In Pictures: All The Glitz And Glam Of The Australian Golden Sash Awards 2022

The 2022 AGSA (Australian Golden Sash Awards) was recently held on Saturday at Sir Stamford in Mascot. The cream of the crop in the beauty pageant world attended the high-profile industry event in their beautiful sashes and glittery crowns. If you want to see all the glitz and glam at the 2022 Australian Golden Sash Awards, then scroll down below. The photos are courtesy of George Azmy:

Meet The Entrepreneur Behind The Cover Of The November 2022 Issue Of Sassy & Co: Stella Bella

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A serial entrepreneur, Stella Bella is currently a managing partner of Rice Remedy Group. She has built a career taking startups to multimillion-dollar success stories as a former director and the first female lead of SoGal Sydney. This venture firm is one of the largest global platforms for diverse entrepreneurs and investors. She was also a trained radiographer in Sydney until she decided to quit and buy a one-way ticket to Thailand. After some much-needed deep soul searching, she eventually decided to establish a factory that manufactures natural skin care and herbal supplements. Fast forward to today, and she has grown the business, eventually selling it for a 7-figure sum.

Stella wears many hats as an entrepreneur. She was a brand ambassador for women’s activewear and workout clothes retailer Lorna Jane. She has hosted TV shows for Tencent (the largest tech company in Asia and owner of WeChat), founded the Thailand Farmers Market, worked with Celebrity Chef Mathew Kenny consulting about Thailand Resorts, and her marketing initiatives have led to news video coverage from CNN and BBC resulting in millions of views.

Stella is currently referred to as ‘Stella Rice Girl’ – a managing partner of the Rice Remedy Group, where she manages its day-to-day operations. She’s currently pitching for a fund with Country Road. When she’s not working, she is out in nature, trekking the mountains, kayaking the oceans, getting stretchy on a yoga mat, or cooking in the kitchen.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Stella to discuss her journey in the fashion industry, and here’s what went down:

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

Word-of-mouth referral. People talk. Getting new business via referrals is easily the most profitable strategy for new business, as consumers referred by a friend are four times more likely to buy. My latest venture Rice Remedy Co. offers a monthly skincare and personal subscription. I only make 1000 kits per country per month. Have you ever purchased something just because your friend told you that you should? I know I have! So, ensuring I do everything possible to encourage my clients to recommend my product to others is vital to the growth of my business. So I am focused on top-end quality service and products that people can rave and talk about. Thus leveraging my current client base to drive referrals and grow this venture.

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

Facebook and Instagram were the first two social media platforms I grew up with and am familiar with. I used to joke that I stopped at one static Instagram post. However, I have to catch up with the times and am currently learning TikTok and reels.

What is your experience with paid advertising, like PPC or sponsored content campaigns? Does it work?

I made some expensive mistakes and learned some costly lessons. It can give you immediate visibility; you can target your specific market, track and have data sets to understand and know what is working and not working. Traditionally you might not, for example, retail on a brick-and-mortar; you would have these data sets. In my experience, paid advertising like PPC or sponsor campaigns allow me to test the marketing message and gives me data to make informed decisions about what is working and not working. It also allows me to set a tight budget and ad spend, which is helpful. So does it work? It depends on the KPI and your goal for doing it. You have to know your KPI and performance metrics. Marketing and sales are two different things. Marketing is about building awareness, and sales turn that viewership into profits by converting potential customers into actual customers. So you have to work out the return on the investment.

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years? Word of mouth.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

Culling my contacts and circle, setting boundaries, and saying no to things and people not aligned with my value vector. Tough when I am a nice YES girl at heart.

What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?

Not learning financial 101, basic profit/loss statements, and balance sheets, and investing time in learning it and being the expert at it, reviewing it monthly and quarterly and knowing where there is a hole in the pocket, and coming back to the numbers. Money is energy and is like a tree. You need to understand your business financially for the tree to be healthy and reap the fruit; you need to know what it needs to grow, what nutrients, and when to water it. That’s how I see the money. Understand the nature of your business and what is required to make it grow into a healthy money tree for you.

What new business would you love to start?

I love cooking. It is like my therapy, so rice remedy co. For rice lovers, a coffee/florist/ healthy Thai street food.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

Listen to my gut and not let the noise of others distract me from my inner voice.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

When all the money is taken from you, real wealth is what you have left.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?

Getting it done is better than perfect. If you’re not embarrassed by the first launch, you have launched too late. Ditch perfect! Do and learn; practice makes perfect.

Photo Credit: Studio 49

Must-See Event Of The Week: Cover ModelQuest 2022

What: Cover ModelQuest is one of the most prestigious modelling competitions in the land down under to date. It’s the quest to discover Australia’s most promising models where contestants compete in their own choice of beach wear, theme costume, and after-five fashion. There are no height or size restrictions. The top 3 models selected during the finals will be shot exclusively for the next issue of StarCentral Magazine, with the male and female winners becoming the cover of the next issue.

Where: Stamford Plaza Sydney Airport Hotel (241 O’Riordan St, Mascot NSW 2020)

When: November 12, 2022

Tickets via this link: Cover ModelQuest 2022

Meet The Global Man Behind The Cover Of The September 2022 Issue Of Sassy & Co: Jojo Almazora Sebastian

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Jojo Almazora Sebastian is a Filipino-American from Kapolei, Hawaii, based in Sydney, Australia – he’s a devoted and compassionate frontliner and nurse who works in the Operating Theatre at a busy Metropolitan Hospital in Sydney. However, on weekends, this orthopaedic nursing unit manager transforms into a charming and dashing tuxedo-attired fashionista, singer-entertainer, and master of ceremonies.

Jojo has been an awardee in Sydney’s Best Dressed for the last two years due to his excellent dressing sense and confident personality. For 2021, Sydney Best Dressed Organisation has awarded him the Top Male Fashion Icon of the Year. This landed him an award for the Inaugural Ceremony of World’s Best Dressed. He was nominated for Manila’s Best Dressed for 2020-2021 to represent Australia in the prestigious Annual Event in 2022 and was awarded at the 2021 Australian Modelling and Fashion Awards. He was also named as an ambassador for Sassy and Company Clothing in 2020-2021, which endeavours to teach everyone in the community fashion sustainability and to breathe new life into old clothes through recycling and repurposing.

Jojo been quite busy in the Catwalk for the past 2 years – he participated in the runway at the Sydney’s Best Dress 2020, Australian Multicultural Fashion Festival 2021, Sassy and Co Fashion Runway 2021, Australian Modelling and Fashion Festival and Awards 2021, Australian Fashion Preview 2021 and 2022, This Is Me Fashion Show 2021 and 2022 and Miss Earth Australia Fashion Show 2020 and 2021 amongst other. Jojo recently walked for Trinity Dawson – a Sydney Designer, in the New York Fashion Week last February 2022, LAKME Fashion Show in June 2022, and the Australian MultiCultural Fashion Exhibition in August 2022. He has been invited back to grace NYFC in September 2022. The Australian Multicultural Fashion Exhibition 2022 is a concept that Mr. Rox Molavin – the CEO of RGEM Promotion and Jojo, came up with, which aims to promote social awareness and cohesion in the multicultural community through fashion.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Jojo to discuss his journey in the fashion industry, and here’s what went down:

Where do you usually shop? Are there any hidden gems when it comes to snapping up some awesome designer clothes?

There are three types of places where I shop.

1. Op shop – This is my favourite place to shop. This is where I can find hidden gems such as shoes, tops, jeans, and jewelry.
2. New and Local Designers Shops – I love supporting new designers and wearing their creations in various events I attend and host. I also love collaborating with them.
3. Shopping Centers – For me, there is still a great deal of experience you can gain by going to a shop at a centre or mall. The workers who have vast experience in fashion could undoubtedly make a massive difference between buying the correct piece that suits you perfectly.

What are your top tips when it comes to fashion for the cooler months?

When it comes to fashion during cooler or winter months, here are my tips.

1. Layers are a must, so don’t ditch your trendy jackets for heavy-duty coats until it’s absolutely necessary; just buy them a size up so you can fit a sweater and down vest underneath or just simply accessorize with scarves or hats.
2. Winter Fashion and Style are not complete without great shoes. May it be boots or leather shoes.
3. Experiment with hats and trendy scarves.

However, never lose your individuality and uniqueness.

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

As a young man, I always find ways to become creative. My parents were my first creative inspiration, especially my mother, Josephine Almazora Sebastian – who is a very creative person.

Although, creativity came easy to me because I love to sing, dance, act, paint, host, fashion, and everything in between. At a young age, I always raised my hands whenever there was a chance to do anything that allowed me to flex my creative muscles, especially in fashion. Creative inspiration can come from and be seen everywhere, so my inspiration comes from all different aspects of my life, including fashion.

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

Honestly, NO it is not hard to stay fashionable, although it can be challenging at times. However, staying true to your fashion, passion, and yourself should not pose any problem. Another thing is to keep self-reinvention a part of your routine when keeping in fashion.

How do you walk the line between being unique and having commercial appeal?

There is a very thin line between keeping your uniqueness and still having that commercial appeal. Personally, I always go for what I would like first before thinking about its commercial appeal because, at the end of the day, my luxury, comfort, and style are at stake. For me, commercial appeal and viability become secondary. When I walk out with an out-of-the-box piece of clothing, I just give it my own unique flare of confidence and attitude, thus, providing it public appeal. So far, that has not failed me.

Are there any key trends you’ve seen for this year?

For 2022, I find that bright colours and comfort are going back in trend. So many designers are going back to basics, which are great for commercial and public consumers.

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

In general, I believe fashion is in an excellent state today. But there is definitely a lot of debate regarding the state of fashion. And I believe that actually what makes it great. So many new designers are coming out with new ideas of what fashion should be. Well-known designers are making their creations more affordable for the public to gain access to. I guess we can consider this the new golden state of fashion, as everyone can access fashion in the manner they would love.

What are the clothes we can rid our wardrobes of that are considered very ‘last season’?

As we all know, as we enter the new age of fashion, we are also dealing with fashion waste which is relatively related to one another. Personally, I do not believe getting rid of wardrobes just because it was considered last season. One of my advocacies is to endeavour to teach the community about fashion sustainability and to once more breathe new life into old clothes through recycling and repurposing. Only when I find that I could not do anything else with a piece of clothing, I get rid of it by sending it off to my relatives in the Philippines. NO WASTE HERE.

What fashion advice would you give an emerging fashionista?

I would advise them to keep their uniqueness and passion together whilst exploring and discovering their true selves in terms of their fashion.

Photos By: Jay Gaerlan / HMUA: Marilou Bautista / SkinCare: Chocolate Day Spa / Model: Jojo Almazora Sebastian

The Psychology Behind Virtual Dress-up in Gaming and Web3

With digital fashion on the rise, consumers are presented with more opportunities to express their sense of style onto virtual avatars. By being able to curate their image and surroundings, a new way to build confidence and express oneself emerges.

With the pandemic resulting in a 30% increase in reported anxiety issues in young adults, many have turned to virtual worlds as a coping mechanism. A study conducted last year at the University of Glasgow discovered that 71% of respondents have increased their gaming time during the lockdown, and 58% of them indicated that gaming has improved their well-being.

Both mobile, digital games and the metaverse provide the ability to be whatever one wants using an avatar, in a location where they have complete control over what they look like, who they interact with, and how safe they feel.

Research has shown identification with the avatar boosts intrinsic motivation, which may impact how players act. One example is that users behave in accordance with the behavior they stereotypically connect with their avatar’s appearance, such as bargaining more vehemently when represented by a taller avatar.

As a result, virtual platforms that allow users to create a technologically enhanced self-image could lead to higher confidence and lessen consumption rates.

Designers and developers hop on the trend

“The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the main driving factors for virtual clothing. In the absence of social interaction, many people turned to video games as a form of distraction and self-development,”  said Viktoria Trofimova, CEO of Nordcurrent, an international developer and publisher of mobile games.

“This came as a newfound opportunity for the fashion industry, as production lines halted and runway shows were canceled over restrictions. Consumers could still interact with their pieces in the confines of a virtual world,” she continued.

For example, Louis Vuitton released a League of Legends capsule collection featuring character skins (outfits worn by playable characters). At the same time, Moschino created a collection for The Sims that could be bought and worn in the game.

However, the trend has not disappeared with the lifting of pandemic restrictions. Character customization has become a crucial aspect of an immersive experience in video games, which has continued this trend. Pocket Styler, for example, allows the player to completely modify their avatar’s appearance with real-world clothing and accessories.

With over 10 million users in just a few months, the app allows users to try on clothes and develop their distinctive styles without straining their wallets. Players participate in limited-time events, where they show off their take on a given theme or style outfits around specific items.  It also provides a slow-paced atmosphere, removing the tension that comes with trying on new clothes.

The psychological impact of experimenting with virtual clothing

Styling a virtual avatar — a stand-in for one’s real self — enables users to discover their sense of style. Digital clothing eliminates the excessive financial means and constraints of physical reality needed to do so.

“By experimenting with their avatar’s look, players can feel a strong sense of empowerment. On the one hand, a person may come to understand themselves, their interests, and personality better by making their character reflect what they feel inside,” noted Trofimova.

“On the other hand, items they have tried on may fuel their wardrobes in real life. As users buy items they fell in love with digitally, they may become more confident in their overall appearance,” she explained.

In addition to a diverse range of digital style choices, virtual clothing also helps to save roughly 3300 liters of water and emit 97 percent fewer carbon emissions for each item.

About Nordcurrent

Nordcurrent is the biggest Lithuanian video game developer and publisher, known for such games as Cooking Fever,  Murder in the Alps, Airplane Chefs, Sniper Arena. Focusing on freemium and casual games, the company created over 50 games since 2002, attracting more than half-billion players  worldwide.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Lukas Pereckas of blueoceanspr.com

Introducing The Brand Behind The Cover Of The July 2022 Issue Of Sassy & Co: Rootless Fashion & Accessories

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Based out of Germany, the concept behind Rootless Fashion & Accessories was established in 2012 when Thorsten Weingaertner, its founder and CEO, decided to create a brand that seamlessly blends his love for the outdoors and stylish utility. He wanted to establish a connection between outdoor enthusiasts, sports lovers, and fashion enthusiasts. Although he was running a premium camper manufacturing company at the time, fashion has always been at the back of his mind since he has always been very enthusiastic about fashion. When the idea of ​​starting a fashion label eventually entered his mind back in 2012, he decided to go with his gut and instincts and pursue his passion for fashion, and thus, Rootless Clothing was born.

Rootless has become synonymous with the effortlessly cool men and women who need to maintain an athletic yet wearable wardrobe that can drive an unconventional lifestyle full of adventure with a hint of attitude. Their debut collection, “Rules Breed Rebels,” carries a new millennium of urban wear for everyday men and women with an emphasis on slick and purposeful design. Rootless designs are ones that make a statement through a monochromatic swath of essential pieces that can work well together on stage, on the streets, or even in the mountains to flatter and empower their clients. It caters to men and women who showcase effortless style – very slick… and very cool! The brand also supplies striking gear like gym bags, watches, and even shoes, along with fantastic threadwork to support the client’s next conquest.

Born in Germany in 1988, Thorsten is a fashion enthusiast who combines the best materials in his creations at the most reasonable price – creating a timeless approach to urban wear distinguished by compelling threadwork, luxurious materials, and couture-quality attention to detail. He is poised to change the perception of urban wear into something truly unique and irresistible. Rootless also aims to champion freedom seekers who inhabit unique quarters of society, driven by a passion for fashion and a need to defy archaic systems.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Thorsten to discuss Rootless and here’s what went down:

Please tell us your full name and something about yourself.

My name is Thorsten Weingaertner; I was born in 1988 in Germany and am the CEO of Rootless Fashion & Accessories (www.rootless.fashion). I’m a fashion enthusiast and lover. I love designing clothes with my team and then bringing the designs to life! “Rules Breed Rebels” is not just a collection name; it’s actually a lifestyle.

How did you get started with Rootless Fashion & Accessories?

My team and I actually came from two completely different directions before Rootless was born. We ran an individual premium camper manufacturing company that can convert vehicles individually at the customer’s request. Fashion has accompanied me for years because I am personally very enthusiastic about fashion. However, the idea of ​​a fashion label as a second mainstay came up quite early after founding the first company in 2012. Since then, we have been designing and building the brand. Last year we decided to finally launch the brand and get started. We wanted to create a connection between outdoor enthusiasts, sports lovers, and fashion enthusiasts. All this is paired with premium quality, understatement, and rebellious design. In addition, there is also our extensive range of accessories, which are always designed to match our fashion. Rootless is rebellious/new/black & white/stylish, made of the highest quality at a reasonable price. Our debut collection, “Rules Breed Rebels,” definitely reflects these characteristics. We are here to shake up the fashion industry and make a statement!

What do you want to achieve personally with your brand?

Just like any other entrepreneur, I want to establish a successful company that will not only revolutionize the fashion industry but also gives our customers a lot of satisfaction. We want our customers to be happy and satisfied with our products so they will always keep coming back for more.

What is the industry doing right?

The industry is now doing some things right. It’s not just about size zero now; it’s about fashion for everyone. In my opinion, moving away from fast fashion is very important. Customers are giving more importance to quality, and the industry is adjusting quite well accordingly.

What has been the biggest hurdle you have faced as a fashion brand?

I think that’s essentially the reach of being known as a brand. Especially as a start-up, there is often a lack of funds to finance this reach. Magazines/influencers are usually too expensive, so the road to getting to the right people is quite rocky. However, I think you can achieve a lot if you have the time and enthusiasm. In my case, I have never given up on my vision and belief in my products, so we have been able to land amazing collaborations moving forward.

What steps is your brand making to ensure the process is as high-quality as possible?

Compare-Compare-Compare! First, the manufacturer is important. Because if your manufacturer is no good, you are often left with empty promises. Secondly, comparing and studying other manufacturers is the best way to get the best fabrics and the best possible quality. We have had countless samples created by numerous manufacturers to ensure the quality of our products and get the best possible result for our customers.

As you see it, what are the main issues in the fashion industry today, and how does your brand subvert them?

A lot is going towards completely overpriced or, in return, too cheap fast fashion. We had to find a good middle ground in order to be able to offer our customers the highest quality at an affordable price. I think we managed this quite well with Rootless.

What are you most excited about for the future of fashion, and where do you see it headed?

I’m very excited about the about-face required for fashion for everyone! Furthermore, we are already working with 3D models and videos, which could be of interest for our own NFT’s in the Metaverse in the future. There is a very clear trend in this direction, which is why many VIPS and large manufacturers are jumping on this bandwagon.

What advice would you give to those wanting to start a fashion brand?

Do your research down to the smallest detail. Don’t just run at it. Check the market for what is needed and what is not. Where are the trends heading, and above all, plan everything in advance, so you know what budget is required. Figure out how to reach your customers etc. Lastly, be informed, be hungry and never give up!

What are your future goals for your brand and fashion in its entirety?

As I also mentioned above – we want to offer high fashion to everyone, grow steadily and, above all, keep surprising our customers with new ideas, new items of clothing, and accessories.

Introducing The 2022 Afterpay Australian Fashion Week On The Cover Of The June 2022 Issue Of Sassy & Co

To celebrate the 2022 Afterpay Australian Fashion Week, Sassy & Co went on the ground at Sydney Fashion Week to capture some of the most fabulous collections and notable street style photos outside the shows. We captured some of the best and most promising designers at Carriageworks – Check out our exclusive fashion show coverage featuring Torannce, Gyre the label, and Iordanes Spyridon Gogos’.

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Introducing The Brand Behind The Cover Of The March 2022 Issue Of Sassy & Co: Medusa Hire

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Medusa Hire is the world’s first and ONLY Versace tableware and decor hire company. It adopts the embodiment of Versace’s DNA that is defined by the emblematic Medusa head and gold tones, they each truly capture the essence of luxury.

Medusa Hire translates the Versace allure into a Versace experience by servicing the exquisite demands of high-end events and special occasions. It injects a touch of luxury Italian glamour into your event with signature Versace statement pieces.

Sassy & Co caught up with Medusa Hire and here’s what went down:

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

Given our business is word of mouth, we have poured a lot of time into social media assets to lift its awareness. We have partnered with social media influencers as well as international celebrities in the entertainment industry like The Jacksons and Boyz II Men just to name a few. We have also established partnerships with world-renowned brands such as Eighy5 Cigars based in Florida in America which has given us the opportunity to cross-promote and grow our following to overseas markets.

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

Instagram has been a great platform for our brand awareness as it allows our content to easily be shared by our followers. We also feel like our target demographic spends most of their time on Instagram.

What is your experience with paid advertising, like PPC or sponsored content campaigns?

It works to a certain extent but it can only take you so far. For us, what has been the most effective is creating content that can be organically shared by our followers and customer base. As mentioned in the previous question, the best form of advertising is word of mouth – and it’s free! Brand collaborations have also been effective and opened new doors.

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

Since upgrading our website, we have witnessed an abundance of quality leads surface. 80% spend on social media and 20% spend on editorials. Predominately, our marketing is via social media which has given us the best return. However, your social media marketing is only as strong as the content you create and what has set us apart from the rest, is our ability to create great content that is shareable by our followers.

What sort of people usually hire your venue?

People from all walks of life as Versace has no boundaries. From corporate events to birthdays, anniversaries, and everything in between.

How is your business staying afloat during this pandemic?

We have been quite resilient during the pandemic where customers are spending more time than ever online so our sales division has remained strong.

What’s the toughest decision you had to make in the past few months?

Putting our expansion plans on hold with purchasing more venues.

Where do you see Medusa Hire in the next 5 years?

The future of Medusa Hire lies with purchasing multiple venues and adopting all the Versace Home ranges.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?

Do your research! It’s all in due diligence. Continue to always persist no matter what and don’t forget to be the hardest worker in the room.

Meet The Model Behind The Cover Of The December 2021 Issue Of Sassy & Co Magazine: The Stunning Liudmyla Tkachenko

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Liudmyla Tkachenko is a fascinating and stunning Ukrainian- born model, influencer, and entrepreneur currently based in Los Angeles who is making a name for herself in the Entertainment industry.

Liudmyla, as a young girl, had a dream and passion for modeling. Lady luck smiled at her when a modeling agency in Ukraine approached her. “I was in the middle of grocery shopping when the agent told me that he saw potential in me as a model. I, therefore, decided to visit their office the next day, and that’s when I got signed up with my first mother agency,” she narrated.

However, in her quest to be an international model, Liudmyla ended up moving to China, where she had to contend with the language barrier and numerous culture shocks. With determination, she eventually prevailed on those challenges. She worked as a full-time model, appearing in several high-profile television commercials and magazines. All these were mainly aired in Thailand, Hong Kong, and a few other parts of Asia.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Liudmyla took her ambition up a notch when she moved to the United States. Language barriers and cultural differences bared their fangs at her, but, once again, she showed the tenacity in her by overcoming those. She has walked multiple times at New York Fashion Week and for high-profile designers such as Dan Liu, Terraza, and Oxford Fashion. She was also featured in several exquisite fashion magazines such as L’Officiel magazine, Marie Claire, MD Trends magazine, Imaginary magazine, and Marjen magazine. She further added a feather to her cap when she participated in numerous catalog shoots and went to get herself featured in Vogue, Elle, as well, as Harper’s Bazaar.

Satisfied with her stint in New York, Liudmyla moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. So far, she’s done well for herself, appearing in several high-profile commercials and acting in a feature film called “The Nowhere Inn” which premiered at the Sundance film festival 2020.

Liudmyla’s focus and self-belief saw her overcome language and cultural differences on two separate occasions while shooting for the stars – a shot which she took with the perfect aim and precision. With her determination and sheer talent, Liudmyla will soon be a household name in both Hollywood and the Walkway.

Sassy & Co Magazine recently caught up with Liudmyla to discuss her journey in the fashion world, and here’s what went down:

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself?

I’m a Ukrainian – American model and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. I was born in a beautiful city west of Ukraine. I grew up in Ukraine and started my modeling career in Ukraine as well. I have experienced modeling in a lot of different countries around the world, including Asia, Europe, United States.

How did you become an international influencer? What’s it like to be an influencer?

I became an influencer through modeling. A lot of companies would want me to promote their brand. It’s an interesting industry, and I’m really enjoying it! I like to influence people for a positive mindset and a healthy lifestyle.

What has been your greatest triumph, to date?

Cover of Harpers Bazaar and Vogue publication! As well as Marie Claire, I consider as a great success! NYFW shows and TV commercials.

What has been your greatest lesson, and how have you used that lesson in your life?

Our time is the most valuable thing. And that you always need to stay true to yourself and make sure you choose the best life you can ever imagine! I use this lesson every day whenever I’m making any choices.

If you could travel back in time and alter one historical event, where would you go, and what would you attempt to change?

There’s nothing I would want to change from my past. I believe my mistakes are my greatest teachers and made me who I am.

What do you think you came into this life to learn, and what do you think you came here to teach?

I believe I come to this life to learn how to love and enjoy life to the fullest. I think I come here to spread positivity and love.

What projects are you working on right now?

I’m working on a yoga clothing line called Flexup. It’s an activewear brand built for empowering women. I’m also working on a new amazing magazine cover coming out soon!

What would you still like to attempt in your career despite everything you have accomplished?

Vogue cover, Cosmopolitan magazine cover, ELLE magazine cover and I want to walk at the Chanel runway show. I also want to build Flexup to become a super successful company.

What advice would you give to those hoping to follow in your footsteps?

Always believe in yourself. Work hard and stay focused. Maintain a positive mindset and enjoy the journey to the fullest!

Photo Credit: Antoine Verglas

Meet The Rising Star Behind The Cover Of The September 2021 Issue Of Sassy & Co Magazine: Arundhati Banerjee

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Arundhati Banerjee’s journey from a South Australian Women of the Year – Emerging Leader, performing artist, pageant winner, humanitarian services to being selected among the top 25 models in Australian SuperModel has been rewarding and fulfilling.

Arundhati also fondly known as Ari is a teenager, pursuing a first-year Bachelor of Creative Industries (Theatre and Performing Arts) from Flinders University with a vision to work and contribute to the performing arts industry.

Sassy & Co Magazine recently had a chat with Arundhati to discuss her journey in the industry plus her experience joining the Australian SuperModel of the Year competition and here what went down:

How did you get into the modelling industry?

It was at the age of 14 when I began my journey into modelling by enrolling with Tanya Powell Models. There has been no looking back since then, be it walking the ramp, being offered Cover Girl opportunities, being featured in various magazines, winning pageant titles, or fundraising for humanitarian causes like Domestic Violence by walking the runway for various fashion shows. The journey has been gratifying and I look forward to learning and contributing further to my future.

Photographed by CAMO PHOTOGRAPHY / Outfit Sponsor BRIDAL FUSION by MASCIA

What do you like most about being a model?

Modelling gives me a sense of freedom. The fact that I can be myself in front of the camera without any limitations keeps me loving it and coming back for more. The skills of poise and confidence I gathered over the years through modeling have also helped me transfer the skills to other areas of my life. The opportunity to travel to interesting places and meet fascinating people from different backgrounds, work in diverse projects such as sustainability, body positivity, and diversity is very fulfilling.

Downside to being a model?

The emotional, and physical stress is quite common in this industry given the requirement to look and behave a certain way. The need to achieve and reach your maximum potential at a very young age, given the life span within the industry is very less and limited, puts a high amount of stress, leading to unhealthy competition, mental health issues, and many other. The environment needs to be conducive; the industry needs to be regulated just like any other workplace.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the modelling industry so far?

I have chosen platforms and sponsors who resonate with my values and beliefs of inclusivity, diversity, and sustainability. I am an ambassador for a multi-award boutique Bridal Fusion by Mascia in South Australia who not only believes but demonstrates the ethos of body positivity and inclusivity through her dresses. My association with Miss and Mr. Diamond International and Australia and now Australian Super Model of the Year also aligns with the values that I believe. Another memorable experience is one of the catwalks that I did which helped raise funds for people affected by Domestic Violence – it has been a truly rewarding experience. Each of these experiences has been memorable and I had learned from them that modelling is not just about travelling to exotic places, or meeting people, but making a difference.

Photographed by CAMO PHOTOGRAPHY / Outfit Sponsor BRIDAL FUSION by MASCIA

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I am very young, and I believe all those whom I have come in contact with, have taught me life lessons that can be emulated in modelling and as such every other career aspiration I have.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the modelling/industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

The most valuable lesson that I have learned is that it is not necessary to fit into the stereotype – just be unique, be yourself, and take care of yourself and others. Collaborate and not compete as well as build sisterhood are some of the mantras the different platforms and mentors have taught me. Enjoy the journey and strive for excellence and not success.

Can you tell us more about ASOTY?

Australian Super Model of the Year (ASOTY) is a unique platform that meticulously selects its top models that can align with the values of the institution which are diversity, inclusion, sisterhood, and sustainability. Once selected, there is a series of sessions from leading industry leaders on diverse topics such as sisterhood, fashion, sustainability, resilience, mindfulness, and networking. These sessions have aided my understanding, and appreciation, of collaboration efforts, building networks, and sisterhood.

Photographed by CAMO PHOTOGRAPHY / Outfit Sponsor BRIDAL FUSION by MASCIA

Why did you decide to join ASOTY?

The Australian Supermodel of the Year competition is not just a typical modelling competition. The selected contestants complete a series of activities over the next few months to acquire points towards reaching the finals. They include online training modules, mentoring sessions, social media content creation, photography, attitude, teamwork, collaborations, challenges, and working with the sponsors. I believe being part of this competition is about meeting new people and forming meaningful connections which allows me to promote diversity in the industry and the significance of sustainability in fashion. ASOTY believes in building Super Role Models for the industry and this difference in their framework is my reason to be part of it.

What do you hope to gain from joining ASOTY?

I believe that I have already started gaining through the series of sessions I have been attending the sisterhood that I have built within the institution and outside, change the perception of the industry, and seeing it with a different lens that is more productive and sustainable. Self-love, body positivity, sisterhood have been gainful takeaways so far and I look forward to every session in the coming weeks.

What do you hope to see happen in the near future for models and beauty queens all over the world?

I believe the modelling industry is going through a change, where we will be seeing more of Super Role Models which an institution such as ASOTY is aiming to build. We need our models and beauty queens and kings to be influencers, working for the greater cause of society, as the younger generations look up to them. They can be instrumental in building a healthy and inclusive society.

Photographed by S R MEDIA / Outfit Sponsor BRIDAL FUSION by MASCIA