Recently I had the chance to chat with Olivia Mennie, a 19 year old Canberra born and raised local who is taking the modelling world by storm!
Having recently been selected by Viktoria Novak for her 2016 Couture Bridal Collection “The Evocative Prequel”, Olivia has made a fantastic name for herself both locally, and on a national level. For the girls who are looking for a career in modelling – Olivia has some great tips!
Image by Elanna Harlow for Viktoria Novak Bridal Campaign 2016
Olivia, tell me a little bit about yourself and your role as the Face of Viktoria Novak 2016.
I guess starting with the basics, I am a 19 year old Canberran girl, born and raised, and am currently pursuing modelling on the side of my Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws at ANU. On the recommendation of a friend, I turned to local CIT student photographers in order to try my hand at being in front of the camera, and I loved it. I started working with local designers such as Little Jane Lane, Rockstars and Royalty and shooting with the likes of Lori Cicchini and Garry Chiu. Compared to other models who sign with an agency straight up on starting, I went freelance in order to build my portfolio. I have been modelling now for just over 18 months and it has been an incredible journey. I’ve been apart of so many fantastic projects and have worked with several creatives here in Canberra – from shooting for local magazine In the City to walking the catwalk at this year’s FASHFEST, it’s been a blast. In the last few months I’ve also been fortunate enough to sign with HAUS Models, who have been incredible in supporting my journey and allowing me to reach my potential.
I still have to pinch myself when I consider how blessed I am to have been chosen by Viktoria Novak for her 2016 couture bridal collection. “The Evocative Prequel” has already been shared and posted by renowned fashion and bridal bloggers. Being selected from 100’s of girls around the country for such a huge campaign is something I’m proud of having achieved. I am Viktoria’s newest face to join her brand, and specifically the face of the bridal collection this year. My role is similar to that of a brand ambassador, with my face representing Viktoria’s designs; in her own word’s, I am “‘the essence’ of her brand.
Any tips for those who are looking for a future career in modelling?
It’s different for everyone, but in reflection of my own work: Do your research – whether it is for agencies, photographers, designers, anything related to the industry. Checking someone’s credibility and reputation can ensure a high standard and quality in your own work.
Diversify your portfolio – although it is hard to please everyone, it’s essential your portfolio has enough variation that people can see your potential. You need to be able to show you are comfortable in front of the camera, can pull off different expressions and movements but also have confidence in yourself.
Personality goes a long way – if you are outgoing and confident, then that is half the battle won. Before even venturing into the world of modelling you need to be able to express yourself and not be nervous or shy. Don’t be afraid to come off as ambitious and confident, as long as you match it with humility and respect.
Social media – I think my biggest tip would be to not under estimate the power of social media. That is how I have found a lot work and created an “online profile” which showcases my previous work and my personality. Clients and agencies always love people who are able to market themselves online. I have found with instagram in particular that it allows you to network a lot faster and easier with other people in the industry and build connections quite literally around the world. Make sure you have an online presence if you want to expand your reach and clientele. I feel an online presence is essential today, without it you are at a disadvantage.
What do you love most about what you do?
I think meeting so many wonderful creative minds is by far the best part. I could never imagine bringing to life or being able to create colourful designs, extravagant hair and make up or envisioning a photoshoot or concept. The people who bring it all together behind the camera are truly phenomenal. I’ve been privileged enough to make so many friends along the way too. From fellow models who I’ve worked with to make up artists who I go to regularly for makeup outside of shoots, the friendships and networks I have made are really special.
If you could sum up your everyday style in three words what would they be?
Girl. Next. Door.
Complete this sentence: “I feel my most stylish when….”
I’m dressed up. Anyone who knows me well knows I love to dress up. Big hair, bold make up (particularly a bright lipstick) and a party dress and I’m ready to go!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Depending on my university schedule, I usually have to fit lectures and tutorial’s in somewhere. But I usually grab a coffee at Coffee Grounds at ANU, spend the day studying in between breaks but also making the time to catch up with friends. I then usually hit the gym for a quick session, head home for dinner and if I have time I try and plan my outfit for the next day.
What are your top 5 favourite Canberra boutiques / stores?
Designer Op Shop in Braddon, Momento Dezigns in Manuka, Mussen in Canberra City, Pink Ink in Braddon and also The Hive in Braddon.
What is one summer wardrobe essential that every woman needs in her wardrobe?
Right now I am in love with my denim jacket. They are brilliant as a lightweight cover-up for cooler evenings or windy spring days.
What is your go to outfit, when you can’t think of anything else to wear?
Skinny jeans, Wittner wedges, a tank top and a collared blazer.
Flats or heels?
Heels for sure. I’ve always been self conscious about my height (I’m 168cm), so I try my best to seem a little more elevated than I actually am. Plus I always feel more sophisticated when in heels.
Images by Elanna Harlow for Viktoria Novak Bridal Campaign 2016
Images courtesy of Olivia Mennie
I think it’s pretty clear that this gorgeous girl is going to go very far with her modelling career. Having already dominated the local modelling scene at 19, we can’t wait to see the other exciting projects that Olivia will be part of. She is certainly one to keep your eyes on!
Check out what Olivia is up to on her Instagram account.
Do you know a Canberra local that has a story to tell? Contact me to chat! xx