United Kingdom top model Stephanie Amazigo aka 'The Duchess'
Many girls’ dream aspirations is to be fashion model. But the lives of models are often far less glamorous than they appear. Fashion model and entrepreneur shares her story of the real life of modelling.
1 Mother, entrepreneur, and model. Can you tell us a little bit about your career?
My name is Stephanie Amazigo aka 'The Duchess', creator and executive producer of SLAYED and founder of Dernier Cree Modelling agency. If anyone understands too well the trials and obstacles of breaking into the industry that would be me. Before owning my own modelling agency, I managed my own hair salon 'The Best', in the largely populated East end of London whilst consistently attending model castings myself. Never being one to settle on the hope that one day someone would provide the chance for me to shine, I decided to take my dream into my own hands and began the pursuit to create my own modelling agency which could truly be a viable option for young people eager to get into the industry.
After organising my own fashion show to raise money for The Children's Society Charity in Grays, Essex (hosted by Thurrock council's mayor Steve Liddiard). I quickly came to understand that the key attributes I truly needed to achieve my goals were my distinct character, tenacity, passion and, least importantly, my looks.
2 When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a model?
I started modelling at the age of 7 and at first it wasn't really my choice but that of my dad. It was only 2 years ago that I developed a passion for it and decided to take it past the hobby stage to an actual career.
3. What is your real name and why are you called Duchess Stephanie?
My real name is Stephanie Amazigo and 'Duchess' is actually my daughter’s name.
4. How do you manage stress and pressure at work?
Hmmm, that's actually a hard question but I think the simple answer is that I just numb myself out and focus on the end result of the reason I am stressing in the first place. 'Must be all worth it in the end' and 'Nothing good comes easy are my two favourite lines during time of stress.
5. What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out?
The biggest mistake I made when I just started off is one I am still making till today which is being too nice to individuals who really don't deserve it.
6. What is one thing you look for when interviewing a potential candidate for your company?
The main thing I look for in an individual is passion, drive and determination. I hardly look at CVs as a 10 minute conversation with a potential candidate is all the CV I need in all honesty.
7. What does it mean to you, be part of FABUK magazine?
I absolutely love being a part of the FABUK team. Everyone is so amazing and we are like a big family. Cem the owner has done really well I must say. The magazine is only 2 years old but has a very high reputation, you'd think it has been in existence for decades.
8. What was your biggest fear when going out and starting your model agency?
Funny enough, in all the interviews I've done, I have not been asked this question so I have never needed to think about it. To be honest, I can’t remember having any fears as I have always had this determined belief that if anyone can make something work, then so can I as they don't have two heads or two brains. I was more excited at the vision I had and how many lives I was about to change that I didn't have any room for fear I guess.
9. What made you want to expand your business from your model agency to become CEO founder and owner of a reality show called Slayed?
SLAYED is a fresh, upcoming reality show that focuses on the journey of 15 aspiring models in London. The show will demonstrate the reality of 'breaking into the fashion industry' in London for young models, artists and stylists alike. Using a series of tasks orchestrated and assessed by a panel of judges - all of whom have extensive experience within the industry - to test various skills and qualities, the show will determine London's most 'slayed' model.
10. How come the idea to make a reality show?
Realizing the extent to which young people can give of their time, efforts and money to mass-profit companies and more-often-than-not bogus agencies, I have aimed to develop a platform for which models, stylists and artists can be individually showcased and directly supported - without being charged an arm and leg for it. Thus SLAYED came into conception.
11. What is your favourite part of being a host in your reality show?
SLAYED will be more than your 'regular Joe reality show', least of all because it will combine key elements from already popular existing shows such as The Apprentice (elimination process), X factor ('golden ticket' pass) and ... Next Top Model's concept as well as an exciting celebrity guest line-up. Additionally, one might think that the incorporation of live performances from an amazing range of mainstream to underground musicians might be the reason SLAYED will easily draw a large, diverse audience. However, the real reason SLAYED will stand out is because it will possess a vital component that the majority of these shows do not. A genuine picture of reality as it is. I aim to apply the same raw, honest and unapologetic approach I use in my personal life to the show. This, I most certainly look forward to doing.
12. How was the selection of your jury members, are all related to fashion?
Our selection was done with explicit consideration. From the director of the show to the judges and presenters, everyone involved in the making of Slayed comes from humble beginnings and has demonstrated their tenacity to achieve success in their chosen field. Here's a bit more 'tea' on the members of and their roles in the Slayed team.
We do have a few celebrities starring on the show and some include, Alex Reid as Guest Judge on episode 1.
Joey Pasquale as shows narrator.
Alda from the 90s (who topped 'spice girls' in the charts) makes a return on SLAYED. A very well known, world renowned super model who we all know will also be gracing our show as Guest Judge but we prefer to keep that silent for now. There will be many more celebrities but this is just a small reveal...
13. Tell me please a little bit about your celebrity jury member, Mr Alex Reid?
Alexander Reid is an English mixed martial artist, fighting under Bellator, BAMMA and Cage Rage. He used to be a model when he was younger. He is also an actor, having appeared in Hollyoaks and Killer Bitch, and was formerly married to Katie Price.
14. Which Fashion Designer provided you with your gowns when you host in Slayed?
My outfits so far have been provided by two wonderfully amazing and talented designers, Stella Maris Haefele and Gerda Truubon
15. What role do you think social media plays in your business today?
Social media plays a massive role in the way the fashion and entertainment industry are exposed. Comparing to the old days when we didn't have social media, it was a lot harder and a lot more expensive to advertise your brand. On the other hand, social media still has its cons as it can sometimes have this make believe approach which could be deceptive.
These are her stories of the real life of modelling.
Photographers: Gerda Truubon, Cybernaut Geeks, Lenox George
Wrote by Stella Maris Haefele
Fashion Journalist, haefele.fashion,DATFashion