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  • Writer's pictureLouisa

My journey from model to accountant

Updated: Nov 24, 2019

‘I used to be a model’. This statement makes me cringe so I’ve avoided saying it. I effectively outed myself by putting this in the About section of this blog. It came as a surprise to many of the friends I’ve made since joining the corporate world. Some friends (you know who you are 😉) said ‘it all makes sense now’.

I was first spotted by a model scout when I was 16 walking through Glasgow city centre with my school friends. At 5’11’’ I towered head and shoulders above my friends. The scout came up to me and asked me if I’d ever thought about modelling. I was surprised but so happy as I loved prancing around pretending to be Naomi Campbell. My dad, very sensibly, said that I couldn’t start modelling until after I started university. He thought there was a high chance if I started modelling before university I’d never start my BSc Anatomy Hons degree. He was probably right. At the age of 17 I signed with a Glasgow-based agency, The Model Team (now Model Team).

My book

Modelling was my part-time job throughout my undergraduate and postgraduate education. I modelled full-time during the summer break from university. Although I did some editorial work, I was primarily a catwalk/runway model. I would get booked for castings through my agency. I would turn up at the casting with my book (portfolio) and card. The casting agent would usually flip through my book and ask about my body of work. Then they would ask me to walk for them, usually in heels. They key part of a good walk is being able to turn gracefully at the end of the runway. It's harder than it sounds and I learned that the hard way. If I booked the job my agency would call me to let me know the details, date, time, rate etc. Shows were great because there was an incredible sense of camaraderie backstage and I got a real buzz from walking in amazing clothes. Even if at times I didn’t feel confident I knew I had to exude confidence when I walked. It was empowering

For the most part I loved modelling. I got to travel, work with incredible stylists, make-up artists and brands. I made amazing friendships with other models. A highlight was walking in a show for Vivienne Westwood. It was the best experience. I developed a thick-ish skin through modelling. You get used to dealing with rejection. I was told I wasn’t skinny enough, my skin was too dark, I was too tall. The list goes on. I ‘retired’ from modelling at the age of 26. At this point I was ready to hang up my heels. Many of my good friends had stopped modelling by this stage and I wasn’t enjoying the work as much as I had previously. There is definitely still work for women like me in their 30s, it's just the type of work that changes. It tends to go from editorial work in your 20s to more commercial work in your 30s and beyond. I like to think of it as jobs where you don’t smile (editorial) and jobs where they want you to grin away (commercial). Commercial modelling, although not as highly regarded by some people, can be more lucrative and consistent than editorial work.

I’m now an accountant and work in financial services. I have always loved fashion and my modelling experience has shaped how I think about clothes and the way I carry myself when I walk. I appreciate the importance of cut, fit and colour. I believe there is such a power in clothes and how you feel when you wear them. It's this passion for clothes that led me to create this blog.

Well done if you made it to the end of this rambling blog post, it was a biggy!


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