This month I interviewed the gorgeous Portia Freno whom some of you may or may not yet have come across but . She not only has the beauty but also the brains having studied Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology and World History.
My exclusive interview with this stunning 22yr old model, presenter and entrepreneur highlights how going for your dreams and remaining positive can take you places you never imagined going…
Enjoy and let me know what you think guys
Entrepreneurial, fiery, emotional
How did you initially break into the modelling industry?
It all started when I got scouted by a photographer and shot a commercial, but I didn't take it that seriously and left to study. But I would say my break into the industry has been within the last year; everything has moved really quickly and I am now beginning to get a lot of recognition for my efforts; not only in modeling, but in presenting and for my various projects. My initial break in the States was my spread for SHOW magazine. I shot in LA but the mag is sold internationally. I am still the only European model to feature in the mag
I read you also have your own TV show, what's it all about?
Lol, everyone is eagerly awaiting the airing of Diva Diaries. I am co presenting with no.1 Chinese rnb singer Ayi Jihu, covering great cities, great music, clubs, fashion, events etc. It is a reality show and the initial filming has been a lot of fun. Ayi and I have really good chemistry and are really excited
Tell me more about your Youth Charity Project?
I want to build career development centres, initially in and around London, for the youth. It is an anti gun and knife crime organisation. We need to help change the attitudes of those that feel they need to carry a gun or knife to feel safe. From a young age, boys are being brainwashed and influenced; I want to give them a positive focus and more confidence and support to pursue their dreams, and get them off the streets. I have a lot of exciting projects coming up and will be using the proceeds from them to help push the charity forward. In the near future, you will also see me on a lot of panels, forums and in a lot of discussions concerning the upsetting growth of violence amongst young people. Look out for more info, and please also join the charity page on FaceBook
What is the aim of your modelling workshops and how can one join/sign up?
The aim is to give aspiring models an insight into the industry, not just from my experience but also many other professionals. The classes cover make up, castings, legal advice, personal advice and self-promotion, marketing skills. You get catwalk training, a photoshoot and portfolio and a showreel. The workshop is about to get really really big! I now have some great people involved who work with big stars and can offer invaluable advice and training. There is a huge waiting list! But my team and I kinda pick and choose for some classes; others are open or first come first serve. For more info you can contact my assistant Rebeccariley@hotmail.co.uk or check out and join the workshop page on facebook. http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=9658239703 My website will also have all the relevant information following its launch on the 1st Feb. http://www.PortiaFreno.com. On that note, my official webite and Members Only site launch is on the 1st Feb at Vendome, Knightsbridge. For guestlist or tables contact Rebeccariley@hotmail.co.uk. My Member's Only site will also be very beneficial for aspiring models; I will continuosly post up advice and video blogs and you will be able to follow me around a lot of the time which means you can also learn from me and see how I work! You can sign up in advance via the current site, PortiaFreno.com
What advice can you give to young women trying to break into the modelling industry?
To not give up but at the same time know your market, know what makes your look special. There's no point always going for jobs you aren't right for. Try different styles until you find the one that is right for you; don't be scared to leave your comfort zone. Be selective about the jobs you take. Don't put your face on anything and everything just for the sake of getting work. I turn down more jobs than I take on. Take yourself seriously because if you don't noone ele will. Work on your other talents besides modelling because you will need to have more to offer than just a pretty face if you want longevity and a long career. I'm not going to say anymore; you will have to be a member or attend a workshop if you want to hear more ;)
What kind of obstacles have you come across in the Entertainment industry, especially as a young female, and how have you overcome/dealt with them?
Well I mean obstacles come with any job or career you decide to pursue. The typical ones in this industry are obviously having job offers that aren't serious, or too many creeps trying to get you in bed. I've been quite fortunate and the only real "obstacles" I've had, and I quote the word beause they aren't really obstacles, are just haters or time-wasters; but they don't phase me. I'm still doing my thing. Most time wasters leave me alone once they approach me and realise how serious I actually am
What can we expect from Portia Freno in the future?
Now that would be telling! Those who know me personally or work with me wouldn't be surprised as they know my determination and capabilities, but those who don't may be surprised by the projects I have coming up; they will show a whole new side to me and will really be a big reflection of my entrepreneurial skills. Just expect to see, and hear, a lot more of me. What you are seeing now is just the beginning of a brand
What would you consider to be your biggest achievement to date?
Not giving up or not resorting to doing the typical sleazy jobs/shoots that some models seem to be doing these days. It might not sound like a big achievement but I am proud of myself for sticking to my choice to know my worth and take the time to find my identity and the right route for me. I am also proud of being the first and only model to do a spread for SHOW mag, for getting a shout out from Kanye himself on his personal blog (I have never met him but he heard about me and I was flattered that he recognized what I am doing) I found out the other day I made the top 10 girls of 08 on Kanye's blog as well. Kanye West is huge so it is a good look for me. My main biggest achievement is in fact something I can't disclose right now until the legal side has been sorted out, but I found out a few weeks ago and I promise once that is all tied up I will be mentioning it on my blog http://www.PortiaFreno.blogspot.com. There will be a big launch for the project as well so keep a look out
What would you say motivates you?
Success, seeing results or being able to see the end result. Happiness, having fun, challenges. Having a family that I want to look after...many things
How did your collaboration with Shoot magazine come about?
It was quite simple; I submitted my pictures straight to the editor via email. They loved my look so much that I was asked to shoot for them, despite them only having used models from the States up until then.
I don't really have a favourite quote. To be honest I have a different favourite by the day and they usually come from wise people around me who send me inspiring words that usually relate to what is going on with me at the time.
Oh I ADORE reading although if I am honest lately I rarely have the time and when I do have free time it's usually spent on working anyway so I have been neglecting books recently. :( It takes me a few hours to read a book though; I read Ugly in a couple of hours the other day and it was very touching. I also love Cupcake Brown and Monster. To be honest I enjoy all genres though, from chick flick type books and comedies, through to autobiographies and novels
Many thanks for your time
You are very welcome ;)
Check out Portia’s websites: