What man doesn't enjoy a 'made to measure' suit?! If you're unsure you likely haven't had the experience of getting your suit 'made to measure'. Well until the 23rd of September (Sunday) The Bay - Rideau Centre is having their 'made to measure' sale in the 'West end' section on the second floor men's department. Did we mention the 20% off part? no? Well, there is that too!!
On the same note, while you're there take a stroll through some of the great brands The Bay is carrying, both for the men and the women. We had the opportunity of being shown some of these great labels by special events manager Bonnie and we were pleasantly surprised! With labels like Z Zegna, Calvin Klein, Strellson, Rachel by Rachel Roy, Material Girl and so many more, it's very much worth a look!
Yes, we've interviewed a model working in Shanghai before, however, M.I.M's Ramata offers us a different perspective on the Shanghai market, being a dark skinned model where Caucasian is often preferred.
Name: Koundienetia Ramata Coulibaly
Mother agency: MIM (Models International Management)
How long is your contract? 3 months
What could you tell us about the market for new models/models whom have not yet been?: Shanghai is a commercial market where the girls are mainly booked for catalogs or presentations. Models do not need to be super tall or super slim to work in Shanghai, however they do prefer young girls, but there are always a few exceptions. It is a money market, so models have to be prepared to spend long hours going to castings, as agencies here make you work hard and constantly.
What is something interesting/different about the city?: Even though I don't normally take Transpo or the Metro, Shanghai has the largest bus system in the world.
What is the shopping like?: The shopping in Shanghai is not the best. There are a few boutiques from amazing local designers but they can be quite expensive, so I often find myself going to Zara or H&M. There is a market called Qipu Lu's Cheap-o Loot and it is amazing! You can find great purses and accessories for really cheap prices, and you can often bargain for 60% less then the price they give you. If you have small feet there are great shoe finds. Although the shoes aren't the best quality, they are very affordable.
Any current fashion trends that stand out/ different that you have noticed?: The people in the city are very animated and their style definitely fits their personalities. They love anime and they often dress like them. There are a lot of bright colours, patterns, girly shirts, bows, etc. They are basically grown ups dress like kids.
As far as trends go, I have noticed a big trend when it comes to shoes - they love platforms How do you feel your look stands out in this market?: As mentioned, Shanghai is a really commercial market, and they prefer really young girls with long hair and big blue eyes, which is the total opposite of me. I mostly go to request castings, show castings and do direct bookings because the local brands aren't ready to use me yet.
This is actually to my advantage as there are no other black models here and I believe I am one of the first to even come to Shanghai! Not only am I black, but I am also a high fashion model, so most high-fashion clients either book me or editorial Asian models for magazines ,catalogs or campaigns.
It is the first time in my life where I book more photo shoots than fashion shows. It has been exciting because even some commercial clients get inspired by my look and book me. I shot a wedding catalog and a bridal show, which are both firsts for me, and it was amazing but one of the spectators at the show screamed when she saw me! hahaha Having worked so many markets, what about Shanghai as a modeling market stands out to you the most?: The market is pretty much the same everywhere I have been. I do have to say when I shoot magazines, the behind the scenes team is really big here in Shanghai. I've had shoots where I had eight people on set, sometimes even more!
The type of models that clients are booking stands out to me, as they come in different shapes and sizes. Most fashion shows are booked direct, or even when you go to the castings they rarely ask you to walk, which is unique to this market.
For catalogs, shows and presentation castings, the models will attend wearing super bright colors and even colored lipsticks. I saw a model show up wearing purple lipstick and the client loved it. Compared to Europe where they want models to arrive with simple clothes, and very minimal make up.
Something you'd recommend to eat for somebody who has never been?: Everyone should try tea boiled black eggs , super market tofu and street kebab spicy meat. I'm addicted to tofu and vegetables, it's fantastic!
Models International Management's Nina is currently in Tokyo with top agency 'Cinq, Deux, Un' for her second contract in the amazing fashion market. We got the scoop on the Tokyo scene thanks to Nina..
Name: Nina Larocque
Mother agency: M.I.M (Models International Management) How long is your contract in Tokyo?: Around 70 days, and I will also be traveling to Osaka in November
What could you tell us about the market for new models/models whom have not yet been?: The market is very good as it is mostly high fashion. Lots of editorials and runway shows which are so fun. However Tokyo is great because there are other opportunities for commercial models to work here as well.
What is something interesting/different about the city?: The Japanese are the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Japan, as a whole, is a beautiful country with an extravagant culture that never ceases to amaze me. I feel completely as ease in this city, and considering I am thousands of miles away from home I feel really safe here. This is actually my second trip to Tokyo, I went last summer so now that I'm done school I can stay for longer. On my days off, I love traveling throughout the city there is so much to explore.
What is the shopping like?: Anyone can find something that fits their personal style since there are many stores of all types and ranging from different prices. I love it! They have a lot of American stores that I'm use to shopping at but also some really interesting new stores that have become my favourite.
Any current fashion trends that stand out/ different that you have noticed?: I have noticed that everyone dresses to impress, with many different styles that express their personality. In women, high heels are always worn, regardless of the weather or distance she must walk. Also, they love to accessorize with adorable jewelry, false lashes and a well maintained manicure. As for the men, their main attire consists of the typical workman business suit.
Make-up trends that you have noticed?: False lashes are worn by most of the teenage girls along with bright rosy cheeks. They look doll like.
Favourite thing about working in this market?: Everyone is extremely easy to work with, although the language barrier makes communication very difficult, the people are so nice and understanding that it makes job fun. There are models from all around the world that come and work here. I have made so many friends that it makes working here such a blast.
What is the currency used for this market?: The Japanese yen.
Something you'd recommend to eat for somebody who has never been?: Pork dumplings are one of my favorite things to eat.
Our Editor (Christopher) and Assistant Editor (Amber) were out and about last night at the Mercedes Benz Start-Up Semi Finals in Ottawa at Ogilvie Mercedes Benz. The venue was fantastic, the runway production was wonderful, perfectly timed and possibly the best runway production Ottawa has ever seen. The two winners of this semi finals round were menswear designer Christopher Bates and women's wear designer Caitlin Power, we look forward to seeing both their collections at World Mastercard Fashion Week in Toronto!