Once Eunice Olumide steps in onto the scene, she becomes an instant It Girl. An ethereal beauty with an otherworldly charisma, she’s also a part of the glamorous group of art world. Curious to know her more? So were we! Dig in and find everything about her.
Welcome to L’Officiel, Eunice! How were you discovered? Did someone recommend you to get into modelling?
I was first scouted at age 15. It was so funny I came from a small town in Edinburgh, Scotland. So, basically I had no idea that modelling was even a real job. I loved sports more than girly things and never wore makeup or anything. I still remember when the first time I was scouted, I was wearing my favourite inside out double stitched Air Force 1, baggy jeans, army puffer jacket and my natural Afro. I was so shocked I didn’t take it seriously at all. It wasn’t until I think the fifth time I decided to give it a try. It was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I went from being a small home town girl next door to walking on some of the biggest catwalks in the world. I feel I was really blessed, as I also got the opportunity to work with legends like Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood.
What’s the biggest barrier you’ve broken as a model?
I think being the first black model to achieve supermodel status in my country of Scotland. It is so strange getting used to the title. But as I have got older, I understand when people give you that title, it means a lot. We should cherish and respect it, and not shy away out of modesty.
What does it take to be a successful model today?
Patience, perseverance and persistence. They are essential. Things have changed so much I am delighted to say I have been able to work with many organisations for the protection of models. I am most proud of initiating the first professional Equity to protect our rights in the UK. On one hand the market has never been so safe but on the other it’s almost even more competitive than it has ever been.
You need to have very thick skin and you need to learn not to take things personally. You need to ensure you have the right agent who believes in you and you also need to learn how to cope with rejection. It is the main reason I wrote my first best selling book ‘How To Get Into Fashion’. In it I have explained how I dealt with all of those issues as well as got into detail about what you need to do to prevent exploitation as well as the numerous occupations available within the industry.
How has your personal style evolved since you entered the public eye?
I think my whole life I was always completely dedicated to sustainable fashion, reusing, rewarding and recycling. This has not always been welcomed, in fact it has only just become trendy in modern times. It costed me a lot of opportunities and brand partnerships since I have always cared so much about the environment and health of the world more than even my job. I would say I am trying to work with more brands now, not fast fashion but those that are UK based, local or are committed to sustainability.
Has fashion always been a passion of yours? How has the industry changed over the years?
I think I have always been more of an artist so I adore all of the elements that go into fashion, the design, the art direction, the production, the theatre of the modelling experience. That’s what I love. It led me to learning how to produce, direct and style my own editorials as well as others which has been an incredible evolution. Art is what I love. It is probably why in 2016 I founded Olumide Galleries LTD. I have curated and worked with a variety of world renowned organisations such as The British Museum, The Victoria Albert Museum, The National Museum of Scotland, The Tate, Bonham’s and Sothebys which I am very proud of.
Who’s a new trailblazer in fashion to you?
Nathalie Dufour. She is an incredible powerhouse, mother and beautiful woman inside and out. She is the founder of the ANDAM Fashion Awards set up in 1989 with the French Ministry of Culture and the DEFI (supervised by the French Ministry of Industry) as historical institutional sponsors. ANDAM (National Association for the Development of the Fashion Arts) was conceived from the beginning as a structure for recognizing and assisting young designers on the French and international fashion scene. The founding of ANDAM constituted a decisive step forward and the first public initiative in the promotion of young fashion talents.
Who has been your style icon over the years?
My style is so eclectic but I am really and truly inspired by Dapper Dan. As, I love street style, although I don’t get to wear it much!
Lastly, one piece of advice for your fans and our lovely readers?
Love yourself and believe in yourself and always treat others how you wish to be treated. Look at them like a mirror and then this will be easy. The world seems massive but in actual fact it is such a small place, there is no point to be petty or hold grudges. Life is so short so the kinder we are to one another the more beautiful a place the world would be.