Heidi Walcott is somewhat of a veteran when it comes to the world of entertainment and modeling. At the age of six, due to her constant antics and willingness to entertain others, she landed her first gig as the host of a religious children’s television show called Alphabet Heaven. At the age of 16, despite her family’s religious background, she was scouted at a party, which is when her journey in modeling began.
Heidi is a student at the Caribbean Academy of Fashion Design (CAFD) and is adamant that her experience in modeling – which she calls part career and part hobby – has helped her on the design course she is pursuing. In the same way, learning about the design development process has also helped her to enhance her modeling skills:
‘You have to know the rules in order to break them… In all the fun that you have on a runway or on a shoot, you have to remember to showcase in the best possible way the garment, accessory, hair, whatever the product may be. Now, as a designer, I want the model to realize this, which in turn makes me as a model realize it…’
She also counts wear-ability as a major point, having modeled uncomfortable clothing in the past – ‘After thirty minutes, it becomes unbearable!’ – and now uses that experience as something to consider when designing. Clearly, the two fields have made for a terrific learning experience for this 5’6” beauty.
Speaking of which, Heidi is unfazed by the few inches she is missing to make her ‘industry standard’ as a model (the industry standard is now at 5’9” and above for female models). Naming supermodel Kate Moss, who stands at 5’7”, as inspiration, Heidi says it’s about focusing on one’s strengths in order to be successful.
|Ready in hair & makeup for the CFstyle cover shoot|
‘You can be six feet tall and pageant gorgeous but have a nasty attitude, or lack that essence for captivating the camera and standing out in a crowd. I think my laid-back attitude and ability to not take things too seriously are what kept the jobs coming. That along with my theatre and acting experience…’
Though being on stage comes naturally to her, Heidi says she prefers doing photo shoots to runway shows, even though the adrenalin rush of walking the catwalk is undeniable. She says: ‘On a shoot, if you make a mistake, there is another chance to get it right. On a shoot, you can bend and twist to show your best side or angle; you can relax a little and lime and have a laugh with everyone.’
Heidi Walcott has done a number of ad campaigns for both print and television, but she counts this cover shoot for CFstyle as one of her most memorable, having worked with an animal for the first time.
‘That Dalmatian was beautiful and just so excited! You had no idea what she was going to do next; I was caught off guard quite a few times! Try keeping a straight face with a strong dog pulling you in every direction, much less a fashion face! It was definitely refreshing!’
|Heidi learning to work with Sahara onset|
As for people that she has worked with, Heidi names CFstyle Editor and Creative Director for the cover shoot as someone she enjoys working with in the industry.
‘Darcel de Vlugt, for example – she’s crazy but fun, and even though she’s tiny, she isn’t afraid to let you know what’s on her mind. I admire her for her drive because she gets things done, so you need to be able to keep up!’
On the subject of keeping up, we asked Heidi how she prepares mentally for any one of her work assignments in modeling. She attributes her ability to nail an assignment to ‘psychological and physical rehearsals’. In her own words: ‘The mirror is your friend!’ She also counts prayer as an important part of preparing for a job, but says that the key is to relax and have fun above all else.
She draws the line at modeling fur, which she finds cruel and selfish and completely unnecessary in today’s world, calling it an excessive means of showing status and wealth at the expense of ‘savagely ripping it from its true owner’.
Heidi shared some personal tips for those wishing to get into the modeling industry:
- Put together a professional portfolio with a clean head shot or two and showing different looks: formal, executive, sporty, casual, party and edgy
- Send your portfolio to everyone: advertising agencies, designers, even Facebook!
- Get your face out there and get noticed!
And finally, what speaks to Heidi Walcott most about the Caribbean?
‘Our use of colour is unbelievable! Our flora, fauna, beaches and exotic landscape continuously inspire us… We’ve come a long way in terms of style and designs, perhaps with a few “wacky” interpretations in the interim but I for one am proud to see the effort and creativity coming out of the Caribbean. The U.S. heavily influences us but I see a few diversions. We’re coming into our own and I’m excited to see what’s in store!’