Allegra Modelinc is a successful catwalk and fashion model who was brought up in Geneva but now lives and works in London. After learning about Allegra’s story and checking out some of her impressive fashion portfolio we were impressed and were delighted when she agreed to complete an interview with Urbanity Chic. Read the full in-depth interview below where Allegra discusses, amongst other things, what it was like growing up in Geneva, what fashion icons she would love to work with in the future and how her work in fashion supports her charitable work.
Q: How did you get into fashion modeling?
I started modeling by accident in 1999 at the age of 9 years old in Geneva (Switzerland). A good friend of my mom had her own agency (Seven) and thought I was pretty tall for my age. She gave me a try and I ended up doing catwalk regularly for the spring/summer and autumn/winter for a new brand fashion brand in one of the biggest shopping malls in the center of Geneva.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
The last 12 months have been rewarding for me. I have had the opportunity to do incredible catwalk shows for the London Fashion week, Pakistan Fashion Week, Zen Africa Magazine, I’ve also had the opportunity to model in the National Luxury and lifestyle awards seeing celebrities such as Stacey Solomon and Lucien Lavinscout.
Q: Who inspires you?
God and my mother are my main inspirations in life. God blesses me to carry out all my goals and my mom taught me to have determination and be independent from an early age. In the fashion industry there’s plenty models who inspire me; such as Beverly Peele, Naomi Campbell (she’s such an icon!!), Waris Dirie for her amazing journey and humanitarian organization, Liya Kebede, Alek Wek, Yasmeen Ghauri, Tyra Banks and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
The list is long! There’s plenty of urban and high fashion designers that I love including Kesshia Kumari, Lucy in Disguise by Lilly Allen and her sister Sarah Owen, Jean-Paul Gautier, Manish Malhotra, Victoria Beckham, Chandra Maharaj, Mary Tataw E etc…
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
I found shooting on location more inspirational. However I prefer to do studio shoots when it’s for highlighting an item such as bags or a shoe collection.
Q: Do you have any interesting stories about a particular photo shoot, or a casting you’d like to share?
My casting for Botswana at London Fashion week was one of the most memorable for me. I had a meeting at the Embassy of Botswana at Oxford Circus in London. I was welcomed and treated like an important politician (laugh). I have good memories of that occasion.
Q: How do you prepare for a fashion shoot or show?
I just take care of myself by doing beauty sessions, relaxing when I can to look good and to be fresh and full of energy for the big day.
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
I love the nude picture of Grace Jones taken by Jean-Paul Goude. I found it brilliant!!
Q: Who is your favorite photographer?
From all the photographers I’ve worked with until now, Marija Berjoza is my favorite. Oliver Morris is also excellent. He can be very impressive when you first meet him (laugh). I would also love to work with Jean-Paul Goude and Anne Geddes.
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with?
In term of photography, Anne Geddes and Jean-Paul Goude are my working goals’ dream. I love their work, what Jean-Paul Goude created with Grace Jones remain legendary until today and Anne Geddes managed to touch people with her intimate and crushing portrait of babies and women. When it comes to brands, I would love to work for Juicy Couture, Victoria Beckham and Kimora Lee Simmons.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
For me, fashion is a form of art and freedom. It doesn’t have limitations, rules, social status or color. It not only promotes an idea, a dream, and a creation of a designer but it can also be used for charity like we saw with Oliveiro Toscani’s work with the United Colors of Benetton.
Q: How would you define your personal style?
I define myself as a polyvalent woman in term of style. I do not have a specific style it all depends of my crush for the outfit I see. I can look classy chic one day & funky the next one.
Q: Where are you based?
I am based in London but travel to Switzerland and France quit often.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
I’m from Geneva, in the French speaking side of Switzerland. It’s a small international city where the quality of life is good; with lovely views of lake of Geneva and UN Headquarters. In wintertime, it’s also a great place to be for skiing, a sport that I love to do. In term of fashion opportunities it unfortunately wasn’t the right place to be for me, as Switzerland doesn’t have a developed fashion industry.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Working in famous fashion weeks and the National luxury and lifestyle awards were the greatest experiences I’ve had so far.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve over the next 12 months?
I would like to work with my favorite designers and photographers.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I enjoy simple things. I love to pray, go to cinema, read books or a restaurant with my friends & family.
Q: Where would your favorite holiday (vacation) be and why?
I’ve fortunately had the opportunity to travel a lot. I have seen many places but still dream to see more. Among those my favourite one would be Botswana because I love their culture and political policy, Mexico (Coyoacan) because this is where my favorite painter Frida Kahlo lives. I’d love to discover the country. I ‘d also like to visit St Lucia. I feel attracted to that beautiful Island, as well as Dubai.
Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?
My top songs these days are; A Day in the Life of Benjamin by Andre 3000 (Outkast), Come Nuh Baby by Miss St Lucia 2010 Aiasha Gustave, Smile by Hil St Soul, Amazing Grace by Destiny’s Child, You Know What’s Up by Donell Jones and Left Eye, Till The Dawn by Drew Sidora, Wine Slow by Gyptian, Sincerely Jane by Janelle Monáe, Michael Jackson’s Earth Song, Carolina by Awilo and Didn’t Cha Know by Erykah Badu.
Q: Do you have any interesting hobbies?
I love skiing, reading history/political books and traveling. I have been to 10 countries and have visited over 45 cities in France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Greece, United States of America, England and Switzerland.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring models what would it be?
To believe in your dream, have faith, work hard and keep your integrity.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
My faith leads me through amazing opportunities and my personal history. I grew up in poverty but was taught about perseverance and hard work by my mother from an early age.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
I’m an activist model and have been working with various charity organizations such as Save The Children. My mother has also founded her own charity cause “soupe populaire Allegra & Michel-ofik” that’s aim is to take care of extremely poor children that live on the streets in an area of Kinshasa in the DR Congo.
Editor’s Note: Allegra’s great bone structure and dynamic energy will ensure that she continues to be in demand over the coming months and years as a fashion model. At Urbanity Chic we’re also really impressed how she uses her fashion career to support her charity work that definitely makes a difference to those most in need.
If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with Allegra just follow the links below:
Twitter link: https://twitter.com/AllegraN2
Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/allegra.modelinc
Tumbler link: http://allegra7.tumblr.com/
Magazine link: http://zenmagazineafrica.com/models/allegra-hot-mesmerising/