At 28-Years-Old, Ebony Vandecasteele is working as a Senior Paralegal for Wilkin Chapman whilst still partaking in modelling part-time. Alongside this, Ebony was walking the likes of London Fashion Week and being published in Vogue Magazine. Following our Lincoln Fashion Week Boot Camp, where Ebony volunteered to put our models through the paces, we caught up with her to discuss her achievements and experiences in the fashion industry.
George: At what age did you first get into fashion/the fashion industry?
Ebony: I did my first catwalk show when I was 5 but I didn’t start pursuing a modelling career until I was 18.
G: What were your first experiences with the fashion world?
E: My very first experience was a competition for the Face of the Hair Group. I was selected as one of the final 50 girls out of 15,000 applicants. Everyone was so friendly and the whole build up to the show was fantastic.
G: How did you become involved in London Fashion Week?
E: I did a competition called Top Model UK and the director of the show was impressed with me and asked me to walk for him at London Fashion Week.
G: What were your experiences like during London Fashion Week?
E: Amazing! There is always a buzz of excitement on the day, each show is completely different but they are always a lot of fun.
G: Were you nervous to walk on a catwalk when you first did it?
E: Every time I do a show I get nervous as you have a big responsibility showcasing a designer collection. You always want to deliver the best experience for both the designer and the audience.
G: How does that compare to when you walk them now?
E: Once the first walk of the show is done, I relax and enjoy the rest of the walks.
G: If you did/do get nervous, how do you overcome those nerves?
E: I always tell myself to breath and relax. I don’t like to show nerves either because if there is someone less experienced than me I like to keep composed so they don’t get nervous too.
G: What would your ‘top tips’ be to a model walking on a catwalk for the first time?
E: Keep your head up, eyes forward and pace yourself. Never walk to fast or to slow and make sure you hold your pose at the end of the catwalk for 3-4 seconds to get the best shot from the press.
G: What is the biggest lesson you have learned from your experiences?
E: Be professional.
G: Have you had an embarrassing moment in your experiences? If so, what was it?
E: Luckily no, but I’m always apprehensive I will fall over as sometimes you are unaware of the designers shoes you will be wearing until last-minute.
G: What would your advice be to somebody thinking of going into modelling?
E: If you get rejected for a certain client, do not give up. You will not always be perfect for every client.
G: What is your favourite memory from walking in the fashion industry?
E: I love the hustle and bustle of backstage during a show. It can be completely manic. There will be helpers taking your shoes off whilst you are trying to get your dress off and someone else will be fixing your hair all at the same time but then when you get on to the catwalk it’s so calm and no one would ever believe how crazy it is backstage.
G: What has been your favourite catwalk to be part of?
E: Every show is a favourite because every time I do a catwalk it has to be the best as that is what is expected of you as a professional.
G: What is your favourite item that you have worn/modeled?
E: A lovely turquoise gown decorated with hand applique known as Rilli by Omar Mansoor for his ss15 collection which I closed the show for him in.
G: Did you have any ‘words of wisdom’ that you were given that has always stuck with you?
E: Do not stand too close to the edge of the catwalk as you will not get a full length shot of you.
G: How many catwalks have you been part of?
E: Too many to count.
G: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
E: Who knows what the future will hold? I like to live each day as it comes.
G: What is your biggest achievement in your life?
E: So far my law degree but in terms of modelling, being published in Vogue.
G: Any extra words/comments for the readers?
E: “Something that has always stayed with me was when I was starting my modelling career and was interviewed by national press. They asked where I saw myself in 5 years time? I replied with ‘to have walked at London Fashion Week five times and be published in Vogue’. The lady interviewing me scoffed and said ‘I am aiming too high in such a short period of time’.
By the time the 5 years was over I had walked 9 times and been published in Vogue.”