Spotlight Interview – Sam Gilliver

Sam Gilliver is a versatile commercial fashion model from Auckland, New Zealand. At Urbanity Chic we were really happy when Sam agreed to complete a feature interview so that we could share her portfolio of work with you and give her a an opportunity to let you know a bit about herself. Read on to find out about how Sam got into commercial fashion modeling, her love of rock music and what advice she’d give to young or aspiring models.


Sam Gilliver


Q: How did you get into fashion modeling?

I actually decided to be brave one day and enter our New Zealand Miss Lingerie Contest which showcases some new New Zealand Lingerie Designers while making it a fun competition for the girls. I made it through to the regional’s and into the big final which was an amazing zigzag catwalk show! I was approached after that by various photographers and a few agencies. I had some professional photos taken signed up and made it my goal to get my name out there network and take up every opportunity I could.


Q: How was 2010 for you?

2010 was my year this was the year it all happened. I was previously doing promotional modeling so getting into fashion and commercial was harder work, I had to exercise more often and start keeping diaries nothing I was used to before as I love to keep plans open, I learnt so much of what I know about modeling in this year.


Q: Who inspires you?

I like to be inspired by the people who surround me. The emotion that’s attached to the people I love is the biggest inspiration.


Sam Gilliver

Sam Gilliver


Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?

I really love unique boutique designers with random bits and pieces. Very similar to my fashion icons, I like them to be different and strange.


Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?

Theres things that I enjoy about both, on location there’s lots more to play with and you have the open space around you  and all the elements to inspire you. In a studio it really takes knowledge of the angles of your body and the shape your trying to create, you can also have lots of fun editing in backgrounds and scenes.


Q: Do you have any interesting stories about a particular photo shoot, or a casting you’d like to share?

I was in the New Zealand Performance Car Magazine as March “Eye Candy of the month”, I Also won Cover Girl Of the Year for that issue. I was photographed by David Fan who is amazing and taught me lots.


Q: How do you prepare for a fashion shoot or show?

I try to relax eat healthy and get lots of sleep a few days before. The night before is when I prepare, shower nails anything that needs to be done, Maybe some research if its themed.


Sam Gilliver

Sam Gilliver


Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?

Haha I cant decide, I have a few favourites.


Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with?

I would love to work with people who like to create art. I’ve done a lot of glamour modeling and I really want to get more into the artistic shoots.


Q: What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion means personality to me, people dress to their moods, lifestyle, likes and favorites. There’s no right or wrong just different opinions, the more designers are creating pieces the more unique everybody can be or choose to be.


Q: How would you define your personal style?

Haha i have two sides. When I go out I love looking a little edgy and a little different mixing girly pieces with hard rock or boyish pieces… Im a sucker for boots! No heals just lace up flat boots I have them in all sizes for all outfits. When I go out I go out to have a good time and my boots mean I have the freedom to do whatever I want. When im at home or during the day I like dress more comfy, I still like my hints of girly meets rocker but a bit more relaxed.


Q: Where are you based?

Auckland New Zealand, I love it. I know I’m going to see the world and explore the entire earth.. But ill always feel New Zealand’s my home.


Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

New Zealand is supposed to be separated by 2degrees of separation.. so living in Auckland it always feels like a small world, you’ll be connected in some random way to your new work colleague who might have dated your new boyfriends friend etc.. It’s a safe feeling knowing you’re sure to see someone you know when you’re out and about and events.


Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

I won Cover Girl of the Years for Performance Car (A New Zealand Magazine). (


Sam Gilliver

Sam Gilliver


Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?

I would like to get more into commercial modeling do some more look books and catalogues advertising etc… as well as modeling I feel this year will be my year to decide if I want to do anymore further study, Biochemistry interests me but also scares me at the same time.


Q: What do you do to relax?

Well I’m a bit busier now so to relax I like to be with my boyfriend and do nothing just blob in front of the TV. When I had more time I used to read.. ALOT, 2 books a week I’m addicted to paranormal romance.. Cheesy I know but I just can’t get enough of it. I don’t read too much now because once i start you can’t stop me.


Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?

I listen to a lot of different genres but the most common on my IPod would be rock, new school and old school one of my favorites is Metallica I recently missed out tickets to their last tour.. I cried 🙁


Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?

Kickboxing. At first I started it to keep in shape but I kept it up because it became more of a social occasion with my girlfriends. I would say googling is a hobby of mine too. I google everything. When I’m bored I google.


Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring models what would it be?

Don’t wait for jobs to come to you. If you want your name out there more, actively seek your own jobs, photographs and shows.


Q: What motivates you to do what you do?

The results! I love looking back at all the photographs and creating new things, it also motivates me further into modeling and looking after myself.


Sam Gilliver


Editor’s Note: We expect Sam Gilliver to travel extensively over the coming months and years as larger organisations discover her marketable look.  Watch this space!


If you’d like to see more of Sam’s portfolio just follow the links below:




About Urbanity Chic

Urbanity Chic is an interactive magazine for anyone who loves fashion and style.

Find out about the best style tips, fashion trends as well as in depth articles about the most influential fashion icons, fashion designers and fashion photographers.


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