Londone Myers Talks Instagram Fame, Cadavers, And The Future

As one of the most recognizable and versatile new faces in modeling, Londone Myers can be seen in campaigns for Prada, GAP and Topshop. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to Ms. Ross, this wide-eyed beauty with her distinct diastema is as down to earth as they come. I spoke to Londone by phone to talk about her entry into modeling and plans for the future.

You were born in D.C. but grew up in Georgia, is that correct?

Yeah.  I grew up with my mom, dad and my sisters. I am the middle child out of three and we moved to Georgia back in 2008.

Is that where you were discovered?

Oh, no. That’s an interesting story. When my parents got divorced and moved back to D.C. I was discovered on Instagram.

That’s cool.

Yeah, I was discovered on Instagram by a New York agency. I took the Megabus, because that’s all that I could afford, from D.C. to New York. The first agency that scouted me was MSA Models. I was only with them for about a month before I was scouted again when I was in Paris by a placement agency called Starsystem. They asked me if I had an agency and I told them I did but I wasn’t very happy with them. While I was in Paris they set up a bunch of interviews with different agencies and the creative director told me not to get too excited. I flew back to New York and once I hit the ground I had to see all of the counterpart agencies to the ones I saw in Paris. I went into The Lions office and I remember I sat down and started telling a really morbid story about one of my old autopsy experiences. Louie Chaban’s ears perked up and he turned around and he suddenly had so much interest in me.  We started talking and I stayed there for an hour. It was such a great experience to be able to pick whichever agency I wanted to join.

Does Louie represent you?

Yes, he does.

You were discovered on Instagram. Were you looking to get discovered or was it something that just happened?

No never, it just kind of happened you know.  I was one of those awkward kids and my jaw-line didn’t come in until I was like 20. I was super weird-looking and I just didn’t think that I fit the bill because I was pretty short too.  My agency marketed me as the newer type of millennial model with personality and charisma. Now, they are encouraging me to pursue acting. I’m about to have a few vocal classes so we’ll see.

What are your long-term goal and ambitions?

I have always seen myself teaching or maybe as a Kindergarten teacher. I’ll see how far this takes me and when I feel like it’s time to move on I’ll just apply to college to teach.

If you weren’t modeling, would you be going to college?

Yeah. I went to Montgomery College when I was still in Maryland and I worked with an autopsy technician at Georgetown University. I wasn’t even a student at Georgetown, which is the funny part. I was still at the Montgomery College Takoma Park campus going to be a paralegal but I felt like the world was taking me in a different direction. I just stopped going to school there and I started working with this guy. I used to learn so much about the human body and how it functions. I am one of those people who wants to know how things work and what they do and what makes something do what it does.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

That’s an interesting question. I would say, appealing to the weirder crowd and learning a little bit about the fashion industry because it’s not really something you learn in school.

What were some of the misconceptions that you had when you went into it?

Oh, I thought it was only full of tall, white models. I remember watching a documentary about black models and how hard it was to find an agency and how hard it was finding someone who knew how to do black hair. I went in expecting everyone to just hate me but I connect with everyone I talk to. It’s just been great, you know.  I didn’t really expect the fashion industry to be interested in someone like me. I am just a nerdy girl from Maryland.

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Model Sarah Abney On How Social Media Helped Shape Her Career

Whether she is gracing the pages of Italian Vogue, Another Magazine or Numero as a Nordic blonde, goth or red-head, Sarah Abney’s ethereal beauty is reminiscent of a bygone era. Her gaze is equal parts aloof and come-hither that challenges the viewer not to fuck with her. Ranked on Models.com’s Hot List, Sarah is definitely one to watch.

Tell us your childhood growing up in Northern California.

I grew up in San Francisco in a small household with my parents and older sister. We lived behind a mountain and the weather was always foggy. My parents came to San Francisco in the 1970s and fell in love with the city and made it their home. I think my favorite part about growing up in San Francisco was how accessible nature was, driving around in my car, all the city freaks, and at the time there was a great community of music and art.

How were you discovered?

I was scouted when I was 15 at a shopping mall in San Francisco by Wilhelmina Models but, I decided to pass and finish high school. When I was 18, I got scouted again by a San Francisco modeling agency and worked with them for two years. I decided to not re-sign after my contract was over and explore other things. At the age of 21, I moved to New York City and was scouted at a music festival upstate at the age of 22.

What role has social media played in your career?

It’s played a big role. I feel like I have been able to use my social media as a platform to show people I am not only a model. I dabble in many different art forms. I’ve landed other jobs besides modeling through my Instagram like DJ’ing and performance art.  It’s interesting and fun to remove yourself from what people may think of you but, I feel like my role in social media is true to who I am. It’s also a great way to connect to people.

What misconceptions did you have about the industry before entering it?

I didn’t realize how intense Fashion Week was. When I was younger, it looked so glamorous traveling the world and walking in shows but, it is exhausting! I’ve learned after a couple of seasons how to prepare. Once I got the hang of it it became less treacherous.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

I feel so lucky and grateful for all the experiences. Working with Steven Meisel and his team for an editorial for Italian Vogue was incredible and career changing. I loved working with John Galliano and his team at Maison Margiela for his couture shows. Those memories I will cherish in my heart forever.

If you weren’t modeling, what would you be doing?

I think I would be either in school studying naturopathic medicine or special education.

What’s currently on your radar?

I’m currently directing a short film with my friend that will come out in the fall.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I have psychic abilities.

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Introducing Kenneth Guidroz Jr.

Star of the Ralph Lauren Polo Red Extreme fragrance campaign, Kenneth Guidroz Jr., oozes a masculinity reminiscent of the male supermodels of the nineties. A favorite subject of legendary photographer Bruce Weber, Kenneth has graced the pages of Vogue Hommes and CR Fashion Book in addition to staring in campaigns for Barney’s and C-IN2.

How were you discovered?

Initially on a site called Model Mayhem by a guy in Dallas that runs a magazine. After working with a photographer here in New York, he introduced me to Jason Kanner, who is my current agent.

What do you hope to get out of your modeling career?

Well, like all of us, I want to get paid and book lucrative jobs. During the process I hope to make great friendships along the way. I also hope to inspire others that have aspirations to pursue modeling.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

It’s gotten better every year since I started but I’d have to say that becoming a part of the Ralph Lauren fragrance franchise has been my greatest accomplishment.

What challenges have you faced in the industry?

Getting people to look past the obvious (tattoos, physical size, age). Also ,finding productive things to do with all the downtime and developing patience.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

That even though I look big and intimidating, I’m actually a sweetheart with a big heart and wouldn’t hurt a fly, unless I was eating it. Also, I always cry when movies have a happy ending about people who overcome high adversity and obstacles.

What are your long-term goals?

To become a better father. To continue to make my momma proud. To become a better person. To pursue acting.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Travel.

What’s currently on your radar?

I really want to do a music video with a top female artist. I also look forward to taking my son to Disney World.

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Frances Coombe On Fashion’s Progress And Making The Hot List

Editorial favorite, Frances Coombe has carved out her niche in the fashion industry with spreads in Italian Vogue, Numero and ELLE as well as making Models.com’s Hot List. She’s walked for Marc Jacobs, Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein, Anna Sui, Ralph Lauren, Marchesa, John Galliano and Saint Laurent, to name a few. With an ability to inhabit various guises, Frances has shown staying power in an industry predicated on change. I spoke with the Toronto native about growing up in Canada and so much more.

Tell us about your childhood growing up in Canada.

Growing up in Canada was great. I grew up on the cusp of Scarborough and The Beaches and enjoyed having a city life. I was always academic but had a passion for the arts; dance, mixed media, photography, painting, drawing, drama and music. My parents always encouraged us, my brother and sister, to create.

Tell us about how you were discovered.

I was scouted in my tenth grade career class by a booker named Alison MacGillivray. I had braces at the time so I waited until they came off that summer to start testing. It wasn’t until I was 18 that I moved to New York full-time after I left high school.

What were your misconceptions about modeling before entering the industry?

I don’t think I really had any misconceptions with modeling before I entered the industry. I sort of had an idea in my mind of what it was and it has somewhat stayed true to that. Maybe it is a little harder work than I had imagined in terms of travel and dealing with large egos.

What’s on your radar at the moment?

At the moment I think fashion is headed in a better place than it has been in the past. It has always been a way of making statements. Politically and socially the industry is reaching to use that to address discrimination, racism, feminism, but there is a long way to go. I am just happy to see more inclusion of people, after all we are all equal souls with different packaging. We all should be entitled to fair treatment and representation.

How did you feel when you made Models.com’s Hot List?

When I made the Hot List it was a pretty cool feeling to have known that I was recognized for all of my and my booker’s hard work. It was sort of like a trophy, encouragement to keep going and produce even more great work and collaborate with more amazing, talented and creative people.

What’s been your most memorable moment so far?

My most memorable moment was when Hedi Slimane gave me a custom necklace one season after the shows were over. He hadn’t said anything about it so when I opened it at my apartment I was genuinely surprised and just felt the love. He encourages the men and women he works with to be themselves, which I admire.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

People would be surprised to learn that I decided to become a vegetarian at the ripe age of five.

If you weren’t modeling, what would you be doing?

If I wasn’t modeling I would still be in fashion. There was a Fashion Communication course at a university in Toronto that I would have applied to if I hadn’t moved to New York that summer and also if I had finished high school.

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Debra Shaw Talks Fashion And Her Musical Project Debra’s Dream

Born in Philadelphia and raised in New Jersey, Debra Shaw was a designer’s dream manifested. Her lithe figure and angular features were a favorite of couturiers Galliano, Ferre and McQueen. She appeared in Robert Altman’s Prêt-à-Porter and George Michael’s Fast Love in addition to appearing on a commemorative stamp issued in Gibraltar. Now living in Paris, I caught up with Debra to talk about fashion and her new music project.

Tell us about your childhood growing up in New Jersey.

Growing up in New Jersey township, the energy could be slow. My dream was to be in a city where things were happening faster, like Philadelphia or New York City.

You had an interest in fashion growing up. Did you have any idea how that would manifest?

I was inspired by people who had a unique fashion style. I studied design and afterword I decided that my dream was to travel to Europe.

Tell us about how you got into modeling.

Since Paris is where I wanted to live, I entered a modeling competition where I won first prize, which was a trip to Paris.

Which designers and photographers were the first to support and advocate for you?

There are so many supporters from different regions such as New Jersey, Philadelphia and New York City. They were the first to encourage me from an early start.

How has the industry changed since the nineties?

The roles of the models today are very different than the ones in the nineties, where designers encouraged the models to be expressive and creative like actresses.

The Fashion Spot’s biannual diversity report shows incremental improvement in casting for the Fall 17 runway shows. Why do you think the fashion industry has been so slow to diversify?

In the late nineties there was a shift happening in the fashion industry with new positions created in the business. This major change affected also the hiring of the models and the diversity.

What achievement are you most proud of?

I feel blessed to have worked with amazing artists in the fashion industry and that my work became an inspiration for other artists and models. Today I am a singer performing at sold out concerts in Europe. This is  such a great emotion!

What advice would you give to your younger self-starting off in the fashion industry?

I would tell my new models, whom I consult with today, that looks are a small portion of the business. It’s also important to think about the bigger picture and your future thereafter.

Tell us about what you’re up to these days.

My new music project is called Debra’s Dream. It’s an exciting  storytelling adventure which mixes my singing and spoken words with original jazz and funk compositions. I feel very grateful for this opportunity.

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