Taylee Breeze & Drew Miante, Kidz Fashion Week

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Two local girls were very fortunate to be selected for Kidz Fashion week in April this year, when Steve Harris from Fab Photos/Fab Models put their names forward for the event. Taylee Breeze and Drew Miante both enjoy different aspects of modelling and they have very dissimilar career aspirations, but they both agree being involved with Kidz Fashion Week was a privilege and a fantastic learning experience …

Taylee Breeze

Hi Taylee. How old are you, and how long have you been modelling?

I’m 15. I’ve been modelling for round two months now.

I started because my mum won a free photoshoot, and she gave it to me. I did the shoot, and it was a lot of fun.

I had thought about modelling before; I thought it’d be really cool, but I never followed through with it.

At my first photo shoot with Steve (Fab Models) I was really nervous at first, but as I became more comfortable, I really enjoyed it.

You’ve enjoyed some success, too, in the short time you’ve been modelling, being selected to attend Kidz Fashion Week in Sydney. What was that experience like?

It was awesome! I didn’t feel like I did a very good job with the audition, so I wasn’t keen at that stage to continue on with the competition. Then when I was selected, I became more motivated to give it a go. And it was great!

I was selected by Kidz Fashion Week to audition based on a photo that was sent in by Steve (I didn’t just turn up to the audition, as some kids do). I didn’t really know much about the event beforehand; I’d heard of it, but that was about it.

What was involved with the audition … and also the event itself?

For the audition, I had to walk into a room with all the other kids, then pose and walk like on a catwalk. It wasn’t a very difficult process.

After my first rehearsal, I was given an outfit to wear for Kidz Fashion Week, which I took home with me.

My outfit was a bluey/purple, sparkly dress designed by My Street Threads.

What was the best part about Kidz Fashion Week for you?

It was just so much fun; the best part was the new friends I made and walking on the catwalk. I got to meet and model with Darcey Wilson, who plays Eloise “Elly” Page on Home and Away. She’s been in a few movies too!

Darcey just came up and introduced herself to me; we talked a lot that night, and still keep in touch.

I actually made a lot of friends through Kidz Fashion Week!

I honestly thought the event would be very serious and not much fun …  but it was actually really laid back and heaps of fun! I’d do it again.

What’s your normal style/daywear?

I love jeans, shorts, shirts and Converse, but I will wear dresses and high heels if I have to.

Modelling can be seen to be glamorous, but a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes. What have you learned from the industry since you’ve been involved?

I’ve learned that I shouldn’t be embarrassed about things that I enjoy doing, and I shouldn’t worry so much about what other people think.

I’ve gained a lot more self-confidence.

How much support have you received from your peers/friends at home in Port Macquarie for what you’ve achieved with modelling to date?

I was really concerned what people would think about me modelling, but then I got a burst of self-confidence and posted on social media about how I’d started – and even the people I thought would be negative were actually really supportive.

I know this isn’t always the case, and that others have been given a hard time when they decide to do modelling.

I’ve been really lucky.

What are your other interests?

I surf with Wayne Hudson from Port Macquarie Surf School and I enjoy basketball.

Looking further ahead now, what are your future plans? More modelling?

I’d do more modelling if I had the opportunity, but it’s not my long-term goal. I’d like to work in law enforcement; I’ve wanted to be a police officer since I was ten.

Thanks Taylee.

Drew Miante

Hi Drew. How old are you, and how long have you been modelling?

I’m 17. I started modelling at quite a young age … I remember walking around in high heels when I was tiny, and I guess it started from there.

I loved participating in Pixi Photo shoots when I was little, and I did a professional agency photo shoot in Sydney with my foster sister when I was around four.

I’ve become more and more interested in modelling, but it’s always been kind of hard in our area. I started doing modelling shoots with Steve (Fab Photos) and a few other things on my own, to get myself “out there”.

How were you selected for Kidz Fashion Week, which you were involved with recently?

Steve from Fab Models put my name forward (he is always looking out for opportunities for me) … and then we received the call to say we’d made the audition stage. We travelled to Sydney for the audition/casting call, and I think there were around 400 plus kids who applied. My group were one of the first to audition; we had to walk to music and pose.

It was a little nerve-wracking … But at the same time, I knew it was what I wanted.

Maybe a week later, I was told I’d made it through to the final event. Only few from each group made it through, so Taylee and I were very lucky.

I did some research about the event after Steve put my name forward, because although I’d heard about Kidz Fashion Week, I didn’t really know much about it.

What was involved with the event … and what did you have to wear?

I wore My Street Threads, which is a French brand; Meg has an online store and a pop up shop pop-up shop in Double Bay.

It took a while to sort out my outfit because I was taller than all of the other models. When I went to the fitting, the dress I was allocated was too short, so I tried swapping with Taylee, as her outfit said “tall”. But, it didn’t fit either! We had to arrange to visit the shop and try on a few things (which was fun!) When trying on various outfits at the shop, the assistant took photos of each one on her phone and sent them to Meg to make a decision, as she couldn’t be there on the day. I ended up wearing some really cute overalls, which I think I might need to buy!

You attended a media launch for the event too. What was this experience like?

We were able to choose our own outfits and hairstyles for the media launch, which was at The X Studio in Sydney. We had some great photos taken … There were so many kids in there; it was crazy! We got to speak to Meg, who found us – she recognised me from the photos taken in the shop. We had the most amazing chat, and we discussed the possibility of being a brand ambassador for her store. She really liked the fact that I am tall, as she didn’t have any tall models.

Everything that’s come out of Kidz Fashion Week for me has been amazing!

What have you taken away from the Kidz Fashion Week experience?

Because I was the oldest model in this event, I’ve learned that I can be a bit too much of a “stage mother” when it comes to worrying about what the junior models were doing. I also study entertainment, so I tried to help as much as I could, but this meant I let the focus shift from what I needed to do. I need to keep myself in check and try not to be distracted by any backstage antics and ensure I am prepared to hit the catwalk in the right mind set and focused on showcasing the clothing.

I’ve also learned that modelling is what I want to do; Kidz Fashion Week was fun, I loved “the walk”, but I also know I need to practice my posture, walk and posing more.

I’ve been working with a few local photographers to do some fashion shoots at local scenic spots and using Facebook and Instagram pages (Drew Inara) to hopefully get more exposure as there aren’t a lot of opportunities in Port Macquarie.

What are your other interests and/or usual fashion choices?

As I’m in Year 12 and studying for the HSC, I’m really busy at the moment. I’m doing textiles as a course, and I’m really enjoying that, but between studying and working, I’m finding I don’t have much time right now.

I admire Dolce and Gabbana and their designs have been a huge influence on my Year 12 major work for my textile course; I really like their fashion line.

Otherwise, because we live in beautiful Port Macquarie near the beach I’m more into surf brands generally!

What are your future aspirations? Professional modelling?

I really want to pursue Catwalk Modelling – I love it! Being on the catwalk is a surreal experience and it’s addictive. I’ve thought about moving to Sydney or Queensland after school to hit the casting calls for more opportunities.

Final say …

Catwalk models in the industry are generally size 6 – 8 and anything above that is classed “Plus Size”. Crazy isn’t it; in the real world most of us would consider size 16 and up as plus size. As I am a size 8 and a more sporty/athletic build, I’ve had to deal with the fact that I’m classed as a “plus” size. I’m OK with that though; I represent a healthy look. I’m happy with who I am and my body shape, and I’ve learned that these labels are just that … “labels”. I’ll work hard to prove girls like me are worthy of the catwalk, and not let the stereotypes worry me.

You can see some of my modelling photos at: https://www.facebook.com/drewinara/

https://www.instagram.com/drew_inara/

Thanks Drew.

Interviews by Jo Robinson.

Photos courtesy of Fab Photos.

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