I got to chat with this years STM Model of the year, Claudia Todman. At just 19 years old she is quickly working her way up the ladder, towards success. She has walked in some of the worlds biggest Fashion weeks and is well on her way to being the next big thing, definitely one to watch!
Full Name: Claudia Todman
Mother Agency: Chadwick Models
International agencies: New york: Click/RE:quest models, Paris: City Models, Milan: Fashion Models, Hong Kong: Quest models, New zealand: Unique models
Star sign: Leo
How old were you when you started modelling, and how did you get into it?
When I first started modelling, I was 15 years old. I went to a small modelling school called Alpha Models. They taught me the basic concepts of modelling. At the age of 15 I was very boyish. I was into my sport. I didn’t know how to coordinate clothes and didn’t know how to do hair or makeup and hated wearing heels. My Mother and sister bribed me into doing classes just for grooming and deportment. I eventually went and enjoyed it. So I joined the modelling class and I guess you could say, became a ‘lady’.
What are your most and least favourite parts of the industry?
My most favourite part about this industry is getting to chance to travel, travelling gives you the chance to meet new people from different countries, which also helps expand your knowledge about the industry, learn and do new things that will help you grow and progress in the industry. It helps open up more, new and exciting doors. The negative is that I can never make plans until like a week or two in advance because everything happens last minute. It’s a waiting game.
Congratulations on winning the title of STM Model of the Year at the Western Australian Fashion Awards (WAFAs) this year. What has winning this award meant to you?
Thank you! Winning the STM Model of the Year award at the WAFA’s means a lot too me. I love Australia, I love Perth. It’s my home. Anything that comes my way I appreciate as like anyone in the industry would know, it’s small in Perth so to me, it’s like having a second family. When I was told by Tanya, my manager at Chadwick’s that I had been nominated for the model of the year I was flattered! Flattered that everyone back home has seen and wants to acknowledge my achievements as well as all the other models travelling around the world and the same with the other nominations.
You have participated in 5 Fashion weeks so far this year, can you tell me which ones you walked in and a bit about what that was like?
Mens Show’s Milan: Costume National, Twin set
Paris Haute Couture: Viktor and Rold, Tony ward, Juline Fourine
New york: Brooks Brothers, Chrisitan Siriano, BCBG, Clear by Kai Milla, Pas de calais, Zimmermann, Pamella Roland, Libertine, Cadet, Bibhu
Milan: Kristina Ti, Yohanix, Erika Cavallini, Uma wang
Paris: Talbot runhof, issey miyake, moon young hee
In Paris, doing my first haute couture season I got the honour to walk for Viktor and Rolf, which was a walk I’d never done before. Having half of my face covered whilst having to walk down the runway was a challenge to say the least. I know for me the clothes play a big part in how I walk down the runway. Making sure I present the designers garments appropriately and well enough to be shown to buyers and other important guests.
For my first show in New york city, walking for BCBG home run castings for a week was the perfect way to start my fall season of fashion week in 2016, however, one of my favourite shows was walking for Libertine. The designer, Johnson Hartig made a speech backstage before entering the runway that really touched us models. “When casting everyone in this room, my team and I didn’t look at your books, but felt your good energy and up beat personality when you came into the room.”
Walking for Zimmermann was another favourite show for me because it was nice to be around the Australian accents as I got the chance to work with Nicky Zimmermann.
What has been your career highlight so far?
I have so many highlights already this year. Being able to walk for any designer at fashion week is a highlight for me. There are always new faces and even other models whom have done fashion week before, not knowing what to expect as fashion is constantly changing. Girls come from all over the world and are attending up to 6 castings a day and not booking one of them. So there is no guarantee to be booked for shows. I myself, having walked for 24 shows in total was an amazing achievement for me. I also get the privilege to meet new and interesting people, go to amazing events such as the MTV music awards, after party, go to fashion shows as a guest.. all these things have made an impact on my life and being able to meet celebrities such as Coco Rocha, Hillary Duff, Rhianna and many others over the years.
Have you travelled overseas? If so, where to?
I have travelled overseas. I love to travel and without the modelling I don’t think I would have had the opportunity to go to the cities and countries I have been to already. New York, Milan, Paris, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bali, Dubai and Thailand.
What are your plans for the next twelve months?
My plans in the next 12 months will depend on how I go over seas and where I am in the world. Modelling isn’t a plan-in-advance type of career as I never know my schedule until the night before or a week in advance if I have to travel somewhere else and even then, some things will pop up on the actual day. However, for now I will be heading to Sydney to walk in the MBFWA and shooting editorials, then flying over to New York City to do more campaigns and editorials, also hoping to fly to London and sign with an agency there. Also hoping to work in different cities like Miami, Spain or Germany.
Where is your favourite place in the world to model?
I think I would have to say that my most favourite place to model is New york City, I find that I get quite a lot of work for the type of model that I am, which is perfect for me because everyone speaks english! I also new the first week I arrived in New York that I loved it. Then when I walked in my first fashion week, I walked for 8 shows. As I said before, girls come over to walk in fashion week with the thought of booking no shows, which unfortunately most do. However, for me, not knowing any of the clients, people, anything and booking 8 shows was amazing. I would also say Perth as I think everyone here in the industry is genuinely so lovely and amazing to work with. People over seas are always complimenting the Australians and how nice we are.
What is your background?
French and Scottish.
Who/what would be your dream client/job?
My dream client would be to shoot the front cover of vogue or french vogue. I also would love to get the chance to shoot with all the other top models like Coco Rocha, Gemma Ward, Megan Gale and the other Victoria’s Secret models. I would also love to shoot a campaign for one of the top designers such as Chanel, Dior, Gucci or Prada.
What is your worst shoot experience?
My worst shooting experience would have to be when I was in Sydney shooting down on Coogee beach on the cliffs when it started to rain. The client had a dead line for the images to be released so we had to keep shooting. After getting back to our base the client looked through the photos and didn’t like any of the images we had shot, so, after a long day of shooting, then being tired and freezing cold, also getting wet on location, we ending up having to come back the next day and re shoot all the shots that were shot in the rain.
Who is your style icon and why?
Karlie Kloss, I feel most familiar with her.
What is your go-to outfit?
My sweat pants and a plain top, they are always comfortable and easy to wear with loose and natural hair, no makeup. Being a model you have to always look your best, showing off your shape and being glamoured up, so every now and then it’s nice being able to be relaxed. But I also love a good pair of skinny jeans with boots and a nice shirt. Being that I am more a winter person, I love a good coat.
Do you have a signature look that clients tend to book you for especially? What is it?
So far during my career of modelling i would say I am a high fashion, editorial looking model. I get booked for a number of magazine shoots. I think most clients book me for my naturally pale skin, cheek bones and/or height and I like to think clients like my personality. Going to a job it makes it easier knowing you’re working with a good team.
What do you do to stay in shape?
Being a model I need to stay in shape and make sure my body is always looking its best. I go to the gym every morning for and hour or so. I find it easier to workout in the morning after having a coffee to kick start. I’m a very active person, I love running, it also helps clear my head as well as doing yoga once a week. Given that I used to play netball and do Tae Kwon Do, both for 11 years, I love my sport and staying fit and active. Having a day off to is always well needed, to also allow my muscles to rest, to not over work them and cause injuries. I try to eat as healthy as I can as I call myself a ‘Chocoholic’. I eat three meals a day and will have a cheat day once a week as its not good to deprive yourself of the bad foods, its actually good for your body to have bad food once a week.
How long do you plan to continue modelling?
At this point, I’m not sure what the future holds for me and the modelling. I would of course like to continue the modelling for as long as I can because I enjoy what I do and like to think I am good at it also. I’ll keep going until I feel as if the work is running out for me. Modelling has given me things I never thought i would be able to get or achieve.
What is your plan for after modelling?
After modelling, I haven’t quite thought about what I want to do. I am currently studying a course online for nutrition and personal training. So hopefully I can get a job that’ll be in that area. I really enjoy food and have a passion for it as its a really important thing in my life, especially being a model. I want people to look up to me and see that what I’m doing is amazing, so making sure that I am looking good is important because I don’t want to send out the wrong message to younger women wanting to be models.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
The things that I like to do in my spare time when I’m not modelling is hanging out with my friends, having a couple of drinks and chatting. My friends and family play a very important part in my life, without them I don’t think I would have a life. But I am an adventurous person, i like to go experience new and interesting things. Reading is a hobby of mine, I like paranormal fiction and romance, I like to consider myself as a food enthusiast. Food is life. I cook all the time at home making things from pancakes to stir fries to roast vegetables and my specialty, raw balls. I like experimenting with different recipes, trying new cafes and restaurants with my sister, especially. But my all time favourite thing to do is watch ‘FRIENDS’ and eat chocolate.
What is on repeat on your iPod at the moment?
I do love music, RNB, pop, hip hop, rap, instrumental or drum and base. No hard core heavy metal music, too depressing and head banging for me, end up with a headache by the end of it. I especially like songs with lyrics as I enjoy singing but can’t say I’m very good at it. The most played song on my iPod is any matt corby or Eminem song.
3 Things you never leave the house without?
Well, of course my phone is a MUST unfortunately technology is essential these days. Also my wallet because when I go out I normally spend more money on food then anything else, but a coffee is an essential item I take on the go.
Favourite holiday destination?
My favourite holiday destination would be somewhere with perfect weather as I don’t do well in the cold or the heat.. anywhere tropical with a good atmosphere, although bali has been my favourite holiday destination. It’s chilled out, relaxing and beautiful which is what I need when I take a bit of a break from modelling after coming from a hectic fashion week or busy working season. My family and I used to go there twice a year during my school years. We normally stayed in Seminyak, I love and live for asian cuisines so bali is perfect because the food is also cheap and so fresh, however, I would love to go to the Philippines or the Bahamas.
If you could have dinner with anybody, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
That’s a tough one.. but if I had to choose anybody to have dinner with that is alive, it would be the whole cast from friends and dead would be jesus. Why, because I have a number of questions that only Jesus can answer and in regards to ‘Friends’ I have always be a BIG fan and know every single episode off by heart and I love the group dynamics. I’d love to be able to have a group of friends like them. I consider myself to be very much like Phoebe.
Do you have a partner? If so, how do you cope with travelling away?
I have a boyfriend of only a couple of months now. Since being together I have only travelled away once. Considering the first time I went away, it was during the fashion week circuit and having the schedule that I did we managed to speak every day. But it can definitely be hard and so I’ve heard from friends who have boyfriends too but I’m confident that we can handle the distance apart. He’s very supportive of what I do.
Whats the best advice you ever received and from who was it from?
The best advice I have ever been given is from my mum. I look up to my mum in more ways then one. She’s wise and shares a lot of insight and wisdom with me that she only wished she had at my age. My mum is very goal oriented. She’s always prepared me for things in life, with regards to the modelling she’s told me, its not going to be an easy row to hoe. I’ll be competing against hundreds of other models all around the world for one job.I’ll have to leave home and travel the world, start from the bottom deal with some people I don’t like or people whom aren’t very nice, as well as do things I don’t want to do but we will all have to start somewhere and you have to start from the bottom. However, the one thing she always told me was to stay grounded, remain humble and be the person you want to be and have others look up to you. Don’t let anyone change you because no job or career is worth sacrificing yourself for. I know that my mum is always there by my side even if she is 100 miles away. Ever since I started modelling I can feel and see that I’ve become a stronger and more independent person and I thank her for that otherwise i don’t think I’d be able to do what I do now. She believed in me which helped me believe in myself.
What advice would you give to a model just starting out?
Some advice I can give to other models starting out is, you should know what kind of modelling you want to do and how big a part you want modelling to play in your life. Modelling takes a lot of time and dedication, long hours, personal sacrifice, hard work and lots of patience are the call of the day in the modelling industry. Shoots can take a few hours to several days. When you know this, it’s much easier to get started. But enjoy the ride of modelling. It’s not an industry that will last forever so take in and give it your all with the time that you have with it. But becoming a model was one of the best things I have done, I’ve learnt self confidence, how to dress, how to do hair and makeup (also with the help of my younger sister, Isabella). I’ve put myself out there. People know my name and my face. I give back to those who give to me. Stay humble to yourself, its a tough, competitive industry, don’t let anyone or any job change who you are. Stay true to you because whatever happens, happens. One of my favourite quotes is, “If you think you’re right, you’re right, if you think you’re wrong you’re right, no matter what YOU think, you’re right.” So stay positive, have fun and enjoy the ride.