Check out our interview with gorgeous Alabama native model Gilda Joelle who is a true-blue southerner who always had her sights on becoming a model. A strong believer in the value of education, she got her degree in psychology at Auburn University and a master’s degree in occupational therapy at The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

While she realizes her model dreams, Gilda is also studying health and nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She is passionate about wellness, nutrition and endeavored to learn about the science behind it. In her spare time, she loves to try different workouts and loves Barry’s Bootcamp, SLT, Modo Yoga, and boxing at Gotham Gym. Stay tuned for more as this Alabama girl conquers the fashion world.

Follow Gilda at @gildajoelle

Hi Gilda, please tell us a little about you?

Hi! I was raised in Alabama, but I’m now living in NYC as a full-time model. I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Auburn University and a master’s degree in occupational therapy from The University of Alabama at Birmingham. I’m also studying to be a health coach through Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I’m a total foodie, and I love to workout!

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Genuine, outgoing, hardworking

Name one your strengths?

I feel like I’m a flexible person, so I’m able to adapt to changes easily when things don’t go as planned.

Best advice ever given?

Never put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a veterinarian.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life?

My mom

How and when did you start into modeling?

After completing my master’s degree in 2015, I knew it was time that I followed my dreams of becoming a model. I packed up and moved to Miami, not knowing a single person. I was discovered by my first agency, and that was the beginning of my dreams being fulfilled.

What is fun and rewarding about modeling? And what is not?

I love and am grateful to have the opportunity to travel and meet new people. I also love being able to fulfill the client’s vision of how they want their brand represented.
The more difficult jobs involve standing on your feet all day shooting e-commerce.

The most important thing when you are shooting is?

You have to leave whatever is going on in your life off set at the door. It’s true that everything is in your eyes, and your confidence and attitude have to show through no matter what.

What’s your advice for the newer models? 

Many people will claim to hold the keys to your success, but it’s important that you don’t believe everything you are told. You must do your research and sign with a reputable agency. There are ebbs and flows in the modeling world – don’t lose hope or patience if things aren’t happening on your timetable!

What is the biggest highlight of your career so far?

The biggest highlight of my career so far is being signed with an agency in NYC. To me, if you have the opportunity to model in NYC, that is everything! It is my favorite city in the world, and I am living and working here. I am living my dream!

What is your own definition of happiness?

Your mindset is everything. I’m not saying I’m always a positive person, but the is something very powerful about positive thinking. You are what you think, and I’m a firm believer in that!

What’s next for Gilda Joelle in 2019/2020?

I have recently signed with an agency in Milan, so I am excited for the opportunity to work more internationally. I’m dedicated to making my dreams come true, so I will be putting in the necessary work to build myself as a brand and expand my client list.

Which magazine or project is still on your bucket list?

Sports Illustrated, Victoria’s Secret Pink, and a major beauty/hair campaign.

What is your workout routine these days?

I love to workout every day! I box at Gotham Gym. What better way to feel like a badass and burn a ton of calories! I only take Keoni’s class at Barry’s Bootcamp (Abs and Ass is my favorite day, and there is no one better than Keoni! He cracks me up and pushes you to do your best!!). I LOVE LOVE Tuesday night Torch’d with Isaac Boots at Project Equinox. Isaac’s class is so much fun, it’s the best burn, and he has the most infectious smile! I also love Megan Roup’s Sculpt Society. I’ve recently gotten into dance cardio, and her class is the perfect combo of cardio and sculpting. She is the sweetest!! I also love SLT and Modo Yoga!

What is your favorite healthy food?

That’s a hard one because I typically stick to a very healthy diet. Right now my favorite healthy food is my homemade chia pudding. It satisfies my sweet tooth and is very filling!

And your favorite cheat food?

Prince Street Pizza, chocolate pot de crème, and my mom’s fried okra

What does fashion mean to you? 

To me, fashion is being confident in whatever you choose to wear. My preferred outfit for the day often changes depending on my mood!

Who are some of your favorite models and why?

My favorite model is Cara Delevingne. I love her attitude and humor. I’ve always seen her as a confident woman who isn’t concerned with other’s opinion of her. Plus, her brows…GOALS!

How would you explain your fashion style and what items in your closet can you not be without?

If I’m not in workout clothes, you can usually find me in all black with boots or jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers. It’s a good thing for me that the typical “model uniform” is my preferred style!

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

Brittany Murphy – I feel like we would have been besties. She was hilarious, and I loved all of the movies she starred in.

What do you like to watch on Tv?

I love the Today show, HGTV, DIY, and Vice. Some of my favorite shows are Big Little Lies, The Affair, and Breaking Bad.

What are your makeup bag staples when traveling? 

I have a pretty extensive and particular skincare routine. Dr. Barbara Sturm’s hyaluronic serum, sunscreen, and lip balm. I love Goop’s replenishing night Cream and eye cream. For cleansers, I use One Love Organics botanical b cleansing oil and Tata Harper’s purifying cleanser. A newfound current obsession is Evolve’s instant glow mask. It smells like chocolate and is a great exfoliator. I also rotate through a few different Tata Harper masks. Other than that, all I want in my makeup bag is mascara, brow pencil, and concealer! I stick to clean beauty products.

What music do you like?

I love to listen to oldies, 90’s, 2000’s..I definitely enjoy older music more than what’s popular now. If I’m doing karaoke, my go-to’s are Dixie Chicks, Shania Twain, and Nicki Minaj. I’d like to think that I can rap…ha.

3 things you can’t leave home without?

Cell phone is an obvious given, but other than that…LARQ water bottle, Dr. Barbara Sturm lip balm, and Apple AirPods.

Idea of a perfect Sunday?

Drink coffee for at least an hour in the bed, workout at SLT or Modo Yoga, brunch at Buvette, walk around NYC, then home to binge-watch whatever tv show I’m obsessing over!

Where we can follow you?

Instagram: @gildajoelle

Quote: “You know who’s gonna give you everything? Yourself.” – Diane Von Fursenberg

Holiday Destination: St John, USVI

Drink: Matcha latte with half oat milk/half macadamia milk and a little honey

Celebrity Crush: Chace Crawford

Favorite song? Why? September – Earth, Wind, & Fire; If that song comes on, you can bet that I will be tearing up the dance floor!!

Sports Team: Auburn Tigers

Movie: Wolf of Wall Street