Chinoy model Reins Mika recently became the first Filipina to win the Elite Model Look World Final Competition, which is annually hosted by Elite Model Management, the modeling agency that also handles Cindy Crawford and Kendall Jenner.
“A dream come true! I’m the first Filipina to win the Elite Model Look World Final Competition in the Digital category and representing my beautiful country – the Philippines,” she captioned in one of her latest Instagram posts.
Reins Mika not only faced different creative challenges in this contest but also had the opportunity to be mentored online by influencer Cameron Dallas and supermodel Coco Rocha.
We recently interviewed her about her experience as a model and as the only Asian representative in her category.
Instagram | @reinsmika
What made you want to start modeling?
Modeling was never part of the plan. I just happened to stumble upon the opportunity when it came to me. I became interested in modeling after trying out for a small pageant in school, and before you know it, I suddenly became interested in improving the way I walk and the way I pose.
For these reasons, I started attending different workshops, and after some time, a scout eventually discovered me. The rest was history.
When did you start modeling?
I started young since my mom used to get me to model for the magazine Smart Parenting. She also brought me to different auditions and workshops but stopped because of studies.
Were your parents supportive of your modeling career? If not, how did you deal with it?
My mom and dad were unsure at first. But, the more I did it, the more I proved to them that it was something that I love and excel in. They eventually supported me.
What are the major projects you have done so far?
For my major projects, I did a runway for Bench, an out-of-town shoot with Robinsons, became part of an in-store campaign for Human and a Dove ambassador, which was my first gig.
How did you find the Elite Model Look and why did you decide to join it?
It was never my plan to join. I just stumbled upon it on Instagram and applied from there. After submitting my photo, they invited me to join.
What were the different challenges you faced in this competition and how did you overcome them?
It was intimidating to have competitors who have a huge following on Instagram. But, I think the real challenge for me was more on believing in my own skills and creativity since there are some moments when you will doubt yourself.
How does it feel to represent the Chinoy community in the international modeling scene?
It’s great. I feel like I went out of my comfort zone to try out new things, paving the way for others to try it out as well.
I hope it will inspire other Chinoys to step outside the box.
For you, what is beauty?
I believe that beauty is indeed in the eyes of the beholder.
In the perspective of this industry, you won’t always get booked by the jobs you want despite fitting to their criteria. Yes, it makes you doubt yourself. However, you have to understand that sometimes it could be that your look is not aligned with the brand. The bottom line is it shouldn’t make you feel less pretty at all since it depends on their preference at the end of the day.
Do you think more Chinoys can make it in the industry?
I honestly believe that a lot of Chinoys are capable of entering any industry they want as long as they have the passion for it.
What’s next for you?
What’s next for me is unpredictable. One thing this pandemic has taught me is that plans are bound to be canceled. So, what’s next for me is really up to God and His plans for me.