Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Exclusive Interview - Kyra Green

Native New Yorker Kyra Green debuted during the Spring/Summer 2014 collections on the cusp of industry rumblings towards a call for a more inclusive and racially diverse beauty aesthetic on fashion's runways. Green's bi-racial Russian and African American heritage made for a compelling proposition which had heads turning in unison throughout her appearances at Burberry Prorsum, Iceberg, and Philipp Plein. At sixteen years of age, Green possesses a startling beauty, youthful enthusiasm, and arresting presence which in the hands of her formidable management team at IMG Models will be nurtured and developed to its full glowing potential. Models.com singled out Green's glimmering promise in the lead up to the Spring/Summer 2014 season by featuring the ingenue in an exclusive shoot entitled "The Up and Comers" lensed by Jd Forte.

Standing at an imposing 177 cm with a velvety caramel skin tone, puppy dog brown eyes and a girl next door appeal with a tomboyish twist, Green possesses the kind of unbridled modelling potential that agents dream of in their protégés. Since being discovered at age 13 while attending a convention with her father, Green has modelled for clients including American Marie Claire, Hunger TV Magazine, and i-D Online. Green's dreams of one day walking the runway for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show could well become a reality with the newcomer having already modelled for the lingerie company's youth diffusion line Pink. Modelling ambitions aside, Green also harbours a serious musical talent which she channels into her band outfit 212 Green that performs at various gigs around New York and has appeared on the television show America's Got Talent. In between modelling assignments and band practice, Green caught up with IMA to discuss her love of Burberry, meeting supermodel Alek Wek, and why there's no place quite like home.

Kyra Green
Photographer - Piczo
Source - thefashionspot.com


Inoubliable Model Army (IMA): Hi Kyra, congratulations on your stunning debut at the Spring/Summer 2014 collections! What were you expectations going into Fashion Week and were you pleased with how the season unfolded?
KG: I definitely went in knowing that it was going to be something different than what I'm used to. I was really excited and kind of terrified of the unknown at the same time. Of course I wanted to do really well, but I told myself that I'm just going to be me and do my best. You can't take anything personally.

IMA: As a relative newcomer, would you mind sharing your backstory with IMA?
KG: I'm 16 and I'm from Harlem in Manhattan, and I'm Russian/African American. I was discovered at 13 at a convention where my Dad was helping out. Jessica from IMG found me there. My parents and I had a meeting with Jessica and Bradley who is my manager still today, and I was signed!

IMA: You're the newcomer that everyone is talking about courtesy of your appearances at Burberry Prosum, Iceberg, and Philipp Plein. What was involved in the casting process for Burberry, and what was your reaction when you found out that you would be leading the closing finale?
KG: Burberry was one of the best experiences I have ever had in this business. Going into Burberry, the building is beautiful, all the people look so sophisticated. I'm not going to lie, it's intimidating. But once I met everyone, I realised that they are literally the nicest people ever. I worked with them on the look book for an entire week and had so much fun with the entire crew.

Burberry Prorsum - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - vogue.co.uk

Iceberg - S/S 2014
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Philipp Plein - S/S 2014
Photographer - Fablo Iona
Source - style.com


IMA: Each show season the stakes are high with hundreds of newcomers descending on the fashion capitals in the hopes of piercing through the haze of anonymous new faces. What do you feel are the most important qualities for making a favourable and lasting impression at castings during Fashion Week?
KG: Of course you need to practice your walk and wear something that suits your body, but number 1 is confidence and having a great personality. If you go in thinking I'm not good enough to worrying about what others think, you'll end up never getting where you want to be. Confidence is something you need to work on in everyday life too.

IMA: You are represented by modelling powerhouse IMG Worldwide who also manage the careers of supermodels Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls and Kate Upton. How important is the role of management to the development of a new model, and what has been the best advice that your agent has offered you?
KG: I love my manager Bradley Davis. I think the most important thing in developing models is to actually develop and spend time with them. Don't just push them out into the fashion world unprepared. Make them feel comfortable and help them understand what they need to do to be their best. It's so important to know that your booker cares about you, and when they get excited you do too! The best thing Bradley has said to me it that there is no rush and no distinct path. That I am young and there is time and the right place for me in this business. Bradley and I are a team and I would not be experiencing the success I'm having now without him.

IMA: Diversity was at the forefront of many casting directors minds for the Spring/Summer 2014 season, with the Philipp Plein show being comprised entirely of black models. How does it feel to be a part of such a vibrant community of models who are now being given greater opportunities to showcase their talent?
KG: When I first found out that the show was all black models, I thanked Philipp Plein because as an ethnic model it is hard. Definitely when there is just one or two of us per show. So to be around so many beautiful, kind girls in one show, it filled my heart. Plus I got to meet some of the most successful ones. I loved meeting Alek Wek, she was so sweet and talked to me and my sister before we went into our fittings.

Photographer - Piczo
Source - thefashionspot.com

US Marie Claire - March 2011
Photographer - Simon Burstall
Source - timhowardmanagement.com

Photographer - Piczo
Source - i-donline.com

Kyra Green model/rocker
Source - social-newyork.com


IMA: Nowadays models are encouraged to back up their beauty with other interests and talents. IMA hears that you are an accomplished singer and musician, and form part of a band called 212 Green. Can you tell us more about this passion of yours?
KG: I've loved music since I was little. My parents were always playing music, and my sister and I would dance around in our diapers at our Nana's house to Etta James. I'm in a band called 212 Green with my sister Tori and brother Riley. I am a lead vocalist and guitar player. You can see us on YouTube at 212GreenMusic. We were also on America's Got Talent this season! It was a blast! We are a soul pop band, writing our own music and doing gigs all over New York City. By day I'm a model and by night I'm a rocker!!

IMA: Being a New Yorker, what do you love most about this city and has it made the transition into modelling easier especially with getting to castings during Fashion Week?
KG: I love that in New York you are exposed to such a diversity of people. There is no box that you have to fit into, and no way that you need to be. There is always something to do. So you can't complain that you're bored because then you're just being lazy. It was easy getting around Fashion Week because I did know the train system and I was able to apply that to other systems in different countries.

IMA: The modelling industry presents many challenges, one of which is the amount of time spent travelling away from family and friends. How do you counter this aspect of your profession?
KG: That was the hardest thing about Fashion Week in other countries for me. My family and I are so close and they are my best friends. I missed them and we did Skype every night haha! Luckily, I had my sister Tori with me when I travel which totally saves me from getting really lonely. We have so much fun experiencing new things together and getting lost together and just laugh when it gets really crazy. On my journey though I made a lot of friends. I always had my sister there with me but I loved chilling with Kelly Gillespie and Maggie Laine in Paris. We went out to sushi and joked about some strange things ;-).

IMA: What are you long-term modelling goals and are there any key industry figures that you are particularly inspired by?
KG: I love Steven Meisel's work. His photos are never just a model posing. There is always lots of character and emotion throughout the pictures. There is just something natural, flirty and edgy about his work. Of course, I love Christopher Bailey for Burberry. His collection this season was so fresh, colourful, and sexy ;-), and I also love him as a person. My goals are to keep growing and developing as a model. I would love when I'm old enough to walk the Victoria's Secret Fashion show, be an angel and travel the world with them.

Photographer - Samuel Hearn
Source - tumblr/KyraGreen

Angel in the Making
Image courtesy of IMG Models

Photographer - Samuel Hearn
Source - tumblr/KyraGreen


IMA: What would be your idea of an amazing concept for an editorial shoot?
KG: I would love to to something where I could play a very animated character. Like a sexy rockstar. Something where I could get crazy, because I normally do a lot of natural shoots so it would be cool to do something a little out there. I just did a short film for Hunger Magazine TV that kind of portrayed an edgy angst feel. It was a blast to shoot!

IMA: Beauty is very much in the eye of the Beholder. What is your concept of a modern American Beauty?
KG: Someone who feels and looks beautiful and healthy. I love the Victoria's Secret girls. They always look in shape and glowing. Someone who is confident and has a passion for something in life. I think fearlessness is beautiful!

IMA: What do you find most gratifying about your life as a model?
KG: That you always have to prove yourself and that there is always a step higher to get to and learn from. Being on camera you can't just stand there. You have to emote something. Make someone feel a certain way. I love that you can tell a story as a model through one photo alone.

IMA: What makes you "Inoubliable" (Unforgettable)?
KG: The fact that I don't want to be perfect because that's not exciting or fun. I know that I'm weird and my friends do too haha! But my peculiarities are what make me who I am. I express myself through writing songs and taking pictures and I love that. I also get super goofy on set sometimes. like while the photographer is changing a lens, I'll just start to do a silly dance and have the crew in hysterics! I like to make fun of myself. I'm really just a normal 16 year old girl!

Kyra Green
Image courtesy of IMG Models

Kyra Green
Image courtesy of IMG Models

Hunger TV - Issue 5
Photographer - Trisha Ward
Source - hungertv.com

Special thanks to Bradley Davis at IMG Model Management. For more information on IMG Models, please log onto www.imgmodels.com

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