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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Interview with Miami Photographer Jonathan Kama

Jonathan Kama is a very talented photographer from Miami, Florida. His photos can be seen in FHM, Fashion Ledge Magazine, LMH Magazine, and several others. Jonathan enjoys the creativity that photography allows him to explore, and he has extensive experience as a portrait, art, glamour, fashion, commercial, and lifestyle photographer.

I am thrilled to have been able to ask him a few questions about his career. It is equally as great to have his insights into the modeling/photography industry. I hope you enjoy :-)
Above: Model-Natalia, Photo by Jonathan Kama

AVIVA: How long have you been doing photography?
JONATHAN KAMA: I’ve always loved photography, ever since I was a kid but I was never anything more than a hobbyist who liked to take pretty pictures until recently. Back in the 90’s I bought a Nikon 8008s from a friend and used it to take landscapes and typical travel shots while traveling around Europe and the U.S. but didn’t start working with human subjects until January of 2009. Prior to that, it was always just something I enjoyed but didn’t take very seriously.

AVIVA: Who/what inspires you as a photographer?
JK: Initially, my inspiration was my son, Xavier. He was born in the middle of 2007 and, shortly after, I decided to buy a digital camera to document his life. He seemed to, at first, tolerate the camera, then be curious about it, and, not long after, shun my attempts to photograph him most of the time. So, I thought, maybe I should just try to find some models and work with people instead of places. I’d literally avoided having human subjects in anything I photographed prior to that, because, well, to be honest, those people were in the way, rather than a part of the architecture or location I was attempting to capture. An ad on Craigslist and a friend pointing me to Model Mayhem and the rest is history, as they say. Strangely, now I find myself looking at places as locations and backdrops rather than subjects.

Most of the artists whose works inspire me are well-known masters, like Herb Ritts, Ansel Adams, Helmut Newton, Steve McCurry, Joe McNally, et al. However, there are some great contemporary photographers whose work I admire: Kenn Lichtenwalter, Shane Perez, Thomas Dodd, Sarah Small, Mojokiss, Anthony Neste, and Harold Glit. I find myself drawn to their websites and images and am constantly amazed by their creativity.

Above: Photo-Jonathan Kama

AVIVA: What achievements in your photographic career are you most proud of (publications, etc)?
JK: I’ve had a few smaller magazines and websites publish my work, but my biggest publication to date is in the May 2011 issue of FHM, with the gorgeous Tahiti Cora. She is, by the way, one of the sweetest, nicest, most beautiful women I’ve had the good fortune to meet and I’m very proud of the layout we did for them.

AVIVA:  What advice could you offer to photographers who would like to submit to FHM?
JK: Honestly, I just got lucky with them. Cora liked our shots and was approached by FHM. She asked me if she could submit the images we created to them and, of course, I jumped at the opportunity. I am honored to be included in a magazine known for its style and incredible selection of breathtakingly beautiful models. I’ve kept in touch with the editor and they’ve expressed interest in a couple of other models I’ve sent to them and I’m in the process of setting up shoots for future publication in the magazine as well.

As for advice: Treat your models with respect and as equals, rather than objects. If they like you and love what you create together – for it’s not just about you; without them, it’s just a picture of a landscape or abandoned building - they’ll be the ones to make or break your images.

Above: Jonathan Kama's FHM Tearsheet from his shoot with Tahiti Cora.

AVIVA: Do you have any memorable/crazy/funny shoot story that you would like to share?
JK: *laughs* Oh I have some memorable and crazy stories, but most are a bit too risqué to share and most would probably make me a few enemies if those involved found out I’d told about their stumbles on location or wardrobe malfunctions! I’ve had the good fortune to work with some wonderful people but, to me, the most amusing are the newbies. As far as ‘funny’ goes, there was one model who showed up three hours late to a shoot. I asked her why she was late, obviously a bit peeved that she was THAT late, and, without any intended humor, she said, quite simply: “I’m Brazilian.” I started to laugh, thinking she’d made a joke, but realized quickly that she was dead serious. In her mind, it was quite acceptable to do whatever she wanted, just because, I guess, she assumed people would accept that as an excuse. It was our first and last shoot.

AVVA:  What do you personally believe is/are important attribute(s) for a model to succeed?
JK: Well, first, be on time or, if you can’t, at least show the courtesy of letting your photographer know something’s come up in a timely fashion. Nothing bothers me more than a model who books a shoot and either disappears entirely or shows up really late. 10, 15, even 30 minutes I can handle, but, whether or not you’re being paid, show up on time, be ready to shoot, and leave any emotional or mental baggage you have from a bad day behind you. I have a pretty much zero-tolerance policy for flakes these days. I don’t care how gorgeous you are, if you flake on me, you’re on The Flake List and have burned down that bridge. It’s funny, when I first started, there were quite a few models that had flaked entirely that, as soon as someone showed them my publications, messaged me asking to shoot. I politely said: “Thanks, but we had a shoot scheduled at such and such a time and date and you didn’t show up then. Good luck!”

You never know whom you’re working with and where they’re going in life, so, follow the golden rule and give the same respect you expect in return. Other than that, I’d suggest models practice their trade, just like any other; be aware of trends and styles and poses and expressions, but don’t just copy them, make them your own! The world has plenty of those ‘high fashion’ crampy, arms-in and back arched poses, models covered in caution tape, or using a belt as a bra images already. Find the next thing, rather than follow clichés.

One more thing: When you’re practicing your expressions and poses, FEEL what you look like; don’t just see. I haven’t had a single shoot where I’ve carried around a full-length mirror and shot through a hole in it, and know of no other photographers who do either so it’s safe to assume you won’t be able to see yourself while shooting. Hence the reason ‘feeling’ the way your body looks is important to duplicate what you saw in your mirror.

Above: Photo-Jonathan Kama

AVIVA:  Do you have any favorite photography books that you would recommend newer photographers to read?
JK: There were two that were recommended to me when I started and from which I learned quite a bit: “Light: Science and Magic” by Hunter, Biver and Fuqua, and “Understanding Exposure” by Bryan Peterson. I’d agree with those that pointed them out to me that these texts, though at times overly technical, are a must for beginners and those wishing to brush up on their technical knowledge of lighting.

AVIVA:  If you could shoot/meet 5 famous people, who would they be?
JK: The Dalai Lama (love his energy), Adriana Lima (seriously, could she be more beautiful?), George Clooney (coolest man on the planet), Thom Yorke (such an interesting character) and Hayao Miyazaki (I’d so love to watch him create his masterpieces).

AVIVA: What would you do with the money if you won the lottery?
JK: Easy, I’d travel the world with my son and show him absolutely everything I’ve read about or seen in National Geographic and document both the sites and his reactions to the many beautiful and interesting places and people.

I'd like to thank Jonathan for this interview, because if it wasn't for him, this insightful post would not have existed.

You can check out more of his work on Model Mayhem, Facebook, and Deviant Art

Aviva :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Elegant STYLEBOP Look

A while back, I was "e-window" shopping again...I do that quite often, in fact. Of course, I go and look at the website (a), because well, they sell good quality designer clothing, shoes, handbags, and more stuff that I like to check out.

ABOVE: Lovely black dress. I think that it would look great with black leggings and high heels.

ABOVE: I love this handbag. I'm a lover of all shiny accessories, and this is just something I would like to add to my "list of things to get when I can afford it". It would look good with the dress that is also featured in this post.

ABOVE: I absolutely love these shoes. They would be great at a shoot, though I am not sure how long I would be able to walk in them. Either way though, they are very stylish. I think that they would complete the outfit that I put together in this post. High heels make the legs appear longer, which is another reason why many women like to wear them.

Would you wear this outfit? Can you think of anything to add to it?

***Images are from the STYLEBOP WEBSITE***

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How to Fill Out Your Model Mayhem Profile

When you are signing up for Model Mayhem, you will be asked to fill out your "About Me" section with a minimum of 100 words. Yes, photos are an important component of starting your profile, but it is equally as important to write something about you that will encourage your profile viewers to want to work with you, as opposed to click away from your profile the moment they read the first line.

The "About Me" section, your stats/details, and your avatar photo are the first things that a person sees when they go to your profile on Model Mayhem. This is exactly why it would be best for you if you fill it out completely and accurately.

When I was first starting out on Model Mayhem, I made some mistakes in how I filled out my "About Me", and now I want to save you from doing the same, which is the only reason I wrote this article.

1. For your "About Me" section, you can write what type of modeling you are interested in, themes you are interested in shooting, who you would like to work with, if you have any past modeling experience, your general availability, and if you have any scars/birthmarks/stretchmarks/piercings/tattoos. You may also indicate if you are interested in nude modeling or not, as there will be people who will ask you to pose nude.

It's OK to write "I am not interested in nude shoots" but do not write "I DON'T DO NUDE, DON'T ASK, I HAVE SELF-RESPECT". Writing such a statement (especially in capitals) can prevent others from wanting to work with you because you are offending a large majority of MM's membership who shoot nude (and who make a living doing it). Everyone has their own views on nudity, but you don't need to make overtly harsh statements one way or the other.

What you also don't want to write is that you are going to be a rich and famous supermodel, how you'll be a star, how you will replace Kate Moss, and how you will revolutionize the modeling industry. Having dreams is great, but it's also good to be realistic when it comes to your chances of actually doing such things.

It's also not a good idea to have a bunch of negative statements in your profile about stuff that you won't do.  Having a long list of demands, such as "all photos on a CD immediately after the shoot" "no signing of releases", can also backfire on you and prevent good people from wanting to work with you (especially when you are new and have those demands).

You also don't want to lie about your past modeling experience in your profile, nor do you want to say that you posed for Vogue, Maxim, or Playboy (and other such large publications) because people can easily tell if you are lying. First off, if you had posed for such magazines, you would have tear sheets or other evidence to back it up.

Additionally, don't go on and on about your favorite food, favorite colour, or what you do in your spare time. When people are looking for models, they don't care that your favorite colour is green, nor that you like to eat your pancakes with maple syrup in the morning, nor that you like long walks in the park. Basically, if it is not relevant to your performance/aspirations as a model or how you are at shoots: don't write it in your "About Me" on Model Mayhem.

2. When you fill out your stats/details, fill it out completely. It will ask for your weight, height, measurements, and other sizing information. This is very important because if you say that your measurements are 34 24 34 and you show up 38 28 39, people will notice. Also, if you say you're 5'8" but you show up to be 5'5", it will get found out, the same way that if you say you're 120 lbs and you show up to be 150.
The point of this is: be honest. Whether you are 110 lbs or 210 lbs, there will be photographers for you on Model Mayhem who prefer one over the other. Therefore, lying about your measurements will not necessarily get you more shoots. If you do lie, then make sure that it's not by more than 1 inch either way, and I realize that MM does not allow for half sizes.

3. Pick an Avatar photo that makes the viewer want to open your portfolio. It should be one of the best photos that you have that show off your talent/look.

If you are thinking of starting a Model Mayhem account, I hope that you found this article helpful.

Cheers and best of luck!


P.S. Do you think there should be something to add to this?

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's OK to Say "No"

If you have just started modeling, especially if you joined a networking site for models, you will get several offers from people who you may not want to work with before you get offers from people that you do want to work with.

The people that you would want to work with are probably those that you should approach yourself, because chances are they get so many messages from people wanting to work with them that they do not have the time to send you a message, or even look at your profile.

However, if you get a message from someone that you don't want to work with, or whose concept/idea/proposal does not appeal to you, don't be afraid to tell them that you are not interested. If that person is mature, he/she will take it with a grain of salt and won't contact you again with the same proposal.

If he/she chooses to have a hissy fit about your response, and starts telling you about the "world of opportunities" that you have missed by choosing not to work with him/her, or starts writing you nasty messages in response to your rejection of their offer, then the best thing to do is to block the person and stop all future communication. By nipping this in the bud right then and there, you are saving yourself a world of weirdness/trouble. If that person reacts that way to a simple "Thank you for your offer but I am not interested", think of how they would react to your future communications where you happen to disagree on something.

The person who sent you the proposal to work together should understand that rejection is part of life.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Aviva's Favorite Charm & Chain Bracelets

Charm & Chain (aff) has a lot of beautiful bracelets, necklaces and other jewelry. However, let's start with the bracelets. Later on, I will be writing about some of my other favorites from Charm & Chain.

I looked through 243 bracelets, and with that in mind, here are my favorite 5 bracelets from Charm & Chain :

Above: Lena Cuff by DANNIJO. WHY? It is colourful, classy and sophisticated. With this bracelet, a plain boring outfit will have a dab of gorgeous colour that will definitely be noticed.

Above: Thin Citrine Cuff by Hassan Bounkit WHY? Personally, I like shiny stuff. At the same time though, this bracelet is not an "in your face" kind of shiny. It has just the right amount of shine.

Above: Champagne Dust Organic Hinge Bracelet, Warm Grey by Alexis Bittar. WHY? I think it would look good with some of my other accessories for shoots.

Above: Everyday Gold Bangle. WHY? Because it can add some substance to a casual outfit.

Above: Crystal Snake Chain Bracelet by Rachel Leigh WHY? I love it because it looks like a really cool braid, and I think that it can be used at shoots as well as for everyday wearing, provided that the outfit is appropriate?

What do you think?

***Images from the Charm & Chain website (aff)***

Friday, June 10, 2011

Markus Klinko+Indrani+Daphne Guinness=A++ Team

I am thrilled to be able to post the results of yet another great collaboration between amazingly talented celebrity photographers Markus Klinko & Indrani, and gorgeous Daphne Guinness. These images were shot for an advertisement for Barneys New York, and they look absolutely stunning.

When it comes to shooting, Markus & Indrani, and Daphne are an A++ team. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what the wonderful creative team will come up with next.

Earlier this year, I had the honour of interviewing Markus Klinko, and you can read the interview HERE.

You can also follow Markus & Indrani on FACEBOOK, check out their WEBSITE, as well as follow Indrani's TWITTER, and Markus' TWITTER.

Aviva :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Interview with Arizona Fashion Model Michelle Mousel

Michelle Mousel is an amazingly talented fashion, runway, commercial, and editorial model from Arizona. She frequently works in Los Angeles and is represented by Ford Models. In addition to working with some of the best creative teams in the United States, she has traveled internationally for modeling.
Above: Michelle looking amazing on the cover of Nailpro Magazine.

Michelle has been published in several magazines, including: Seventeen Magazine (ad for TIGI in the USA),944 Magazine (ad for Sessy Clothing), Dillard's (College wear), Runway Magazine (USA), YES Magazine (Arizona), PHOTO Magazine (France), Go Gilbert Magazine (Arizona), Kontakt Magazine(Arizona), Java Magazine, The Bund Magazine (Shanghai), UNIQ Magazine (Las Vegas), Life Dynamix Magazine, Chiffon Magazine, Nailpro Magazine, Beach Magazine, Faslife Magazine, Harlow Magazine, Neux Magazine, AZ Magazine, Impostor Magazine, Estetica Italia Magazine, Sedona Monthly Magazine, St1gMedia Magazine, Eliza Magazine, JETSET Magazine, and many more.

She has been able to land several covers, and has walked in a variety of runway shows, including for Dior.
In addition, she has been featured in many advertising campaigns worldwide.

It is my pleasure to have been able to interview Michelle for this post, and I hope that you enjoy her insights into the modeling world as much as I did.

Above Image Credits: Vanessa Perez (Makeup Artist), Abel Sandate (Hair Stylist), Marcus Hoffman (Photographer)

AVIVA: How long have you been modeling?
MICHELLE MOUSEL: Nearly 5 years.

AVIVA: Have you always wanted to be a model, or did you have other career goals when you were younger?
MM: I wanted to be a Marine Biologist but once I got the idea of modeling in my head I never let it go.

AVIVA: What achievements in your career are you most proud of? (publications, etc...)
MM: Magazine work. I'm always proud of it because I have a tangible piece of work I can go give to my mother. She's my biggest supporter!

Above Image Credits: BTFL PEOPLE (Clothing Designer), Vaunn Yevo (Photographer), Michael Brent (MUA/Hair), Jewelry (Mai Collections) 

AVIVA: Do you remember how you felt at your first commercial shoot?
MM: My very first job, everything that could go wrong-did! I was shooting for Dillard's and my clothes hadn't finished drying, so I left to the job with a damp shirt and jeans, then it was an hour away in which I had trouble finding the location. I didn't have a nude bra, so I got in major trouble for that. It was still my worst job to date! I was only 19 then and didn't know anything.

Above Image Credits: (Photo) Tyrone Lavigne, (MakeUp) Eneli Voltein, (Wardrobe) Chanel Rene

AVIVA: Who/what inspires you as a model?
MM: My mom! She won't allow me to give up and she thinks of innovative ways for me to become better and offers the best advice! She keeps me going when it's most easy to just give up.

AVIVA: What piece of advice could you offer to models who are just starting out?
MM: Find a mentor! No amount of Internet searches can prepare you for the hardships of a career and no one else will have your best interest in mind. Everyone is out to take advantage of you somehow and you need someone, preferably an experienced model or industry professional, who can offer great advice and really wants you to succeed.

AVIVA: If you could meet any well-known person, who would it be and why?
MM: Jessica Stam. She is my favorite supermodel and it would be so interesting to see what she's like in person!

AVIVA: Other than your look and fashion model stats, what other factor(s) have been crucial to your success?
MM: Personality. I truly think it's the biggest factor! Being energetic, happy and grateful has gotten me repeat jobs with clients.

AVIVA: What would you do if you won the lottery?
MM: I would help my parents get out of debt. LOL! After doing luxury things with the extra I would attempt some humanitarian efforts.

AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
MM: For aspiring models, having the stats is only a small portion of being a successful model. If you really want to be the best at what you do, be the most fun, optimistic, exciting, intelligent person to be around and word of mouth will take you very far.


I would like to thank Michelle for this great interview, and I wish her all the best in the future.

You can see more of Michelle's work on her WEBSITE , and check out her business profile on MY HEALTH NATION.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Interview with Playboy Model Lauren Vickers

I am very honoured to have been able to interview Australian-born model Lauren Vickers for this feature.

Above Image Credits: Photography by Jessica Abraham, Makeup by Susie Ayoub, Hair by Barbi Ayoub

She has been shooting for over 13 years and got her start as a fashion, editorial, and runway model. As she got older, she branched out into several different genres of modeling, such as glamour, commercial, beauty-and excelled. In addition to modeling, she does TV presenting and hosting.

Above Image Credits: Photography by Marty Lochmann, Hair/MakeUp by Simone Cozens

Lauren's amazing beauty, attitude, talent and posing skills earned her the title of Playmate of the Year 2010 for Playboy Italia, as well as countless other magazine features and commercial work.

Above Image Credits: Photography by Anthony Adamson, Hair/MakeUp by Tricia Albulario

AVIVA: Have you always wanted to be a model, or did you have other careers in mind when you were younger?
LAUREN VICKERS: I wanted to be a vet when I was young, but I was allergic to cats (!) so I took up my second dream to be a model when I was given the opportunity at 11 years old.

Above Image Credits: Photography by Anthony Adamson, H&MU by Tricia Albulario

AVIVA: What inspires you as a model?
People and their amazing creativity. For the creatives of my shoots - I get inspired by clothes, photos, makeup, colours and textures. Then I look at all the people I admire who are doing so well in their chosen fields and think how I can apply that to my modeling.

Above Image Credits: Photography by Anthony Adamson, Hair/MakeUp by Tricia Albulario

AVIVA: What career achievement are you most proud of? (publications, etc)
There's a few! Taking the big leap to model overseas, creating my own career path for myself without anyone's help and of course working up to being selected as Playmate of the Year for Playboy Italia. I'm also proud of the reputation I have built for myself - the many years of hard work have paid off!

Above Image Credits: Photography by Edwin van Wier, H&MU by Linda van der Laan

AVIVA: What do you feel is the most exciting part about being a model and why?
I love that I get to constantly transform into new characters everyday. One day you can be an editorial geisha and the next day you can be an oiled up sex kitten - it's so amazing to work with people who can take your ideas to another level, I'll have some incredible work to look back on one day.

Above Image Credits: Photography by Alex Chailan and David Piolé

AVIVA: If you could meet any person (living or dead), who would it be and why?
I would just love to pick Elle Macpherson's brain to see how she's been so successful but still stayed so grounded all these years.

Above Image Credits: Photography by Danial Gowans, HairMakeUp by Erin Bigg

AVIVA: What are some of your other passions/interests?
I love an unusual mix of things; fashion, motorbikes and cooking.

Above Image Credits:Photography by Stig P

AVIVA: Other than having a great look, what else do you think has been crucial to your success as a model?
You need to learn to build a thick skin for yourself and to take every critique as an opportunity to better yourself. A good work ethic and a level head also goes a long way for your reputation which can win you jobs against other models who are just as beautiful.

Above Image Credits: Photography by Matt Pho

AVIVA: What piece of advice could you give to the aspiring models (who would be reading this)?
This industry can be trying at times, but if you keep at it, do your research, look after your body and embrace each new opportunity with a smile - you'll go a long way!

Above Image Credits: Photography by Jessica Abraham, Makeup by Susie Ayoub, Hair by Barbi Ayoub

AVIVA:  Do you have any additional comments?
Thank you to everyone who enjoys seeing my work, your support means the world to me and keeps me motivated!

Above Image Credits: Photography by Luca Starace

I would like to thank Lauren for this interview. It was a pleasure! I wish her all the best for many years to come.

If you would like to see more of Lauren's work, visit her website, Facebook Page, and Model Mayhem.

Above Image Credits: Photography by Luca Starace

Sunday, June 5, 2011

South China Five Elements Holistic Centre (Victoria, BC) Review

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited by Leon Skender, one of the operators/practitioners of the South China Five Elements Holistic Centre, located at 2658 Fernwood Road to try out a Lymphatic Drainage Massage. In addition to lymphatic drainage massages, the clinic offers a variety of painless Ayurvedic medical services, which can be great alternatives to western medicine for some people.

When I first walked into the clinic, I was greeted by Leon and Dr. Wendy Linehan. Both were very friendly and service-oriented, and showed great care for everyone who walked in. The atmosphere was very relaxing and calm. Peaceful music was playing and I felt very comfortable when I was there. It definitely looked like it was built for relaxation. The reception room smelled great and I honestly believe that the incense helped clear my stuffed-up nose.

Upon my arrival, I was also served water and a strawberry-flavoured protein smoothie, which was great because I had just finished a workout.

This was my very first time getting a Lymphatic Drainage massage; not only that, I was still getting over a cold at that time. I was glad that Dr. Wendy explained to me that if I have a cold or a flu, I might feel worse immediately after, but that I would also get over the sickness a lot faster due to the cleansing nature of such a massage.

Both Wendy and Leon are very knowledgeable and experienced in this field. I learned a lot about health while I was waiting for my session.

The massage itself was great! Before my massage, I had lactic acid build-up from my intense workout 20 minutes before I got to the clinic. After the massage, I felt re-energized, re-charged, my sinuses were clear, and none of my muscles were sore. I was also given some immune boosters which I believe helped me get over my cold, because the next day, I did not feel sick at all!

In addition, after the massage, I was given 2 packets of K-OTIC Pre-Workout supplement, which I have yet to try (review to follow).

Sometime in the near future, I am looking forward to interviewing Leon and Wendy about their careers, their take on health, and more, so stay tuned for that.

All in all, I highly recommend that you book an appointment/consultation at South China Five Elements Holistic Centre (250-383-8136), and treat yourself to a relaxing, energizing, and healthy massage.
Happy Health!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Interview with Laura Ashton of Haute Pink Designs

Laura Ashton is a very talented clothing designer from Victoria, BC. She founded Haute Pink Designs in 2005 because she has always had a passion for creating unique and colourful pieces.

Haute Pink Designs has a beautiful selection of swimwear to choose from! Laura takes pride in constantly striving to further bring innovation into her designs.

I am honoured to have been able to interview Laura for this feature.

Above: Beautiful models Grace and Sophia rock Haute Pink Designs.

AVIVA:  What inspired you to become a clothing designer?

LAURA ASHTON: I became inspired by clothing at a young age, I am self taught and learned to sew by altering off the rack clothing to fit me better. I began making swimsuits when I was about 16....And have been hooked ever since!

AVIVA: Have you always wanted to be a designer, or did you want to do something else when you were younger?
LA: When I was a small child I lived in a remote logging town on the coast of northern Vancouver Island. So at the time I wanted to be either a Helicopter Pilot or a Tug Boat However since then I have tapped into my creative roots and love working with spandex. Though I still like taking a chopper to a remote coastal island once in a while :)

AVIVA: Do you have any clothing designers that inspire you (if so, who)?
LA: Yes...there is a Montreal high end swimsuit designer that creates the most amazing swimsuits made here in Canada. The company is called Shan and they have achieved international success. I think it is very inspiring.

AVIVA: In your opinion, what is the most exciting thing about being a clothing designer?

LA: The most exciting thing is creating a new design and having it work out perfectly....then dreaming up any fabric combination you can think of, and of course having a ton of swimsuits in your personal collection to choose from.

AVIVA: What do you believe sets Haute Pink Designs apart from other swimwear companies?
LA: Haute Pink is the only local swimsuit label that offers the choice to customize any suit with whatever fabric combo you would like out of our fabric gallery and mix and match designs and sizes. There are endless options for the client to put their own touch on a one of a kind designer swimsuit.

AVIVA: What are some of your other passions/interests?
LA: I am also a botanical artist and am currently working towards a diploma in Botanical Illustration from the London Art College. I am very outdoor inclined and go hiking, biking and swimming. I also enjoy searching out and identifying the native plants of Vancouver Island.

AVIVA: If money/time were no object, what is your ultimate goal in the fashion industry?

LA: I would have a couple of store front Boutiques for Haute Pink as well as a Private Seaside studio. I would have more employees helping me with production and increase my wholesale clientele. I would pursue coverage in leading fashion magazines as well as the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit magazine.

AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
LA: One of the most satisfying things about creating swimsuits for clients is getting their happy feedback and knowing that they feel great in their swimsuit and have the option to create the kind of swimsuit they are looking for.
Currently I am working on a Summer 2011 line that features some more novelty designs that you would not be able to find in most stores. This should be launched some time in June.
I would like to thank Laura for this great interview, and I am looking forward to meeting her one day.
You can check out more of her work on the Haute Pink Designs WebsiteFacebook Page, as well as her page on Etsy.
Aviva :)
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