Tolu Bally a fashion designer who has not only styled celebrities such as Toyin Abraham, Toke Makinka, Jackie Appiah and several others, she definitely has not left herself out as she stepped out with her son in a low vee neck-lined vivid coloured palette wrap dress with high slit, she accessorised with a pair of…
Tell us about yourself, your education, modelling background, how and why did you get started?
My name is Claudia Tifeny Moreira, I was born in Luanda, Angola and immigrated in Montreal at the age of 6 during the war.
As I always say, I’ve been fighting since the day I was born and I still do. I was born with scoliosis and it affected my legs so I started walking at the age of 3. I didn’t want to let this dark side of my life affect me so I started playing sport at a young age. I liked to run a lot even if I fell often due to the weakness of my legs. I did athletics and played basket ball, I even wanted to be an athlete. At primary school a teacher started calling Claudia Schiffer telling me I should be a model shortly after the whole school started. I used to be very mad because at the time all I wanted to do was sports. And even if I’ve always been confident I am extremely shy.At the age of 13, I decided to do some research about Claudia Schiffer and found out she was a famous supermodel. I then decided to take modelling class. After that I was able to do few fashion show in Montreal but no serious agency wanted to sign me, I wasn’t what they were looking, I wasn’t enough American, they already had a girl looking like me, etc After few years of rejection I went in Miami and got signed. I then signed with few others agencies but I still have not reached my goal (I’m working hard on it).How do you prepare for a modelling shoot?
I am always very nervous and excited before I shoot. I just try to relax as much as possible by working out, reading my bible, praying and drinking a lot of tea.How did you feel when you did your first ever fashion show or photo shoot? I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was extremely nervous but at the same time I couldn’t wait to get it started. After the show and the first photoshoot I just wanted to restart again.Describe the atmosphere when you’re on a shoot. Do you play music? Do you talk with the photographer between shots?
It really depends on who the photographer is. I became close to most people I’ve work with, some of them are even part of my familly now. I’m always friendly and very observant, I also like to give my ideas.Can you take us into your typical day as a professional model?
Once again it depends on the day. Some day I can be home playing with my brothers and the day after I can be running after castings, most of them are last minute castings so I never know how my week will be.Out of all your professional photos, which is your favourite and why?
I can’t really answer this question because every single photoshoot I did made me into the model I am now.Who are some of your favourite models, fashion photographers and designers, and why?
When it comes to posing I really like Coco Rocha(a Canadian model) she is insane. Otherwise everyone inspires me in certain way and I am especially fascinated by darkskinned beauty and strong features.
What do you think is the hardest part about being in the beauty and fashion industry?
The hardest part for me, as a black female model is to be rejected and judged because of my skin colour. Talent should be the main criteriaWhat is your daily nutrition and beauty regime? What beauty tips do you swear by?
I found out I am Gluten intolerant months ago. I unfortunately can’t eat everything as I used to do and I am a a big fan of pastry so it’s very hard for me. When it comes to beauty I am a very simple person, 95% of the time I don’t wear make up and I only use natural products. My number 1 product is coconut oil. I use it on my hair, on my skin and even on my food.
Do you have any advice as to how to ensure good pictures every time?
No matter what I do I just try to do it the best I can. Just be the best you can be and always give your 100%How do you feel about the controversy of the size 0 and plus-size debate in the industry?
It’s hard to be a woman in a men’s world and it’s harder to be a woman in world who forces you to accept how beauty is supposed to be. When we talk bout fashion, especially supermodels we talk about women’s like Naomi, Tyra, Grace and none of them were size 0 or two and still they are legends. This has to stop!
If you were not a model, what other profession would you have been doing instead?
If I wasn’t a model I would a business woman. I have many ideas and I would like to open my own company. I’ve always said I would be my own boss.Which fashion magazines, websites and blogs do you visit most?
I am not a fashion addicted so I rarelly buy fashion magazines but I follow most of them. Starting from Vogue, GQ, W, etc and also like web magazines like Afropunk and fashizblack.How has modelling changed other aspects of your life? What are the 3 things you can’t live without?
Thought modelling I cried a lot, tears of sadness but mostly tears of joy. Modelling allowed to meet the most talented and beautiful people all over the world. And if it wasn’t for modelling I wouldn’t have most of the close friends I have now. The 3 things I can’t live without are my phone (of course), My family and food (food is life).What advice do you have for other aspiring models?
Surround yourself with positive people, be positive, believe and most of all no matter what happens, be you.Credit: Tifeny Moreira
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