At just 16 years old, Nina Monzón has already established a career in modeling. The Kansas City, Missouri native has only been modeling for two years and has participated in fashion shows, such as Kansas City Fashion Week, modeled for a Project Runway designer, and has been published in a magazine! She is signed to Voices & Models and Talent and has been with the modeling agency for two years. Nina is well on her way to the top of the modeling industry and spoke with FABUtainment about her career as a model.
FABUtainment: How did you get your start as a model?
N.M: I started modeling when I was 14 years old. I was always been tall for my age and slim. People were always complimenting me on my unique hair and skin combination, and saying, “you should look into modeling”. So, my mom and I talked it over and thought it would be fun to give it a try. Also, as a little girl, I was always fascinated by what I called “fashion girls” when I noticed girls with cool outfits or stylish models on TV or in magazines.
FABUtainment: What is the most challenging thing about being a model? What do you like the most and least about modeling?
N.M: Something I find challenging about modeling, especially in Kansas City is that it’s really a very small network, and agencies and paying clients and designers tend to have favorites. It is such a tight-knit industry, people are afraid to let new people in. The requirements are also very strict. I am 5’8”, which is in the 94th percentile for my age group, and that is still the bare minimum for modeling. You have to make sure you stay a certain waist size, or the chances of you getting a job go way down. But when you do get the job, all of the hard work is worth it. I have met so many amazing people through modeling. I have even met some of best friends through fashion shows and auditions. I also can see so much personal growth in my confidence, my ability to work with professionals, and my poise and demeanor as a strong young woman.
FABUtainment: Who is your favorite model, or who inspires you?
N.M: My favorite model is Gigi Hadid. She is so beautiful on the inside and out. She stays so true to herself and doesn’t care what other people think of her. I also love that she is not the skinniest model. She has a waist size 25, and Victoria Secret still choose her to walk for them. She gives me so much hope as a model.
FABUtainment: Do you plan to pursue modeling as a full-time career? If not, what careers are you interested in pursuing?
N.M: I would love to be accepted into an agency in NYC or LA. If that ever happened, I would try to make a career out of modeling. If nothing big comes from my agency here or elsewhere in the next year and a half, I plan on attending Texas State University upon graduation in 2017. Once I arrive in Texas, I will apply to major modeling agencies in Dallas, Austin, and Houston in hopes of getting modeling work while I attend the university. I plan to double major in Fashion Merchandising and International Business, and minor in Spanish. I plan to travel abroad to Barcelona, Spain, which is currently the 3rd most famous city for fashion. I would love to do an internship of some sort in the fashion field while there.
FABUtainment: What fashion shows, companies, or fashion designers have you worked with?
N.M: I have modeled for the past 4 seasons of Kansas City Fashion Week for the following designers: Mady Durant, Winsor clothing store, KJ Clothing Design, Ola Styles, Alexis Cook, Molly Elizabeth, Alicia Janesko, Nataliya Meyers (I have walked for her several times), and Project Runway designer, Althea Harper. I have also walked in the Perfect Wedding Guide fashion show, and in many charity fashion shows. Combining all of these, I have done well over 20 fashion shows, and have been published in EA Bridal magazine.
FABUtainment: Tell us about your experience as a model for Kansas City Fashion Week.
N.M: I have done Kansas City Fashion Week 4 times now, and I love it more and more every time. I have gotten so close to all of the KCFW staff, photographers, designers, and the usual models. It is run so well, and I hope to walk in it the next 2 seasons to come before I leave for college.
FABUtainment: What did you like most about modeling for Kansas City Fashion Week?
N.M: I LOVE the networking aspect of participating in KCFW. I have met and worked with so many amazing people and made so many great friends. In addition to all the fun, I also get to be pampered by hair and make-up artists and wear amazing outfits.
FABUtainment: What events/fashion shows do you have coming up, if any?
N.M: KCFW may be over, but I am still busy! I have several charity fashion shows coming up and some photoshoots to help diversify my portfolio further. I also have my sights set on Omaha Fashion Week.
FABUtainment: What advice would you give to aspiring models?
N.M: Modeling is the best thing that has happened to me so far, but you have to go into in expecting to only get 25% of the jobs you are considered for. It can be discouraging when you don’t hear from your agent very often. I can’t even count how many free test shoots and charity fashion shows I had to do to get where I am now, confidence-wise and experience-wise. I have worked so hard to earn the name and face recognition that I have now in KC. I am starting to get more jobs and recognition and I it is so rewarding. If you want to sign with an agency, please do your research and ask around to see if anybody has some insight on that agency. NEVER sign with an agency that makes you pay a lot of money to join it, because it is most likely a scam. Be careful, have fun, and good luck!