Supermodel in the making - Francine James' Diary Vol V
Over the past weeks, Pulse supermodel in the making Francine James has been setting Europe alight, moving from city to city, as she completes major assignments for numerous clients in the world's fashion capitals. She continues to capture the imagination of agents and clients alike, all of whom are convinced that she is the real deal, the next big thing in the world of international modelling. Flair takes a look in her diary as we follow Francine throughout Europe and bring you updates each week.
Amsterdam To London
I am now in London after my week in Amsterdam. Apart from my day's work with Vlisco, Amsterdam was almost a vacation, - riding the canals, visiting parks and generally relaxing in this beautiful city, all paid for by the client. I even had my own tour guide. London, on the other hand, is all business. My bookers treat me very well. Of course, I am the new girl in the city for the first time, so they try to make me comfortable. London is one of the four major markets; the others are Milan, New York, and Paris. I have been in all four, although I have not worked in the United States (US), as I am still awaiting my US work visa. However, my current work visas cover all of Europe. I hope to get my US work visa soon, as it now seems that I will miss the New York shows in September. I am excited about working in New York - the world's biggest, most lucrative and most important fashion market. I can only dream of the many beauty and cosmetics campaign possibilities that await me there.
John Lewis, ESPRIT
I immediately get busy in London. I am booked for John Lewis' Look Book and have editorial shoots for a few magazines, including Pop and other fashion glossies. All these magazine editorials (called tears) will be useful when I make my US work visa application. I am also booked for LNDR. Later, I hear that I have landed a coup with an ESPRIT booking. I am making money, covering my expenses and more. Although I am not yet in the big league, I am told that this is an excellent start. Many models run up big bills before they actually start to make money, especially in a case such as mine, where I have no friends or family in these markets and must cover all expenses - accommodation, meals, transportation and other outgoings through my account with the agency. Although I still worry about this, Mr Cooper tells me that I am doing great. Better, in fact, than most models just starting international careers. I am grateful for my success.
I like London. It's a big city, not cosy like Amsterdam, but historic and beautiful. The buildings though mostly old, are very well maintained. London might not be as art filled as Paris, but there is architectural beauty everywhere. The pace is hectic, but I am learning, moving around and getting used to the underground. I missed a few castings that caused great consternation, but I couldn't help it. The city takes some getting used to and the places I need to be are not in proximity to each other. Some people are warm here, but others are a bit stiff. I guess it is the British way. Regardless, after France, Italy, Holland, and Sweden, it's nice to hear English spoken for a change.
My bookers at the agency are cool. Clemmie Few looks after new faces, so she takes care of me.
I stayed in London for a month, shot for the clients I mentioned earlier, without any incident. Everyone seemed happy. I am quietly becoming a pro at this. Although I was not into modelling at first, I am now beginning to thank Pulse for discovering me at Camperdown. I still can't believe how cool it is to be earning a living, while looking glamourous, seeing the best of the world, wearing fabulous clothes (even if they are not mine, although some clients are generous), seeing myself on glossy magazine covers, etc. However, despite all of this, I am missing home, once again. I am anxious to feel the Jamaican soil under my feet.
Before I can return home, I am summoned to Sweden to shoot for Ahlens. Stockholm is a lot like Amsterdam. Smaller city, lots of canals and historic buildings. I guess all of Europe is old and this is reflected in the architecture, and to some extent, the lifestyle. Stockholm is also quiet, but nice. Peaceful. No drama.
There is something I noticed in Amsterdam which I forgot to mention last week. A very high percentage of the population in both Amsterdam and Stockholm ride bicycles everywhere they go. I have never seen so many bicycles in my life. That would be an interesting idea for Kingston, although I am not sure how it would work, or how comfortable folks would be riding around.
Next week, news out of Germany. The big one is confirmed.