"Dear Ms Dani, you had really versatile portfolio covering TV commercials, magazine covers, short films, music videos, TV drama and modelling. Please tell us more about yourself; your country of origin and the career path."
/I am from a small town in Brazil known as ‘Formiga’. It is in the state of Minas Gerais which is a beautiful area with its amazing freshly-brewed-coffee (*Note: My grandparents has a small coffee plantation in the region and my Grandma sells fine-grinded-beans in a little shop next to her house; proudly speaking, she is actually 90 years old this year!). I came from a big family with lots of aunts, uncles and cousins. I am the middle child in my family with another two sisters. Most of my childhood was spent around my Grandfather’s farm, riding horses, looking after the animals, running around the grass fields and snacking on the fresh fruits picked from the trees.
I started entering into modeling industry at the age of 14. I saw an advertisement in a shopping mall for a modelling competition. I wanted to give it a try and had to beg my father to let me participate. I knew it was something I really wanted to do and finally my parents agreed to let me join the competition. I got through being the semi-finalist; right before the final I was approached by a renowned agency offering me a contract on the spot. It was truly memorable experience for me despite my background; since then the opportunities started to open up.
"When did you begin modelling and what are your thoughts back then? Why did you choose the modelling career?"
/I began modeling more seriously when I received the contract at the age of 14 while continue to focus on my educational studies. I had to get a bus from my hometown to go to the state capital “Belo Horizonte” for modelling work which I was accompanied by my mum. Prior graduation, I started to make decision charting on the career path. I was accepted into the university for physiotherapy courses; however I always had this gut feeling that I wanted to try something different following my heart - to discover the world, harvesting different opportunities with the hope to create a career for myself in the industry.
Well, I guess in many ways it was like dreams come true for me! Even as a child, I love playing around at home with my family using video camera for posing by pretending I was a news reporter.
"Throughout your career serving acclaimed designers and top notch brands, is there any notable client OR campaign deemed the most memorable ones? Kindly share with us the experience."
/There have been so many valuable clients and projects over the years and I was lucky to have worked with some of the best names in the industry. I recalled one portfolio (although it’s a little different) being my first big job in Asia. It was with “Star Cruises” which I spent two weeks on the cruise ship by travelling around Asia continent and stopping along the way within major cities as well as some small beautiful islands.
Another memorable portfolio was with “Tourism Malaysia” which I travelled to many different spots in the country for two weeks covering Taman Negara Rainforest, Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) and Sarawak…I had leeches on my foot, jumped into rivers and climbed high mountains; truly captivating experience full of excitements!
It was totally different while working with larger fashion brands. To me personally, I made the right decision to work in Asia which I have fallen in love with the regions.
"On behalf of our audience especially the ladies group; “How to Become a Fashion Model”.. Kindly share with us the simple steps to get started."
/There is a big difference between a commercial model and fashion model. I am more into commercial modelling now and sometimes I will go into fashion modelling too. Well, generally there have been a higher demand for commercial models in Asia. However the industry is now shifting a bit with the development of the fashion industry in Asia due to some of the amazing designers making the debut in the region.
As a fashion model, you need to have a few standard criteria. First thing is definitely the height! The ideal heights for fashion models should be a minimum of 5’7” in Asia; generally the taller you are the better. Secondly, you need to be confident and comfortable being on the camera, learn how to pose, walk properly during catwalk and get used with sore feet from high heels.. *wink* !
I will suggest and encourage those who are interested to go into the industry by having good eating habit, exercise regularly and maintain healthy lifestyle. Overall, just try to be yourself by preserving your individual identity! It is your greatest asset!
"We understand that you are currently based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. What’s next for you? Are you exploring any other opportunities besides the fashion/ modelling industry?"
/That's right! I have been living in Kuala Lumpur for several years now and Malaysia is definitely my home. I met my husband here; got married with two children who were also born here. Malaysia is a lovely country to us. We don’t really have plans to move elsewhere at this stage. Once the pandemic is over, we wish to go back visiting our friends and family in Brazil, Europe and Australia.
I have taken a little steps back from my career over the last couple of years due to me and my husband wanted to have children and focus on them during their young age. I am still working on certain projects which I am interested with and continue to do some acting as well as hosting jobs should these jobs fit into my schedule.
Recently I have been focusing on my Instagram despite the flexibility to work from home. Clients engaged me by sponsoring their products for review which I will take photos and post ads for them. The world is certainly more virtual these days during the pandemic. Once my children grown up, I do have plans to establish my own brand/product; anything related to motherhood. *Watch this space!!!*