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Rabia Omanette about competing in a reality TV modeling contest and her love for art

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My name is Rabia Omanette, I am 25 years with a Dutch nationality but was born in Surinam. I currently live in Almere but I have lived in Amsterdam my entire life. I graduated Nursing school in 2015. During nursing school I got pregnant and became the mother of my son who is 2 years old now. 2016 was the year I started living with my boyfriend and son in Almere.

Rabia Omanette – By : Floris Naber

You competed in a reality TV modeling contest ‘ The Face’ at the age of 19 , how was that experience? 

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor the face nlWell.. the only reason I participated in the program was because I was at a crossroads in my personal life. Being 19 is a difficult age for a lot of people. I did not really know what I wanted to do besides modelling and ‘’having fun’’. Doing something like Hollands Next Topmodel  was a thing I said I would never do. This due to the fact that I am a very private person. Until I saw the commercial of ‘’The Face’’ on television. This new modelling program was especially for models who had already been signed to an agency. They would give you a chance to give your career an international boost. So I was like.. LET’S TRY IT! The only important thing I did not think of at that moment was the fact that, the TV industry is ‘’something else’’.

Rabia Omanette – By : Floris Naber

How did your modeling career turn out after competing in ‘The FACE‘ ?

Oh Rabia, we were looking for you for a while! Now we know why we couldn’t book you haha.

I soon found out that the program was more about making TV than actually about modelling. During my period in the house we visited a lot of Dutch designers that I was already working for.. Sometimes I even came into a casting and they were like: ‘’ Oh Rabia, we were looking for you for a while! Now we know why we could not book you haha.’’ When I look back at my time at The Face I see it at as pretty fun experience. It was not doing anything for my career except the exposure, I became more known.

 

How is life being a mother and how do u combine it with work?

Life as a mom is very different from being a model without a child. You have so many responsibilities and less time to focus on your own career. Luckily for me the bond with my childs father, my boyfriend and basically everybody is very good. That makes it easier and gives me the room to work on my own career. At the moment I am also working for an agency that combines modelling and working as hostess for events and other projects. I get to tell them when I am available for work so that makes it easier to manage my agenda.

Do you think a platform like melaninwonder.com is necessary?

It is necessary because every ethnicity needs to have a platform where they can recognize themselves and where they can talk about the things in life that they have to deal with on a daily basis. The fashion industry is dominated by Caucasian people. Because of the differences between ethnic groups it can be hard for minorities to really make a name and have the same opportunities some other people might have. All because they are a better fit to the established system.

Rabia Omanette – By : Floris Naber

 

You are also an artist, how did your love for art start?

I get inspired the most by black women!

Ever since I was a little kid I was always drawing and being creative in all sorts of ways. You could find me in my room for hours drawing up images. I really just paint what MY HEART wants to paint, what I feel at that moment, what inspires me at that moment. I get most inspired by black women! Beautiful strong black women. In 2012 I had an exposition in restaurant Fraiche in Amsterdam (Jordaan).

 

 

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Entrepreneurship

Eric Jones builds his empire, from Fayetteville, AR to LA – The American dream

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We reunited with Eric Jones, CEO and lead designer at LFLS shoes. He started his business in 2016, after graduating and mourning his late mom and dad. He pulled through and continued building his empire, making his late parents proud, building his life with the goals he in-visioned.

His mother in particular was a big part of designing LSLS shoes. She helped him create the first designs of LFLS’s 1st collection while he was finishing up college. Unfortunately, she was not there to experience the launch of his collection or witness his graduation. She passed away a few weeks before he graduated. Eric’s first collection was very important to him, as he was holding a piece of his mom in his creations.

 

 

We asked Eric how life changed since the first year into entrepreneurship.

”My life has changed tremendously, it is literally like comparing night and day!” 

” My slow success has allowed me to build so much character and it has molded me into an individual that has the influence, courage, resilience and story to inspire a nation. I’ve had the chance to experience so many things that I couldn’t have imagined. I worked with people that I never thought I would be able to work with MJ Harris ,Tasha Page Lockhart, Anthony Anderson and Desi Bank just to name a few.

From left to right MJ Harris, Tasha Page Lockhart, Anthony Anderson, and Desi Bank

I achieved goals that exceed my wildest expectations. I also, recently took a huge leap of faith and relocated to Los Angeles, California a little over a week ago. Coming from Helena, AR, these are things that I could have never imagined doing in my life! ”

Eric’s life changed tremendously in just 24 months!

Exposure – he has been recognized my national and international media and has been featured on Global Grind, Because of them We Can, Melanin Wonder, Voyage LA/Dallas, and a host of other platforms! New friends, gaining MJ Harris as a friend and mentor.

Building his CV, booking multiple speaking engagements and also speaking on panels across the country to share my story. Recognition, being recognized by my Alma Mater and moving to Los Angeles, just 2 weeks ago!

Are your shoes as dapper as you are?

It’s a guarantee because you can’t find shoes like these anywhere else. I have added my own unique touches to each shoe and they have become a high demand for special occasions like weddings, galas, proms, graduations and red carpet events. The shoes are the representation of a lifestyle that many individuals want to live. A lifestyle of modern luxury with a sprinkle of good old classic vibes.

How do you test the product quality?

I test the quality of my products by having a sample developed of a specific shoe that I have designed and want to send into production. Based on how the sample comes out will determine what changes are needed or if I will work with that particular factory or not. 

What was the main reason you chose to start making women’s shoes as well?

I decided to start making women’s shoes because so many women would ask me about shoes for them or if I made kids shoes that they could fit. I tested the market to see if women would actually purchase the pair of flats that I ended up designing. It turned out that they liked them a lot and at times purchased more than my customer base of men would.

 

So to circle back around on the question, the main reason I chose to start making them is to please the ladies hahaha. But then it also became bigger than that because I made sure the women’s flats matched the men’s loafers, which lead to our his and hers collection. My late mother Gloria also loved shoes a lot, I plan to design a women’s shoe dedicated to her in the near future.

 

What’s the next up-and-coming trend Eric?

”I’m not much of a trendy person, I tend to create them versus keep up with them!” 

If you weren’t making shoes, what would be your craft today?

Branding and social media strategy for sure, along with still inspiring people through my journey! I love everything about branding and how a business conveys its story to their potential customers, whether that be through visuals or strategy. This is one reason why I started offer branding/business development consultations. I also love styling too, so I’m sure I would also still be dabbling in that industry even if I wasn’t a shoe designer!

You recently moved to LA, how will this impact the LFLS brand?

” This move will take the brand to the next level!” 

Being in this environment around celebrities, stylist, red carpet events, influencers and a host of other entrepreneurs/creatives is all I could ask for plus more! You never know who you will meet here in LA, so many doors will be opened for myself and the brand that could have never been opened back in Arkansas. I’m thrilled to be here and just honored to be able to have the faith, courage and resilience to take such a huge leap of faith and sacrifice for my future.

 













Get you a pair of LFLS shoes to look just as dapper as Eric
https://www.lflsshoes.com/
GIVE AWAY - GIVE AWAY - GIVE AWAY - GIVE AWAY
P.S. Eric is doing a give-away in collaboration with Melanin Wonder.
Comment under this article and repost it on your socials.
Send us a screenshot of you comment under this post +
your repost on any socials (email: info@melaninwonder.com)
Winner will be announced in the third week of september.
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Fashion

Valentine Rontez shares knowledge

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photoshoot

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.

The basics of becoming a model
The basics of becoming a model PART 2.0

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.

My favorite Song of Peter Collins

Where can we find you?

I can be found & reached on IG @x.valentine & Facebook “Valentine Rontez

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Fashion

Apply for Face of Melain Wonder 2020

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Geef je nu op voor ‘Face of Melanin Wonder 2020’!

Apply for ‘Face of Melanin Wonder 2020’ contest!

Sign up here / Hier aanmelden: https://lnkd.in/e2dAUcR

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