Hi! We’ve got some questions to ask you!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
Hi! I’m Lea R, I'm half French and half Caribbean. I’m 14 but I’ll be 15 in November. I like to sing and listen to music.
Why did you choose to join HK Model Camp? What caught your attention?
I’ve always been interested in the modelling industry but didn’t have the confidence to try it out. I admire the air of confidence that models have, wanted to improve my confidence and wanted to get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes of modelling.
That’s great. As you’ve mentioned, “confidence” is a big part of HK Model Camp. How do you build confidence? Do you have any tips to share?
Music is one of my main sources of confidence. I still listen to the HKMC playlist that was shared with me during Camp sessions. Also, to dress how you want to: You don’t have to feel the need to follow trends because we all have our own taste. The less you follow, the more confidence you’ll have in yourself.
What are some experiences that you are most proud of?
At the moment, I’m most proud of having the ability to do all my assignments while attending training for sports 3 times a week.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Or what goals do you want to reach in the next few years?
I hope to mature and be more conscious about the world. I’ll be an adult in 5 years, so I’ll need to be more independent which I’m still working on. In the future, I’d like to evolve my style to be more punk.
To get to where you are now, what were the most challenging obstacles you had to face?
Finding the right people to be around. Some people I considered to be close friends turned out to be different later on but now I’ve got friends who look out for me and give me reassurance. I feel empowered and included.
Friends do have a big impact on our lives. Do you have a favourite motivational quote or something you tell yourself during periods of self-doubt?
Not really. Instead, I think about happy moments I had with people who matter in my life. I’ve learnt to forgive and move on, rather than hold grudges.
How has your HKMC experience impacted your modelling career or daily life?
Well, I don’t hide my face in photos anymore! I’m naturally a very goofy person but I used to cover up that side of me. It takes a lot of courage to walk on the runway so runway class helped me muster the courage to be who I am.
If you were able to meet yourself at a younger age, what advice would you give to the younger you?
I’d tell myself to stop trying to fit in with people. It comes naturally. People who are right for you will come around.
Confidence and mental health can affect each other. What are some things you do for your mental wellbeing?
I hang out with my friends because I laugh a lot around them and that always makes my day better. I also tend to listen to songs that are associated with happy memories.
That sounds comforting. Alexander McQueen said, “Fashion should be a form of escapism and not a form of imprisonment.” Is there a style that you want to try that’s outside of your current comfort zone?
I’d love to try super high platform boots! I find them very attractive.
Imagine this: you’re designing a new collection to be shown at NYFW. It’s a collection that represents your identity with no limits. What kind of designs will we see? Lots of patterns? Suits? What colours?
I’d probably have a couple of suits because I want more women to embrace the style and see that it’s not just for men. The colour scheme would be black and neon hues. I think that would be a good mix to accentuate details in items.
To wrap up this interview, I’d like you to imagine this: you’re running errands in Central while listening to music and there are lots of people around you. You want to be more than just another young woman lost in the crowd, so you decide to play a different song to change your walk into one with power and your head held high. What song do you choose?
“Promises” by The Cranberries. The fact that it’s rock means it has a nice beat which is always empowering. It’s a song I really like.
Thank you so much for your time!
Interviewer: Sophie Kim