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Interview: Model Julie Sonali (Denmark)

Can you tell us a little about you?

My name is Julie Sonali and I’m 22 years old. I’m living in Denmark, but I’m adopted from India. In my everyday work, I work with communication and marketing. Since 2018, I’ve been doing freelance modelling in my spare-time. I have my base in the second biggest town in Denmark, called Aarhus, which has been rewarded as one of the ten cities in the world to visit. If I should describe myself with a few words I would say; curious and stubborn! My curiosity has already given me a lot of opportunities and experiences, so I’ve decided that it is a good quality and I use it as my fuel in life. I’m still working on my stubbornnessJ

If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

I don’t spend much time on regrets, but I know I can improve as a person. Patience is not my strongest side but I’m working on it. I would like to improve my work-life balance. I work a lot and love working but I’m also aware of the fact that I only have one life. I know that strong relationships and family are important for a good life.

How did you start modeling?

I started modeling in 2018 for a Danish upcoming brand called Ackite. They were searching for unique models that could bring more diversity to the brand. So i contacted them and got the job. It gave me a lot of contacts and new collaborations with major brands and basically kickstarted my career. I also had modelling jobs with a Kopenhagen Fur sub brand at Copenhagen Fashion Week.

What do you think of the work as a model?

I love modelling and I hope it will last as long as possible. To be able to extend my network with so many talented and unique personalities is a dream come true. I have experienced how far you can come if the collaboration between the model, the photographer, the stylist and even the editor is working well. Advertising is collaboration – no one can make the perfect result alone!

For me it’s also about bringing more focus to how the fashion industry has been struggling with accepting dark-skinned models over decades and how the industry has finally opened up for it. A big applause to ASOS and Fenty Beauty for bringing up discussion about colorism. I’m a feminist and would love to combine my beliefs with my work as a model. With my background as an adopted child from India, I’m also volunteering in an organization called WAWCAS, which helps women living in poverty to become independent.

What is your beauty regimen?

Actually, I have very simple routines. I eat clean, exercise, sleep and try generally to take good care of myself. Two times a week, in the morning, I cleanse, tone, moisturize, and exfoliate. I moisturize a lot—day and night. I usually change my skin products according to the seasons, for winter and summer. My skin is very oily, so I prefer matte products. Actually, I’m a bit off a product freak and right now I’m a big fan of a new upcoming Danish skincare and makeup brand called Comme Deux. After using these products my skin is looking and feeling incredible.

What are your personal qualities which distinguish you from others?

I am energetic, ambitious, positive and an open-minded person and carry that mindset with me in my modeling career. My only absolute non-negotiable point is nudes. I do not shoot nude work. Period. But I’m really open to TFP shoots if it matches my content, and it’s a really good place to start with only one year of experience. My goal is to join a professional agency and do modelling on a full-time basis.

What are your plans for the future?

Oh, it’s a tough question, I’m in my early 20’s, and for me there's no "right" answer for what my future should bring. But when I decide what's important for me, I use my stubbornness to reach my goals. There is a reason I’m calling myself a ‘stargazer’ in my bio on Instagram, and it’s because I love to daydream. I allow my mind to be creative and oftentimes, I find solutions to problems that I never had considered. So even when it all fells confusing, and my goals feels downright impossible, I take some time to plan it all out, and surround myself with the right people. In this way I have a greater chance of reaching my goals.

What are some of your favorite experiences so far?

Emotionally, it’s to conquer my fears. Modelling is that you learn and perform your best. I’m always nervous right before a shooting or a show as it´s important for me to live up to the expectations of the people who have hired me. Instead of doubting myself I tell myself that I am fortunate to have this opportunity to live out my dreams and aspirations. I want to be a role model for other women and show that everything is possible if you set your own goals in life.

When I was modeling at Copenhagen Fashion Week, I was the only model without any experience. That thought made me anxious and very worried that I would fail. However, my anxiousness and worries were unjustified. As a model you are surrounded by professional people, who want you to succeed. So, my advice to aspiring models is not to fear the unknown and trust your instincts.

Do you have any advice for those who want to start modeling?

Don’t burn any bridges! If there's anything I've learned that's given me hope for my own future it's that people in your chosen career field (or any field, for that matter) basically wants to help. That's why you should surround yourself with people you want to be like someday. Not only will you learn their ways, but they will be there to give advice and support you when you feel like giving up. Every job I was offered required networking skills. Even the most independent and driven people need a little help from time to time. You never know when you'll need to reach out to someone from your past for help. So my advice is to build a network of positive people who can support your career and always be a nice person!

What do you think of the magazine?

I love Modellen Land, so many great interviews with photographers, designers and upcoming models. I really enjoy seeing people’s passion and art united in the magazine. Everyone deserves their shot and I love how Modellenland presents so many different personalities and cultures in one Magazine.

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