Adama Jobe

For Madame Figaro Greece

Can you briefly tell some of your background: How did you get started? Was there a serendipitous meeting that led you to where you are now?

I am originally from The Gambia, the smallest country in mainland Africa. Located in the west coast of Africa, it is where I was born and where I grew up. It is also where I had my first modeling job, a billboard commercial for a telecommunications company. Prior to that, I had no interest in modeling at all, partly because I knew too little about it and mostly because I didn’t think I had it in me. I was pretty shy, although many people around me told me I had the looks for it. 

A few months after that commercial job, my family and I moved to the Netherlands. A continent away from home and I was to start university here. I had forgotten everything about modeling, it felt like a one time thing but, as it turns out, being in another part of the world didn’t mean I couldn’t still be a model. In my first year here, many people would come up to me and ask “Hey! Are you a model?”, I usually laughed it off and say “ No I’m not”.  

One sunny day in the city of Heerlen in the dutch province of Limburg, I got the same question. This time is was from Natascha Scheffers, owner of Models Rock Agency: my mother agent. That serendipitous meeting was the beginning of journey in this job that I love so much today.

What is something you wish you knew more about?

I wish I knew more about politics. I think it is very important because it is at the heart of many issues we face in the world today. Many young people like myself tend to ignore it and consider it something for the older generation when it isn’t. I want to educate myself on how laws are made and the relationship between governments and the people of the world. 

It can be complex and boring sometimes, but I really wish I knew more about it. 

What is your favourite thing to do when you are back home?

I derive a lot of satisfaction from doing the little things. Being a model can be pretty intense. Between flying around for weeks in a row and working long hours, it is pretty relaxing to be home. My favourite things to do include cooking, reading, doing literary work, dancing and of course doing home workouts. Basically the regular things whilst I regain my energy to get back on the road. I also spend time with my family and friends. 

I don’t like missing my mum, but sometimes I go months without seeing her. It can be tough so when I’m back home, I make sure we spend enough time together doing simple things. 

Do you have any rules you can’t break? Any rituals you stick to?

I make it a point to not miss my skincare routine every single day. It obviously doesn’t always work out because sometimes I’m just too exhausted, however I’m very strict it with it. A model’s business card is her face/skin, it has to be on point. Other rituals include my daily stretches and meditation. They keep the balance in my life, just a few minutes in the day to be in touch with myself, I think it’s pretty important. 

Favourite designer/brand/product?

My favourite designers are David Laport, an incredibly talented Dutch designer whose pieces fit perfectly with my style and Binbuba’s Creation, a Gambian designer who makes the most beautiful African couture dresses. 

Are there any places that you would love to visit?

There are so many places I wanna see, the list is endless. My wanderlust grows each day and I guess it’s one of the best things about this job. Being able to see the world as I work, there’s nothing better. The three places that currently top my bucket list are Thailand, Jamaica, and Seychelles.  I am a lover of tropical places! 

Alexandra & Maria Spanidou

Givenchy Beauty

Can you briefly tell some of your background: How did you get started?

Maria: My name is Maria and I am from Thessaloniki, Greece. I am from Greece and I was competitive professional swimmer until 19 years old! I never thought I could be a model to be honest, because swimming was all I did since I was a baby. One day our manager, Victoria Lyandres from Creative Talent Model Agency in New York, contacted us on Instagram and asked us if we would like to try modeling. We were laughing because we thought it’s not something we want and it took us a while to realize that maybe we could be good at modeling. She believed in us since we were a zero. We had zero experience with fashion industry. We didn’t know anything about modeling. She made us believe in ourselves and she was supporting us since day 1. Then we signed contracts with some modeling agencies, and we traveled to Milan and we realized it’s all we ever wanted. We loved the whole experience! From that day, we decided that we will chase our dreams and our goals until we achieve them! Fashion industry is for sure a dreaming world, but it’s hard at the same time and we love everything about it. It reminds me the competitive days I had when I was a professional swimmer, and it’s not as easy as many believe. We owe everything to our manager! 

Alexandra: My name is Alexandra and I was born and raised in Thessaloniki , Greece. I used to be competitive swimmer since I can remember myself until the age of 19, when I stopped swimming competatively, but I’m still swimming and going to the gym every day with my twin sister Maria! When we were younger, we decided to do an Instagram account and post pictures together! Our account became viral and we attracted many new followers everyday, until we reached almost 300k followers! At the same time, back then, we started to make some musical videos in the lipsync platform (now its Tik Tok) where we gained about 2.2 million followers in a very short period of time. It was very surprising because through that we were scouted by our manager, Victoria Lyandres from Creative Talent Mgmt in New York and our lives changed forever! We never thought that we can be models and we were very skeptical in the beginning, because I thought that modeling was something I wasn’t interested in and I thought that I wasn’t pretty enough for that. Victoria put to us so much faith and she believed in us before we even believed in ourselves. After some time we finally realized that maybe we deserve something more than what we believed until then and when we got signed with the biggest agencies (MODELWERK) and our first feature in Vogue Italia came out, and then went to Milan (with Women in Milan) we met the “modeling world” and since then we value modeling and this world everyday more and more. So basically we met with our manager Victoria through social media and since then our lives changed forever.

What is one thing people may be surprised to find out about you?

Maria: They are surprised when I say that I used to be a professional competitive swimmer I think! And also that I study in the university Finance and Business Science! They seem surprised! 

Alexandra: I think when I tell them that I’m from Greece and both of our parents are Greek! They always tell us that we don’t look like Greek at all and that they were sure that our origins are from somewhere in the Northern Europe!!! Also when I tell them that I’m a very good cook and baker! They can’t believe that either 😂

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Maria: The best piece of advice that I have ever been given was from my mother. And it was to believe in myself, to be a kind person, to not let pain make me hate and to have courage because where there is goodness and everything can happen! 

Alexandra: The best advice I ever got were from my mother. One of them was to never give up and to always chase my dreams and my goals. And if other people are waiting to see you fail, then prove them wrong and go even further!

What was your first photo shooting?

Maria: It was with Alexandra! Victoria, our manager, immediately after we told her that we want to try modeling, she booked us a VOGUE ITALIA interview that was published on Vogue ITALIA website and Facebook page! We never did a test shoot and it was the very first thing we ever did! It was a experience that I will remember for the rest of my life, we did an amazing video and pictures and the other day it was published on Vogue and I was like “WOW”! We are so grateful! As a paid job our first shooting was a Givenchy Beauty Campaign in Paris and I loved every second of it! Every day I want to do more and more things on the fashion industry because of that! Because you get to meet amazing people! The people involved were amazingly nice and kind to everyone! I feel blessed because my first professional photo shooting was a Givenchy beauty campaign in Paris … there is nothing more you need! 

Alexandra: My first photo-shooting was an interview – video – photos for Vogue Italia’s website! I still can’t believe how magical it was and when we actually were shooting it, I couldn’t believe that it was for Vogue Italia and it was my first shooting at the same time. My first photoshooting as a paid job in a studio was a Givenchy beauty campaign in Paris! I was so shocked with how nice everyone was and how many people it takes for some pictures!!! I will never forget this day! It was the best day of my life and I feel so lucky that my first professional photoshooting was such an amazing experience with such talented team in my favorite city, Paris!

What’s your beauty routine?

Maria and Alexandra: Our  beauty routine is of course a cleansing gel that we wash our face every day. On the morning we apply a cream and a sunscreen every time we go out, even on the times it’s not sunny, because sun rays are dangerous. We don’t usually wear make up, because we are not big fans of it. Before we go to sleep, we wash our face, we apply an exfoliating toner on a cotton pad and we apply it on our face and neck, then we use pure retinol (vitamin A) one day and a serum of AHA-BHA the other day, and of course eye cream everyday! Twice a week we are doing a face scrub and also a face mask to reduce the possibilities of a future breakout! 

What are your hobbies?

Maria and Alexandra: Since we used to be competitive swimmers, we are working out every single day! We are working out together, because we motivate each other and it’s easier to keep on track! We go to the swimming pool three times per week and we do only 4km in an hour just to keep a touch with the water. The other four times we are doing a body weight circuit training (kinda like HIIT) where we train all the parts of the body for an hour! Also, we are going to the university where we study Finance and Business Science. We LOVE cooking and baking together and we develop our own recipes with healthier ingredients most of the time! Also we love movies….especially those where you can actually learn something from them! 

What’s one thing you would change about the industry?

Maria: I would love to change some standards the industry has. For example I would love to give to more new faces the opportunity to rise. Not many believe in you and almost everyone eventually will want something to win when they see you rise! That’s why I am SO grateful about Victoria, because the hard thing is to believe and actually support someone since the beginning and not only after they have done major things! Then everyone will want to be part of the success and it’s not fair …wish more people were like Victoria and actually believe in someone since the beginning! When you are rising suddenly everyone loves you… 

Alexandra: One thing I would change about the industry is that some, bigger mostly, agencies accept models only when they have proven their worth in the industry and not when they haven’t started to work as much and doing big steps in modeling! I think that the important thing is to believe in someone and want someone when she/he is still new in the industry and not only when she/he has already proven her/his worth!! New faces and new models need more opportunities to proven their worth and start doing bigger steps!

What is some advice that you’d give the next generation of models coming up?

Maria: To believe in themselves no matter what they may hear! To never give up, because it might take years, but the time will come they will shine bright and they will prove everyone wrong! So always believe in yourself, because it’s so easy in this industry to lose the faith in yourself! But that’s the world, there are 10000 downfalls and 1 happy moment, so don’t ever change for anybody! Just have faith, be patient, go after what you want, and do not be afraid to speak about anything you want to say or about your goals! 

Alexandra: I would say to everyone who wants to be a model , to always be kind and thankful towards everyone who works all day for her/him! You should always treat everyone with respect and kindness and don’t ever take anything for granted, no matter what! And also they should never stop believing in themselves and never let anyone make you believe that you aren’t worthy, because you are! Modeling is a long and hard journey with many ups and more downs so you need to be humble and patient and with the right people by your side you will make it!



Can you briefly tell some of your background: How did you get started? Was there a serendipitous meeting that led you to where you are now?

The classic shopping story…I was shopping with my mother and sister and got scouted for the Elite model look. I came in second in the Dutch contest and, after that, also second in the worldwide contest. Then I was asked to go to Russell Marsh, back at the time, the casting director for Prada. After that Prada invited me to come over and everything went very quick. Shooting with the amazing Steven Meisel for Prada, who would have guessed that.. 

What always makes you laugh?

Coming home and seeing my daughter making funny jokes and dances.

Do you have a life motto?

Treat others like you like to be treated. 

What are your ambitions for the next year?

I would like to do a very nice and beautiful beauty-, hair-, or perfume-campaign. Or why not, one more time a VOGUE cover.

What’s one thing that you wish you had known before you got into the industry?

How lonely you can feel by traveling the world all by yourself. And I wish I would have known Social Media would become such a thing. When I started there was nothing like social media. Now it is a complete new selling platform. Even people are selling themselves..

Among your friends or family, what are you famous for?

Baking cakes. I love to bake nice cakes for birthdays and baby showers for example. 

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

It would be great to be able to teleport from one place to the other in a second. So I can go to work in every country in the morning and go back home in the evening. It would make the job so much nicer. 

Simonas Pham

Photographed by Rainer Suck

We always like to find out how people got into the industry, whether it found them or vice versa. How did you become interested in modelling? Were you scouted?

So I had never been into modelling and had no idea about all the industry – about fashion at all. I even went to CK casting in New York and I wrote on my post “Calvin Clein or Kalvin Clein casting today”. So I was born & raised in Lithuania and I was at uni and at that time my girlfriend invited me to a Lithuanian fashion week. So first year I went there and the line was sooo long that my parking ticket expired so I left to pay it and guess what? When I come back – casting is done. So the next year she takes me again and this time all designers pick me and then I did Lithuanian fashion week – then agencies noticed me and that’s how it all began. 

What are three interesting facts about you? 

I am studying law and its my last year.

I always say the truth even if people dont like it and it might be harsh.

I never listen to no one except my own heart. 

What is a shoot that sticks in your memory?

I have had a lot of great shoots and I remember them all. But of course the biggest shoot so far was for Versace campaign. When Donatella arrived with the security – people were lost and excited and a bit had fear in their eyes. She came to me and introduced herself – that was an amazing moment. And then she and Helena Christensen were standing talking and when I asked someone from the Versace crew: “Can I ask for a picture?” Response was: ”We don’t know maybe better don’t”. I didn’t listen and went – interrupted two fashion industries icons, legends conversation for a picture. Guess what??? Donatella Versace & Helena Christensen were super friendly and sweet. We had a conversation and then did a backstage shoot.

How would you describe your style?

It’s more free and simple. I prefer looking simple but good. And I don’t like to spend money on clothes – the more clothes you have – the bigger problem is to choose.

What do you think the biggest misconception about the industry?

That models are “stupid” “dumb” and etc. It is not true because every person is smart in their own way and field. Also models travel so much – they meet so many people, experience so many different cultures. So we have rich experience which most of people don’t get. Also as I mentioned everyone is good in their own field so if you ask doctor or architect about certain things in fashion industry – he will know only rumours – stereotypes and nothing more, so models also can say that those people are stupid and dont know a thing right? So as I mentioned before – we are all good at something and we can’t put certain labels on. 

Are there any places that you would love to visit?

Yes I am dreaming about going to Brasil. I have met a lot of people from there and I am very curious and waiting for moment to go there. 

What is some advice that you’d give the next generation of models coming up?

My advice would be always stay yourself, be humble, and believe in yourself. As models we get rejected from clients and jobs many times and it’s normal. Just stay on the path you choose and believe – good things will happen then. 

Brenda Kranz

Photograph by Sebastian Zell

-scroll down for English-

Erzähl uns kurz etwas über Deinen Hintergrund: Wie hast Du angefangen? Gab es ein zufälliges Treffen, das dich dorthin führte, wo Du jetzt bist?

Man wird es kaum glauben, aber vor 10 Jahren wurde ich beim Shoppen mit meiner Mutter in Hamburg auf der Straße angesprochen. Damals dachte ich das sowas unseriös sei, doch schon 3 Wochen später flog ich nach New York und lief meine erste Fashion Week.

Für mich war das damals eine ganz neue Welt, vom glamourösen war ich dort weit entfernt. Ich teilte mir mit 4 anderen Models ein Zimmer mit Hochbetten. Wir hatten Mäuse und Kakerlaken in unserer Wohnung, ich hatte Heimweh. Trotzdem gab ich nicht auf, jetzt wollte ich es auch wissen. Und es lief für mich Überraschend gut, damals lief ich alleine in New York 16 Shows.

Lange Zeit sprang ich zwischen zwei Welten hin und her. Die reale war immer noch das Leben in Deutschland und die unreale das Modelleben. Es war sehr hart, aber aufregend und nach kurzer Zeit zog ich sogar nach New York, wo ich 6 Jahre fest gewohnt habe.

Was sind drei interessante Fakten über Dich?

Ich sehe sehr brasilianisch aus und doch bin ich 100% deutsch.

Ich komme von einem Bauernhof und habe einen Traktorführerschein.

Ich schlafe immer mit Augenmaske und Ohrstöpsel 😀

Wann fühlst Du Dich am glamourösesten?

Puhhh…. sehr glamourös fühlte ich mich immer auf den Laufstegen der Modemetropolen. Highlight war die Elie Saab Show in Paris, oder Zac Posen in New York, wo ich faszinierend schöne Kleider tragen durfte.

Was verstehst Du unter Schönheit?

Es gibt äußere und innere Schönheit. Am schönsten ist die innere Schönheit, die man nach außen hin ausstrahlt.

Wenn man innerlich zufrieden und glücklich ist, dann strahlt man das auch aus. Das ist sehr wichtig, besonders in meinem Job. Ich kann mir nicht erlauben, dass man auf den Bildern erkennt ob ich z.B. krank bin oder einen schlechten Tag habe.

Was machst Du als erstes nach dem Aufstehen?

Als allererstes setze ich meine Augenmaske ab und entferne meine Ohrstöpsel, diese beiden Sachen brauche ich, um einen erholsamen und tiefen Schlaf zu haben. Danach trinke ein Glas warmes Wasser, was dem Magen sehr guttut. 🙂

Gibt es bestimmte Reiseziele, die Du gerne besuchen würdest?

Ich habe schon sehr viele tolle Länder und Städte gesehen durch meinen Job und sogar in New York und Paris für längere Zeit gewohnt. Reisen ist für mich wie eine Sucht, ich liebe es!

Ich fliege sogar in ein paar Tagen nach Thailand, da wollte ich immer schonmal hin. Ich bin so gespannt. 🙂

Auf meiner Liste ganz oben steht aber auch Tansania, Marokko und Australien.

Can you briefly talk about some of your background: How did you get started? Was there a serendipitous meeting that led you to where you are now?

It is hard to believe, but 10 years ago I was approached on the street while shopping with my mother in Hamburg. At the time, I thought that it was not serious, but three weeks later I flew to New York and walked my first fashion week.

It was a whole new world for me, far from being glamorous. I shared a room with loft beds and 4 other models. We had mice and cockroaches in our apartment and I was homesick. Still, I didn’t give up and wanted to know what I was capable of. And it went surprisingly well for me, at that time I walked for 16 shows in New York.

For a long time, I jumped back and forth between two worlds. The real one was still my life in Germany and the unreal one was the model life. It was very hard, but also exciting, and after a time I even moved to New York, where I lived for 6 years.

What are three interesting facts about you?

I look very Brazilian, but I am 100% German.

I grew up on a farm and I have a tractor driving license.

I always sleep with an eye mask and earplugs

When do you feel most glamorous?

Puhhh … I always felt very glamorous on the catwalks in the fashion capitals. The highlight was the Elie Saab Show in Paris, or Zac Posen in New York, where I was able to wear fantastically beautiful clothes.

What does beauty mean for you?

External and internal beauty does exist. The most beautiful is the inner beauty that you radiate outwards.

If you are satisfied and happy on the inside, then you radiate it. This is very important, especially in my job. It’s not well recieved if you can see that a model is sick or has a bad day.

What is the first thing you do after waking up?

First, I take off my eye mask and remove my earplugs, I need these two things to have a restful and deep sleep. Then I drink a glass of warm water, which is very good for the stomach 😊

Are there any places that you would love to visit?

I have travelled to many great countries and cities through my job and have even lived in New York and Paris for a long time. Traveling is like an addiction to me, I love it!

I fly to Thailand in a few days and I have always wanted to go there. I am so excited. 🙂

Tanzania, Morocco and Australia are also at the top of my list.

MODELWERK ist für Dich da!

MODELWERK is a company that values connections, it is what our business is founded on. Our practice has always been creating close ties between our employees, models, and clients. Through our “MODELWERK ist für Dich da“ project, we have taken the opportunity to connect with our community in a new way. We want to be able to reach out and be strong together during this time of uncertainty and give others confidence and support.

As we countdown this week to our 25th birthday on May 5th, we are showcasing our solidarity and inspiration that we have felt over the past twenty-five years with portraits of our models in their own spaces and messages from our President and employees. No one in our MODELWERK Family is alone; we are apart, but inspiring one another, with open ears, and connected with a positive view for the future. Finding new ideas, new talents, and new things to learn together through thick and thin. President of MODELWERK, Claudia Midolo once said: “I see my company as my family, because we stand strong in difficult times and are always there for each other.” This is our company spirit and the spirit driving this campaign.

MODELWERK ist ein Unternehmen, das Kontakte knüpft. Darauf basiert unser Geschäft. Unsere Tätigkeit hat immer enge Bindungen zwischen unseren Mitarbeitern, Models und Kunden hergestellt. Durch unser Projekt „MODELWERK ist für Dich da“ haben wir die Gelegenheit genutzt, uns auf neue Weise mit unserer Community zu verbinden. Wir wollen in dieser Zeit der Unsicherheit, Kontakt zueinander aufnehmen, stark sein und anderen Vertrauen und Unterstützung entgegenbringen.

Da wir zudem diese Woche auf unseren 25. Geburtstag am 5. Mai hin fiebern, zeigen wir unsere Solidarität und Inspiration, die wir in den letzten 25 Jahren empfunden haben, mit Porträts unserer Models in ihren eigenen Räumlichkeiten und Botschaften unserer Inhaberin und unserer Mitarbeiter. Niemand in unserer MODELWERK-Familie ist allein; Aktuell sind wir getrennt, aber inspirieren uns gegenseitig, mit offenen Ohren und verbunden durch eine positive Sicht in die Zukunft. Neue Ideen, neue Talente und neue Dinge finden, um gemeinsam durch dick und dünn zu gehen. Die Inhaberin von MODELWERK, Claudia Midolo, sagte einmal: „Ich sehe mein Unternehmen als meine Familie, weil wir in schwierigen Zeiten stark sind und immer füreinander da sind.“ Dies ist unser Unternehmensgeist und der Geist, der diese Kampagne antreibt.