Dre: What is your full name?
Simone: Simone Alana Small
Dre: When and where were you born?
Simone: I was born in the dead of Winter, February 19-wouldn’t-you-like-to-know in Toronto, Canada.
Dre: What was your childhood like?
Simone: I had a great childhood, I am the only child of my parents together (I have two half siblings) and I was given the world! I spent the school years in Toronto but every summer I went to Barbados or Guyana, sometimes both to spend time with my cousins and aunts and uncles. It was amazing, I put a very high value on those experiences because now I am well rounded, I find it easy to relate to people from most places in the world. I am blessed to have the duality of lifestyle to choose from.
Dre: Tell us about your very interesting heritage? (laughs)
Simone: *smiles* I am proud to say that my mother is from Guyana and my father is from Barbados. It is quite unusual, I know (RiRi is the only other person I know of with such a background.) I love it! I get the best of both worlds with food, music, carnival and culture. I have the opportunity to live on one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean with its crystal clear beaches, white sand and Rum Punch (Yes that Roger is quite Jolly!) as well as the lush environment of the Amazon Basin, my Guyanese family lives in a small village that is a passage to the Rainforest.
Dre: When and how did your interest in modeling start?
Simone: When I was growing up I used to stay up late watching Fashion Television with my mum. I always imagined myself strutting down a runway, wearing fabulous clothes… It was an interest that grew out of my childhood fantasies, while most girls imagined they were princesses at recess I imagined I was Naomi.
Dre: How did you actually start out in modeling?
Simone: I was doing a very small fashion show in Canada when the director of a South African agency who had attended, invited me to spend the season in Cape Town. About a month later I was flying over to Africa.
Dre: What was your journey like as a model trying to make it on the international scene?
Simone: Whooo, this industry is no joke! It has definitely been difficult at times and my journey has only just begun. However, I already realize that modeling is very subjective. I’ve learned to separate Simone the person from Simone the product and just keep pushing. I am curious by nature, I like to ask questions and introduce myself to people and generally put myself out there. I think the best description of my experience thus far would be educational.
Dre: When & how were you discovered?
Simone: I’m still a new face and an undiscovered beauty *smiles*
Dre: What agency(ies) are you signed with?
Simone: Elite Model Management Cape Town is my mother agency and I am placed in Johannesburg with Ice Model Management, in Athens with Ace Models and in Toronto with B&M Model Management.
Dre: Have you ever experienced racism within the fashion industry?
Simone: Yes, knowingly and unknowingly too I’m sure. But like I said fashion is very subjective therefore its very easy to get away with such things as a casting brief that says “NO ethnics” because well… It is the clients “humble opinion” that black skin is ugly. I don’t focus on these things or the people who are responsible. My friends and I have a saying ” Negativity is sooo last year!!”
Dre: What is you’re dream booking?
Simone: A Givenchy fragrance campaign… Heaven.
Dre: What is your advice to young girls out there trying to make it as a top international fashion model?
Simone: Modeling is hard work, physically and mentally. You will be put down, pumped up and many times not have your way. But if you are true to who you are, do a good job, stay grounded and most importantly persist, great things can be achieved.