Rayneisha’s fashion journey takes her to London, via Milan and Paris

The road to becoming a top fashion model involves a lot more than knowing how to strut on the catwalk, one Bermuda model has found out.

Rayneisha Bean is studying business in London while she pursues her dream to work in the fashion industry.

The 19-year-old took part in London Fashion Week last September and has also participated in such local productions as the Evolution Fashion Show and the Dukes and Duchess’ Fashion. She also appears in the latest issue of Style Bermuda Magazine.

“I like the ability to be able to transform into different characters,” she said. “You get to act, and different fashion shoots have different hair and make-up. Sometimes designers want you to be sultry, sexy or innocent. It is a bit like playing dress up, and you get to step out of being yourself for a bit.”

Miss Bean has wanted to be a model since she was seven-years-old, but really didn’t start doing it until she was in high school at the Bermuda Institute.

“I guess I always walked a certain way and people would say ‘you walk like a model’,” she said. “We moved to Boston when I was almost eight, and not long afterwards I was approached in the mall by a scout. The talent scout said I had beautiful eyes and asked if I had considered being a model. I said yes but I was too scared to tell my mom.”

But watching the television programme, ‘America’s Next Top Model’, cemented her desire to hit the runway one day. She learned about the industry by watching the television programme, and she also befriended models on Facebook and asked them questions about the business. From them she learned what to wear on casting calls and other important information.

After graduation, her family gave her a trip to the modelling capitals of the world @ Milan, Paris and London. She used the trip to revel in high fashion, and also to visit different modelling agencies.

“I wanted to hear the feedback, because you never really know what the agent thinks of you before you go, or if you even have the potential to do it,” she said. “I didn’t go to any agencies in Milan. In Paris I went to the Marilyn Agency, which is the biggest modelling agency in the city.

“At the Marilyn Agency, the first issue was if you were over 16 they want you to be at least 5ft 9 and I was 5ft 8½. They do measure you. They said my face didn’t market towards commercial, but towards higher fashion. So that was when I went to IMG Models.

“There I had some good feedback and they said that if I grow it will be a good thing. At one agency the agent suggested I don’t start in Paris because of my skin colour. I was surprised because I am light-skinned. The agent told me the designers were not fond of mixed or black girls. He said I would have better luck starting somewhere like London or New York.”

At the end of the trip, she moved to London to study business and finance at West London College. There is a fashion design course at her school, but she is not interested in this aspect of the industry.

“I like modelling more and the creative process that goes into fashion marketing,” she said. “I think that has made me want to go into business. After watching ‘America’s Next Top Model’ I realised that it is important to have knowledge of the business. I took accounting when I was in high school and I really enjoyed it.”

In September she took part in the Next Top Model UK fashion show during London Fashion Week along with four other Bermudian girls.

“A lot of people didn’t know I also took part,” she said. “I modelled clothes for designer Omar Mansour, and others. Only two of the Bermudian girls were younger than me; the rest were older. I didn’t give them advice, but if I had I would have said ‘If this is your passion, then pursue it, but if it is just something you want to do on the side, it might not be a good idea’. It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of rejection and a lot of long hours. If it is not a passion I would say don’t do it at all.”

Right now, she is working hard to stay in shape, and to stay toned. Like most students in their first year of university, she has found this to be a challenge.

“While I was in Paris, the agent said I needed to tone up a little,” she said. “You have to be really skinny. I have a limit, because I really love food so I will never get to the point of anorexia but I did go through a period where I was very conscious about my weight.

“I was drinking detox teas and doing other things to lose weight. I am trying to do it now in a little bit more healthy way. Last semester I did Zumba classes, and I recently signed up to a gym. I want to do salsa and contemporary street dance. I think dance works more for me, because I find just going to the gym and using the treadmill to be very boring.”

From: Royalgazette.com

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