A ‘regular girl’ scouted in a London street has gone from making ends meet as a freelancer and cleaner to modelling for Gucci.
In June 2019, Clara Louise, 24, was spotted in Hackney, east London, by FOMO Models director Rob Wilson who then put her forward for castings with global brands.
She was flown out to Rome for the starry video shoot with the Italian fashion house last year and has gone on to work with other household names, including Gymshark, Boots and Primark.
Clara told Metro.co.uk: ‘Rob saw me in the street on my way to the gym and asked me if I’d ever modelled. I said “no”, I was quite blasé about it, but we had a conversation, the rest is history.
‘I’m so grateful because it’s been an amazing experience and it just shows how you should take every opportunity that comes your way in life.’
The freelance garment technologist was quickly thrust into the spotlight, as her first assignment was featured on the front cover of Picton fashion and beauty magazine.
From there, interest snowballed.
‘It was nothing like I ever expected, it’s not as catty as it’s portrayed in TV dramas and movies,’ she said. ‘It was a whole new world.’
Clara’s family including her parents, three brothers and aunties and uncles were thrilled to see her peering back from the magazine cover.
She said: ‘As soon as they saw the magazine in my local newsagent my mum was excited saying “this is my daughter, this is my child!”, she was super-chuffed.’
FOMO then put their signing forward for Gucci’s Covid-safe video shoot promoting the fashion house’s range for the second half of 2021.
Clara made two trips to Rome last year where she met leading models and Alessandro Michele, the brand’s creative director.
Harry Styles, Billie Eilish and Florence Welch made cameos in the miniseries – entitled Overture Of Something That Never Ended – which has attracted millions of views on social media.
‘It was a whirlwind,’ Clara said. ‘It was really fun, it was an amazing, life-changing experience.
‘I’d never seen a curved, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) model and I didn’t think that my look fitted that world. So I feel I’m paving the way and I can tell my grandkids that I’m a Gucci model.’
Clara’s taste for Italian couture hasn’t led her to the jet-setting influencer’s lifestyle. Instead, she is looking towards a career as a teacher.
She is from a Jamaican and Bajan background but has grown up in a diverse pool of cultures in Hackney, where she still lives.
‘I’m still a regular girl from east London, my mum would not allow that bubble to grow, she’d burst it straight away,’ she said.
‘I just want anyone who feels that their face doesn’t fit to know that I’m doing it and enjoying it.
‘I feel I’m paving the way more in the curved end, as now there are already BAME and Asian models doing amazing things, and they’re beautiful but they’re more straight-sized, they’re more runway, more catwalk, and I don’t physically look like that or aspire to.
‘It’s not that I think that the look is unappealing, it’s just not who I am.
‘I’m just Clara, I’m taking my energy, my passion and my love for myself, my culture, my ethnicity, my hair and I’m showing that to the world.
‘Hopefully people love it and other women and men will see a black girl who is versatile and unique and I love me for me.’
Clara believes that balmy day when she was scouted shows how moments of opportunity can come at the most unexpected times.
‘Rob and FOMO Models have been super-supportive and I’m so grateful for what they are doing to promote inclusivity and diversity and help me and the other models to grow and develop,’ she said.
‘Life is for living and my message is to take every opportunity that comes your way and just enjoy it,’
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