A selfie by Loejjie, A student and Shapeshifter, for the cover of The Selfied magazine

A student & shapeshifter from New York City

What was the situation in which this photo was taken?

After class, me and a friend went to check out Dover Street Market in Midtown. We kinda lost each other browsing around when I came across this cool wallpaper over the GUCCI section. I loved the floral patterns and the wall’s texture so I took a quick selfie.

Could you tell us something about what you do?

Right now, I work non-exclusive to a couple of agents that submit me to commercial and fashion castings in NYC. Occasionally, I work with an editorial creative team run by my model friends as an assistant and a stylist. On top of that, I am also a student about to graduate this Spring… I’m a little bit all-around, but then again- so is every New Yorker you’d encounter.

How did you first become interested in modelling?

My friends persuaded me to model because they think I have a unique look, but I first saw it as a quick and instant way for creative expression while I was taking those heavy-loaded general education courses in college. Ever since I posted model photos on Instagram, I regularly get test shoot requests from eager photographers who wanted to build their book/ portfolio. I always take it as a compliment when people reach out to me like that, so I gave it a go.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I enjoy making new connections, learning from passionate creatives, and seeing my contribution to the final images after a shoot. I have a predominant background in live performing arts, but seeing a preserved moment in a photograph- I think that’s precious because you can keep it as a reminder. As a stylist/ assistant, I’ve always liked mix matching clothes, and I always get super nit-picky on details, so I guess my slight OCD gets handy for that.

What are you working on at the moment?

Since it’s my last semester, I am mostly focusing on school. Fashion Week in New York just ended; and while I didn’t get to do shows because of conflicts, I shot for two editorials over the weekend. I’m very excited to share them once they’re published!

What are the challenges in what you do, and how do you overcome them?

Being new in the industry, I realized that everything is fantasized in order to sell a story. At the end of the day it’s all marketing, so I try to not take things personally when I don’t book a job. I’m beginning to understand how creative jobs can be tricky when the business side intervenes. It is a different kind of stress and often fueled by self-doubt, so having a support system of friends who knew what it’s like is very helpful.

Could you describe your personal style?

Most of the time I tend to dress simple for convenience in castings, but I invest in accessories such as hats and glasses to add my personal touch. Lately I’m loving vintage items that have those unique patterns, cuts and textures you don’t often see in retail stores anymore. I’ve never been exclusive to just wearing designer brands because in the end, it’s how you carry the garments. I always say, ‘I know it when I see it’, so I guess my style is eclectic that way.

What is your present state of mind?

Writing these responses got me in a reflective mood, and it just makes me realize how grateful I am. 🙂

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Powder Room by Julian Winding. I listen to the playlist while at the gym, and the tracks always get me on the groove. I sort of listen to all genres, but lately I find myself playing movie soundtracks based on whatever mood I’m in.

Which artists or designers inspire you?

Artists: The Beatles, Lady Gaga, Grace Coddington Designers: Raf Simons, Jeremy Scott, Alexander McQueen.

What is the purpose of art, in your view?

Ultimately, I think the purpose of Art is to inspire. We create something, so that we can express ourselves, and so others can find their own meaning in it. I see that as a cycle between any creator and audience. That’s how it kind of makes sense in my head.

How do you spend your free time?

Browsing Instagram, watching Netflix, dancing, humming, hanging out with friends, and wondering what to eat next.

Loejjie, The Selfied