As fashion week wrapped up today, fashion experts viewed the growing pleasure of reconnection with the world at Lanvin Official on Instagram stories —presented live from Shanghai for the world to see. Despite the fact that editors and buyers were not physically present, the cool vibe seamlessly came through over the wire. As they say in the business; the show must go on.
In a word, the runway presentation was alluring and captivating on so many levels. More to the point, with 4.3 million followers on Instagram, I could not help but focus my attention on how the fashion industry is at the dawn of a pivotal moment of momentous change. Fashion is changing and rightly so. People are evolving to the infinite pleasure of beginning again. At this time, we embrace our doubts with open arms, while we prepare for a resurrection of the fashion industry.
The post Covid fashion world is about feminine silhouettes fashioned like a second skin that breathes and affirms resilience. As the world draws near to a close on a very challenging year, the fashion business can no longer ignore the power of sales with respect to social media. Today’s fashion influencers now have the power to draw consumers to sales by simply opening up a window into their brand culture.
I recently reviewed an influencer with great impact with respect to luxury lifestyle and brand culture. Fashion model and influencer Billy Arora was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. Her mother was a fashion model signed with the IMG agency. Billy recalls she has fond childhood memories of watching her mother on set shooting high fashion editorials and advertising campaigns.
Billy was born into a diverse family background. Her mother is Norwegian and her father is Indian. In a sense. the story reminds me of the time Italian filmmaker Roberto Rossellini married Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman, who soon thereafter had given birth to the model and actress Isabella Rosselini. As a teenager, Billy was an equestrian and dreamed of competing at the Olympics one day. She has since dropped due to the success of her modeling career, but has expressed interest in using her social media influence to develop social impact.
Since the age of seventeen, she started modeling and had high ambition to achieve in the luxury fashion modeling world. “At the start of my modeling career, I would try out for multiple castings to no avail” says Billy. Nevertheless, as an entrepreneur, she had taken that rejection and turned that challenge into a positive result.
Within two years she started booking high fashion campaigns including global brands such as YSL and Sephora. Soon thereafter she was the face of the Rudsak international campaign. Subsequently, her face was on every major billboard in New York City. Although her most recent campaigns were Dior, Cartier and Hermès shot for Vogue this past summer.
I recently had the privilege to speak with stunning model and influencer Billy Rora about why she believes that clients and brands will always take interest in your social media accounts, how shooting for Vogue and Hermès was definitely a highlight of her career and how this self-made social media influencer is currently working on a soon to be announced project aimed to bring forth great positive change in the fashion industry!
Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes about how you started your fashion modelling career?
Billy Rora: My modeling career definitely stemmed after my mother. She was a model with IMG about 30 years ago. While growing up, I was fascinated with looking at all her beautiful photos in magazines. When I decided it was something I wanted to pursue full time it certainly wasn’t easy, there were a lot of “no’s” and doubt if I could ever make this into a tangible career. But if you know me, I am incredibly stubborn and if I want to pursue something I will usually disregard any negative opinions and go for it. For me, timing was everything and eventually everything fell into place. It takes more than just wanting to succeed or good looks to maintain a healthy balance between this career, the cosmos that surrounds it, the dreams and opportunities that are attached to it, and the outside world, life and reality.
Joseph DeAcetis: In your words, speak to the Forbes viewers about the Hermès campaign?
Billy Rora: Shooting vogue for Hermès was definitely a highlight for me, I was an equestrian for 12 years and with that being said Hermès is the most popular luxury brand within the equestrian world. From being someone who used to admire beautiful pieces to shooting Hermes for Vogue was pretty incredible.
Joseph DeAcetis: Having been an equestrian, did this help your chances of modeling for Hermès?
Billy Rora: I would say it helped in a way as I am very familiar with the brand, on both sides. I am close to the main origin of the brand as Hermes has a full equestrian collection from clothing to tack for the horses. I guess being able to identify with a brand to a degree always helps.
Joseph DeAcetis: What has been your greatest achievement as a fashion model?
Billy Rora: I feel as I look back now I have accomplished so much, that at a time was a dream to me that I wasn’t sure could be attainable. Although I feel like its only been the beginning for me, I would honestly say my biggest achievement has not been one job or shoot I have been a part of but the life and experiences it has brought me. I have gained so much knowledge not only from experiences but from the wonderful people I have met throughout and I’ll be forever grateful.
Joseph DeAcetis: At what point were you aware that social media was becoming a power tool- for a model’s career?
Billy Rora: Nowadays I think people are realizing more than ever how important social media is and how you can use it as a tool to help your career. Over the last few years I have learned how to use it in the right ways to benefit my self and career. There are so many beautiful faces out there but I believe that clients and brands who want to work with you in the future will always have a look at your social media first, I look at it in a way of being my public portfolio. It’s important to use it to your advantage as it’s a free tool to really brand your self and create an image. People also want to see more than a face and some beautiful photos, social media gives you the chance to show your personality which in my opinion matters greatly. You want to present yourself as relatable to brands you wish to work for and this is a great way to do it .
Joseph DeAcetis: As a fashion macro influencer, what positive message are you displaying to your followers ( mental health/ fashion/ beauty…)
Billy Rora: Obviously when we look at social media we are seeing a very one sided superficial surface and I think that’s important for people to remember. As much as I do keep a bit of a private life I try my best to show a lot of aspects of my self, most of the time everything we see is very glamorous but it truly is a fraction of what reality really is and I believe its very important, especially for the younger generation to be aware of it. I don’t have anyone help me with my social media as I want it to be a representation of my true self to the best of my ability. More recently I have been posting more writing and trying to get more vocal on my stories with my followers.
Joseph DeAcetis: Moving forward, where would you like to see your career flourish in the near future?
Billy Rora: There are endless things I wish to accomplish for my career wether that be having a major beauty contract to walking more shows. I am currently working on a special fashion project to participate in the positive change in the fashion industry. A Vogue cover would be cool too, ha.