Adeline Billington | Fashion Model
UNFORGETTABLE | Wave of relief | sense of accomplishment …
StitchnPost | Do you recall where and when your first audition took place? Why do you think you were chosen for the event?
Adeline | My first audition took place in an office building in Centerville, Minnesota. I don’t even remember exactly what I was auditioning for, I think it was some kind of lifestyle shoot. Anyway, I remember feeling extremely nervous walking into the audition. The casting director was very gracious; he told me that had I been just a little bit taller, I would’ve been a perfect fit. Needless to say, I didn’t book that job and I think it was due to a combination of inexperience, nervousness, and a height deficiency!
StitchnPost | What was the first feeling you felt when you walked the runway for your first show? Do you remember the emotion or emotions you felt at the end of your first fashion show?
Adeline | I remember feeling very intimidated and nervous to walk the runway for the first time. I was excited to have the opportunity, but the moments before I walked felt like hours: I was very intimidated. A wave of relief and a deep sense of accomplishment washed over me the moment I finished! It was an experience that I’ll never forget.
StitchnPost | What two fashion shows or events have you participated in the last three years?
Adeline | This past fall, I participated in an outdoor fashion show for a local company called Social Johnsons LLC. The event took place in George Floyd Square and was hosted to showcase black designers, models, stylists, and photographers in Minnesota. Several local and many black-owned brands designed pieces specifically for this event. I wore a shirt designed by JustGoods.US for the show. I enjoyed participating in this show because there were so many like-minded individuals coming together to celebrate black art and creativity. I was able to meet and network with very talented and highly respected people within the industry. The show was structured as a flash mob runway show, and it was unique and challenging!
StitchnPost | What one positive thing do you recall from one of the events that keeps you interested in modeling?
Adeline | Getting to work with the other models to create strong poses and outlines that just reaffirmed my love of modeling!
In addition, this year I worked with Minneapolis marketing agency Aeterna Media as they launched their new platform DonateAPost. I, along with several other local models, creators, and entertainers helped to promote the media company and encourage youth and minority voter participation.
StitchnPost | Many people believe that models make a large sum of money for each event. How are you compensated for participating in a show or an event?
Adeline | There is a misconception that all models make exorbitant amounts of money and live extremely luxurious lifestyles;however, the reality is much more complex than that. Sometimes you’ll be paid in cash following a shoot or event, other times you’ll be compensated with clothing or other valuable items. When you’re just starting out, often times you’ll do test shoos with photographers and in Lieu of monetary compensation, you’ll receive a certain number of edited, high quality photos to use. Modeling can definitely be quite lucrative, but it’s not always simple because you pay depends on the quality ad quantity of shoots you book.
freedom to take jobs as I choose | Freelance Fashion Model
StitchnPost | What is that you believe you bring to every fashion show that you have participated?
Adeline | I feel incredibly fortunate to be in a position where I can earn money by modeling, so I am very driven and energetic! Aside from professionalism, there is also a high level of intensity and passion that I convey in every shoot, on every set, and to every project.
StitchnPost | Have you modeled outside of the Minneaplis|St. Paul area?
Adeline | I am currently working on an opportunity to shoot for a fashion brand in London when the situation with Covid-19 calms down. However, I have been fortunate enough to do the majority of my modeling work right here in Minnesota!
StitchPost | Do you have other activities outside of modeling?
Adeline | I do! I’ve always been into sports and athletics from a very young age, and I began taking karate classes when I was six years old! I’ve continued to enjoy martial arts throughout my life earning my black belt at age ten and moving on to practice mixed martial arts in college. I’ve also enjoyed playing soccer since I was about four years old, but two knee surgeries forced me to stop playing competitively.
StitchnPost | What do your friends and family think about your modeling career?
Adeline | They have all been extremely supportive and encouraging! They had always known that I like clothing and fashion, but I don’t think they expected me to participate in the industry as a model! They all ask for their favorite photos from shoots I’ve done, and if I’m allowed to keep an article of clothing from a job, I give it to one of them!
StitchnPost | How often would you say that you participate in fashion shows?
Adeline | Because I am not very tall standing at just 5 feet|5 inches, I do not typically walk runways or participate in fashion shows. I prefer to do commercial print work, modeling for clients|brands who hire me independently.
StitchnPost | Do you have a modeling agent? And do you recommend hiring an agent for someone just starting out or that is aspiring to be a fashion model?
Adeline | As of right now, I am not under contract with a particular agency or manager. I have been fortunate enough to be able to network with locals in the fashion and modeling industries, so opportunities fine me quite often through social media and through personal connections. Hiring an agent can certainly be a great option for those who are just starting out; a reputable agent can open doors, shield you from the negative aspects of the business, and guide you in your career. However, having an agent is not a must, and one can successful career without being agency represented. I find that there are many positives to being a freelance model such as freedom to take jobs as I choose, sole control over the trajectory of my career, retaining one hundred percent of the profits from the jobs that I book, and so on.
StitchnPost | Did you attend a modeling school?
Adeline | I did not attend a modeling school. While there are certainly important skills one can learn from a modeling school, I felt that my time and money would be better spent by gaining experience on set and in front of the camera. I’m fortunate enough to know a few models who were able to work with me and give me pointers. I worked with photographers on test shoots to gain confidence and experience. In addition, I attended several online modeling classes and webinars to enhance my skills. Modeling school is a great option for many new and aspiring models, however, it is possible to have a successful modeling career without it.
Minneapolis | Booming fashion scene!
StitchnPost | Which city do you closely identify with as your career location currently, Minneapolis or St. Paul?
Adeline | In terms of modeling, Minneapolis is where I do the majority of my work. For being a smaller city, Minneapolis has a booming fashion scene!
StitchnPost | What is one thing that you would like people to know about you as a person and as a fashion model?
Adeline | I think people have the idea that as a model you can’t be flawed or insecure, but this just isn’t the case. Modeling is a way to be expressive and artistic, but there are also times when modeling can bring insecurities to the forefront. I wish I could say that I am always just brimming with confidence and youthful exuberance, but that simply isn’t true. There are times when I may get nervous or feel insecure, and in those moments, I just have to move forward with decisiveness. Sometimes modeling is about conquering fears and overcoming insecurities!
StitchnPost |How long have you been modeling?
Adeline | As an infant and toddler, I modeled for ProEx and was featured in several of their national publications before beginning my adult modeling career over a year ago!
StitchnPost | Why did you choose to become a fashion model?
Adeline | I’ve always been interested in clothing and fashion, but actually, I never thought in a million years that I could be a model. I only started building my portfolio and booking jobs after several people who had worked in the fashion industry told me that I should try it. They gave me confidence and guided me with sound advice and the concrete steps I needed to take in order to be successful.
StitchnPost | What would you like people to know about being a fashion model?
Adeline | It’s not as easy as it looks. I thoroughly enjoy modeling as it has brought a lot of experience and opportunities my way, but it takes hard work. Staying fit, keeping my skin healthy, negotiating contracts working collaboratively with stylists and photographers, maintaining a strong online presence, traveling…all these things are part of the job and require effort. Modeling is rewarding and fun, but to be successful you have to be willing to do a lot of work off camera and behind the scenes.
StitchnPost | What’s the modeling scene like in Minneapolis for beginning models and did you face any challenges?
Adeline | For being a smaller city, Minneapolis has a really amazing fashion scene! There are so many artistic and creative people in the industry here; breaking onto the scene may seem daunting, but it’s mostly about making yourself available and being open to opportunities when they come. I think the hardest thing for me was just figuring out where to begin and deciding on the type of modeling I wanted to do. In the beginning, I lacked direction and a clear sense of what I was interested in doing. I decided to just try all different types of modeling to gain experience and to get a feel for where my interests and skills aligned!
StitchnPost | What advice would you give to a person interested in becoming a model?
Adeline| I would say start researching your local fashion scene! Create a social media account dedicated to modeling, and do your best to network with new local brands, models, and photographers. Figure out your look and aesthetic so you can create a portfolio that is representative of you and your personal style. Knowing your market is really important in this industry, find local models who are successful and take pointers from them. Perfect your walk and your poses! Offer to do test shoots with photographers to gain experience and confidence. If agency representation is a goal for you, work on creating a professional-looking portfolio or take some clear, simple digitals and submit them to local agencies who you feel would be a good fit. Above all, be professional and persistent; it may take some time, but you can do it! A|B
Fashion | Minneapolis