Cat Achieng is an experienced and creative fashion model who is currently living and working in London. After checking out some of Cat’s work within her portfolio, we were delighted despite her increasingly hectic schedule, when she agreed to be interviewed by Urbanity Chic. Read on to find out, amongst other things, her inspirations, what she’s recently been working on and where her ideal holiday destination would be.
Q: How did you get into fashion modeling?
I started modeling when I was 14. My mum took me to an agency that as suggested to her by a friend. I modeled for about two years then stopped because it was clashing with my studies at the time. I have recently started modeling again.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
The last 12 months have been very adventurous and exciting for me. I have travelled to 7 countries and had the chance to meet and work with amazing people.
Q: Who inspires you?
My mum. Her patience, the love she has for my siblings and I and her amazing strong work ethic inspire me very much.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
I have so many fashion icons they include Mira Duma, Rihanna & Josephine Baker. I am currently obsessed with Philip Lim & Nicole Richie’s House of Harlow 1960.
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
I love shooting both on location and in the studio it depends on what the concept is and the team I am working with.
Q: Do you have any interesting stories about a particular photo shoot, or a casting you’d like to share?
I always have many interesting stories to tell about my shoots. But my most memorable one is when I had to shoot 8 outfits for a catalogue in shoes that were 2 sizes smaller. I was grumpy the whole day but the pictures turned out to be my most outstanding ones in my portfolio.
Q: How do you prepare for a fashion shoot or show?
I always ensure I get at least 6 hours of sleep before a shoot or show. Also listening to music on my way to the shoot relaxes me at the same time getting me amped and full of energy.
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
I don’t have a specific favorite photograph. After every shoot there’s always pictures that I really love and some that I don’t.
Q: Who is your favourite photographer?
My favourite photographer that I have worked with is Masatoshi Yamashiro. He is a celebrity photographer who is now based in Japan. I had lots of fun working with him. You can check out his work on : www.masatoshiyamashiro.com/
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with?
Although I love collaborating with talented and creative individuals, it would be a dream come true if I could work with Terry Richards & Mario Testino.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion to me is a way of expressing my inner self and not a reflection of other people’s expectation of what should be expressed. It is always based on my mood and what I find interesting.
Q: How would you define your personal style?
I am big fan of vintage fashion and mixing various styles together. I experiment new things from time to time, I don’t have one personal style.
Q: Where are you based?
I am based in London but I have been modeling in Tokyo for the past two years. I will be going to Kenya in October.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
I am from London but I am originally a Kenyan from Mombasa. I was there this summer and loved being by the white sandy beaches. I also loved seeing all the Big 5 when I went for Safari. You can read about my holiday in Kenya on: http://www.catachieng.co.uk/search/label/Kenya.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
My highlight to date was when I got to work for Issey Miyake and got to meet him.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve over the next 12 months?
I hope to collaborate and work with more creative and talented minds. I am also working on my fashion/media company and hope the boutique will launch in the next 12 months.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I love Yoga and taking long walks whilst listening to music on my iPod.
Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?
My favourite holiday would be the Maldives. Just search for Maldives on Google images and you would see why :-).
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
I have quite a lot but these are my current favourite ones. Lose yourself to dance – daft punk, Get lucky – Daft Punk ft Pharrell Williams, Mirrors – Justin Timberlake & Adorn -- Miguel
Q: Do you have any interesting hobbies?
I love being in the nature and going for drives up in the hills. I did that quite a lot when I was in Japan and got to chill by the lake viewing Mount Fuji. Such an amazing experience!
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring models what would it be?
Never give up on your dreams. You may come across obstacles but don’t let that bring you down. Work hard and within time you will see the fruits of your hard labor.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
I am highly motivated to do modeling because I enjoy it and I get to meet creative and talented from all walks of life. I also learn quite a lot about the fashion industry and I cannot wait to apply all of this knowledge into my fashion/media company. (www.fiallis.com)
Editor’s Note: Cat Achieng has a great portfolio, which clearly demonstrates her appreciation of the creative arts and fashion. We’re looking forward with interest how Cat’s career in fashion develops over the coming months and years,
If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with Cat Achieng just follow the links below:
Twitter link: https://twitter.com/catachieng
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/Catherine.Tanya
Web page link: http://www.catachieng.co.uk/
YouTube embeds: http://www.youtube.com/catachieng
Vimeo embeds: https://vimeo.com/26802469