Signed to rare select models, Chloe Smith Mitchell is a rising model and social media enthusiast, set to take the fashion and modelling world by storm. When we meet, I note that she is 5’10, calm and quiet, and surprisingly modest for a woman with a curly afro who gets attention without seeking it. She owns the space that she is in because she’s Chloe, beautiful and humble. We meet at Crosstown to share hot drinks, doughnuts and thoughts on where she’s headed next.
How long have you wanted to model and why?
Modelling is something I’ve always wanted to pursue, but when I was younger my parents wanted me to focus on my education which I am so thankful for now. From what I can see, modelling is not something everyone can do long term, so having a degree allowed me to work within the publishing industry first while I worked on pursuing my goals. Also, friends and family, people I would meet on the street would say ‘are you a model?’or ‘Oh! You should model!’ So in the back of my mind, I always thought that it would be something I’d like to do at some point.
How did the whole process come about? What made you finally want to go ahead and pursue it professionally?
For years I’ve been trying to get an agent, but just never had much luck. I had an endless amount of no reply emails or rejection emails even saying you don’t have the right look you have been unsuccessful. Then I did a shot for a brand called ‘Knot and Vibes’ beautiful crochet pieces with a Caribbean vibe which I loved because I can relate to the style and style is so important to me. After the shoot the brand owner suggested a few agencies to apply to, then I got signed in October 2017 by an agency called ‘Rare Select Models.’
What was the process to get there?
The process varies depending on the company really. Often, if your agency has found you a job, you’ll get a call sheet with whatever company or brands information on it. From their address where the shoot will be held, an idea of the duration of the shoot and a mood board to give you an idea of what the client wants. I love the process of getting into hair and makeup and seeing the client’s vision come to life because you become a key part of that creative process.
What are you up to at the moment and how is that linked to your love for fashion?
I work as a Social media executive at Conde Nast publications at Vogue House currently.
Through working there and in this field, it’s made me want to pursue modelling even more due to experience and inspiration. I feel like the industry has become more diverse, and I see these other models that I can identify with which I never saw growing up. Still, a lot more work needs to be done of course but the fashion industry has adapted to having black, mixed race and other ethnic models featured within their campaigns and catwalks.
What was your experience in modelling before signing to an agency?
I found most modelling jobs myself via Instagram but they’re usually unpaid. But again it’s great experience for a new model when you’re just starting out. The great thing about having an agent is you know the jobs are safe and that you will get paid. I mean I’ve done shoots in the past where I was promised payment and then received no payment or
photographs. My advice would be to make sure you’re comfortable with everything before you do a job.
What’s next for you?
My most recent shoot is a fashion lookbook photographed by Fon and Fa. I’m still awaiting professional images and videos, but I have some backstage shots. Also, I just did a shoot for ASOS on vintage clothing which I really loved.
What would be your advice to young girls who want to pursue modelling? Would you advise that they go to university like you did?
Yes, I would. I’d advise that they go get a good education so they can always have a backup plan. There’s nothing wrong with that. The modelling industry is not something long term for some. Age can be a huge factor in the industry and also you may not be always fortunate to have continuous work coming your way.
I know you’re very into style. Where are you shopping right now, and generally and what are you wearing these days?
Yeah, I’m really into my style and I love wearing things that are simple but different. There’s definitely some stores that I return to quite a bit just cos they’re familiar and I know I will find what I need. I’d describe my style as like Afrocentric & cool/ chic. Umm, at the moment I’ve been shopping at Zara, ASOS and some vintage stores. I also have my fave era which is my 90s style. Stuff like high waisted Levis, funky trainers oversized coats and jumpers. Or I go completely chic so I’d wear like high waisted trapped trousers, or maybe Chelsea boots, roll necks jumpers or heels.
What’s your goal for the next year in modelling?
2018 will hopefully be my year. I mean I’ve recently signed with my agency and I’m hoping and would like to work with more brands to add to my portfolio but also to get really pivotal experience doing fashion shows which I’m dying to do because I’ve never done runway before. I hope this year also it takes me travelling to other parts of the world as I love to travel and if I can combine that whilst modelling that would be the dream.
What do your family/friends think of your new career venture?
They’re so excited for me and everyone said ‘See! Told you, you would be a great model!’ Their positivity has given me so much confidence and they’re support is so appreciated.
Follow Chloe on Instagram – @chloesm16
You can catch Chloe in the below projects:
• Modelling for hairdresser ‘Charles Carter Hair’
•‘Coquine: The Beauty of Kinky Realized’ Photographed by Kelvin Bullock. (Photographers own project) @kelbpics
•‘Knots & Vibes’ Photographed by Luci Wilden (Also brand owner) @knots.and.vibes
•Rare Select Models Denim Cotton shoots @rareselectmodels
Photographer Sara (Co-founder of rare select models) @saraldn, @romanyfrancesca (Co-founder of rare select models/ Photographer) Videographer Timothy Ogu @timothyogu •ASOS Marketplace for bbvintageclothingbrand @asosmarketplace/@bbvintageclothing