Armidale girl Kristen Porter has modelled in over 500 fashion parades. She has recently opened a local deportment school, Ziva Modelling to train young people in the fine art of modelling and the development of confidence and self esteem.
> How long have you lived in Armidale?
I was born in Armidale and attended school at O’Connor Catholic College. I also undertook my Tertiary studies here, completing a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws at the University of New England. In the past few years, I have also lived in Coffs Harbour and Perth.
> How did you begin modelling?
I met Liz Foster of The Australian Wool Fashion Awards (TAWFA) when I was 12, and she suggested that I come along to the TAWFA training day. I went along, and to my surprise I was selected to join the team. As I was quite young, I was only an understudy, so I could learn about modelling and TAWFA and be ready to join the team as a fully fledged model the following year.
As it turned out, some of the models couldn’t make the fast changes, and I stepped in and modelled 2 garments in the Gala Night parade. I was terrified, as the older girls were so confident and graceful and I was an uncoordinated, gawky 12 year old. I thought I was way out of my depth! As the music started my nerves disappeared, and I have never looked back since.
> Where has your modelling career taken you?
I modelled for TAWFA for over a decade, and from there I met many people in the fashion world – who asked me to model for them too.
I have trained with June Dally-Watkins, modelled in over 500 fashion parades and have done TV and photographic work. When I lived in Perth, I was with Chadwick Models – one of Australia’s leading modelling agencies. I stopped modelling for a year and completed my practical legal training and was admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW last year to practice as a lawyer.
Although I feel that my catwalk days are behind me, I have always wanted to open a modelling school. When I was at school I loved modelling, and I couldn’t share this with my friends because they thought that they weren’t tall enough, or thin enough, or pretty enough … these are the beliefs that I wish to challenge.
We need to change how we think about modelling and realise that everyone can model. If I can do it, why can’t you? I decided that I wanted to bring modelling to everyone, not just ‘model types’, so I decided to open Ziva Modelling.
> What is Ziva Modelling?
Ziva Modelling is a modelling and deportment school. It is not a modelling agency, but rather a training ground that builds self-confidence, develops talents and modelling skills. Every student will benefit from the program with new found self-esteem.
There are modelling and life skills co-educational classes catering for all ages. We firmly believe that modelling is for everyone – you don’t need to be taller, thinner or better looking … we strive to reveal the best in you.
Ziva Modelling also organises fashion parades and other promotional and photographic work. Models from our Advanced Modelling course will have the opportunity to cast for all events that Ziva Modelling organises.
> When do your classes commence, and what courses will you offer your students?
Classes are to commence in Term 3 (week commencing 27 July 2009).
Our Courses include:
*Introductory Life skills/Modelling – customised to suit the age group of the students. They will learn social and life skills such as skin and hair care, make-up application, public speaking, posture, health and nutrition, wardrobing, goal setting, job interview success, modelling and how to create a great first impression. This course forms the basis to progress to our more advanced courses.
*Junior Modelling – for primary age 9-12 years. This program is focused on fun. Students are introduced gently to self-awareness, grooming and deportment. However, the main context of junior modelling is catwalk skills, movement, creative expression and drama, with a high emphasis on confidence and friendship.
*Advanced Modelling – students must cast for this course. The advanced course builds on the life skills and other modelling courses with an emphasis on choreography, catwalk, photographic skills and learning about the modelling industry and agencies. Students from this class will have the opportunity to cast for fashion parades, promotional and photographic work that Ziva Modelling organises in a safe and supportive environment.
*Adult programs – why should the kids have all the fun? This program was created to promote self-esteem and confidence among our adult community. Come and learn some tips and skills, increase your circle of friends and boost your confidence so you can make a difference in the world. We can custom design a program for specific groups and organisations too.
Each student will have the opportunity to put into practice what they have learnt. Every student will participate in the end of year fashion parade. The parade is always fun and vibrant and an experience that stays with students for life – it is an opportunity not to be missed!
> Who are your role models?
My role models are people who have had a great influence on my life. I look up to my mother, Julie Schaefer, as she is a very strong woman who is passionate about what she does. She has always had drive to succeed and has taught me how to overcome obstacles to achieve my dreams. If it weren’t for her encouragement and support, I would not be where I am today.
My other role model is Liz Foster of TAWFA. To do a full time job for something you believe in, voluntarily, for nearly 30 years is testament to one’s strength and character. I have been very fortunate to work alongside her for many years, and this year I have begun working closely with her in a new capacity, as I am now on the Board of Directors for TAWFA. Not only does she mentor and nurture talent in young designers and models, but also young business people.
> Your plans for the future?
Once we have our Armidale school up and running, we plan on opening Ziva Modelling in other country towns, starting with Tamworth. We have big plans for Ziva Modelling, and it all begins with Armidale.
> How can interested students enrol?
Enrolment forms can be found at:
www.zivamodelling.com.au or they can call us on 0433 022 960.
An information/registration night will be held on Monday 27 July, 2009 at 6pm at O’Connor Catholic College (Examination Hall).
For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on the phone number listed above or firstname.lastname@example.org
More information in relation to Ziva Modelling and our courses can be found at our website: www.zivamodelling.com.au
> Thank you Kristen.