Zelda Sher: Butterflies Fluttered in my Stomach
Having been picked up by an exclusive model agency while still being underage was something to be super proud and excited about… as of now, less than a year into modeling, I’m signed with two of the leading agencies that represents models in New York.
Modeling for me means I can experience being a different character each time I’m on a different set, and then there’s that feeling when getting ready for a day doing what I dream about — that’s indescribable and exhilarating!
I love being on set! I love absolutely everything about it. The newness of each different brand, meeting new professionals, and the adrenaline rushing through me — all this makes me someone other than the everyday Zelda who still attends a full time school. I get to live out my dreams. It is like partaking in a mini movie and having different lives, creating a different character each time. I never complain about hot, cold, uncomfortable, back pain, neck pain, full body pain — all that can wait until I get home, nothing can be compared to the energy of being on set! Not having been in the world of modeling too long, nevertheless, when I think back, I have much to reflect on. In a truly short period of time, in the span of less than a year, I feel like my life has come full circle in the most satisfying and fun way.
As of today, I have a publication in print in a US based magazine, an editorial at “Lemon”, which is a European teen magazine, as well as four high fashion editorials published in “Harper’s Bazaar”.
The most exciting event of my budding modeling career so far, was when my favorite make up artist Jas Doyle told me I had been considered for a perfume campaign for an edgy and innovative brand “Rich Mess”, created by an award winning designer Ryan Richmond. I was beyond honored and excited to be considered for the job, so I was speechless when Ryan confirmed me. Why? Because Ryan’s previous work experience included such high-end luxury brands such as Alexander Wang, Tom Ford, Jimmy Choo, and countless others.
On the day of the photoshoot the butterflies fluttered in my stomach. Elated and running on pure adrenaline, that day turned to be an amazing working experience, and it did not even feel like it was work because I had a chance to meet all those talented and wonderful industry professionals, whom I can call my friends now — from the photographer Tomohisa Kinoshita, who flew in all the way from Tokyo for this photoshoot, to an incredible hair stylist Lazarus Douvos, and of course, a beautiful make-up artist Jas Doyle, whom I mentioned earlier. We all became a mini-family!
Later, I was lucky to be booked on a number of commercial jobs, ranging from teen clothing lines to an educational and optical campaigns for major retailers nationwide. Designers are reaching me out to model their clothing on Instagram thanks to the solid follower base I painstakingly built, and are getting more daily. I love it all!
For as far back as I can remember, my main passion was art, specifically drawing and painting. Never having any art teacher or lessons, I taught myself from watching videos how to draw and paint with different kinds of techniques and materials. It is still for me the way to express myself whenever I have free time for that. I never thought of becoming a fashion model when I was younger because I wasn’t tall and lanky, which I believe was necessary to be accepted into the beautiful and unique world of fashion.
I happen to love YouTube, but not for the crazy content some of my peers like to obsess over, no, for me it was the watching of the vodeos of beauty gurus and skincare professionals. I loved trying out some of the make up tutorials, so I was hooked, enthralled by the process and the efforts that would pay off one day.
While watching those beauty shows, I felt something changed inside me, like an alter ego, some other Zelda who saw herself there, walking the runways, posing for beautiful editorial photoshoots, being the face of the high end luxury brands. I am not a shy person, but also I’m not the life of the party either, and this was something that I could not help but start to dream about. When everyone was out, and I was home alone, I would put on a little makeup, do my hair differently and dress up in some fancy clothing, try on high heels and off I went practicing my imaginary runway walk and look on my face, imitating the models I saw on TV, imagining it was me there.
The dream overtook my thoughts and finally I asked my mom if she would help me try out for modeling, if she would support me in this. I wanted to show her that I was serious, so I sat her down and modeled my runway walk in her high heels. I knew she would start thinking about it, and would move heaven and earth to try help me. And that’s exactly what happened. After some research and a few shady “opportunities”, and there are plenty of those when for example they ask you to pay for portfolio images a few hundred bucks above the regular price or pay a one-time sign fee — just run away from such agencies, because those are more likely some ill-reputable fakes. It is heartbreaking to see how many model hopefuls get taken advantage of and are being duped by these smooth talking con-artists who know what to say just to get you “hooked”. Of course, I had a few bumps along the starting line, fortunately these ended rather quickly for me.
My love for modeling and everything associated with it started off with my obsession for travel. Having been lucky to live in different countries since birth, I could not imagine any other lifestyle, but having a source to continue on seeing our world and all it has to offer. Traveling for me means experiencing different cultures, learning new languages, meeting incredibly talented and creative people who share my passions… that’s my ultimate goal of a life well lived.
Though I live in New York now, I was born in beautiful suburb of Sandton, in the city of Johannesburg, in the Republic of South Africa. I love the fact that my family is of diverse descent. Lucky to have so much history and the experience of different languages and cultures of my parents’ backgrounds, besides English, I am fluent in both Turkish and Russian languages.
In 2010, my family and I moved back home to New York, where we lived for five years before deciding on moving to live in Turkey. In particular to the city of Bursa, one of the greenest and loveliest cities to live in. The time spent living in Turkey was most treasured in my heart and mind, as I was lucky to experience the magic of not having to use airplanes for vacationing but rather travel by car to different cities in Turkey, such as Bodrum (my absolute favorite!), Antalya, Marmaris, Fethiye, and neighboring countries such as Bulgaria and Greece. The hospitality of Turkish people, hardworking and always welcoming, is a delight I miss dearly! And the food… from the most delicious soups to main courses and desserts, I adore it all! My childhood was spent in the most beautiful of places, and the memories and experiences of it all I will be forever grateful for.
After Covid-19 restrictions were lifted, and having lived in Turkey for 6 years, my family decided to move back to New York in October 2020. Fast forward to September of 2021, that is when I would like to think that my real experience in modeling started. From that moment on, my life has changed entirely and I am beyond words for the experience I had since then.
I dream of being cast in high fashion luxury brands campaigns, I do not have a favorite for now, I love them all… Chanel, Prada, Saint Laurent, Fendi, Gucci, Balenciaga, Balmain, Dior. I dream big! I love fashion, and.. I live fashion! For everyday wear, I prefer monochromatic colors and elegant outfits, I love classic accessories, dainty jewelry and shoes! And of course… elegant and classy bags.
I’m so excited for what the future will bring. Oh yeah, forgot to mention… I’m just turning 14 years old this year, so the future is definitely bright!