Interview with NOFW Rookie Cloee Semien
By: Lori Leday
In addition to showcasing countless designers and retailers, each year New Orleans Fashion Week displays a talented group of male and female models. Meet Cloee Semien! While this talent is a first timer to the NOFW runway, she no doubt has a promising future ahead. Having already strutted down the runways of New York, Cloee shared with us how she steadily builds a career in modeling while still managing to be a regular high school teenager.
FELICITY: Who or what inspired you to begin modeling?
CLOEE: When I was 10 years old, I watched the movie Life-Sized with Tyra Banks about a million times and I fell in love with her. While my mom was at work, I would dress up and wear her high heels and pretend I was a model. I would copy the poses just as the models did in the movie. From there I would YouTube her, Naomi, and Gisele. Then, I fell in love with modeling. It wasn't long after that I found out about the Victoria Secret fashion show. I have literally lost count how many times I have watched each show. I imagine that I will be walking for VS one day.
FM: What has been your biggest success since you began modeling?
CS: I value every casting as a success. I have had great success since I started in August 2016. I've been blessed to walk in Fashion WeekLake Charles. I've been featured in magazines such as: Enchanting Child Magazine, Brand Model Magazine, Snap Model Magazine, and Modern Kids and Teens Model Magazine. I will be walking in New Orleans Fashion Week from March 22-24. I also have been recently selected as one of the faces for Fashion Week Lake Charles. And the most exciting is that I walked in New York Fashion Week for Janelle Funari. I have since been asked to walk for her again in September in New York. I am grateful for every opportunity that the founders and designers have given me.
FM: You’re so young. How do you balance everyday life (high school activities, etc.) with your modeling career?
CS: I've got to thank my mom for encouraging me throughout this journey. She has always taught me to prioritize things so that it has made balancing cheer, track and field, and modeling kind of easy. I study and do homework every free minute I have at school. So once I get home, I can practice my walking, posing, and YouTubing my favorite models!
FM: What’s the toughest part about doing a runway show? A photo shoot?
CS: My biggest fear for a runway show is for my heel getting caught in a long dress. Thetoughest part about a photo shoot is sometimes not knowing the exact mood, emotion or facial expression the photographer wants to capture for the theme of the shoot.
FM: What are you looking forward to most about New Orleans Fashion Week?
CS: I am super stoked and looking forward to making new friends with the models and designers. I can hardly wait to wear their beautiful designs that have been selected for me. I am looking forward to building many new relationships in the modeling industry.
FM: What’s your advice to young girls wanting to be a part of the modeling industry?
CS: My first piece of advice that I strongly encourage to any young girl entering into the modeling scene, is to remain humble and grateful for the opportunities that photographers, designers, model coaches, makeup artists, and hair stylists have given you. Secondly, develop thick skin. Sometimes a model coach or designer may not like a certain part of you and they may give you their brutal opinion about that. Lastly, remain confident and believe in yourself.