woman who has chosen to remain anonymous. The allegations against Marciano are not an isolated incident. Similarly, allegations were brought against Alexander Wang in December of 2020 but began as early as 2017, yet some still chose his side despite the overwhelming corroboration of multiple individuals. If the word of a woman as successful as Kate Upton is not enough to oust a predator from power, it’s unclear what realistically can protect vulnerable individuals with less acclaim from the same experiences or worse.
The silver lining of these allegations coming to light is the industry supporting the individuals coming forward more than ever before. In the past, many models lost their careers before they had even begun due to the actions of predators and the mechanisms powerful people use to silence their victims. Accounts such as @shitmodelmgmt and @dietprada have been using their online platforms to expose predators and condemn their actions openly across Instagram and Twitter. Additionally, the Model Alliance, an organization dedicated to giving models a voice in their work, has also spoken out against Wang on their Instagram saying, “We stand with David Casavant, Owen Mooney, Gia Garison, and all the accusers of @alexanderwangny in their pursuit towards justice.”
The upheaval that began in 2006 with survivor and activist Tarana Burke’s creation of the #MeToo movement has continued into 2021. Slowly but surely survivors are taking their power back and pushing to create real change in media industries that have exploited them for far too long.
360 Magazine sat down with up and coming model Acobie Inniss, to find out how he got started with modeling and where he plans to go next. The young, Barbadian model has a unique look that is sure to gain attention as his modeling career takes off.
Included below is also information about Rhaj Paul a designer that works with Acobie and Graham Edwards, Acobie’s agent. Working together, the team has created an amazing shoot featuring Acobie as the star.
When did you decide to begin modeling and how did you get started?
I was approached by Graham from GADAL Model Management at the end of 2018 and I didn’t take it too seriously at the time. A year later we had another chance encounter meeting and this time I decided it couldn’t hurt to give it a try; so I officially started at the end of 2019.
What was it like growing up in Barbados?
Growing up in Barbados is great! I loved that a nice beach would always be right around the corner; I was definitely a beach person, like in the summer I would be at the beach every day. I loved riding around on my bike and playing football and many other sports with my friends.
Do you think you will eventually become a full-time model? Why or why not?
Yes! I’m hoping to become a full-time model; but I know life can have twists and turns so I remain open to it happening or not happening, where ever life takes me I guess.
Where do you aspire to be five years from now and do you have plans to get there?
Five years from now I’d like to have my own home and to be traveling the world with my girlfriend- who I hope will be my wife at that time. I also want to be in a financial position to invest in Real Estate and be able to help the needy. Things don’t always go according to plan, but it’s still good to have one in place. I plan to keep an open mind and open heart to whatever opportunities come my way.
Are your family and friends supportive of your modeling career?
My mother and my close friends are supportive.
What has been your favorite part of modeling so far?
So far, my favorite part is meeting new people; trying new experiences and exercising my confidence and communication skills.
Some of your hobbies include stunt-riding and photography, do you hope to progress these talents further in the future?
Yes, I hope to progress further in these hobbies. For example the stunt riding; I’d love to build a community (of riders) where we ride for a cause…hopefully raise some funds as well and donate to different charities while having fun riding (smile).
What makes you unique from other up and coming models?
Well, I think everyone is unique in their own way; for me, I’m not sure, some people say it’s my hair or maybe my eyes. Lol.
Do you have any collaborations coming up that you’re excited about?
I’m definitely hoping to have some collaborations! I know my agency is working on stuff…don’t want to let the cat out of the bag. I like to only speak about things after they are done.
Are there any other models you would like to work with in the future?
I’d like to work with everyone! I’m new to this industry so I want to learn as much as I can from everyone.
About Acobie Inniss
Acobie is a newly discovered Barbadian model who describes himself as a “regular guy” who loves stunt riding and going for long rides on his Haro mountain bike. He says, he also likes researching things on the internet and learning new things.
One look at Acobie however, and you’ll see he’s anything but “regular”; the 6’ 2”, 21-year-old is an eclectic ethnic blend of Black; White and Indian- with a negro structured face and nose; light skin; freckles; pink lips; hair that can change color ranging from dark brown to blonde; perfect jaw-lines and hazel eyes with an intense gaze, that causes you too, to also gaze intensely. Anything but “regular!”
Acobie is not just another pretty face though, he is also talented practically with his hands. He’s a certified electrician and PV (photovoltaic) installer and sees the latter as “the future” because it’s “environmentally sustainable; good for the planet and clean energy”.
He also has a passion for photography (which he’s teaching himself); because he likes how you can “capture a moment forever.” All the knowledge he has on various topics such as his stunt-riding and photography he eagerly shares on his YouTube channel another one of his hobbies.
He loves the artist Saint Jhn (who’s originally from Guyana) and appreciates his music; success and Caribbean roots. Acobie is also into Kendrick Lamar and Arianna Grande. His favorite fashion brands he’d love to work with are Polo Ralph Lauren; Gucci and Prada.
About Rhaj Paul
Rhaj Paul is a conscious artist, whose objective is to use the medium of fashion and design to grow positivity, creativity and connection, particularly in the Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora.
From the emergence of his eponymous cut ‘n’ sewn menswear label – Rhaj Paul Montaazh (pron. ‘montage’) in 2000 to the trendsetting soft apparel Brand Evolve in 2010, and the first-ever Barbadian beard brand – The Beard Island Gang in 2014, the name Rhaj Paul has been synonymous with top-quality craftsmanship, unique style and innovative fashion marketing in Barbados.
His work encompasses bespoke tailoring and design, fashion styling, graphic design and motivational public speaking.
Rhaj has worked with various organizations, entertainers, artists, videographers and photographers and has also starred in several local movies
Passionate, inspired, skilled and committed to raising an attitude of excellence and a genuine love for authentic self-expression, Rhaj Paul represents the Ministry Of Style Creative Alliance in its mandate to grow creative entrepreneurship in the Caribbean region and beyond.
Welcome, Minister of Style Rhaj Paul Whitehead!
About Khali Goodman
Khalil Goodman is a photographer, digital strategist and writer. When he’s not art-directing or shooting a new set of images, Khalil spends too much time reading comic books and listening to all the wrong music at the right volume.
About Graham Edwards
Graham Edwards is a Model Agent and the founder and owner of GADAL Model Management Inc., a Barbadian based mother agency and model management company specializing in the scouting, training and placement of primarily black models internationally.
The name “GADAL” is a Hebrew verb for: “to grow; become great; become important; promote; make powerful; praise; magnify; do great things; to increase; to exceed; to excel; to promote; to become like a great tree or tower.”
It’s a personification of all that he wants to do for black models worldwide. He describes his job as, “doing my part to ensure a more level playing field in the fashion industry for models of color; long before Black Lives Matter appeared- I always knew black models mattered!”
Nothing makes him more satisfied than to see models of color succeed and to see them on the runways worldwide and in the pages of major international magazines.
Models scouted and placed internationally by GADAL Model Management Inc. through Graham, have appeared in Beyoncé’s music video: Get In Formation; Tinchy Stryder’s In My System; Avicii’s I Could Be The One; in shoots with Selita Banks; appeared in major fashion publications: L’Officiel Hommes; Men’s Health UK; Men’s Health Portugal; Cosmopolitan; Essence Magazine; Prestige Hong Kong; Cole Magazine; ESTE 2 and walked for international labels and designers: Givenchy; Calvin Klein; Moncler; Marcelo Burlon; Granted London; Sibling London; OTHER UK; Fausto Puglisi; Dockers and represented international brands such as: Nike; Coca Cola; Levi Jeans; Addidas; Asics and Equinox Gym.
The company has signed the models it represents into several international fashion markets and placed them with larger model agencies in: Germany; Italy; Mexico; South Africa; Spain, UK and the USA. Graham loves his job; still, actively scouts for models and is excited about every ‘new face’ he discovers and helping them achieve their fullest potential!
Simonetta Lein is the new Entertainment’s Fashion Icon. Read her interview below!
Were you nervous to step outside of your comfort zone of fashion to enter the world of television?
I began being in front of cameras when I was 16. I actually started paying my bills very young as an actress. Then social media took off and it allowed me to create a name for myself that brought me to starting The Wishwall TV Show, aired through FNL Network on Amazon Prime and Apple TV and now The Simonetta Lein Show Via SLTV. I have guests such as Bob Saget, Jodi Sweetin, Tommy Chong, Jay Shetty, Leon, Kim Sledge of The Sister Sledge and many more. We are over 40 million views and counting.
What does fashion mean to you in terms of entertainment? Is it more personal for you or more about sending a message to the outside world?
It gives a message to the outside world that through fashion, you can truly express your inner self.
What has fashion done for the entertainment industry? Do you feel an outfit can communicate an entire story?
The entertainment industry owes a lot to fashion as it is through looks and outfits that the image gets delivered to the public. It brought me to be recognized as one of the top 5 Fashion influencers in the world by Forbes, one outfit at a time.
What do you look for in a piece before you decide to wear it and make it part of your story?
I plan everything ahead thinking about what is the mood of the photoshoot or video interview or the episode for the TV show. I like to work with the same team when possible, so I want to thank Raphael Amabile, my executive producer of Ausonia Partners for making sure that everything happens behind the scenes, Kate Massih, my production manager for making sure that it all goes smoothly, Messiah Jones and Jasmine Smith respectably for my hair and makeup style and James Clark our booker producer.
Each and every one of them makes sure that my business comes to light. Only the teamwork makes it possible.
Kinida is an artist currently based in New York City. Kini’s main medium of art is experimenting with sound and color. Her music is bilingual of Korean and English, through her music she practices her native tongue. Kinida moved to New York about 6 years ago in hopes of graduating from Parsons. She quickly realized that attending BFA college derailed her financial stability. She dropped out of art school her second year, putting a behind to her graphic design and fashion design degree. She started to explore New York to find her friends and her new family away from Korea. She quickly got associated with kids that were in the same place as her, broke and homeless. After several years of associating with these new friends she realized that she had to grow out of this pattern of negativity. And truly started chasing after her dream she came to New York for. That is when she started heavily experimenting with music and quickly realized this is something that she could thrive for.
1. While growing up, did you have any people or points of inspiration that helped you get to where you are today?
Growing up I wasn’t too close to my family besides my mother and my brother. My mother really pushed me to be a strong female, she never wanted me to go through the things that she did and she regretted to this day. So since a young age I was always told to achieve my goals before sharing myself with anyone else!
I have cross paths with many different mentors while living in New York and it’s always good to have an OG’s advice. I always listen to what they have to say and apply it to my life paths and choices.
2. What has been your favorite modeling experience, and why?
I don’t really see myself as a model! However, the best experience with modeling is when I get to meet new people on set and I get to speak to people or different creatives that are involved in the shoot, also a great setting to make connections. It’s never really a fun job when people have their walls up it makes everything boring and awkward and I hate shoots like that 🙁 I just genuinely love talking to new people and hearing what they have to say about life.
3. Although studying at Parson’s got cut short, were there any valuable classes or skills you learned that guided your art?
There were few perks attending Parsons haha, the best perks were the resources that we get as Parsons students. For example, we had access to all the machines! My most valuable skill I learned is learning how to laser print. Besides that, I love history so I also loved learning objects and history. For the most part I was never a school person, I got expelled from high school and dropped out of college. I never did well with rules and guidelines. I never understood why there’s such structure in learning when everyone takes in information and learns how they want to learn.
4. Have you always been strongly connected to Buddhism, and how does it drive your artistic pursuits?
Yes, being born in Korea I was exposed to Buddhism at a young age through my grandma. I have memories of my grandma always meditating and going up to the temple. I never really understood too much of it when I was younger because it was never pushed on me but I was always around the energy. When I got a little older and my grandma passed, I did my own research and took more interest little by little. To me Buddhism isn’t a religion to me. It’s more like lessons of life I can learn and depict my own path through these learnings. I believe in enlightenment, everyone has the energy to align yourself fully and be enlightened but this takes practice and patience. This is why I strongly resonated with ‘Dakini’ which inspired a lot of my music persona ‘Kinida.’ Dakini in the origin of Tibeten Buddhism depicts female entity and energy as well symbolizes female ambiguity. I see Kinida as my meditation and guide to enlightenment with myself.
5. What was the most challenging part about navigating your way around New York while looking for artistic opportunities?
The most challenging moments I’ve experienced in New York were right after dropping out of school. One of the main reasons I dropped out was because I couldn’t afford tuition, even though I was on partial scholarship they raised the tuition every year. When I first came out to New York my parents were going through bankruptcy and they mentioned to me that they weren’t going to be able to support me for 4 years. So this is something I knew I had to face eventually and figure my life out as a young adult. I even applied for a student loan that was just for my second year through my friend’s parents, but even with that… It was difficult for me and I was pretty stressed out on top of all the school work I had to do as well.
I try to do things the right way most of the time but somehow my life pattern always takes me on a harder route. As an international student at the time and dropping out, they gave me only a week to leave the United States and my visa would become invalid. I didn’t have the finances to get my plane ticket so I ended up overstaying and became an alien citizen. It was easy to find a group of friends after I dropped out of school, I felt like I met a lot of artists similar to my situation as well which comforted me. I quickly felt like I had a huddle of friends that I could rock with, so I started couch surfing with some of them crashing with different friends and living in airbnbs week to week. It was okay in the beginning. I just knew I wasn’t going back home. There were many times that I felt like I just wanted to go back to Korea but I knew if I did I wouldn’t be allowed back in America for 10 years. This was the most challenging time for me, I could have really hit rock bottom and never be in a place that I am today. I was hanging around kids with ambitions but also addicted to drugs. At one point we wounded up getting trapped living with this couple who were heroin addicts; they would be handing out free drugs to us and we were young at the time and didn’t know much better but I always knew to stay away from whatever they were doing. I even tried to help them, but I learned a lot in those 2 years. I felt like it was a life test and I needed to pass it and I passed that shit!
6. How do you think your music impacts your audience and what kinds of messages do you try to convey through the music?
My impact with my music is both visual and sound. I want the two to merely represent each other as one. Through my music I am practicing my dakini (kinida) therefore, I want to represent the strong energy of femininity and feminine ambiguity. I don’t want to convey any message in my music other than the art itself. I want the audience to hopefully be able to relate to how I view my art and myself. I want to inspire myself to inspire others along the process.
7. How are you able to bridge multiple cultures through the use of bilingual lyrics?
I guess my first language is Korean but I do consider English as my first as well. As a westernized Asian I believe it is important to keep true to your roots as much as possible. Growing up in western culture it is very hard and confusing to identify your true self. I know a lot of my asian friends went through their own identity crisis growing up in western culture. Some of my friends don’t even speak their native tongue. I was close to abandoning my own native tongue as well but when I started making music I started practicing and writing Korean on my own and it helps me learn as I create. I just want to stay true to who I am when I create and I never want to abandon my own ethnic culture, I want people to know more about Korean culture and I feel responsible to open all the doors for that.
8. What is the most special part about your first solo EP dropping this fall?
Wooow, there’s been a lot of special moments creating this first true EP/Album! I feel like I was on trial to really find out my own sound in the beginning. It took me about almost two years of drafting music to really realize that music is something I really wanted to pursue. I was super low key about it in the beginning but as I opened up working with other musically talented people I feel like art creates itself. This project started with a draft of one song with a close friend of mine who is also one of my executive producers @yowasupfoo. Our first track that we made called ‘yessesori’ we fell in love right and we just decided that we are super compatible to create together so we kept going almost every night! Then she introduced me to @doubleyouowe who is also one of my executive producers and he really saw our vision in the tracks we were developing and he decided to hop on the project with us! So really this project has been timeless and seemingless. I’m really enjoying the process of this project and everyone that has been involved so far, I really appreciate everyone that has been believing in my sound and my vision for this project without my talented friends like Aerie and Merylin some of the tracks would not even have been possible, so I really am keeping this project close to my heart.
9. What key advice would you give to an aspiring artist trying to gain experience in a huge city?
MY TRUE HONEST ADVICE never chase money, let the money chase you 🙂
On the real side, I love collaborating with different artists! We live in a social media time, we really have the tools to connect with anyone we want. For me, I love connecting myself with different artists even if it is to collaborate or just to be friends with them. I know some people might think I’m weird for that but that’s how I’ve been making art forever. Even for this cover shoot I collaborated with @playthetrack9 Ruda who I met off of Instagram because one day I posted on my story if anyone could share their Creative Cloud account and she reached out to me, then I got to see some of her work on her page which was refreshing to me! I immediately let her know I wanted to create with her!
Making art isn’t all about yourself, that’s how you limit the potential of your own ideas. I know some of us think we can do everything ourselves but sometimes it’s okay to join with other creatives to create something bigger than your limitations.
10. How do you plan to expand your modeling, music, and other artistic projects in the future, and what are you most excited about?
I don’t want to plan anything! What I do know is that I want to create for living and I love the outlet of music because it contains all aspects of art that I want to target! So I am very excited to create and put my imagination to life 🙂
Super siblings Sydney & Ame have burst on the scene with their daily “Sista Chat” on Instagram. Recent interviews include: Godfrey, Tiffany Haddish, Cocoa Brown, Angela E. Gibbs and Ada Luz Pla with more to be announced. There is also an expanded Talk Show in the works.
Sydney, at 15 years old, excels at both academics and extracurriculars including Acting, Singing, Basketball and Swimming. Besides co-hosting “Sista Chat”, her likes include Modeling, Korean Pop (especially BTS – in fact she is even learning to speak Korean), the TV show “Lucifer”, going to Broadway shows, and traveling; she and Ame have been to places like Mauritius, Lake Como, Dubai and Oman!
Ame, in 7th grade, is a sports and music freak. She loves to Swim, run track and play Basketball (a big fan of Steph Curry) & Football (Follows the Dallas Cowboys). She Models, listens to Pop Music (especially Bruno Mars) and is a fantastic singer herself. Ame also really enjoys going to Broadway shows, co-hosting “Sista Chat” and accompanying her sister on amazing adventures to far off lands!
Combined, these exciting young entertainers bring a fresh flavor to your daily supply of quarantine video monotony with “Sista Chat”. Tune in every day for more fire!
Q: How difficult was it to get signed to a major agency?
A: In some ways it was difficult and, in some ways, not. When I was starting my carrier and nobody has heard my name, it was difficult to get in the loop. But having worked really hard and built up a large portfolio I was able to sign with my first agency. After that first agency, other agencies have opened up doors to me. It all depends on the amount of work that you are willing you put in.
Q: Have you always had a mother agent? If so, what are the advantages of having one?
A: I didn’t always have a mother agency, but I am now signed to one on a short contract. Having a mother agent is very helpful in the beginning as it can connect you to agencies around the world. They are like the middleman.
Q: Where did you inherit your innate style?
A: I have always experimented with style from a young age. I went through almost every “phase” of dressing up that you can imagine and, in the end, found my sweet spot. My current style is a mix of everything I have tried and truly reflects my inner self. Style isn’t money and it can’t be bought with it.
Q: What was it like growing up in your hometown? Do you ever visit and do they recognize you?
A: I never quite got to grow up in my hometown. I was born in Russia then moved to Thailand at the age of 2. Thailand is a beautiful and unique place that has thought me things I would have never learned elsewhere. Sadly, I have not gotten a chance to Visit since we left to come to America. I hope to go back for a trip in the near future.
Q: How did you book your first cover? Through agency or publicist?
A: Neither, I booked my first cover through my manager. While we were building up my portfolio, a magazine reached out to us asking to have a shoot and interview, to which of course I said yes!
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I plan to sign with multiple agencies around the world. I also am currently working on my Angelina Galt foundation, that helps talented children reach their goals.
Q: Any community service involvement?
A: The Angelina Galt Foundation is a non-profit organization made only to raise money for children. While doing community service is a great way of giving back to the world, I wanted to start my own foundation.
Q: What words of advice would offer aspiring talent and models?
A: First of all, believe in yourself. Seriously. No matter what anybody says and no matter how many times you think you have failed. Keep fighting for it and it will be yours. Enjoy yourself at all times and be the best that you can. Don’t pretend to be anyone else to get noticed because you want people to fall in love with you. If you become your authentic self, people will be drawn to that kind of energy.
Angelina was born in Nokhodka, a port city in the Russian Far East. In her lifetime, she traveled a lot and even lived in different parts of the world. At the age of 1, Angelina moved with her parents to Thailand, where she studied two languages; English & Thai. Ever since she was a small girl, she has absorbed the culture and manners of high society from the nanny who used to work in the Royal family of Thailand.
Beginning at 7, Angelina studied in a British school. After moving to the US, she attended a private school that allowed her to balance school and her burgeoning modelling career. In addition to modelling, Angelina is actively involved in extracurriculars like swimming, dance, singing and horseback riding.
At 15, Angelina signed an exclusive contract with a modelling agency, while already having some major fashion bookings prior to that. As her star continues to rise, Angelina has a slew of major covers and spreads coming up. Angelina is looking forward to signing with a major agency, and developing her foundation for the arts, and announcing major projects on the horizon! For the latest updates and information, please log on to http://angelinagalt.com
TRAVEL JOURNALIST THOMAS WILMER INTERVIEWS 360 MAGAZINE PUBLISHER VAUGHN LOWERY
Small to medium sized business often fall short due to high turnover. Vaughn Lowery, Publisher of 360 Magazine, provides listeners with first-hand knowledge on the ever-shifting world of digital publishing and content creation through a youthful lens. Likewise with his innate ability to be accessible, he speaks to working in tandem with emerging generations and how their input could be detrimental to the survival of a brand.
An Additional Conversation with 360 Magazine’s Publisher Vaughn Lowery
If Vaughn Lowery was asked what his idea of success was 10 years ago, his answer would be very different from what it is today. He may have said that success means doing what he loves to do, being accomplished, or having a certain amount of material things.
“Success to me now is having a purpose in life and feeling passionate and fulfilled by it,” says Lowery.
Lowery got his first taste of the industry while interning for Vibe Magazine while on Summer vacation from Cornell University. His sister drove him into New York City every morning to drop him off and always advised him to be the first one at the office. One morning Lowery found himself alone with the publisher of the magazine at the time, Keith Clinkscales, which gave him the opportunity to speak with him one-on-one. It was due to his sister’s advice that he got the chance to do what no other intern would normally get to do.
After finishing up at Cornell in just three years, Lowery became an executive trainee with Saks Fifth Avenue. He was able to get along with everyone in the office and was doing great when he was called into his boss’s office one afternoon.
“She told me I was in the wrong business; that I was very charismatic and should try acting,” Lowery says, “but, I liked the path I was on at that time.”
It wasn’t until Lowery was asked by someone connected to the talent industry if he was a model that he truly considered breaking into the talent industry. Shortly after taking professional photos and getting them out to agencies, Lowery ended up with Ford Models. From there he did photoshoots, tv commercials, and ad campaigns, all while still working in outside sales at Aetna US Healthcare. Once he began modelling full time his face was in the pages of GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Gap. By being around people of all different positions, primarily in the magazine publishing industry, Lowery came to understand how content was produced. It was right before the recession hit while he was living in LA that Lowery made the transition from modelling to the publishing industry.
It was his experience in modelling that inspired Lowery’s creation of the 360 Magazine. While working on any given shoot, Lowery was often one of just three or less black men. Often times he was the only black man on a set which drew his attention to the lack of representation in the media industry. Lowery’s goal for the 360 Magazine was that it would fill this niche and promote diversity across the publishing world, specifically the covers of its magazines.
For those wanting to work in the media industry, specifically in the publishing world, Lowery suggests starting from the ground up.
“Being self taught and learning as you go is something you need to be open to,” says Lowery, “Ask tons of questions, and learn everything you can from every position.”
Lowery warns that it’s important to be open and cordial to everyone, because you don’t know when your paths will cross again. Making connections and using them is how most people gain opportunities. He also adds that just by hanging out with people you’ll always learn something that you can apply to aspects of your work.
Things in the industry have been changing and becoming more digitally focused since the beginning of 360 Magazine’s launch. The magazine was started during a time of e-zines, so it’s not a surprise that the website came first. Lowery had experience with creating websites from a young age so the move from print to digital was natural for him. It was clear to him where the industry was going.
“Print was getting costly, bookstores were looking dilapidated and even Barnes and Noble was focusing on their version of the tablet, the Nook,” says Lowery, “All the magazines were looking alike anyway.”
Print was still important though. Besides the fact that advertising agencies want to see a physical copy of a magazine before working with them, print is taken more seriously due to its cost. Other companies will be aware that a certain magazine has the funds to support itself if they have a print copy to show for it.
360 Magazine printed their first issue in 2009, but it was costly. Lowery began thinking that there had to be some other way to work with print. It was then that he decided to do print on demand publications. 360 Magazine linked with Blurb, which allowed anyone to order a print copy of the magazine right from our website. They’ve been distributing to them for 9 years now.
The magazine’s estimated circulation, which is based on print, is 110,000 from print on demand. This number doesn’t tend to move much, but most people end up reading 360 Magazine’s online articles through WordPress.
When asked what makes a media contributor most marketable, Lowery says that in this industry you need a social following and the ability to network. Being accessible and having a portfolio of published work is a great place to start as well.
“Do it all,” Lowery says, “monetize, write, take photos, be on time, and take initiatives.”
The hardest thing about the industry in Lowery’s opinion is breaking into it and surviving on freelance jobs along the way. Writers should be prepared to sacrifice mentally, physically and financially. While working for a publication, Lowery says that writers need to do what they can to become a valuable asset to them. That way, a publication will be more likely to keep you on board and help you in the future.
As for internship positions at 360 Magazine, Lowery aims to teach interns everything that he didn’t learn. He’s assigns articles for interns to write, pushes them to network, has them do coverage and teaches them how to get published or to self-publish.
“We teach interns how to be resourceful and find themselves in the organization,” says Lowery.
When interns can bring business to the magazine, the magazine will bring business to them. Special assignment opportunities are available for interns who finish their program and are still looking to remain involved. Lowery says that while the magazine is specifically looking to groom editors, that if a publication wants to really pop, then they have to have a revolving door.
When asked what goals he has for the future of 360 Magazine, Lowery responded that he aims to keep it three dimensional with podcasts and web series.
“I want to be able to put the brand out to different countries and places in America,” says Lowery, Local presences would strengthen us.”
He also says that he’s interested in the possibility of a reality spin off or docu-series, as well as introducing more formal programs for educational purposes.