That bit about runways, models, and designers adds sauce to the fashion industry complementing it with creativity. There is more to it besides, camera, lights and getting into character. The modeling industry in Kenya has remained vibrant over the years, better known for its beauties with the likes of Lupita Nyongo and Ajuma Nasenya that have been recognized internationally.
Diversity in the industry has created room to accommodate more talent, a space in which corporates have leveraged on with advertisements through commercial models to generate more revenues. Unlike runways models who have to meet prescribed standards, a commercial model could be anyone creative enough to convey the desired message as required by a particular brand.
For Collins Dominic, an editorial and commercial model and a fashion creative it started with inspiration from adverts and art.
“I started in 2016 as a runway model, which was quite a challenge for me due to the many rules like how you should walk and pose. But when I realized modeling isn’t just about the person standing in front of the camera, I started having a vision, and I consistently worked on my style, setting small and achievable goals, knowing strengths and polishing them,” he said.
In 2017, Collins together with four other models from Egerton University took over the internet with a series of odd-looking Gothic photos, dressed in black; dark lipstick, leather jackets, and ragged black pants, with him appearing to be sipping human blood, that saw a bunch of religious fanatics accusing them of participating in a cult. An episode in his journey.
Wrapping his head in the game, Collins realized that in order to remain afloat, he had to wok on himself and build a brand in his name. Through innate creativity and the internet, he quickly learned to be a fashion creative, telling his story through imagery, a form of art that so many people relate to and understand pretty fast. Hard work, teamwork, and consistency saw him hit the ground running and grew a presence on Instagram.
His taste in clothes is impeccable. Donning a denim jacket, half-buttoned collar shirt, black pants, and Vans sneakers, Collins complements his looks with a neat undercut, a pair of black shades and a fancy bracelet, in a photo on his timeline. He confirmed that some of his outfits are curated not from high-end clothing lines.
“Some of my outfits are curated from Mitumba. So yes you don’t really need suits to have a good look,” he mentioned.
He featured in a Telkom advert and has worked with many other individuals and corporate brands, experiences that he termed are incredibly motivating. In his entrepreneurial journey, Collins noted there is much freedom to take risks that one gets to learn and improve as compared to working for someone else under constant pressure to deliver, which limits one’s creativity.
Addressing the vices in the modeling industry, Collins said that if he was to run a modeling agency in the future, he would ensure each model gets a job and auditions for their specific descriptions, and follow up with clients to ensure they pay models enough and represent models properly.