World Class NYFW Magazine would like to welcome amazing model World Class Celebrity Shiela DeForest.
Name: Shiela DeForest Model IG: shiela_deforest Height: 5' 10"
Eye Color: Dark Brown
Hair Color: Black Bust (in inches): 36 Waist: 30 Hips: 38 Shoe size: 10 US Age: 49 Zodiac sign: Virgo Hobbies: Traveling, reading, karaoke singing Years modeling: 30+ years Countries visited: 57 so far. USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Denmark, Netherlands, Ireland, Malta, Greece, Spain, Russia, Austria, Switzerland, Morocco, Tunisia, UAE, Qatar, Libya, Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Uganda, South Africa, Oman, Seychelles, Mauritius, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, China, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Macao, Monaco, Portugal, Peru and Iceland Likes: Learning about other cultures, trying new cuisines, meeting people, being able to make a difference no matter how small Dislikes: Disingenuous, petty and selfish people Status: Married World Class NYFW Magazine: Please tell us about yourself. I was born and raised in Pagsanjan, Laguna, Philippines. My mother is a retired educator and my father is a retired Lieutenant in the Philippine Marines. I have one sister, who lives with her family near Munich, Germany. I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree majoring in Tourism from the University of the Philippines' Asian Institute of Tourism. I was able to apply my education in various sectors of the tourism industry, in hotels, sales and marketing and aviation. I also gained experience in Press and Public Affairs when I joined the UK Embassy in Manila as a Press Officer. I’ve been married for 10 years and now call Colorado, USA home.
World Class NYFW Magazine: Please tell us about your modeling experience. I've been a runway model since I was 18 years old and I still love the adrenaline rush I get every time I do a show. My latest projects were with: Purell, Giant Eagle, Poshmark Sustainable Fashion Show, International Face Magazine, World Class Beauty Queens Magazine, Kandama Fashion Collective, Chili's, Colorado Lottery, Denver Style Magazine, Illustrado Magazine Dubai, IWC/Mercedes Benz AMG, Shine: No Stigma Vancouver, Dress For Success BIG Fashion Show, Manila FAME Gala of Weaves, Kenzo, Badgley Mischka World Class NYFW Magazine: Have you done any modeling interviews before? If yes tell us about it. Yes, I was featured in World Class Models magazine in 2020 and 2021
World Class NYFW Magazine: Please tell us which years and seasons did you participate in NYFW. I did Society NYFW S/S20 and Rise NYFW S/S23
World Class NYFW Magazine: Which designers did you model for in NYFW? I walked both shows for a dear friend, Victor Baguilat's Kandama Fashion Collective showcasing their own handwoven fabrics from Kiangan, Ifugao, Philippines
World Class NYFW Magazine: Please tell is about your first experience with NYFW. Fashion shows are always frantic but I love the energy of it. I was just excited to be in the city for NYFW on my 46th birthday and a dream come true!
World Class NYFW Magazine: Please tell us about your most recent experience during NYFW. I worked with Victor on the dress I wore for his "Emancipation of the Maria Clara" collection and bringing his vision to life is humbling!
World Class NYFW Magazine: Please tell us which NYFW experience was your favorite and why? I've only done 2 seasons so far and both of them are my favorite because I get to work with friends and each show is unique.
World Class NYFW Magazine: How does NYFW differ from other fashion weeks around the world in your experience. NYFW of course is one of the best if not THE fashion week to be part of as a model because of the wide reach that it has and it is an experience worth having in your porfolio.
World Class NYFW Magazine: What made you decide to become a model? I became a model because it helped me with personality development, gave me confidence in myself and in this process, indirectly prepared me for the corporate world. It also helped me start traveling by getting signed by Diva Models in Singapore and visited my first countries, Thailand and Japan. Now, as an older model I feel that I also have the opportunity to inspire girls who feel insecure because of their skin tone or age. I also support and promote sustainable fashion. World Class NYFW Magazine: How were you discovered? I was 16 years old and in First Year college, walking in a mall when I noticed a man following me. I started to get creeped out, then he approached me and told me that I have modeling potential. I was skeptical, sure I was tall for my age but I didn't look like the girls I saw in magazines or competed in Supermodel. He sensed my distrust and gave me his card for Runway Productions, the agency he was working for. I eventually went to the agency with my dad since I was a minor so I needed parental consent. He went over the contract and said I was too young to do it. I respected my dad’s decision and continued on my college studies. Two years later, I was contacted again by Runway Productions because a spot opened up in Supermodel Philippines in ‘92. I had no modeling training nor can wear high heels then but I joined anyway. I knew I wouldn't win but I had valuable modeling training from my first mentors, Joey and Audie Espino. It was my first foray into modeling and I loved it. I modeled part time alongside my studies until I graduated from college. Afterwards, I continued training, modeling, joined other modeling competitions for exposure but also sought job opportunities in line with my education. World Class NYFW Magazine: What is your favorite style of modeling and why? I love runway shows because I get to see the design process with my designer and the adrenaline rush on the day of the show! World Class NYFW Magazine: Do you have an agency or do you freelance? Tell us why. I’m with Wilhelmina Denver in their Lifestyle Women Division exclusively in Colorado. I chose them because they’ve been in the industry for a long time so they have valuable insight and a wide client base. The Colorado market is not as big as the other markets so you have to be signed with an agency for you to be able to get into castings so freelancing here is a bit tricky. Plus, having an agent protects you from unscrupulous entities because they screen clients and contracts. World Class NYFW Magazine: Which designers did you have a chance to model for? Majority of the designers I worked with are from the Philippines ( Jojie Lloren, Edgar San Diego, Edgar Madamba, Richard Papa, Renee Salud, Fanny Serrano, Ronaldo Arnaldo, Edwin Tan, Edwin Uy, Dave Ocampo, Oliver Tolentino, Puey Quiñones, Philip Rodriguez, Jor-el Espina, Johnny Abad, Gino Fernando, Patis Tesoro, Ben Farrales, Lito Perez, Arielle Agasang, Raoul Ramirez, Roland Lirio, Roland Mendoza, Len Nepomuceno, PJ Arañador, Dong Omaga-Diaz, Joji Aguilar, Victor Barba, Ivan Dela Cruz, Kenneth Chua, OJ Hofer, Armando Fabia, Patrice Diaz, Sidney Perez-Sio and more to mention). I’m truly grateful for their trust in my talent and I was given the opportunity to walk or do photoshoots for them in different stages of my career. I was able to expand my horizons in Singapore as well and worked with different local designers and global brands there.
World Class NYFW Magazine: Have you modeled in any fashion shows? Aside from NYFW, I've done Manila Fashion Festival, Poshmark Brand Market Fashion Show, Dress for Success BIG Fashion Show, Shine: No Stigma Vancouver, Dress For Success BIG Fashion Show, Poshmark Sustainable Fashion Show, Manila FAME Gala of Weaves, Kenzo, Badgley Mischka, Terranova Show World Class NYFW Magazine: Tell us about some of the photoshoots that you've done so far? I've worked with Troi Santos in NYC, Ace Reyes in Dubai, UAE, Carlos Velez In Orlando, FL, Eva Flis in Orlando, FL, Eddie Boy Escudero and Sam Pelaez and team in Manila, Philippines. Probably, my most memorable shoot was for the cover of Illustrado Magazine, a Dubai-based Filipino fashion and lifestyle magazine. It was an early morning shoot with a 4 a.m. call time so we can catch the sunrise and avoid the intense summer heat later in the day. We shot among the sand dunes and flat plains outside Dubai where I wore fabulous designs by Ezra Couture. I had to pinch myself when I saw my cover photo when the magazine came out! I'll never forget that because that was my first cover girl shoot. World Class NYFW Magazine: What would you consider your biggest achievement as a model so far? I think being a working model for as long as I have and being able to balance it with my hospitality career, community volunteering and now higher education is something I'm proud of. I'm turning 50 this year! World Class NYFW Magazine: How do you prepare for a photoshoot? I prepare my model bag with essentials I’ll need for the shoot (e.g. shoes, underwear, makeup kit, etc.), outfits (if we’re bringing our own clothes for commercial/test shoots), styling/grooming (e.g. some shoots require specific nail polish colors), workout, eat healthy, stay hydrated and try to get a good night’s sleep. I also study the brand and look we’re shooting for. World Class NYFW Magazine: Any modeling tips for girls that would like to model in your area? Patience, perseverance, humility and positivity will help you in your career. Rejection may be difficult to handle in the beginning, but in time, you’ll understand that clients look for talent that best represent their brands. Keep up with fashion trends, stay fit and healthy because you have to be ready for castings or bookings anytime. Get signed by an established agency because they have talent development programs and workshops that can help you hone your craft. Prepare for castings and read your agents’ casting sheet on what you need to wear or the role/show you’re being considered for. Keep your portfolio, headshots/comp cards and resume updated so you’ll have them ready for castings. I started modeling pre-social media but these days, I think social media is a powerful tool where models can share their work, personality and interests outside fashion. But, it is also something they have to be mindful of because clients can see the kind of content they post and how much social media presence they have. World Class NYFW Magazine: Any video commercial or film experience? I was in a Chili’s Happy Hour commercial, Colorado Lottery commercial hand model , EcoWaste Coalition Online Campaign against Single Use Plastic, UnitedWay #GivingTuesday, KMGH/ABC Denver PoshMark Interview, TV Patrol ABS-CBN Bicol, DZRH TV Beauty and the Best, DZRH Showbiz News, POP TV Philippines and Sunstar Baguio “That’s All You Need To Know”, Purell and Giant Eagle PA Commercial World Class NYFW Magazine: What is your personal fashion style? I have an eclectic fashion style and dress however I feel like for the day, season or location. In the last few years, I have been more supportive of upcycled, indigenous and artisan fashion made with heritage fabrics. World Class NYFW Magazine: What would you like to accomplish as a model in 2023. To be able to continue supporting more sustainable fashion brands and designers in their advocacy. World Class NYFW Magazine: What are some of your non modeling achievements? I just started my Masters in Business Administration specializing in Sustainability at the University of Colorado-Denver this Spring 2023 term for me to be able to transition into sustainability as a career, not just volunteering. I have also been given the Sustainability Division Individual 2022 awardee by the City of Golden, CO, Jefferson County, CO Sustainable Resident Awardee in 2022, Finalist for the Women in Sustainability C.A.R.E.S. Award in 2022, NaFFAA National Leadership Awardee 2021, Unsung Heroine Award FInalist 2020, Award of Excellence 2019 from the Municipality of Pagsanjan, Laguna, Philippines and Award of Excellence 2019 from the Office of the Governor, Laguna, Philippines.
World Class NYFW Magazine: Do you volunteer for any cause? I do volunteer work for various non-profits like Bella Boutique Denver, Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, Haribon Foundation, EcoWaste Coalition, Golden CO Farmers Market, EcoCycle and re/make Our World. I am also the Area Director - Colorado for Gawad Kalinga USA and Program Director for National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) Region V. I contribute my time by walking in fashion shows or producing videos/content supporting women empowerment, mental health, environmental awareness and sustainability. I also founded a citizen eco group called Team GREAT (Golden Residents Eco Action Team) in my city of Golden, CO where we host community highway cleanups, eco talks and climate strikes. World Class NYFW Magazine: What would be your ultimate modeling dream job? To walk in all the major fashion weeks! World Class NYFW Magazine: Where can we learn more about your work? https://www.wilhelminadenver.com/lifestyle/women/1431142/Shiela-Deforest World Class NYFW Magazine: How can someone hire you for modeling jobs? For Colorado location bookings, all e-commerce and collabs, they can contact Cassie@wilhelminadenver.com. Out of state location bookings or international, they can contact me in IG: shiela_deforest
World Class NYFW Magazine would like to thank you for this wonderful interview.
Interview by Derek Tokarzewski Owner/Editor in Chief of World Class NYFW Magazine .
Shiela DeForest, World Class NYFW Magazine, Photo by Troi Santos Photography, Designer Kandama Collective Interview by Derek Tokarzewski Owner/Editor in Chief Mr WorldClass 2023 Mr United Nations 2018 Platform: Women Empowerment Ambassador to International Foundation for Orphans iffocares.org
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