Nova Orchid, Model

FLARE #HowIMadeIt celebrates 100+ talented, ambitious and driven Canadian women with cool jobs. Want what Nova has? Here’s how she did it

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Nova Orchid headshot wearing black shirt

Nova Orchid; Montreal;


Let’s say we’ve just met at a cocktail party. How would you describe, in a nutshell, what you do?

I embody the dreams and visions of a collective team and turn them into something real.

Where did you go to school and what did you study?

I graduated high school last year and am now a full-time model.

What was your first paying gig out of school? (In your field, or not.)

Babysitting. I also posed for my grandma’s paintings but she paid me in chocolate.

What was your BIG break? How did you land it?

I don’t think I’ve really had it yet but definite breakout moments have been the worldwide Forever 21 spring ’17 campaign and walking for Chanel’s spring ’17 show.

Describe the moment in which you first realized, I think this is actually going to work out?

I never went into modelling with any doubts about it not working or lasting. I went into it with a driven and grounded spirit and just let everything flow.

What would you say has been your biggest failure or shortcoming, career-wise, to date? How did you bounce back?

I can’t recall any failures in my career because I don’t know if that is really a thing. You can have many let-downs or disappointing moments, which I’ve had a lot of, but truly failing at something doesn’t exist in my eyes.

Name one piece of career advice you always give.

Stay you. Stay grounded. Stay humble.

What’s the worst career advice you’ve ever gotten?

I don’t think I’ve really had any bad advice so far (thank you everyone!)

Did you deal with barriers in your field because you are a woman? If so, what were they?

Modelling is one of the only industries in the world where the women completely dominate over the men. Male models don’t acquire nearly as much wealth and fame as the women do. However, it’s only because men are the ones really feeding into the industry so they’re going to be way more enticed to see sexy women up on billboards to sell the intended products. Hopefully many of us are turning our visibility into opportunities to lead interesting other things like awareness and action for issues we care about. 

Are you making a fair income for your work? Why or why not? Do you have a side hustle for extra cash? If so, what is it?

Yes for the majority, modelling gigs are very fair when it comes to payment. However, most editorial work doesn’t pay you anything as well as test shoots. The worst is when you do an editorial that you’ve put a lot of time and energy into (for free!) and the pictures never get released/published.

What’s the worst stereotype you’ve heard about millennials at work?

I’m actually part of Generation Z, which is a whole other ballgame. So far I think the major difference is that we are really pragmatic, we have been starting earlier to take on positions of power and do our best to make a difference because the world has become quite scary and we have technology to help us get our ideas and voices out there!

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