Remi Alade-Chester was scared of flying. But that didn’t stop him from getting on a plane to Barbados for the sake of his career. You see, Remi wanted to try something new. So he posted a few snapshots of himself online. He caught the keen eye of Graham Edwards from Gadal Model Management and after a few phone calls back and forth, Remi took the risk and flew to Barbados for a meet and greet: “I was a bit scared of flying actually. The only time I had flown before was when I came to America at age 11.”
That was a Friday. By time Remi left Barbados the Sunday he was signed to Gadal. The Monday then was the beginning of an exciting journey. Remi went to four agencies and even though he was the required height of 6 feet 1 inch, he was told by two agencies that his body was too big and he needed to slim down to fit into the designer clothing.
But all was not lost, as the other two saw he was the perfect fit and on that same day, on the advice of Graham who was directing things from his end in Barbados, Remi was signed to two top agencies in New York (a place he had never visited before until that day) and was sent out on four castings immediately.
For the interview, Remi was a hard one to pin down as he was busy the past few weeks doing shows in Los Angeles, Paris and Las Vegas, and for someone who was scared of flying he professes to being on a plane on average four times a month.
Remi’s striking face and sculpted body makes him catwalk and print potential.
He has shot ads for Express and even Adidas, and remembers his first big gig was an editorial for Uptown Magazine with well known black female model, Selita Ebanks and Remi is still in awe of his fortunes. “When I see myself in a magazine I see it as a chance to rip out a page and add it to my book, but the idea still hasn’t really sunk in for me.”
Remi is particular about his body and he takes fish oil supplements, and uses St Ives face scrub every other day to take care of his skin.
Even so he says he cannot live without chocolate but his daily routine includes running and playing soccer and some days finds time to even do a little deejaying.
Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, he lived there for 10 years then immigrated to the United States. Remi is not married and with three siblings (he is the oldest) he wants to have kids of his own someday – four of them!
How do you prepare for a shoot?
I never know what to expect, but generally I research the client/magazine and photographers to get a feel for what might arise. I also try to get a good workout coupled with an ample amount of sleep the night before.
How was it walking in Fashion Week 2011 and who did you walk for?
It was nerve-racking, but definitely exhilarating. I walked for Givenchy in Paris.
How many casting calls do you go on to book a gig?
The number fluctuates depending on how fruitful the castings are, but it is usually around eight to ten.
What’s the best perk in being a model?
The travel is my favourite perk. I get to see places around the world I would usually not initiate an interest for.
What’s the worst thing about being a model?
The instability, you never know when you attend a Casting if you are going to land the job or not; you just have to prepare well and keep your fingers crossed – but only to some extent, it can also be adventurous.
What is the weirdest thing you have ever worn in a fashion show?
A dress that covered my nose to my knees; a close second was an “outfit” made of over 1 000 Barbadian cents stuck to me for a photoshoot!
Are there any designers that you like to wear or whose clothing stands out with you?
I don’t follow designers to a great extent; I usually shop at H&M or thrift stores.
How would you define your personal style?
I like to keep it simple, laid back, and comfortable.
What gets you excited about life?
What do you wish people would understand about working in the modeling industry?
It’s hard work and a real job if you are to make it you have to be disciplined; determined and not easy to give-up. A successful model is definitely not laid-back in their attitude to their career.
Remi is busy with shows and castings but he says to look for him soon on the beaches of Barbados!