GLW - What are the traits that make a person a great model?
Ava - Commitment, discipline, a good work ethic, a healthy lifestyle, kindness and self-respect.
GLW - Not everyone can be a doctor, a designer or model. There are special skills, and talent involved in being a model. What are those?
Ava - All those selfies you exhausted your parent’s cellular data usage limits on ARE going to pay off one day. (Laugh). Knowing your best angles, how to pose, how to walk the runway and how to speak and act, are critical.
GLW - Can models be superheroes?
Ava - Absolutely! And Models can also be amazing mentors. Some are genuine humanitarians. I’ve been blessed to have met many.
GLW - What are the features modeling agencies are looking for these days? Height? Couture 0-2 Measurements? Youth? High Cheek Bones?
Ava - You can throw all of those out the window, and that’s a good thing. Over the past 3 or so years? a major shift has occurred in the industry. Everyone is viewed as being beautiful in her/his own way, as they should be, and the industry is embracing that by featuring models in every demographic, shape, size, appearance, self-identified gender and disability. It’s a banquet with a place-setting for everyone at the table
GLW- This is very idealistic but not everyone can get the job
Ava - Yes, of course but the industry is more open to more variety and offers opportunities for a larger group of models.
GLW - What makes you unique to the industry?
Ava - I once thought I had something unique to the industry, but I was put in place very quickly during two agency go-sees. The first was the time I was asked to change into a bikini for digitals. As a female scout was measuring me, she asked “Why do you have all those big white blotches over your body?”, while exhaling in disgust. I suspected this visit was going to result in a huge “No” from that agency, and it did. The second was with a veteran scout in New York who quickly put me in my place when asking me what I thought made me unique. I referenced my vitiligo. She quickly said “There’s nothing special about your vitiligo. It’s just a yeast infection. There is absolutely nothing special about yeast infections.” Looking back on it, I think they did me a favor. It made me more resolute.
GLW - What is your cause?
Ava - To help make the industry a better place for EVERY model to work. And when I say every, I mean every.
GLW - Real talk! Talk to us about your fears, hustle and injustice you’ve experienced.
Ava - Wow! These have all been great questions. Fears? Who isn’t afraid of being rejected, humiliated and taken advantage of? Now try it on the public stage. It happens. But it is part and parcel of the industry. As with any job, you are going to work with amazingly kind people, and amazingly unkind people. (Laugh) My hope is that the latter become few and far between.
GLW - Hustle?
Ava- It never ends.
Injustice - Everyone has had them. I have not been immune to them. I admire those that refuse to allow injustices to define
GLW - What was your favorite show at NYFW?
Ava -I had the pleasure of opening and walking the runaway for designer Alexandra Popescu -York's show at NYFW powered by Art Hearts Fashion .It was one of the most amazing fashion experiences i have had to date. Working with Alexandra was an incredible opportunity. She is truly a gifted fashion designer. It was also great to work backstage with model/Fashion coordinator Gabriela Panduru and the amazing team of professionals