To celebrate the beginning of second semester we have another amazing female to highlight on Loyola’s campus. All the way from Honolulu, Hawaii, Leilani Etherton is a sophomore majoring in Health Systems Management. Leilani works as a model for fashion giants like American Apparel and other huge companies such as Groupon and Sprint. This girl knows the ins and outs of the fashion world so we thought we would meet up with her and get the lowdown on the fashion world!
CHICago Style: What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago?
Leilani Etherton: I like to get off the train at random stops and find fun new places to eat and adventure.
CS: What is your favorite thing about fashion and expressing your personal style?
LE: I love that fashion is a way of showing the world who you are without having to say a word.
CS: Do you believe fashion is a tool that women can use to feel empowered? Why?
LE: Most definitely! How we view ourselves, both from the inside and the outside, is what brings us joy and confidence. Fashion is one aspect of this; it helps us to view ourselves as confident, powerful and beautiful.
CS: Can you describe your modeling experience for us and what it’s like to be a model?
LE: I started modeling when I was maybe 16 or 17, when one of my favorite photographers spotted me at my work and asked if I wanted to shoot with her. That really helped me to get involved in the Hawaii fashion scene and also helped me to get signed with an agency. When I came to Loyola I stopped modeling because I was terrified of what the Chicago modeling environment would be like. This year I finally signed with a Chicago agency and since then I’ve been really enjoying what Chicago has to offer.
CS: What brands/companies have you worked for?
LE: A lot of brands based in Hawaii (Roberta Oaks Hawaii, the Cut Collective, Ten Tomorrow, etc.), American Apparel, a bunch of random runway shows, Groupon, and most recently I did a print campaign with Sprint.
CS: What would you say your favorite part about modeling is?
LE: Modeling definitely helped me to develop a sense of confidence, because the things I used to find unattractive about myself (my freckles, my height), are the things that make me stand out to people involved in the fashion world.
CS: What is your go to item that you wear to feel confident?
LE: My nude pumps, I love feeling really tall!
CS: Any final wise words for those who are trying to find their own style?
LE: In fashion there are no rules, so find whatever makes you feel your most genuine self and wear it with pride.