Calling All Aspiring Models: HONOLULU Fashion Week’s Model Search

This could be your big break.
Photo: Ross D. Hamamura/SONY 


Hey, there, gorgeous.
You’re looking mighty fine today.
You’ve left your beauty mark on us.


Now that we've got your attention, our fashion week team is looking for new faces for HONOLULU Fashion Week 2016 as well as for our magazines, and that means an open—yes, open!—model search with some of the top names in the industry. Our roster of pros includes HONOLULU Fashion Week executive producer Lynne Hanzawa O'Neill, Roman Young and Bobby Gutierrez, creative director and image/celebrity manager at Wilhemina International, Damon Rutland of Nomad Management, and fashion editors Brie Thalmann and Stacey Makiya from HONOLULU Magazine.


In addition, reps from Hawai‘i’s top agencies will be in attendance, including Lashauna Downie of Bliss Models and Talent, Ryan Brown of Wilhelmina Hawai‘i and Joy Kam of Kathy Muller Talent and Modeling Agency.

And, just to give you a little head start on prepping for your five minutes of fame, we asked O'Neill, Young and Gutierrez for their tips on what they’re looking for in a top model. From beauty to walking the runway to how to dress, consider this your cheat sheet to stylish success.

See you on the runway.

The model search is on Sunday, Nov. 22 from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Models will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis, with the last model being seen at 12:30 p.m. Aspiring models between the ages of 15 and 24 are encouraged to come down. The team is looking for gals 5-feet-8-inches and taller, and guys 5-feet-11-inches to 6-feet-3-inches. Please bring one to two portfolio images for the model search. For more information on HONOLULU Fashion Week presented by Hawaiian Airlines, visit

Dress to impress  

Look chic! You can't go wrong with effortless, clean and simple looks. Look to J.Crew, Gap or Rag & Bone for inspiration, and wear clothes that complement your body. And, don't come in slippers or board shorts—this is a fashion casting, not da beach!

Get real

It’s not just about being beautiful or attractive. This business is also about wow-ing with your sparkling personality. Have some fun and interesting tidbits to talk about, such as your favorite hobbies, cool travels or top music picks.

Turn on the charm

Always have a good attitude, and keep these qualities in mind: confidence, positivity and good energy. Staying grounded, friendly and humble are also key. 

Sleep it off

In order to put your best foot forward, make sure to always look rested and don’t appear lazy or lethargic. A full night’s sleep the night before is extra important, as is drinking lots of water and making sure you eat healthily.

Go pro

Don’t leave your professionalism at the door. Be on time and learn how to manage your schedule/appointments. Preparation is always helpful: Bringing your portfolio and images to castings, and staying educated about the industry, designers, fashion photos, editors and casting directors goes a long way.

Do your research

Learn how to move and pose in front of the camera. Pick up a fashion magazine to see what’s trending, or you can look up behind-the-scenes videos of your favorite models and productions online.

Look the part

Go to castings looking (and smelling) fresh, with clean skin and well-cared-for and healthy hair. Exfoliating weekly, washing your face daily, using moisturizer and applying sunscreen will help you get that model glow. Toting a few mints along with you wouldn't hurt. And, psst: come well-trimmed and shaved.

Walk the walk

Come out strong, not fast, and walk in the center of the runway. Don’t cut the corners and keep your chin up and shoulders back. Make sure you walk at the same pace as the model in front of you. Walk through the music, not to the music. Don’t touch another model. Relax your face. Let the audience see something behind your eyes!