Check out our interview with Model and Finance Whiz Kemi.
Kemi’s has walked New York Fashion Week in several shows including Forever 21 and closed runway shows, appeared on international magazine covers on newsstands (including feature in Harper’s Bazaar), appeared on NYC storefront for luxury sunglasses campaign, parts modeled for Thursday Boots, modeled for leading brands including Danessa Myricks Beauty, featured on several brands’ social media including Bellami Hair, Tatti Lashes, and AMI Clubwear to name a few.
Follow Kemi @kemiiixo
Hi Kemi, please tell us a little about you?
I’m an NYC model! I was recently published in Harpers Bazaar and I walked several New York Fashion Week shows, including Forever 21. I’ve also been featured in Yahoo Finance several times for both my career in finance and modeling. I go to graduate school for finance in NYC.
Name one your strengths?
Probably stamina! I’ve worked some pretty long hours in my other career (finance) which has come in handy for days where the shoot is many hours
How and when did you start into modeling?
I started modeling half a year ago after becoming friends with several models who thought I was a model already and said I should model!
What is fun and rewarding about modeling? And what is not?
It’s really fun seeing the final result. I would say the process is longer than most people think and some shoots can get really tiring.
What did you learn from your biggest failure?
I had a shoot that was supposed to go to a bigger publication but I really did not like the pictures when they came out so I decided not to use them. What I realized in modeling is the less I stress on minor details and the more relaxed I am the better the pictures are. Some of my favorite pictures are ones where I improvised a pose on the spot or hadn’t planned that look at all.
The most important thing when you are shooting is?
Definitely that everyone is on the same page. Sometimes the photographer or a stylist has a different vision than what you have in mind so I think it’s important for everyone to clearly communicate their vision before hand.
What’s your advice for the newer models and influencers?
To not give up! It really takes time and initially everyone’s pictures are not great. You definitely learn from your past mistakes and it takes patience. Modeling is fun and sometimes people lose sight of what modeling actually is. It’s so important to remember to not take things to seriously in fashion, I feel like that leads to the best content.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?
That my academic/finance mindset is not particularly useful when modeling, I try to get into a different zone when modeling and not try to be overly logical or narrowminded especially when shooting. Modeling and fashion is very creative.
What do you think is the secret to have a successful IG account?
Instagram has really has shifted to a video heavy platform, so though I don’t post 100% reels I make sure to post several reels every so often. I do feel that people like to see BTS reels so I try to take as much BTS as possible on shoots.
I bet you get millions of it, but what are the best and worst Instagram DM pickup lines you received so far?
Ha! worst is any emojis in my DM. Instagram DM is just so hard to use because people flood with emojis.
Now tell us about your Columbia Business School MBA and what’s next for you in the finance world?
At Columbia I am a finance concentration, which is what I did for almost half a decade before Columbia. Though I am not currently working in finance due to being in school I still stay up to date on finance on goings. I will work in finance investments post graduation.
What actor/actress/model do you admire the most, and why?
Paris Hilton. She is elegant and fun but also focused and business minded at the same time.
In five years from now, where do you see yourself and your career?
I honestly started modeling by accident and not in my teens like most people who start modeling so just seeing where things go! I will be working in finance though post graduation.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Riced cauliflower. I honestly eat riced cauliflower almost daily it’s much healthier than rice and almost tastes like rice.
How would you explain your fashion style and what items in your closet can you not be without?
Love dressing up! You will never see me without heels. Unless I’m injured… but even then I’m still probably wearing heels.
What do you like to watch on Tv?
I wish I had time to watch TV! Don’t think I’ve watched a single episode in years.
What music do you like?
A wide variety, really depends on my mood but I particularly love EDM/house/deep house remixes of top 40 songs.
Do you support any charity?
I’m on the junior board of a healthcare and tax public policy think tank, Goodman Institute for Public Policy. We actually had our inaugural fundraiser in Dallas this November which I went to!
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
I love to get stuff done on Sundays and I often schedule shoots on Sundays.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: “I only drink champagne on two occasions, when I am in love and when I am not”
Favorite song? Why? Any song by Dua Lipa! I love Dua Lipa songs they’re all so fun
Kemi’s full name is Kemi Areke.