Model Profile #4: Q&A with Mikayla Mifsud

Labelled by Elle Magazine Canada as "one to watch", Canadian-born brunette Mikayla Mifsud is riding a wave of success in the lucrative and glamorous world of modelling. 

Having appeared in numerous fashion and fitness magazines worldwide, photographers and designers alike are drawn to Mifsud's uniquely exotic look; a result of her blended Maltese/Italian heritage.

Recently, she has appeared in an editorial for HUF Magazine, "The Artist Muse", photographed by our Fashion Photography Editor, Geoffrey Chuah.

Editor, Michelle Larin, interviewed Mifsud, who is equally captivating as she is down-to-earth, about her career, interests and personal style.

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Q:  When did you first decide to pursue modelling as a career?

A: I always wanted to get into modelling and was scouted on the streets a few times, but I didn’t take it too seriously until a few friends suggested I meet with Canadian agent Chantale Nadeau. The next day she had me sit down with Ford Toronto, and I was working the following week!  At 19, my career began.  Even though they say it’s best to start young, I’m glad I waited until I was a bit older and had a more sensible head on my shoulders! 

Q: What agencies are you signed with?

A: I’m currently signed with Chadwick models in Sydney, Union models in London, Montage models in Montreal, and recently with Sutherland models at home in Toronto after Ford models sadly shut down its Canadian division earlier this year.
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Q: What type of work have you done as a model?

A: I’ve appeared in most Canadian magazines, including FASHION magazine and Elle Canada. For the few short months I spent in Sydney, I was fortunate to shoot for InStyle Australia, Fitness First and Cosmo. I have also worked with an array of very talented designers, artists and photographers.

Q: Have you done any travelling?

A: Last September I decided to take a year's break from business school to model full-time and travel. I moved to London where I quickly learnt how insane the industry could be. The city was busier than anywhere I had ever experienced and full of energy. It's the kind of place that would be easy to get lost in if you didn’t have your wits about you or good people helping out along the way.
During my time working out of London, I travelled around the UK including Staffordshire in the country, and even the ice-cold beaches of Newquay.  I also shot in Budapest.  My time in London definitely helped prepare me for coming to Sydney, which has been one of the best experiences of my life so far.
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Q: Tell me about your most memorable modelling assignment?

A: My favourite modelling assignment would probably be my shoot for Fabulous Magazine UK in Budapest. They insisted we experience as much of the Hungarian culture as possible, including outdoor steam baths, backpacker bars, and incredible dining. We shot in the woods, in a palace, and even had a day with wolves on set!  It was incredible.

Q: What has been your most unusual modelling assignment?

A: My most unusual job is probably the shoot I did as the main character of a vampire novel.  There was fake blood and fangs!
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Q: Who have you most enjoyed working for as a model?

A: I would probably have to say Canadian designer Lucian Matis. I love him as a person and feel honoured every time I get to wear his creations - bringing them to life.

Q: Give me a rundown of life as a model. 

A: The life of a model is all over the place! It’s lovely getting all done up and taken care of on set, constantly meeting new and creative people, and getting to travel the world, but at the same time, your life is out of your hands. It’s hard to make plans with friends when you can’t guarantee your schedule until the day before and, even then, things can still present themselves last minute. I sometimes find myself craving some structure and need to remind myself how lucky I am to be doing what I’m doing.
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Q: How do you prepare for a shoot?

A: I don’t do much to prepare.  I think models have it easy in that sense.  All I need to do is arrive to a set a clean blank canvas (hair, nails and face), with a nude bra and panties!

Q: Describe what it feels like being in-front of a camera?

A: It feels amazing being in front of a camera. It’s a chance for me to be creative and contribute my own touch to a photograph.
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Q: What do you like to do in your down time?

A: I try to surround myself with the things I love, like good company, music and food. Throw in some sunshine and I couldn’t ask for more. When I was in Sydney, I loved taking walks along Tamarama Beach.

Q: If you weren’t a model what do you think you would be doing?

A: Hard to say exactly, but I imagine something in business. I have finished three years of business studies at Ryerson University, with only one year remaining.  My studies are on hold at the moment, but I hope to go back and complete my qualification sometime soon.
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Q: Describe your personal style. What would you be wearing when you’re not dressed up for a shoot?

A: My style is very simple, comfortable and hardly ever includes regular pants. 

Q: Who’s celebrity style do you envy most?

A: I wouldn't say I follow celebrity style as such, but I’ve always had girl crushes on Annalynne McCord and Rachel Bilson.
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Q: List three things you couldn’t live without.

A: Happiness, good health and a heart. As long as you have these, everything else is a bonus!

Q: What music are you currently listening to?

A: My music is all over the place and changes constantly. Right now I really like Flume, Of Monsters And Men, Ashanti, and anything else fun to dance to.
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Q: What book are you currently reading?

A: "Putting Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I’m excited to be working with Sutherland models, as they represent models I’ve always admired.  I want to spend some time at home catching up with friends and family for now, but hope to make it back to Australia before the year is over.
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Model Profile #3: Heather Aboff

Raised in a small beach town in Central Florida USA, model Heather Aboff has been perfecting her art since age nine.  Standing at an impressive 178 cm tall, the striking brunette’s parents encouraged her to pursue modelling to improve her self-confidence. 

“Before then, I was convinced I was a giant!”, says Aboff.
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Aboff is currently based in New York City and signed to Silent Models NY.  She has undertaken a variety of work, including editorial, commercial, catalogue, runway shows and modelling for e-commerce. Her most recent includes photo shoots and fashion shows for well-established designers Nicole Miller, Tory Burch, Ellie Tahari and Catherine Malandrino.

Aboff likens her most memorable modelling assignment on location at historical ruins in Thailand to the movie “Lost in Translation”:

“The day started out beautifully, but quickly resulted in arguing with a monk, being chased by a Thai mob, and having a police escort to narrowly escape the chaos in the end!”
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To prepare for a shoot, Aboff says she drinks plenty of water and a “green juice drink for glowing skin.”  To her, it is important to maintain a holistically healthy lifestyle.

 Likening her role as a model to that of an actor, Aboff explains:

“In front of the camera, I portray a variety of emotions according to the meaning of the shoot.”
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 In her spare time Aboff enjoys reading, writing and taking nature walks:

“This allows me to relax, while still doing something beneficial for by mind, body, and spirit. If I wasn’t a model I’d be teaching and writing based off teachings like “A Course In Miracles” by Helen Schucman – the book I’m currently reading.”

Her quintessential outfit away from work is:

“A comfy pair of BCBG leggings and a tank top that a nice shirt or jacket can be thrown over instantly if I need to run to a job or casting!”

Aboff admits to having a weakness for clothes designed by Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein.
 

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A combination of beauty and brains, Aboff earned her Associates Degree in business economics from Daytona State College at age 17.

Recently, she co-founded the World Fashion Forum at the United Nations:

“This annual event and ongoing program at the United Nations aims to identify how the fashion industry’s economic, social and cultural powers can be best positioned, focused and managed to alleviate the world’s most critical needs.”
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Her advice to aspiring models:

“Modelling is a business, and you must bring something special to the table at each job and casting to stand out.
Approach the market that best fits you, and work with a support team that believes in you 100%. Good performance and professionalism is critical to a long lasting relationship with clients. The fashion industry is small, so make sure you are always on top of your game.”

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The Photographer and his Muse: Mario Testino and Kate Moss

A stylish and seductive collaboration between two of the world's greatest influencers of fashion

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I guess back when we met I did not realize she would become an icon of the ‘now’ for so many people. All I could see or feel was an attraction to someone a lot younger than me.
— Mario Testino
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I have never laughed so much in my whole life as with Mario on shoots. Sometimes we know we have to stop but we just can’t, we can’t even look at each other
— Kate Moss
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If you watch your life unfold the things that don’t happen – that make you feel outraged and frustrated – can be as important to your success as the things that go the way you believe they should. That belief has been central to my life and hers. It’s not all been great at every moment but it’s ended up being so great overall that we always say, “never explain, never complain.” Everything happens for a reason.
— Mario Testino
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