First published on 5 Apr 2012. Updated on 23 Apr 2012.
I’d never thought about modelling. A scout approached me and my mum in a train station when I was 15. Mum arranged a meeting, but about a week later I shaved my head, so I wasn’t equipped to start working. I didn’t really want to at that age anyway, I’d just come to Australia [from Japan] and was still sussing out everything.
I was still in high school when I learnt how to do ‘the walk’. I had to practice after school with my first booker. For someone who’s never worn heels before, it is really hard. Suddenly, you feel like you’re literally filling a woman’s shoes but you’re not a woman yet. You feel like you’re going through a rite of passage.
It’s nice watching young designers find their element. Dion Lee and Romance Was Born were just starting when I was, and now a few years on they’ve accomplished so much. It’s awesome to see Australia and Australian fashion embrace them. Dion also just showed in London, which is really cool.
Australian models draw attention to the Australian market. A fair few are doing really well overseas. Seeing them come home is what I’m looking forward to the most this Fashion Week.
Models do watch those reality TV shows… if they own a TV! Most of us are pretty aware of them because the winners get signed to an agency and we end up meeting them. I think it’s really cool that the Australian media can help push forward young girls in the industry.
Being Eurasian helps. As a Eurasian model my market is pretty set out on its own. There aren’t really that many mixed-race models working in Australian industry, so I feel pretty lucky.
Backstage drama is a myth. In any industry there’s going to be drama if there’s a minor problem or glitch, but for the most part I wouldn’t say any more than in any other job that I’ve had.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay 2000. http://australia.mbfashionweek.com. Apr 30-May 4.
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