Supermodel TASHA TILBERG who we teamed up with for our cover shoot in Los Angeles by the prolific photographers MARK WILLIAMS and SARA HIRAKAWA sits down for an exclusive interview by Deputy Editor ANA MARKOVIC to talk about starting young in the fashion industry, being the first top model with tattoos and piercings as well as the changes coming for the fashion industry.
To read our exclusive interview with the amazing Tasha Tilberg continue bellow:
How were you discovered?
I was discovered in Toronto when after much nagging by random people to try modeling my sister insisted I try it. We went to see this reputable agency Giovanni, and they signed me.
You started your career at early age, do you feel like you missed out on anything? What are the pros and cons of starting young?
Good question. I feel that I actually really got to experience and do and see many cool things at a young age. I traveled so much. I think that part was great, and although I definitely missed your typical prom and school stuff, I experienced some really great things in the world. Of course on the flip side, I was certainly put into adult situations and experienced a lot of adult type stress very early.
So, if your kids decided to join fashion industry as teenagers, would you advice them to wait until they’re bit older?
If my kids decided to go into such an industry I would make sure to support them, but would probably encourage them to finish school.
First big break in your career was landing the cover of W magazine back in 1996. Do you remember the shoot? Was it overwhelming seeing your face on the cover of the magazine for the first time?
I actually remember moments from that day in 96′, the studio, the people. It was definitely surreal to see myself and the moment they captured on a cover.
Early in your career you signed a multiyear contract with CoverGirl cosmetics. Did that give you more freedom to chose jobs?
My CoverGirl contract was awesome, I was so grateful and still am of that opportunity. All the people I worked with that organization were like a family. It really gave me the freedom to be with my family at home more.
You were one of the first models with tattoos and piercings, did you worry about how that may affect your career?
I was and still am to an extent drawn to tattoos and the different cultures that use tattoos and other body adornment as tribal placement, rite of passage and beautification. I was very determined to do what I wanted, and didn’t think too much about my job being affected. If I was a young model now, I probably would have found great success in my determination to be “myself”, but if I had a say, i’d say wait a while, do some tattoos in 10 years.
You always state how important individuality is, do you think there is more room for it nowadays then it was back when u were starting? Do you think social medias are helping individuality or killing it?
I think there actually is more room now for individuality. You can find commercial success now with your personality out. But I think social media in general and its affect on people is yet to be determined. Kids that are thinking about how many likes they get per picture has got to have some dire consequences.
You’ve been part of fashion industry for over 20 years. Worked with some of most influential photographers and brands. What are the projects u are most proud of?
One project I’ve more recently been involved with is the Obakki Foundation, and they’re quest to help end the violence in South Sudan by helping with access to water. It’s something I hope to be involved with more in the future. I also feel very connected our our northern First Nations, and hope people see the documentary Angry Inuk by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril. This movie completely brought to light some very important issues with how fashion itself has affected our Northern people.
Do you have any unfulfilled dreams when it comes to your job?
I’ve been really enjoying my job lately. I hope I can keep enjoying it, and i’d love to travel to new places.
If you could go back, would you make some of decisions about your career differently?
I think If I could go back, I would work harder. I would wait with the endless cutting of my hair and new tattoos, wait and work and not take things personally. Also I would work out. I never really needed to work out but exercise is so important for mental health, I think I would have been happier and enjoyed things more.
With recent controversy, we have to ask about your knowledge and experience of sexual harassment in the fashion industry – do you believe the industry is finally ready to face this ongoing problem in the public limelight as well?
In our industry, models are already seen as objects or voiceless bodies to be moved around to suit. I think this power and control problem is just present everywhere in society, in fashion it’s just more apparent. More and more in our industry as well as all around our society this is changing, voices are rising and tides are turning so, we’ll see how it’ll be in 20 years, I bet a lot will be different.
What do you think is the most important trait for longevity of a model’s career?
I think a level of professionalism, as well as being fun and adapting to situations is key. Having a good attitude goes well in anything across the board.
How would you describe your personal style? What styling rules you always follow?
Hmmm my personal style can go from laid back hippy chic(most comfortable on a beachor beach town), to slightly virgoean uptight chic, and farmer plaid.
What is your beauty routine?
My beauty routine is simple, I wash my face and apply day cream. Sometimes exfoliant.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
When I’m not working I’m with my family. I love being outside, its my favourite environment. From the coastal mountains and rainforests of the west coast of Canada, to the beaches of Mexico, Hawaii or Australia. When I’m inside, I love cooking and crafting, making things with my hands.
Do you have a philosophy that you live by?
Photographers Mark Williams and Sara Hirakawa – www.williamshirakawa.com
Stylist Hayley Atkin at The Wall Group
Hair Stylist Sascha Breuer
Makeup Artist Homa Safar
Model Tasha Tilberg at Marylin Agency
Photographer assistant Colin Smith
Casting by Sebastian Matias at K Management
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