I caught up with 19-year-old Ashley Allan to hear about Toronto’s current Fashion Scene from a model’s perspective. Ashley grew up in small town Cambridge, ON. Shortly after high school, Ashley made the move to live full time in Toronto and pursue a career in modelling. Taking the plunge to move away to Toronto was quite daunting for Ashley but has clearly paid off (Did I mention her roommates a Stylist?). Following her on Snapchat only gives a small glimpse into her life but if she’s not back home catching up with friends she almost always behind the scenes being prepped for a glamours photo shoot. The life of a model seems so fascinating to me that I thought my readers would like to hear about it too! So here it is, my interview with Ashley Allan.
1. What is some advice you wish you had given yourself before you started modelling professionally?
A: Always be yourself. They’re so many models out there and competition is so high. The only thing that can really make you stand out from another male or female model is your personality. As well, I would say to not be so hard on myself, as many models like myself are so young, you still need to have goals and aspirations for what you want to do with your life, but you can’t lose sight of what you believe in and what’s best for you at the end of the day. I think modelling and being in this industry really forces you to grow up fast and I’m grateful for that.
2. What are some of the beauty and makeup tips you have learned while being in the industry?
A: Less is ALWAYS more. Everybody’s skin is so different so you have to find what works for you. During fashion week I had a makeup artist give me a tip by applying lavender oil on a blemish and it will basically cut the life of your pimple in half. Sheet masks are amazing for any skin type and I highly recommend them. Makeup wise, lipstick can be mixed with Vaseline to create a creamy blush, lip balm can be used on the skin to create a dewy look and the best and easiest way to create a winged liner look is to start by drawing the wing first before going over the lash line.
3. What can you expect when you go to a casting and what are the essentials that you need to bring with you?
A: The essentials for a casting is to always bring your portfolio with you and comp cards (basically like a business card for models) that clients can keep to remember you and reference back to. As well, usually unless suggested otherwise you should be wearing an all black outfit with high heels. However, every casting is different depending on the client and as well what the model’s style is. The majority of the time you’ll be waiting in a specific area with other models and you’ll get called into a separate room to meet the client and either take digital’s, try on outfits or just do a quick meet and greet associated with a runway walk.
4. Models often talk about how critical the industry can be. Have you ever experienced criticism that you thought was too harsh or too harsh on someone else?
A: Every model has experienced some sort of criticism at some point or another. Of course, I’ve heard and experienced things that are unfair and harsh at times, however, this is the industry that we choose to be in, it’s how you take it and what you do with it that defines who you are and who you’re going to be.
5. In the age of social media, models have some celebrity factor such as big names like Gigi, Kendall, and Cara. Do you find yourself looking up to girls like this or do you idolize models that aren’t as mainstream?
A: Of course I follow all of those models. However, I do follow a really wide-range of models because everybody has a different story to tell and a different look. As well, social media is huge these days to create a platform for yourself. I really do look up to a lot of Victoria Secret models, not only because they’re beautiful but they really do care for their bodies and work extremely hard to be where they are. A lot of well-known models did start at the bottom and work their way up and to follow their journey on social media is so inspiring to me.
6. Societies perception of modelling is wearing expensive clothes and taking pretty pictures but what would you say is the most difficult part of the job?
A: They’re lots of difficult parts of the job but I really do love modelling so it’s fun for me. I’d say some difficulties would be long days on set because you can be on set well over an “average” 8 hour day at any other job. As well, your image is everything. It’s not always easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle by working out and eating clean all the time but my job literally is to be able to take care of my body and live that healthy lifestyle. They’re always highs and lows in a job but I really am grateful for every opportunity I get in modelling and I try to take something positive and learn something new from every shoot or job that I do.
7. How has your life changed since moving to a new city to pursue modelling professionally?
A: I have been working A LOT more. I am now 100% available in Toronto and even though Toronto is a really small market for modelling, it’s kept me busy enough to be able to live here full time and pursue a dream of mine before travelling internationally.
8. What was the most lavish garment you had the opportunity to wear?
A: They’re so many pieces I’ve been lucky enough to wear that I couldn’t name just one. Just in general, to be able to wear garments of designers and see the details and all the effort that goes into specific pieces is amazing.
9. Maintaining your body is a part of your job. What do you typically eat in a day and how often do you exercise?
A: I typically workout 5-6 days a week. My workouts mostly consist of cardio (running or skipping) and HIIT/Tabata style workouts. Every day is usually something different in terms of eating. I usually start my day off with eggs, turkey bacon, yogurt and/or fruit. For every meal I have I try and incorporate protein and vegetables. I get sick of food really fast so it’s important for me to always have variety.
10. What do you hope to achieve in your years to come in modelling? Is there anything or anyone that’s a dream to model for?
A: I hope to make the most out of my potential with modelling so I can experience and learn new things while travelling around the world. I think Victoria’s Secret is a dream for any model to work for, it’s definitely a dream of mine and I’m going to work really hard and just see what happens in the future.
Follow Her On Instagram: @ashleyyallan