What makes a good model?
Confidence, some people say, is the most powerful attribute a person should have.
That’s also what celebrity model and experienced actor, Sarika Young, believes.
Sarika is the owner and director of F.T.M Model Management in Australia. The 30-year-old is in the country this week as one of the judges and guest speakers for the Inaugural Samoa Fashion Week.
As this is her first time in Samoa, Sarika said she is thrilled to be here.
“For me, being here is very, very special,” she told Samoa Observer yesterday.
“It is such an honour to be here for this great event and to be invited for this show. I have nothing to say but praise for this country.”
She also praised the organisers of the show for such an incredible initiative to have a Fashion Week for Samoa.
“I love what they are trying to do here with this show. This can be a great platform for the local fashion designers and also models. This can be a stepping stone for them to get out to the outside world and make a good career out of it.
“It’s a great opportunity to expose all the hidden talents in Samoa, and I am excited to be here for this event.
“Like I said, I feel so blessed to be part of the Inaugural Samoa Fashion Week, and one that is situated in the Pacific Islands, because my mum is from Fiji.
“I have Fiji/Indian heritage, and I am also part Australian, Irish and English.”
Sarika said modeling has taken her around the world and while in Samoa, she will be sharing her knowledge with the aspiring models in Samoa.
“I’ve been in the industry for about fifteen years now,” she said.
“I guess I have evolved over that time. I started off as a model and predominantly I was a runway model. I guess as I emerged myself in the industry, I later on then hooked up with all the different forces in the industry.
“I got into photography and acting. because modelling and acting are similar and they sort of like, merge together, so I tried my hand in commercials and acting, so I am now an actor as well.
“Modelling has taken me everywhere; it has been an amazing and beautiful experience being a model.
“I’ve gone from Australia to Malaysia, to Singapore, Paris, England, Samoa and Fiji. I’ve had so many beautiful and wonderful experiences as a model and those experiences have extended my understanding of the modelling industry by doing things like teaching aspiring young models about modeling and others.
“I also do my best to inspire other people to be their best and help them to understand that if you have faith in yourself you can become whoever you aspire to be.”
Sarika choreographs fashion shows as well.
As an experienced model, her message for the aspiring models of Samoa is very simple.
“I would just say, never give up,” she said. “Confidence is the key factor; it’s the best weapon any model can use. If you feel good, you’ll look good. If modeling is your passion and this is what you want to do in life, you can do it, no matter what. You just have to have absolute faith in yourself and believe that you can do it.
“There are so many different agencies out there looking for particular things in models. You might not be wanted here, but you might be exactly what other agencies out there are looking for.
“Don’t ever be discouraged. Get up, be confident, and believe that you can do it and don’t let anything or anyone hold you back from reaching for the stars.”
Nevertheless, Sarika also believes that there is a lot of hidden potential in Samoa which needs exposure.
“There’s definitely potential out there in terms of fashion and modelling,” she said. “They just need to be exposed.
“I am utterly impressed with the fashion industry here in Samoa.
“I am surprised to see that a small island has a lot of talented designers and the beauty in their designs and work. Samoa is a small island with a small population but people have so much talent, passion and potential. They also value the designs that they make and they are just amazing.”
Sarika also believes that with more fashion shows such as the show on Saturday. this will put a spotlight on all the hidden talents.
“I know it’s known as a beautiful country, but there is also a lot of beautiful talents and art work beneath it all.
“I also think that some of these talents and work have been swept under the carpet and probably a lot of people don’t know that they have the potential or maybe there is a lack of opportunity for them to showcase their talents.
"Hopefully, if Samoa have more shows like this, the future of this industry in Samoa will gain that momentum to put it out there for the world to see.”
So what is Sarika expecting from the show on Saturday?
“I expect people to see what Samoa has to offer,” she said.
“It’s a collaborative thing as well. It’s not just about designs. It’s about showcasing what’s made in Samoa; the models, the designers, photographers, and the quality of the make-up artists, the work of hairdressers, directors and designers in Samoa.
“A fashion show is more than just showcasing designs. It involves a lot of art work and effort put together to have a show.”
Sarika says she has another goal.
While in Samoa, she will keep an eye out for talented aspiring models for her agency.
“I would love to have Samoans on board,” she said.
“While I am here, I am keeping my eyes open for the right type of talent that compliments with the agency that we have.
“My agency back home is made up of multi-cultural talented people.
“Like I said earlier, it’s about having the variety of models with different cultural backgrounds and heritage on board. Some people love to see a variety of different things on stage and I want to be able to have that variety and different flair for the people to see.”
Finally, she wants to thank the Samoa Art Council for inviting her to be part of the show.
“I am truly honored to be here for this event. It is a great initiative and it’s about time we develop the fashion industry in Samoa.
"What’s great about this show is that it also provides an educational side for all the people to learn from some of the experts on how to improve their work.
“Right now I am just really soaking in everything I can about this beautiful country and I am really excited about the show on Saturday.”
And that’s not all. Sarika will also be modeling on Saturday. It's an event not to miss.