Sasha Shantel is a multi-talented model, editor, and columnist from London. Sasha is currently an extremely busy individual and we were therefore really happy when she agreed to complete a full and extremely insightful interview for Urbanity Chic. Read on to discover how Sasha got back into modeling during 2010, how she prepares for a fashion shoot and what she does to relax when not working.
Q: Who are you called?
Q: How did you get into fashion modeling?
I got into modeling in 2007 after entering a competition for a magazine called Touch Magazine. They were looking for the ‘Face of Touch Magazine’ and I felt I had a good chance of winning so I entered. I ended up placing 2nd runner up which was great because it encouraged me to do more modeling. Since then I have entered and come 5th in Mahogany Models ‘Top Model of Colour’ and I have also been a winner having place 1st in 2008 in the annual beauty competition ‘Miss Flavour’ created by Urban lifestyle publication Flavour Magazine http://www.flavourmag.co.uk. Since starting modeling I have modeled for a number of companies, boutiques, event flyers, music videos and I have also featured on a number of online and print publications including: Black Hair and Beauty Magazine, Touch Magazine, Flavour Magazine, Icandy-mag.co.uk, New Nation, The Voice Newspaper and Pride Magazine through being a featured model for UK stylist and designer Denise Brown-creator of ‘Don’t Judge Me Clothing’.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
2011 was great for me because I had previously stopped modeling to focus on being behind the scenes and focusing on my writing. However, I was signed by Pink ‘N’ Black Entertainment who encouraged me to venture back in. Since then, I have progressed and progressed. I now have a youtube channel for promotional footage, an official website which hosts my numerous talents with much more soon to come!!! My magazines and writing ventures are also in full flow. 2010 also so me gain clothing and hair sponsorship from Babyphat, ApplebottomsUK and Sleek- all amazing brands. 2011 is also a great, great year and I am excited to see what the rest of the year has to offer.
Q: Who inspires you?
People who strive for greatness inspire me. This is the main reason why I created my magazine In-spireLS because I wanted to highlight and promote individuals from diverse backgrounds and industries who are working towards achieving their goals. I also inspire me. I have overcome a great deal which I have keep private but I have come out on top. I don’t watch other people; I work on improving and enhancing me. If that isn’t inspirational, I don’t know what is.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
In terms of brands I am really more of a highstreet kinda of gal. I love H&M for jackets and shorts and River Island for accessories. However, like loads of women I love a bargain and I like to visit markets and small lesser known boutiques for gems that no-one else has!! In terms of fashion icons, I love the effortless boho chic of Nicole Richie. Beyonce also has stepped up in the style stakes and always looks amazing. Rhianna always manages to looks stunning, whether she wears designer brands or high street. When it comes to models, I have always loved how Kate Moss puts together an ensemble.
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
I have always shot inside and only recently have I shot outside which was great. I love studio though because you can turn the studio into whatever you want it to be. I am planning to do more shoots over the next few months and some will be outside, so watch this space!!
Q: Do you have any interesting stories about a particular photo shoot, or a casting you’d like to share?
It’s a cross between two shoots. The first has to be my shoot for a high fashion woman’s boutique called: JSapphirah Boutique. Their women’s shirts were amazing and exuded pure class. For that type of modeling work, the client normally features catwalk height models with very petite frames. However, I am 5ft5, with 34D breasts which didn’t go down too well with the stylist on the shoot. She told me off for not wearing a minimiser to reduce the size of my breasts and she continually commented on my height. However, it was an amazing experience and because of her guidance, the images came out beautifully. The other interesting shoot has to be my front cover shoot for Flavour Magazine. I was the first non-celebrity on the front cover and before that shoot I had only done pageant shoots so the finished product was in my opinion absolutely fabulous. A definite proud moment.
Q: How do you prepare for a fashion shoot or show?
I always have to go to sleep early the day before a shoot or I go crazy the next day. Of late, I’ve been very sleep deprived but when it comes to photo shoots it’s so imperative that you get sleep before hand. I also play as many of my favourite tracks as possible. It never fails to get me in the mood when I am blasting out music by Chris Brown, Rhianna or Beyonce!! Without fail, blasting out any song by Linkin Park always gets me hyped up and excited for shoot day!!
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
Yes, my favourite image of me is a black and white image taken by photographer Paddy Johnston and was on my websites holding page for months. I love this image cause I look hot!! Black and White images always show me at my best and over the coming months I will be taking more.
Q: Who is your favourite photographer?
I have three favourite photographers- Kosher owner of Femelle Studio and CEO of Urban Glamour publication CandyUK, Paddy Johnston who took the best black and white images of me! And Karl Lake from Set Photography. They are some of the best photographers ever!! FACT!
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with?
I love working with any photographer or artist who likes to push the boundaries.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion to me means finding what style/look works best for you. Fashion means taking chances and not following fashion but being a trendsetter yourself. It’s about projecting and exuding class and style all whilst making it look effortless.
Q: How would you define your personal style?
Classy and clean. I feel I know how to dress because I don’t watch what others are wearing. I wear what I like and I know what suits me and what doesn’t. I know what colours go with what and I get what type of clothing best suits my body shape.
Q: Where are you based?
I am based in South London, UK.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Where I come from has a great amount of negativity attached to it. I have always been taught that I am not a product of my environment. I honestly feel I could live anywhere and still have my level of drive, passion and focus that I already possess. I like where I live because every day it reminds me that I can dwell in better, but I have to work hard and harder still to achieve my goals set.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Winning Miss Flavour, starting my own magazine, gaining management from Pink ‘N’ Black Entertainment because they believe in me and my ventures 100%, gaining sponsorship from amazing brands Applebottoms, Babyphat and Sleek Hair, getting my own official website created are all major highlights. There is so much more to achieve so I am excited for the future.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
To continue to get modeling work, to continue to promote the magazines I work with and to work on expanding my brand. Next year I will be working on my 1st calendar, selling merchandise and showcasing even more talents… life’s good.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I like to listen to music. Believe me, if you ever saw my CD collection you would be shocked. What I love about my music taste is that it is so eclectic and diverse. There really is nothing you cannot find on my playlist. I love going to the cinema and theatre, shopping- for clothing of course and reading. Writing is what I do to relax the most though. When I am writing, no matter what it is.. I am at my happiest. J
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
Because I drive everywhere I really don’t listen to my i-pod as much. I have recently updated it though. I am still enjoying Mann’s ‘Buzzin’ and Chris Brown’s ‘Beautiful People’ which if you like, you can find on my website http://www.sashashanteluk.com #shamelessplugging
Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?
I’m into fitness and when I manage my time a little better I will be completing my studies to be a fitness instructor! I love writing of course, collecting music and blogging. Maybe not considered interesting but they are what they are.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring models what would it be?
Take professional pictures!! Avoid the camera phone! Exercise and eat properly. Celebrate yourself, then others will soon not have any choice but to celebrate you too.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
My passion for attaining success and becoming my own definition of the word. I have never been bored. Infact I don’t think that word is in my vocabulary. Life motivates me. Being the best version of myself drives and motivates me.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
Firstly I want to thank Urbanity Chic for featuring me J To all of the readers keep an eye out for all my ventures. My magazine especially. It’s all exciting and I hope you stay along for the ride.
Editor’s Note: Sasha Shantel has drive and determination, partnered with an intrinsic sense of flair and creativity. This means that at Urbanity Chic we’re positive that everyone will be talking about Sasha in the future as she enjoys continued success.
If you’d like to learn more about or contact Sasha Shantel just follow the links below:
facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/sashashanteluk
myspace link: http://www.myspace.com/sashashantelonline
web page link: http://www.sashashanteluk.com