Written by Doris Hobbs
Elle Nicole, a Columbus, Ohio native turned New York MMG Model exclaims, “I saw myself in Garage Magazine. That was definitely a moment I will never forget!” Her career and visage has been showcased to promote fashion agencies, editorial features, and national beauty campaigns with Sebastian & Wella. With a mindset to achieve the ultimate goal of becoming an international face recognized within the industry, Elle understands the importance of consistency, commitment, and connecting. “Do not let yourself forget about your dreams; do not let yourself forget about your goals! Surround yourself with an amazing support team, and most of all, never forget why you started!”
Elle is totally comfortable with her role as a model, because of the expressive support from not only family, but also the friends she’s blessed with. Elle enjoys incorporating 'fun’ in her daily projects; she says smiling, “I think FUN is the most important thing.” This fun-loving beauty wouldn't have life any other way. “I have such a passion for our art and for what we do as models that my goals would be to continue booking as much as possible, continue meeting inspirational people and to always continue having fun.”
Since Elle steeped herself into the industry four years ago, we thought she was the ideal girl to share her growing success from the very beginning.
Can you explain how your modeling career started for you?
My modeling career really “started”, I guess, back when I enrolled in professional modeling & acting classes at a training facility near my hometown in Columbus, OH. It was there that I first met Aaron Capretta (my manager) who has continuously inspired me to never give up on following my dreams. While working with him I was selected to attend a national talent scouting showcase in Chicago, IL where I met with over 100 agents from all over the world and landed my first New York City modeling contract with MMG. THAT was really when I started to see pursuing a career in modeling as a realistic future for myself and made the difficult decision to move from small-town Ohio to New York City and commit to doing it full time. Within weeks of moving to the city I was also signed to a fashion agency adding another great agent to my team and really kick-starting everything!
Tell me about your education: Have you attended fashion modeling courses? If so, what related courses or studies have you taken?
My parents and family have always been very supportive of my dreams in modeling but, as most parents are with their children, they made sure I attended college so I ‘always have a backup plan” so while pursuing my modeling career I am studying Psychology. In regards to ‘modeling education’ I worked with a professional model training facility near my home town where I worked with coaches on my runway walk, gaining experience in front of the camera, photo posing, and the in’s & outs of the entertainment business.
In the beginning did you find rejection and if so, how did you deal with it?
Of course I found rejection when starting out, there is always rejection in this industry! At first, I took it super personal and would start over analyzing every casting I went on. But, thankfully, I finally realized something: I'm not going to be perfect for every single job out there. Casting directors know what they are looking for before you even walk in the room. For example: they might be looking for someone with blue eyes and blonde hair (two things I don't have) and there is nothing I can do about that! You can't let rejection get you down in this industry. Let it make you want the next job that much more!
Was modeling always a passion of yours, and when did you discover the connection?
Modeling has definitely always been a passion of mine. Thanks to my mom and her love of catching moments on camera, I've always been in front of the camera since I was young. I just have always loved it! As I got older into high school, like most teenage girls, I began looking through fashion magazines to learn more about fashion and makeup but every time I turned a page and saw another model my mind would go wild just thinking about what it would be like to do that. Now, remember I am from small town Ohio, so as a tall girl (I am 5’10) everyone always said two things to me: 1. Do you play basketball? 2. Are you a model? Of course I played basketball but it wasn’t ever really anything I like LIVED for (mostly just did it to be involved in something and stay in shape) and hearing people always ask about modeling really made me think; “maybe I can do it”. Wow thinking back now that all seems so long ago!
What are your goals as a model? How do you see yourself progressing in the industry?
I would say my ultimate goal in this industry would be to become an international, recognizable face and personality with respect and appreciation throughout industry professionals and the public. Of course, I want to book the major campaigns and walk for the top designers all over the world, but I mean what model doesn’t? Right? I have such a passion for our art and for what we do as models that my goals would be to continue booking as much as possible, continue meeting inspirational people and to always continue having fun – because I think FUN is the most important thing, of course. Along the way if I am lucky enough to be driving down the road someday and see myself on a major billboard, yea I think that would be extremely cool. This industry if FULL of ups and downs so it’s hard to project what my next opportunity will be or what the next steps will be for me but I mean after all, I am just getting started!! I have a long journey ahead and I feel that with experience, everyone gets better at what they're doing. I have such an amazing, supportive family and friends and career mentor/manager that have all been amazing and with me every step of the way.
What is your definition of beauty?
Ah there is beauty literally everywhere and in everything... To be honest, I'm looking at a big burrito from Chipotle right now, and I see beauty... Haha! To me, beauty is being comfortable in your own skin and being able to say "this is me and I'm grateful for who I am." Having that confidence is truly the most beautiful thing in the world.
What type of ad campaigns have you modeled for?
As a new face in this industry I have been fortunate enough to have modeled for editorials in Garage Magazine, campaigns for Sebastian & Wella hair products and have worked show room for a collection of different designers in New York City.
What’s your word of advice to aspiring girls seeking a career as a model?
The first bit of advice I would give to girls seeking a career as a model would be: commit to it and go ALL IN. If you are seeking to start a career in the modeling industry, you cannot just sit back and expect it to be handed to you; you cannot just expect to do this “half way” because you will never get anywhere. It can be hard to do, I know, but prepare yourself for the rejection, prepare yourself for ups and downs and prepare to continuously be working on and for yourself! The competition between other models is tough, absolutely, but a lot of the times our biggest challenge is to not hold ourselves back. Do not let yourself forget about your dreams; do not let yourself forget about your goals! Surround yourself with an amazing support team, like I have with my family, friends, and Aaron, and dedicate yourself to making your own dreams come true. Most of all, never forget why you started!
From the start of your career to today, was there anything you might have done differently?
I have thought about this question a lot, and I don't think I would want to change a thing! I think my mess ups have helped me become a person I'm happy to be. But I guess if I could change something, I would go back to the very beginning and tell myself not to change or conform for anyone, and that being myself would lead me to where I belong.
Please share an “aha moment” that you will forever remember as a model.
When I saw myself in Garage Magazine. That was definitely a moment I will never forget!
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