This month we feature Miss Nadia French from the beautiful island of Guyana. Our theme this month is travel, and who better than Nadia to be our COCO Cover Model! She recently traveled to the U.S Virgin Islands to be one of the feature models for Passionista, a Fashion and Lifestyle brand. Now, back in New York she shares with us her journey in modelling. Get To Know Nadia!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Why modelling and when did you first begin modelling?
Nadia: I was born and raised in Guyana and moved to New York when I was 20. I’ve always love fashion but when I started modeling it was mostly part time because I had to do other jobs in order to pay my bills because as we know New York is an expensive city. It’s been very challenging at times but also a great journey. It’s given me the opportunity to travel around the world and meet a lot of people from different cultures which I love.
2. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Nadia: “Failure is part of the process.” It helps me to expect setbacks and to be prepared to deal with them.
3. If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would you say to them?
Nadia: That’s easy, Bob Marley. He’s the biggest and most influential person to come out of the Caribbean, me being from the Caribbean means a lot to me. He has been my favorite musician as long as I can remember. His music and message continues to be so relevant and influential. There’s so much I would like to say to him but I guess I would say “thank you for staying true to your self and helping to bring worldwide popularity to roots reggae music.” His music and message promotes “love, unity and consciousness” and lifts your spirit and vibrations to such a positive place, I guess that’s why his music is still so popular among all generations and appeals to all cultures and ethnicities.
4. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?
Nadia: A hammock, a solar boom box to blast music and a pot to cook (preferably a Chinese wok).
5. If I was to open your fridge, what would I see?
Nadia: Vegetables, fruits and water. No frozen or junk food, I try to eat only fresh and organic food.
6. Five things you can’t live without
7. What makeup items are a must have for you daily?
Nadia: Eyeliner, concealer and lip balm.
8. What three items do you take when you leave your house every day?
9. How do you prepare for a modelling shoot?
Nadia: I don’t have a special routine but I always try to put in a workout session, a home facial and moisture, moisture, moisture. Skin is so important for a shoot so I try to focus on doing things that help my skin glow.
10. Do you work out?
Nadia: Yes, I work out like five days a week. I’m really into fitness. It’s one of my favorites things to do. I love to do the classes at the gym too, mostly kickboxing, cardio and Zumba.
11. Tell us about your diet?
Nadia: I’m vegetarian, I tend to go back and forth between vegetarian and vegan. But definitely a planted based diet and only organic, I believe “food is medicine” so I take what I eat very seriously, no foods with GMO, gluten, preservatives etc. I also cook a lot. My mom cooked everyday and everything from scratch, so that rubbed off on me.
12. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Nadia: [laughs] Probably ice-cream, that’s such a comfort food for me, when I’m having a bad day or stressed out and I eat ice-cream, it literally puts me a good mood.
13. If you weren’t modelling what would you be doing?
Nadia: Besides my entrepreneurial side, anything in the performing arts or to do with empowering people to be self reliant and to have a positive and healthy lifestyle. Performing is something that I’ve loved since I was child. I grew up in the church, so I sang in the church choir and did a lot of acting too. I also started dance classes around 5 or 6 years old, dancing is another art form I love. I went back to college recently and got my degree in Political Science and my minor in Music. I really wanted to study Music; that was dream of mine so I was happy I was able to do that. While in college I was very active in performing arts, doing plays and involved in music ensembles like the Jazz, Classical and Gospel choir. I sang soprano which is great because being in a choir really helps to train your ear in harmonizing and working with other musicians.
14. What was your most challenging modelling experience?
Nadia: I’ve had many but one was when they put a product in my hair. It was burning my eyes so bad and I had to walk down the runway with my eyes full of tears. That was embarrassing.
15. And what does beauty mean to you?
Nadia: Without inner beauty for me, there can be no outer beauty. I love to be around easy going, fun and positive people that’s what’s attractive and beauty to me. Also, how you treat people, so if you’re physically attractive but you’re rude or treat people with no respect then that kind of makes you instantly unattractive.
16. You had the opportunity to do a shoot in the U.S Virgin Islands for The Passionita lifestyle and fashion brand, what was that experience like?
Nadia: It was my first time in the U.S Virgins so that was great, the island is just beyond beautiful. I was excited to work with the owner of The Passionista since she’s from the Caribbean. Now we have a business partnership together and have built a great friendship as well. She’s super passionate and inspiring. Looking forward to our other collaborations!
17. Tell us about the shoot?
Nadia: The shoot was 3 long days and sometimes intense. I love what I do so it was not like work. We did studio and lots of outdoor shoots around the island. It was interesting to discover the island and interact with locals and tourists who are always curious when they see a photo shoot.
18. Please tell us your favourites:
- Color: Black
- Item of clothing: Shorts
- Food: Ice-Cream
- Drink: Red Wine
- Perfume: “Private” by Naomi Campbell (she gave it to me a few months ago as a gift and I’ve never had so much compliments about how I smell, I love it), you should try it!!
- Designer: My mom
- Song: Redemption Song by Bob Marley
- Celebrity: Nina Simone