Algo Brehane is proof that hard work and determination pays off. While many aspiring models lined up for their chance on American’s Next Top Model, Algo hit the streets and took destiny into her own hands by going into boutiques and offering to walk in their runway shows. It quickly paid off and Algo was booking gigs for L.A. Fashion week and soon became a designer favorite.
I was fortunate enough to meet Algo’s mom Mary (a former model herself) at Skin.Graft’s Spring 2011 fashion show. She put me in touch with Algo, who is as sweet and down-to-earth as her mother is. I may have gone to a fashion show that night but I left with two new friends. When I watched her on the Runway I knew she was destined for great things. The crowd cheered every time she came out on the catwalk. She knows how to work it and after viewing her portfolio it’s obvious that she is a born natural. I’m willing to bet that fame will last a lot longer than 15 minutes for Algo.
BM!: How did you get your start in modeling?
I started out catching the bus and began to walk to boutiques in the greater Los Angeles area asking designers if they needed models.
BM!: What was your first big break?
I received a contract from Next Models on the spot. Shortly after, while celebrating, a random man asked to take a photo of me and I said, “Sure.” The next day I ended up in the Ford offices on an open call for men and received a contract. As it turns out, the man who had stopped me on the street the day before called me and told me that he worked for a casting director and they wanted to book me for a Levi’s campaign! The next day I was sent out.
BM!: Are you signed with an Agency?
Currently I am signed to Photogenics Models.
BM!: What should a relationship between an agent and a model be like?
My agents at Photogenics are wonderful. They give me guidance on my career and the motivation that I need to keep pursuing modeling. In my opinion, it is nice to have an agent that will be straight forward with you.
BM!: What is one thing that is inevitable for a new model to have?
New Models should remember to keep a positive attitude. You never know who is watching!
BM!: Why do models fall on the runway? Do they grease the catwalk?
Models fall on the runway because of different reasons. I just cross my fingers and try to figure out how the garment moves before I step out onto the runway…and, no, the runways are not greased - ha-ha!
BM!: The fashion world is very competitive. How do you deal with it?
I love to compete with myself the most because I will always keep pushing myself. To keep a balance of happiness I turn to dance, acting, and singing. I have been performing all of my life, so those things really help to release any doubt I may be having with modeling!
BM!: Did you learn about the modeling business yourself or did you have a lot of guidance?
I have mentors, friends, and family who continue to watch my career bud. If I didn’t get up and experience things for myself then none of the wisdom given to me would matter.
BM!: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I feel as though every moment of my career has been a delight! It is such a blessing to be able to wake up and do what I love. Every day is a new highlight for me.
BM!: Has your modeling taken you to NY Fashion week or to other countries?
So far my modeling has not taken me to New York yet! I also have not traveled to other countries just in the states. I am optimistically hoping that New York and other countries will be in the cards soon.
BM!: Are there specific designers that always request you for a show?
Skin.Graft Designs requests me every year for their show. I serve as a muse for Gerardo Reyes, the head designer at Skin.Graft, and will be doing fittings for their 2012 collection!
BM!: Who are some of your favorite designers?
Gerardo Reyes, Temperley London, Chloe, Lanvin, Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld and many more.
BM!: Is it important to have your mom at your shows?
I love it when both of my parents are present at my shows! They’re awesome mascots - ha-ha!
BM!: How supportive is she with your career?
My mother was a model during the 80’s, so she is extremely supportive.
BM!: How would you describe your personal style?
I kind of just accumulate clothes, wake up, and throw them on. Some days I will look a bit like a bohemian and others are days where I look like I stepped out of a 20’s film.
BM!: What is your favorite part about modeling?
I enjoy every aspect of modeling from the collaborative process of making lovely images to visiting my agency and traveling. It is absolute bliss!
BM!: How do you maintain a healthy sense of self-esteem and positive body image?
I exercise and eat healthy. Bikram Yoga and Cycling classes have been my favorite so far aside from taking various dance classes.
BM!: What is your dream modeling job?
I want to walk in all of the major fashion shows, such as Zac Posen, Chanel, McQueen… to name a few. Also I want to do more fashion films and book as many campaigns as possible - ha-ha!
BM!: What motivates or inspires you to achieve your goals?
My friends and family motivate me to keep pushing forward.
BM!: When you are not busy modeling what are your favorite things to do?
I enjoy choreographing, hanging out with friends, and taking on dance projects, as well as projects geared toward acting and performance art.
Interview by Nikki Neil. Opening photo by J. All other photos courtesy of Photogenics.