Where are you from ?
I’m a Tutsi from Burundi , born and raised!
Who was Ornella before she became a model. Can you tell us more about that period?
The Nella before I was a party animal (still am to a certain extend tho). I move to den Bosch from Burundi about 10+ years ago With my parents. I moved out by the age of 18 to live on my own in Amsterdam . I studied to be a flight attendant but I ended up dropping out because I couldn’t get an internship due to my tattoos.
“The change is not happening fast enough but it is happening petit-a-petit”
I then went on to study marketing and communication, whilst studying I started working as a waitress. Cz life is tough and expensive lol! I also went on to work at bars and clubs in Amsterdam which was an amazing experience. I was attracted to the night life, I think that’s what I miss the most. There is a massive throwback picture when I was just fresh off the boat. Doesn’t get better than this lol.
The modelling industry can be cut throat with diet rules and maybe even racism or color-ism. What keeps you in the modelling game?
The change is not happening fast enough but it is happening petit-a-petit. Seeing beautiful black models killing the game motivates me. Seeing models that look different finally on covers and billboards motivates me .But what motivates me more is when I hear that I inspired someone to become a model or to embrace being themselves.
“You will need to work twice as hard to get half the opportunity!”
What was one of your most favorite photoshoot and runway show you did?
I did a show in Tokyo where they had set up a bar in the 80’s and the models had to party and dance and even order drinks during the show. It was amazing to be able to completely let go and be whoever u want to be and get paid for it.
What makes You different than any other model in the scene?
My tomboyish style plays a big part I think. Not to mention I’m pretty inked up lol. My crooked teeth that differentiates my smile. My bald Head and also my personality. I am pretty outspoken and I will always share my opinion
Do you have any advice for people of color that want to start to model that are based in a non melanated or melanin deprived country?
Slay at all times! And work twice as hard! You will need to work twice as hard to get half the opportunity!
What other dreams do you have that you wish to do someday besides modelling?
I have too many! I want to know how to play most instruments (working on it ). I’m working on creating space for ppl of color where they can find education they won’t find in a school system that is not designed for them to succeed. Where POC can have discussion on issues that we face daily and where they can give workshops and dance and sing at the same time. (Also currently working on this) . I also happen to want to be a police officer some day.
Do you have a partner?
She is not just my girlfriend, she is the serotonin to my brain. Sandra Lambeck.
You’re a Vegan, when did u decide to become Vegan and why?
I became a vegan a little over 2 years ago. I was at a stage in my life where I was starting my spiritual growth and being more conscious about pretty much everything and an animal cruelty free diet only makes sense.
What are your favorite Vegan places to go to worldwide and in Holland and our favorite Vegan dish!
My favorite vegan restaurant in Amsterdam is this Jamaican-Japanese little restaurant called Terrazen center. It’s owned by a family the dad is Jamaican and the mom is Japanese and together they make delishious vegan soul food.
What are some of your favorite songs at the moment? We have seen u share multiple songs on instastory.
Mura masa – move me.
Would you like your son or daughter to model in the future?
I never thought about having kids. If for some strange reason that changes. I would love for my son or daughter to be anything they want to be.
Ornella 'fresh from the boat' as she jokingly says
Valentine Rontez shares knowledge
Who is Valentine Rontez?
My full name is Valentine Rontez. I identified myself as African-America for most of my life, until I did some soul searching. My Ancestors are from Benin-Togo Africa. I was born and raised in Queens, New York, United States.
How did you become a model?
After getting fired from my Doorman job at the Gucci Store on 5th avenue New York I went through a depression and felt lost. My sister took some of my Facebook photos and posted them on Modelmayhem.com, I then received a message from Jahn Hall (photographer) who was interested in shooting me. We took “Beauty shots” in his stairwell & his warehouse studio. After working with Jahn I rushed to New Jersey to shoot with my good friend Christopher Horne.
While there Jahn contacted me and told me Sean Bennett from Specimen Model Management wanted to represent me. I sent Sean my polaroids and from there he scheduled meetings all around NYC to meet with different agencies. I was declined, but Sean had saved the best for last.
I met the casting director Michelle Lee who was casting for Calvin Klein, there she trained me and taught me how to walk the runway. I found a side gig doing catering incase the door for modeling did not open. Later that day at work, Sean called me with surprising news that I was confirmed for a Calvin Klein exclusive contract in Milan Italy for fashion week. IMG was then interested in signing me.
If you had to describe your road to success in 5 steps, which 5 steps would that be?
Firstly, I found God & built my faith & courage with his promises as my meditation.
I needed to love & accept myself, to embrace the fact that I am a perfect imperfection.
Develop perseverance & a hard work ethic.
Practicing good sleep and eating healthy was a major culprit for my mindfulness.
Remain humble in balance with knowing your self worth.
How did you get the idea to make a video about showing people how to model?
I get countless of direct messages from people all over the world young boys & girls 15 – 40 asking for advice. Most have the dream but do not know where to get started. I replied to as many as I could on a daily. Then I decided to make a video because visuals work better then words.
How is life living as a model?
Modeling allowed me to focus on what my soul desires and visit places in the world I would have never imagined I would be. I have had the opportunity to meet so many inspirations that expand my mind to new dimensions. Although I am not much of a night life person parties overseas are extremely fun.
What are some of the downsides of being a model that people never talk about?
The uncertainty of anything. Anything could happen and if your looks a re not desired in the business that means business stops for you as well.
Would you ever design your own clothes?
Yes! I am currently manifesting that. It would be great to have an own fashion collection.
We are obsessed with YOU-TUBE what are some of your favorite You-tubers to watch?
Haha I LOVE youtube after midnight. I watch comedy to inspirational videos. All-def-digital’s dad jokes are dry but hilarious to me. Jimmy Kimmel, Infinite waters (mindfulness), I listen to Jim Rohn, Les Brown, Gary V, & The Art of improvement for motivation. I am obsessed with lions and kitty cats weirdly so sometimes I wander there and get lost.
What are some of your favorite artists and songs u listen to?
I love any and all classical music. My favorite artist right now are Jay-Z, Peter Collins, A-Boogie, Kodak Black, J cole, Alicia Keys & Amine.
Where can we find you?
Apply for Face of Melain Wonder 2020
George Adegite Nigerian Allround Designer Keep an EYE on him!
Who is George Adegite?
You may wonder who this guy is. All fashion enthusiasts may have heard of his clothing brand. AGEORGE the brand that focuses on quality, latest trends and impeccable design.
George has been drawing, designing and scribbling down images and cartoons ever since he discovered he could draw. He is Nigerian, specifically from the Yoruba tribe. One of the biggest tribes today in Nigeria. He stays in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where he also works. Catch him at the store at Zeedijk 54, Amsterdam!
In 2017 George surprised us all with a Look Book. This Look Book contained statement pieces sweaters with Nigerian Pidgin English slang words which has never been done before in this way.
The orange sweater seems simple but has been a real trend in Fashion, just plain orange just gives you a type of swag! George saw this ahead of time and it has been a fashion item ever since.
Lagos, Nigeria is were the talented designer gets his inspiration from. Also does his personal experience in life influence him a lot!
In Lagos you are built to withstand a lot; traffic, drought, NEPA (electricity going out) and more of these type of adversities. People in and from Lagos are highly motivated by the hustle, getting the job done and getting cash. Get what is yours before anyone else does.
His most recent collection has been a particularly unique one. He designed it in Amsterdam. But all shirts in this collection have been handmade in Lagos, Nigeria. Which is rare, because most designers go-to areas are countries such as China and Malaysia. They get their merchandise made for a ridiculously cheap prize. He works with local tailors in Nigeria and he brings us amazing quality pieces to wear during sports but also on your daily grind. You can even rock these at great fashion events or just on a regular day at work.
George Adegite is clearly a fashion mogul to watch! Mark our words, we said it first!
Get your GEAR on AGEORGE!!