I had the pleasure of modelling alongside the beautiful Baltimore based model Kelly Borowiak while at the second Boulevard of Chic fashion show. She definitely stood out, standing at 5’9″ with the proportions of a tried and true fashion model. While there, Kelly and I were able to chat for a bit in between wardrobe changes. I expressed how models used to be just like walking mannequins before the Internet started. The majority of people didn’t really know models’ names unless they were globally or nationally renowned.
With the social media there is now, you can get pretty up close and personal with just about anyone who chooses to show their off stage lives with the public. With the instant fame that comes with social media platforms like Instagram, more individuals are being recognized now that would’ve probably never gotten a chance decades ago. I myself and many other bloggers benefit from this too, and I am really grateful for the WWW for this. However, Pandora’s box comes with the dark side as well. During our conversation, Kelly expressed dealing with privacy being both a model and a mom. We also talked about other lighthearted things like her personal style vs artists’ style.
This article on Kelly might not be that compelling to some of you who are scouting the whole web for shocking anecdotes on famous models! However, our quick conversation was simple but meaningful. We get to have a glimpse of what goes on in a local model’s mind on certain issues! They are more than just pretty figures hidden behind the shadows of designers after all… :)
How long have you been modelling? When did you start? What/how was your first experience?
I have been modeling about 3 years. A girl I went to high school with is a model and I reached out to a photographer that she had worked with to set up a shoot. His name is James Berglie of BePhotography. He was so nice in helping me prepare for the shoot and made me very comfortable during the shoot. Those photos are still some of my favorites! One was actually displayed in Times Square for a contest I had entered for American Eagle. He even wrote about our shoot on his blog. It was all very exciting!
Who have you modeled for that you are very proud of or you’d consider to be the best honor? It could be one, just a few, or a whole list!
Probably walking for Adrian Alicea during fashion week in NY this past winter was the best honor. It was the most amazing experience which I almost didn’t get to because of the snow storm we had, but I was determined to walk in that show. It is something I will never forget. Another would be working with Aswad Abasi. He is a designer out of DC. Work I have done with him has gotten me 2 publications. It is like a family working with his team. Lastly would be working with local Baltimore photographer Robert Mercer Jr. He has put out a male calendar the past few years and 2014 was the first female calendar he put out, which I was so excited to be a part of. We are amping up for the 2015 calendar and I hoping to be in it again this year.
For a lot of women, we find that modelling can often times be a bit sexist and exploitative where it stops being about the clothes and just about displaying women’s bodies. What do you think about this? Are you selective on what or who you model for?
I don’t think I would say modeling is sexist. For me I am looking at the fashion not necessarily the person wearing it. I believe most people that are really into fashion are focused on just that. But you do have models known for their bodies. Perfect example is Gisele Bundchen, she is known as “the body”, but her body is what brought her fame modeling for Victoria Secret. I think it really depends on what type of modeling you are interested in. Some aspects are definitely more focused on the model than the fashion. I am selective about what types of modeling I do and what I wear. I am a mom and going to be a teacher so it is important for me to keep a positive image. Although friends I have made in this industry have taken absolutely beautiful art nude photos that truly are pure art, that is something I am not comfortable with and fear the possible repercussions it may cause in the future. My rule is no nudity or lingerie.
I know you’ve mentioned that you had a son. Does your son and/or significant other ever come out on your shows? Why or why not?
I have a daughter and she has been to one of my shows. It is hard for her to come because most shows go so late into the evening. She thinks it is cool that I model! My fiancé has yet to come see me at a show. He really doesn’t understand the whole fashion thing and runway is definitely more abstract fashion. Although he doesn’t really understand fashion he is supportive of me doing it. We are both very supportive of each other’s individual ventures.
I know we briefly talked about privacy issues with your being a model during Boulevard of Chic 2, like how you try to keep your personal Facebook account private and your fan page accessible to the public, etc. Can you explain more about what we talked about and how privacy issues affect you, personally or professionally?
It is very difficult to keep parts of my life private, especially on social media, and social media is key to networking in this business. My family life and my daughter especially is not everyone’s business, especially people I have just begun networking with. I may be able to get more “followers” if everything isn’t locked down, but I would rather be more cautious when it comes to my family; they are my number one priority.
What do you do to keep things separate?
On my personal FB page, almost all people I have met in this business I have listed as acquaintances so I can post things so all my “friends except acquaintances” can see my post. My Instagram account is completely public so I try to only post things about my modeling there. I mainly try to protect my daughter on Instagram and don’t post anything with her on there.
Any weird/creepy anecdotes relating to privacy, stalkers or fans stepping out of bounds?
I have had some “fans” or social media followers step over the line. I honestly don’t pay much attention to comments like that. I blow right over them. I pay more attention to compliments from other industry professionals who leave a professional comment and my family. Sorry, but leaving me some out of line comment is not going to grab my attention, it will be ignored.
At BOC, we also talked about how you felt being dressed up in whatever, regardless of what you think about the clothing—it’s all in the artists’ vision and you are their canvass. This time, it’s time for YOU to describe your personal style. What do you often wear, what you like to wear, how you personally choose your clothes, and what styles catch your eye the most?
I feel like I wear so many different hats I guess is the best way to put it. I work in an office where the dress is business casual, a model and a mom all of which require different styles and looks. I try to go for things that are versatile. Something I can dress up or down depending on where I am and what I am doing. I need to be comfortable! In my opinion if you aren’t comfortable in what you have on you will never pull off the look. Comfort gives you confidence. Most of the time I like to wear something along the lines of a loose fit off the shoulder tee and some jeans. Throw on a pair of heels and I am ready for a night out or put on some flats and I can run around on the playground. For work cardigans are my biggest staple and usually just a pair of dress pants or a pencil skirt. I love statement necklaces and scarves to help add color. When I am looking at new fashions for the season I look for, again, things that are going to be versatile. I also look for more classic looks. I usually don’t go for things that are too abstract or edgy. I have more of a girl next door kind of look which is what I look bests in on a regular basis. I like to pull out a couple small things I can buy to mix with what I have to keep my look current without buying a whole lot of new things.
Thank you so much for interviewing me!
You can check out Kelly’s social media accounts here: Facebook | Instagram | Model Mayhem