IT IS NOT ALWAYS AS GLAMOROUS AS IT LOOKS, YOU NEED TO PUT IN THE WORK – BISI SOWEMIMO

IT IS NOT ALWAYS AS GLAMOROUS AS IT LOOKS, YOU NEED TO PUT IN THE WORK – BISI SOWEMIMO

Bisi Sowemimo has over twelve years of professional experience in the industry, working successfully as a runway and commercial model, and she’s a well-known name in the modeling industry.

Bisi started her modeling career in her home country Nigeria but has been able to find her way to the fashion capitals of the world such as Milan, Paris and New York. She’s walked the runway for top designers like Vivienne Westwood, Giorgio Armani, and Luciano Soprani internationally, while locally she’s worked with top designers such as David Tlale, Malcolm Kluk & CGDT, Rubicon, JJ Schoeman, to mention a few…

She’s also graced the covers of Cosmopolitan and True Love magazines and has featured in many editorials for Elle, Wanted, Dossier, Grazia magazines, amongst others. Bisi currently appears in television commercials for Standard Bank, Soklin, and Guinness.

 

Q: Tell me a bit about your background.
A: My name is Adebisi Sowemimo, but everyone calls me Bisi. I started modeling about 17yrs ago in Nigeria, and my experience lies in runway and commercial modeling. I have had the opportunity to work in fashion capitals of the world such as Paris, New York, and Milan. I have been signed to Ice Model Management in Johannesburg since 2005.

Q: What was your first big break?
A: My first big break was when I won the first edition of the Ftv Model Awards in Nigeria. I had been modeling for a few years prior to the event. After the competition, I went to Monte Carlo, France for the presentation of the winners from across the globe. While I was there, I was scouted by an agency in Paris called Clicks. Winning that competition opened up more doors for me to pursue my modeling career internationally.

Q: When did you start Show Model Academy?
A: I started Show Model Academy in February 2016. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. I love the modeling industry and I have gained a lot of experience in the 17yrs that I’ve worked as a professional model.

Q: What were you doing before then?
A: I worked and I’m still working as a professional model. I did some acting. I had a small role in the movie called, Tell me sweet something. I also did voice-over work for three tv shows that were aired in South Africa and Nigeria.

Q: What problem did you see that needed to be fixed?
A: I started the academy for two reasons.
I’ve been approached by many people who want to break into modeling but they don’t know where to start, and who often have misconceptions about the industry. I wanted to change this and therefore started the academy.
Having been in the industry for close to 17 years, I’ve seen many models start their careers and not have a clue as to how to show-up and navigate the industry, at SMA we teach aspiring models how to do this.

Q: How is your company approaching that in a unique way?
A: We are committed to providing new and aspiring models with the skills they need through intensive training to aid them on their journey to becoming professional and successful models. We offer a four-week course that teaches them all they need to know about the industry; what the industry expects of them and what they should expect from the industry.

Q: What were some of the biggest hurdles you faced when building your company?
A: I think for any start-up business, the biggest hurdle you face is fear, and that was the same for me. Even though it has always been my dream to start a modeling school, I feared to start it. I was unsure as to what the outcome would be. But once I started, there was no going back. Our first session was a huge success. Other hurdles were finding people to collaborate with and with whom you’d have synergies and great working relationships. Another hurdle was finding the appropriate clientele and delivering the best service consistently.

Q: Who were your mentors along the way?
A: My agents from Ice Model Management have been supportive from the beginning. Jane Celliers, Warren Trevor, Charleen Ruthven and Lucilla Booyzen, director of SA Fashion Week, has also been a great supporter of the academy.

Q: What’s the number one piece of advice you would give to anyone wanting to work in your industry?
A: It is not always as glamorous as it looks. You need to put in the work.

Q: What blogs do you read regularly?
A: I do enjoy reading travel blogs. If there’s one thing I would love to do, would be to travel the world and document my travels on my blog. The world is a beautiful place and I just want to explore it.

Q: How can people connect with you and Show Model Academy?
A: You can connect with me on my Instagram page @bisishow. You can like our page on Facebook: Show Model Academy, follow us on Instagram @showmodelacademy, and Twitter: @show_academy

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Nigerians in South Africa
Nigerians in South Africa 1705 posts

We are about democracy, human rights, public opinion, political behavior, civil rights and policy aimed at improving the human condition, with a focus on African countries.

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