Felize Kolibius is an Indian model whose sophisticated beauty and special energy attracted such fashion industry giants as Givenchy, Valentino, Moncler, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Dries Van Noten, and many others. We set an ******* Livestream with Felize to find out more about how it feels to be part of the big fashion shows and reveal the secret of her successful modeling career.
You are presently in Germany, to be more precisely Stuttgart which is your so-called Hometown. And as far as I know, the self-isolation mode there is less controlled now. Are you already allowed to go outside?
Yes, I am in Stuttgart right now, I moved here some years ago. Talking about going out, we are allowed to do it but I believe there is no sense to go outside too often. We still need to take care of each other and stay safe. I'm not bothered by being in self-isolation because I am just keeping myself busy every day – I even made a table myself while just watching a video on YouTube a few days ago! But the first place that I am going for, once this pandemic and crisis is over will be the Big Apple, New York. I have never been there before, so I feel super excited about it.
You have such big plans! By the way, how has a global pandemic affected your life and career?
It is evident that my regular job is frozen for now but I am involved in some online projects. I am collaborating with Handicap International – this is an organization that helps disabled people and especially kids from the Third World countries. Also, we are going to hold a virtual fashion show to present our small collection of handmade and environmentally friendly masks together with my friend Marisa Dickau who first designed and tailored them. This is our modest contribution in fighting against COVID-19 and helping people affected by the Cyclone Amphan in India and Bangladesh which are now facing with flooded streets, destroyed buildings, and damages. We hope that these masks will be useful for our friends from India and Bangladesh.
How did you become a model? Was it your dream or did it happen by accident?
I have been obsessed with fashion since I was a child. But I got into this industry for the first time a couple of years ago, when my friend had introduced me to my present PR-Manager. She had offered me to take part in a modeling contest. Everything went very well, so after a while, I signed my first contract with the Boutique Mother Management, SMC MODEL MANAGEMENT. The funniest thing is that some weeks later I was already walking in the Gucci show.
Wow! It seems like everything comes easy to you, but still what is the most difficult thing about being a model, in your opinion?
I believe that the most difficult part of modeling is to stop comparing yourself to others. If you want to be successful in this industry you should be yourself! People need to see who you are, what you are worth. There is no sense in just doing your best to become a new Naomi Campbell – just put all your energy in BEING YOURSELF. It took me about three years to understand this simple truth. And last but not least, you should be patient because the way to the top is not easy at all. Sometimes people need more time to realize and to see what kind of person is standing in front of them. That is why it is also important to have the right people behind you, such as my manager Alexander David Kern who always believed in me more than 100% from the very beginning.
Thanks to him and his support, I got to the Valentino fashion show. Alexander was always sure that I could be the modern type of the Valentino girl, strong, independent, and feminine at the same time. Nevertheless, I went to the castings of the brand several times, I just had really bad luck, but my manager continued to stand his ground. And one day, I get finally noticed! I believe that I had a total math with the vibe and the mood of the collection. From there, everything was like in a fairy tale! I am so happy that we did it and hopefully, will do it many more times! I have been so overwhelmed emotionally by that warmth and generosity with which Pierpaolo Piccioli has welcomed me to the big Valentino family. He even gifted me with the amazing pair of sneakers that were a part of my original runway look! So, that day will stay in my heart forever as well as the whole team, the show, and my acquaintance with incredible Pierpaolo Piccioli.
You also walked in the show of Givenchy, Moncler, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Dries van Noten and many others. How does it feel to work with such big brands?
It is always amazing and gets me very excited even though I have already done it before. Talking about the Armani show, it was very personal to me. Giorgio is very picky, that is why there are usually a lot of models at his castings. That time I had a feeling that I would never get this job, but I did it! To be honest, I am very happy that this brand still making such big castings, because they always know what they want. Such castings allow you to show not only your appearance but your personality and energy as well.
You also had a lot of shootings for the iconic magazines such as Vogue Italia, Harper's Bazaar including Cover, V Magazine, Tush, etc. So, if we compare the participation in fashion shows with the photo shootings, what do you like to do more?
The shootings for fashion magazines are different, because everything is happening not as fast as during shows. I love this crazy rhythm of the fashion shows that always keeps you excited and curious about what will go next. At the same time, I enjoy the process of photo shootings differently – you need to connect a lot with people who are involved in the project, spend the whole day together whilst discussing the creative process from the very beginning till the last shoot.
If I would have to choose I would pick fashion shows because what I love most of all is to perform and just have fun! When I was I child I have been watching Britney Spears video clips while dancing and dreaming about the biggest stages of the world. The runway is pure adrenaline; it is hard to describe that feeling when you make a first step on the runway knowing what kind of people and celebrities are sitting front row with all eyes on you. The funny thing is that you actually can't see them.
Fortunately, there is no need to choose between fashion shows and photo shootings in real life, because both of them are kind of one thing for me that I love.
Do you have any ideas about what changes will happen, or maybe have already happened in the fashion industry?
The fashion industry is trying to become eco-friendlier and to take care of the environment. I think that the global pandemic will make us change our minds about the consumption and general behavior. Live and time are going too fast now, people seem to have forgotten to enjoy the present and what they have. Also, today some so many people are suffering from burn out, mental diseases and anxiety, the pressure, etc. The production of new clothes is slowed down a bit now, so all brands will have to update their concepts more consciously. It is nice to see that we are finally re-acting and not just speaking about the need for big changes.
What is your advice to aspiring models, New Faces?
Do not wear any makeup when you are going to a casting.
Do not take some decisions personally, otherwise it will break you down. Just remember, that when one door closes, another opens!
Never give up. Believe in yourself and keep fighting till your dreams come true!
Be loyal to the people who started the journey with you from the very beginning. Thanks to my Indian roots, I always try to be thankful and generous and do not take things for granted.
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Enjoy food and do not torture yourself with crazy diets.
And the last thing - be nice to each other, because when you are the beginner you never know who you actually might have in front of you.
Watch our fashion reports with Felize Kolibius here: