I have the strongest passion for modeling. I think of it day in and day out. My happiest times are when I am walking a runway or shooting. I have had a dream of being a model for longer than I can remember. My dream was never supported by family, which made the coming to life more difficult. But I think when you are as driven as I am ... nothing can get in the way. I try to advocate people reaching for the highest dream they hold. This world would be nothing without passion.
Lu, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Model?
My largest aspiration in life would be...walking in Fashion Week. Parading in Valentino. Influencing others who have the lust for life within the industry. I began modeling at a fairly young age but wasn't as committed. As I grew, I learned exactly what made me feel so alive about it. I love being able to showcase art. A design. A vision. It brings me pride.
Who is your inspiration in life Lu? How do you keep inspired?
How do I keep inspired? I truly have the best support system. My best friend and her mother stepped into my life to push me toward what I had never manifested. They have allowed me to humble myself with reality as well as feed my fantasy. I think its extremely important to be inspired by those whom you have contact with. Sometimes being inspired only by those who are famous can make you forget about those beautiful real-life connections. Although, I'm not saying Cindy and Naomi never drive me...trust me they do!
We all make mistakes Lu; 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 once had an encounter with "an agent" where I was taken advantage of. At the time I was in shock of the situation and my trust was so broken that I couldn't form the words to say how disrespected I felt. I wish more than anything I could go back and be stronger. I want to activate the safety of women in this industry. We have to bond together to overcome the dangers we face. I would also like to say that...We can never go back into our past, but we can allow it to navigate our potential. I am working harder. I am working stronger. I am doing it in spite of what I went through. I'm rising from ashes.
Lu, 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 prioritizing your clients’ needs?
I always have my ears open. I trust clients and the vision they want to achieve. I am here to make that vision as easy and true as possible. I think its all about truly listening and adapting to fit. But I always let a little bit of my style shine through!
Please tell us Lu, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Model?
There was a time in specific that I was trying to meet a certain body type. In 2003 I was diagnosed with anorexia, so any change of diet or workout plan had to be done strategically. I fought for so long to be where I am now that I would never want to trigger myself. So within modeling, if I need to shape up for a shoot or just for myself, I have to be very careful and planned! Its all about being healthy and happy...Not the number on the scale.
Lu, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
I sometimes hate the word persuade. I rather people come to their own conclusions with my input! Though, once I was asked to do a shoot that was just not the direction I wanted to go and over a few meetings I eventually explain my view enough that we found a happy medium! But it did surely take some explaining on my part to help lead them to a level thought process!
Lu, 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?
I am proudest of a shoot I did for an ad campaign. I was chosen and contacted all without me having to submit anything. It was so liberating to think that others could see my potential! I felt some tenderhearted fame. It was a beautiful fantasy to live, even if it were short lived! It inspired me to work harder to make it my reality rather than a fantasy!
Lu, 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 generally have a lot of creative say when it comes to my shoots. I find myself being able to close my eyes and envision a certain pose or a location. I think keeping posing interesting is the key to model creativity. It allows you to express yourself and I think that's important when it comes to creativity and being true to yourself. Its always better to see the shoot come out with crazy eye-catching poses over generic shots!
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Model?
You can do it yourself. Believe in the fantasy that drives you. Rather than altering yourself for the industry, build your empire.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Chris Kuri @kuri_haus