by MIKE CHAIKEN
Before she stepped onto the runway at one of the Next Top Model searches organized by Connecticut’s John Casablancas Modeling and Acting Agency, Giulia Nagle had never done any modeling before.
The now-photographer and model said in an email interview that she entered merely out of curiosity.
“It was the first time I had gone on stage and taken a risk,” said Nagle, 24. “I never expected to have the opportunity to meet with New York agencies, let alone make this my career.”
The Next Top Model search will be held Saturday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. at the Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Agents from Wilhelmina, State NYC, Red Models, JC Models CT, BMG New York, and The Industry will be on-hand.
“Modeling was a profession I knew little about,” said Nagle. “I was 14 when my parents took us on a trip to Six Flags the location of the model search that year. I never thought I might win the search or that that day would influence my career.”
After she won that Next Top Model search, Nagle dove headfirst into the world of modeling.
“I completed the modeling course at John Casablancas,” said Nagle. “The classes helped build up my confidence and helped me progress in skill sets I didn’t realize could help me in a broad range of situations.”
“It takes time to feel comfortable in front of the camera or on the runway,” said Nagle. “Knowing your angles takes a lot of practice as well as understanding yourself in relation to the garments and ultimately to the image.”
“I was a pretty shy kid growing up. Modeling and acting helped me break out of that shell and placed me in positions I didn’t even know I could grow from,” said Nagle.
That shy kid now has had the opportunity to travel all over the world, including London, Milan, Dubai, Mexico City, and Beijing.
Currently based in New York, Nagle said, “It excites me when I work with a team that is equally as enthusiastic about their brand or role in the field. We all live lives that are driven by passion for what we do.”
“I hear the stories of how designers delved into fashion, or how makeup artists found their love for makeup. This energy is my fuel. When I walk on a set with driven artists, I know it’s going to be a good shoot,” said Nagle.
“Modeling is a big reason I’ve also become a photographer. I’ve always been a visual artist,” said Nagle. “I believe modeling opened my eyes to other perspectives, including the one behind the camera.”
As a model, Nagle said her hero is model/activist Adwoa Aboah, founder of Girls Talk, an organization for women and girls to come together in safe environments to share hope, grace, support, love, and experiences.
“(Aboah) has created a platform that brings up issues that many of us can relate to or may have struggled with,” said Nagle.
As a photographer, Nagle is drawn to Harley Weir. Nagle said the photographer “confronts social norms in an unconventional manner. It’s people like her that make me realize that we can express our voices through many different mediums.”
She said she also likes photographer Kimbra, a photographer and model who makes self-portraits in natural landscapes.
“There is something raw and genuine about her work that I appreciate,” said Nagle. “She’s a big influence in my personal photography work as well.”
And as someone who regularly works for fashioni designer, Nagle is a fan of the late Alexander McQueen. “His designs were works of art and his shows resembled performances. I’ve always seen fashion as an art form and I respect his original vision.”
Looking back on her adventure at the Next Top Model search 10 years ago, Nagle said, “It feels like yesterday.”
“I remember walking up on stage nervously,” said Nagle. “Many people were carrying their portfolios. I had nothing. I had never even been in front of a camera before that day.”
Nagle didn’t expect to hear her name called out as the winner.
“I had my first day of eighth grade the next day, so my dad was all packed up ready to head home,” Nagle said.
Nagle wanted to hear who won the contest. So, her mother stayed with her. Her father waited in the car with her siblings.
“When my name was mentioned, I was shocked and I think my mom was too,” said Nagle..
“After the search, I stood doe-eyed in front of the lens of Joe Paradiso while his wife, Yuki, did my makeup,” said Nagle.
“Tina the owner of John Casablancas Connecticut my mother agent now for 10 years brought me to meet with agencies in New York after the search,” said Nagle.
Nagle didn’t completely surrender her life as a normal teen following the search.
“I finished school and would travel for work during the summers and holidays,” said Nagle.
“I’m currently signed with RED in New York full time, and in a way, I almost feel as if my career is just beginning as it morphs into new opportunities,” said Nagle.
“I couldn’t feel more fortunate to have been at the right place at the right time with support by my side,” said the model-photographer.
When the prospective models step out before the agents on Dec. 7, Nagle offered some words of wisdom to guide them.
“Never give up on your dreams. Challenges take you in directions you may never think of otherwise,” she said. “The most important thing is staying true to yourself.”
“Modeling isn’t easy,” she said. “It’s definitely a career that can change by the day. You have very little control over your schedule. Rejection is inevitable in this industry.”
“Good things will come, even if it shows in an unexpected manner,” said Nagle. “But that’s the fun of it.”
The Next Top Model search will be held Saturday, Dec. 7 at Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods Resort Casino by John Casablanca’s Modeling & Acting Agency.
The winner will receive a contract with a top agency, a high fashion photo shoot, a walk on spot in a TV commercial and a $250 Tanger Outlet shopping spree.
Agencies on hand that day will be Wilhelmina, State NYC, Red Models, JC Models CT, BMG New York, and The Industry.
Registration begins at noon near The Gap at the Tanger Outlets. The search, which will run 1 to 5 p.m., is open to all ages 4 years and older. Casual attire is recommended. No photographs are necessary.