I'm the young Caribbean raised guy, trying to make it in the fashion industry. It has never been done before by anyone from St.Kitts and Nevis, and I want to be the first and start the trend.
Aljuwan, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Model?
My aspirations in life are to one day have a career in modelling/fashion blogging and possibly be able to practice law all at the same time. I don't have much experience being a model, I've only done a couple of photo shoots within a year. Most of my experience comes from doing my own shoots that I set up myself.
Who is your inspiration in life Olajuwon? How do you keep inspired?
My mom and dad inspire me the most in life. Kanye West, Pharrell and fashion stylist Aleali May inspire me the most when it comes to fashion. My mom and dad are strong and have worked hard in life, they never complain and are my biggest supporters in life. They inspire me to be a hard-working young man and always to strive to be the best at whatever I put mine too. In fashion, Kanye West, Pharrell and Aleali May have inspired me to take risks. I use to be the type that was scared that people would judge me for what I chose to wear. Kanye, Pharrell and Aleali are fashion risk takers. They wear whatever they want. However they want, whenever they want, and it always works and becomes a fashion trend. That's what inspires me.
We all make mistakes Aljuwan; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Model; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I promised one of my friends; I would be a model for them in one of their photoshoots. He was building his portfolio and needed models. However, I got offered a job to be a model for a well-known photographer on the island and decided to take up that offer instead and cancel the shoot with my friend. Looking back at it I should have been able to do both, but I let my excitement get the best of me and picked the job over my friend.
Aljuwan, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Model, how do you go about prioritising your clients’ needs?
Communication is key. Talk to the client, listen to what exactly the client is looking for and add your little spin to it to make it true to yourself while also delivering the client's needs.
Please tell us Aljuwan, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Model?
Scheduling is always hard. I try to do my best to cater to everyone. One time I was faced with having booked two shoots on the same day because I did not want to say no and disappoint anyone. I was very strategic with my time because I have to do my scheduling. I did one shoot in the morning and had an hour to get to the next one, which I did, I was proud of myself for being able to do that with so little time.
Aljuwan, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
I got this idea to shoot a menswear photoshoot in the middle of the rain forest. I got a photographer, and he was completely against it for his reasons. After sitting down with him for a few days, showing him examples of the idea and the looks I wanted to use, he became interested and decided he was going to do it. The photos came out pretty good also.
Aljuwan, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Model. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
Booking my first model job. I'll never forget that moment; I was so excited and nervous all at the same time. It was a big accomplishment for me, and I'm hoping one day my next accomplishment would be to walk in my first runway show.
Aljuwan, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I feel like I'm always creative with my work. I'm always able to have my little creative input when doing a photoshoot. When I'm doing my photoshoots, I'm in control, however, when shooting for clients I have to be able to deliver what the client wants and less of what I want which is what can be difficult. What's exciting is being able to be apart of the creative process and seeing others be excited about it also.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Model?
Always put your best foot forward. Be yourself, be optimistic, the sky is limit. Don't get discouraged, continue working hard and later you will reap the benefits of it all.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I'm looking to one day have my clothing line/line of sneakers with brands like Adidas, Nike, Jordan, H&M.
Photographer: Yohan Maitland @Maitlandfotos Van'Dre Gilbert @aandbr