1883 Magazine

Name: Leila

Agency: Profile Model Management

Height: 5’11.5"

From: Hertfordshire.


Where were you scouted?

I was shopping at Topshop on Oxford Street when I got tapped on the shoulder. I had to leave my shopping with my friends to go do some polaroids outside in the freezing cold.

Were you surprised that you got scouted?

All my life, at school, everyone kept telling me I should be a model. I was nicknamed Lanky Legged Leila, which says it all!

What was your best experience so far as a model?

I was flown to India to shoot a designer book: I got to sit on the back of an elephant while it was performing tricks. Such a fun experience!

What’s been the lowest point?

I’d been scouted a few weeks before and had just moved to London when I had to fly to New York for Fashion Week. I had 25 castings scheduled in a day. It was my first time in the city and I just didn’t have enough time to do anything besides running from one place to the next. It was so cold over there as well: I had to climb over the snow to get out in the morning.


If you weren’t modelling, what would you do?

I’d join the circus! I have an absolute fascination for clowns... but I would want to be a contortionist... so a twisty bendy clown!

In a way, for me, modelling has been a sort of journey to get to the circus. Every day you learn different expressions, become a different character... The industry has made me confident.

What lifestyle changes have you made since you started modelling?

At the beginning of my career I was storming out going from casting to casting, and really not looking after myself properly. After a few months I started feeling unwell and had to stop the microwaved ready-meals. Your health is the most important thing. I do stretching exercises to keep in shape and I believe in wholefoods when it comes to eating for health. I just eat natural food now and I’ve stopped counting calories. My favourite foods are anything that grow on trees or come out of the ground.

What things do you like doing outside of modelling?

I like writing poems, I sing over electronic music with my friend Nick235. I don’t really go out that much but I do quite like going to Love is Key, an alcohol and drug-free party.

Would you have any tips for newcomers to the industry?

Be yourself. If you’re going to make it in the industry, you might as well do it as yourself... Don’t be too shy; the industry wants people who have character and personality. Just go for it when in front of the camera, bring some life to the shoot!

What do you bring with you when you travel?

In this industry, travel can be quite random and sometimes very last minute... I used to take as much as I could fit in my bag. My mum didn’t help, she’s always been like: "What if you need this? What if you need that?" But eventually you feel the weight of it all... now I just bring simple outfits for castings and a lot of accessories, so that I’m always wearing something meaningful to me.

What was the most interesting outfit you got to wear in your career?

Pam Hogg had a show in Notre-Dame in Paris a few years ago. I had an outfit made of belts and a hunchback! I also had this giant lump on my head, and I opened the show limping... I find Pam Hogg’s shows are always a really fun experience; she’s great to work with.



photographer Anne Laymond - www.laymond.com
MUA/hair Georgiana Teers - www.georgianateers.com
fashion Roberta Bitto - www.robertabitto.com
model Leila at Profile - www.profile-models.com


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