DESTINATION IMAN - Supermodel Iman interviews ‘The Face’ mentors Naomi Campbell, Karolina Kurkova and Coco Rocha about their style and approach to the game.
IMAN: What were the qualities you were looking for in a model?
COCO: For me, looks were second to attitude. I wanted hard working girls who really view modeling as a profession, not a lifestyle. I didn’t want the bad girls, the party girls, or the ones who just wanted to be TV famous on my team. I wanted girls who had an open mind, were willing to work very hard and trust me as a mentor to train them.
NAOMI: I was looking for drive, passion, thick skin, being able to change, and a willingness to follow direction. All of those elements were really important to me.
KAROLINA: Simply put, I wanted someone who was willing to work hard and was a good person. Uniqueness was important too.
IMAN: What is your strongest suit as a leader?
NAOMI: I was definitely Sergeant Major of the group. I was tough on my girls and didn’t sugar coat anything, because that won’t help them in the long run. I pushed them as hard as they’ll be pushed when they’re in the modeling industry, and I think they came out of the competition as stronger models because of this.
COCO: I think my strong suit was that I never played it safe. I can’t stand mediocrity in modeling or in fashion and I wasn’t going to let my girls take the easy route – ever.
KAROLINA: I’ve always been interested in becoming a mentor to girls who have just started out in the modeling business. I wish I had this when I was coming up — women in the business to offer advice, guidance, and who could relate to everything you go through.
IMAN: How would you describe “The Face”?
NAOMI: As you know, being a model is about more than just having pretty face – you need charisma, passion, talent, drive and smarts to represent a brand. “The Face” is my new reality TV series that searches for the new face of ULTA Beauty. Karolina Kurkova, Coco Rocha and I are searching for an aspiring model who has the beauty and personality to be the spokesmodel for this national brand. During the series, we choose our teams from a group of aspiring models and then guide them through assignments and challenges, including photo shoots, runway shows, and commercials. The models will be exposed to the very best photographers, stylists, and designers in the fashion world and get a feel for what the industry is truly like. In the end, one model will secure a contract as the face of ULTA Beauty.
KAROLINA: Being “the face” of a brand requires the right look, charisma, and talent — it’s about more than just a pretty face. This show gives aspiring models the opportunity to learn these qualities from three names in the business, but also gain a sense of self and confidence as women, in all aspects of their lives.
COCO: The Face is more than just an aspiring model show. It’s also about how three established models from different generations work and teach their own team of models how best to become the face of a major brand. The show gives the viewer an inside look at the world of modeling as Naomi, Karolina and myself guide our girls through real life assignments, photo shoots and commercials. As mentors, we do our best to instill the sorts of skills and lessons we think our teams of girls will need to have successful careers.
IMAN: What have you learned from your “opponent”?
KAROLINA: I went into this competition without a strategy. My goal was to get to know these women personally and intuitively figure out their needs and be there to support them. I stuck to this throughout the competition, but I think I learned from my opponents that having a strategy is relevant in certain cases. For example, in the elimination rounds, maybe you don’t send your weakest girl, but you send the girl who you feel confident WON’T get eliminated.
NAOMI: Karolina, Coco and I all had different leadership styles. It was interesting to see how they coached their girls, and the expertise they brought into the competition.
COCO: I’ve always had my own way of modeling but what I saw from my fellow mentors Karolina and Naomi was that there is not just one route to success. We all have our different styles, but I think what we all share is that in order to remain relevant in modeling you have to be a chameleon and be able to embody all sorts of “types”.
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