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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Interview with Fashion Model Christie Gabriel

Christie Gabriel is an established model who has over 12 years experience in runway, commercial, editorial, music video, fine art, and spokesmodeling. In every photo, she exudes beauty, confidence, elegance and sheer talent.

Her most notable gigs include the following: Cartier Diamonds campaign, Vogue Espana, two years in a row of New York and Chicago Fashion Weeks, face of Opera Swimwear, Several covers for Suburban Nitelife Magazine, Face of James D'Colon Designs, Maquillage Magazine, Simply Vera by Vera Wang, Teen Vogue, 2 P Diddy videos, Ricky Martin video, Roy jones Jr video, Nair Commercial, Skittles commercial, Aveda campeign and several hair shows, Skin Inc Magazine spread, several David's Bridal runway shows, Home Shopping Network, Lifetime Fitness, three separate editorial spreads in a row for 4pm Magazine, and Graftobian 2011/2012 Catalog, Bella Morte, and Coup Magazine.

Below: Fashion tear for 4PM Magazine SEPT/OCT 2010. Photo by TH Taylor.

In addition to being a successful model herself, she takes great pride in mentoring new models to help them succeed as well. She is a firm believer in the fact that a model does not need agency representation in order to be successful, which is what her new book, The Self-Made Model - Success Without Agencies, is about. From what I have heard, it is a FANTASTIC book for aspiring models who would like to learn how to get started as a model, how to pose, how to book jobs, and how to market themselves.

I am honoured to have been able to interview Christie for this feature, and I hope that you too will enjoy it.

Above: Photo-Nadirah Bahar. You can grab Christie's book HERE

AVIVA: Have you always wanted to be a model, or did you have other career aspirations when you were younger?
CHRISTIE GABRIEL: I wanted to be an architect actually. Since I was in first grade I'd spend hours drawing up floor plans. As I grew up I realized there was way too much math and college involved in it which took out a lot of the fun.

AVIVA: What did your parents/friends first think when you told them you were going to start modeling, before you succeeded at it?
CG: My mom was 100% all for it, as were most of my friends, although some of them did try to convince me that it was a bad idea to chase a pipe dream. My dad on the other hand….12 years later and I'm still not sure he's completely warmed up to the idea; we just don't talk much about work.

Above: Photo by TH Taylor

AVIVA: What achievements are you most proud of? (list publications, big gigs, etc).
CG: Sure I've worked for a few famous brands/people but honestly, I am most proud of my work educating and encouraging aspiring models. It's so rewarding to see these girls go from self-conscious beginners to confident world traveling professionals.

AVIVA: What excites you the most about being a model?
CG: I love the idea of bringing a creative vision to life. Whether it be a client's/photographer's or my own, helping to create something that didn't previously exist is an awesome feeling.

Above: Photo by David Hickey, MakeUp by Gia Deo.

AVIVA: What inspired you to write "The Self-Made Model - Success Without Agencies"?
CG: There is so much outdated and inaccurate information out there regarding modeling agencies. Most aspiring models still think that the agency route is the only way to truly become a successful model. That is just not true anymore.

In the last 6 years, I have booked far more work freelancing than I have through agencies in the same time frame. So, I wrote a book that would help others do the same.

The Self-Made Model - Success Without Agencies is part how-to guide and part behind the scenes journal that encourages models to take control of their careers and become their own bosses.

AVIVA: What do you believe was the key to your success as a model, other than your look?
CG: I have an insane amount of ambition and perseverance. From the beginning of my career I decided that whatever I set out to accomplish, I would. Every year I'd set another seemingly impossible career goal and be sure to make it happen.
It is also important to always be professional, always. Word spreads like wildfire in this industry and one slip up can burn your reputation to the ground.

Above: Photo by TH Taylor.

AVIVA: What piece of advice would you give to aspiring models (who are reading this)?
CG: There are a lot of people and things that will try to stand in your way and/or take advantage of you in this industry. Arm yourself with as much information as you can from experienced professionals.

AVIVA: What are some of your other passions/interests?
CG: I'm an artistic person so of course I love modeling as well as painting and making strange wardrobe pieces for shoots.

AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
CG: Quick shameless plug: For nearly 200 pages of inside information that will help guide you to career success, grab a copy of my book on amazon . wink

I would like to thank Christie for her time and this interview. I wish her continued success for years to come. :)
If you would like to learn more about Christie, check out SELF-MADE MODEL, like her page on FACEBOOK, and PICK UP HER BOOK !

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