She’s got the look!
AS A CHILD Julianne Durant was always known as the tall and slender little girl.
Then, she felt a little offended by people looking at her in that light.
Today, she is praising that along with the “models I used to see on television” for helping to shape her decision to become a model.
At 16 years of age, Durant entered a modelling competition at Parkinson Memorial School and placed third. Her wheel of fortune has not stopped spinning since then.
That competition kicked off Durant’s modelling career, which is still in the making. Along with congratulations from her family and friends, she was approached by four modelling agents who asked her to join their agencies.
During the decision-making process, Durant said that she felt as though she was between a rock and a hard place because “the decision was that hard to make”.
Nevertheless, after scoping out agencies on her own, she decided to link up with agent and model trainer Oral Welchman and the New Horizon Modelling Agency.
And the following week she was attending training sessions at Mike’s Bar on Browne’s beach with Welchman and his team.
“Like it happened yesterday, I remember listening to Oral’s voice telling me to walk faster, stretch those legs and lift your back and head up. After a couple more sessions with Oral, I hit the runway and I never stopped walking since. “When I did my first fashion show I was a bit nervous but that was only for a few minutes.
I remember I was backstage asking myself if I was ready for this. But when I heard the music and took my first step on the runway, it was all over. I felt an adrenalin rush which gave me the confidence that I needed to push me.”
Her career is yet young but she is experienced enough to know that models must follow a number of rules in order to stay at the top of their game.
And what are some of those rules?
“I have learnt that a model must know how to dress at all times. It’s obvious that a model should know how to walk. A model must know how to take care of their body. While on stage models must respect themselves and their designers’ clothing. A model must also know time management.”
The Pine, St Michael resident who is five feet, ten inches tall and weighs 110 pounds says a model must be disciplined enough to control her weight. And when it comes to doing that, Durant has no problem.
“I just eat healthy. Sometimes I slack off and eat ice cream and chocolates. In fact, I love ice cream and chocolate but I don’t put on any weight. I tried getting fat in secondary school because I was skinnier than everybody else, but that never happened. I exercise when I get the time to, which is really not too often.”
And while she was aware that her first responsibility as a model was to sell the designer’s creations, Durant admitted that she loves “the atmosphere behind [the] stage while a fashion show is going on”.
“I enjoy rushing around backstage to get my clothes on and get back onstage.
It is fun and exciting. It gives you a reason to get on the runway and show off your stuff,” said Durant, who has worked for a number of local, regional and international designers.
Last Saturday night Durant, who is also signed with Canadian modelling agency Push, walked away with the top prize at a modelling competition judged by Eva Pigford, winner of the third cycle of America’s Next Top Model.
She recalled the prizes offered in the competition: BDS$1 000, an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles for a professional photo shoot, and to be taken shopping for a modelling agent by Pigford.
“It was breathtaking, to tell you the truth. During the competition I was of two minds [about winning] because I knew that this could be a big break for me.
“Eva was there but I didn’t let her presence hinder me from doing what I had to do. When I went out on the stage to model both swimwear and formal wear, I kept saying to myself, ‘just be you.
Julianne, just do your best’. And doing my best was the thing to do because I brought it to the table.”
Rising star Durant said that she planned to make the best of her opportunity in LA and walk for success for herself and Barbados.