Sunday, October 2, 2016
Erzullie Icon and Plus Size Model Chezka Santos used to consider herself to being "just" a fan girl of the brand, even if the truth was that she was already a full blown Erzulliesta. Now that she went through #TNEI2016 and earned her "fierce", what was once a "dream" of hers was now a reality. But dreaming it and having it are two different things --- can she handle being the new "IT" girl of the plus size fashion industry? She shares her thoughts.
#1 Congratulations! You are now an Erzullie Icon! How does it feel?
If there's a word greater than HAPPIEST that might be one I am feeling right now. I can’t imagine that it was just a dream, but now it’s really happening! Emotions are high, happy, overwhelmed, surprised.I just can’t! But at the same time, I got nervous too when I have realized the responsibilities of an Erzullie Icon. But I know I have prepared myself for it and I am ready to face any challenges. So I got sooo excited for what's in store for me.
#2 Did you expect to be taken in as one? Why or why not?
To be honest, I didn’t expect that I'll be taken in as an Icon. After Carol's exceptional performance during the final Photoshoot, I felt like I will not make it. Though I know I did great too during the entire TNEI2016, I still felt like this is going to be Carol's time. Well, I stopped expecting that I will get the Iconship, but I never stopped hoping. I’m just so thankful that I think Erzullie saw something in me and that they gave me this great opportunity.
Of course it will be great if both of us will get it, but if only Carol did get accepted, definitely I'll be more than happy. Carol and I are really good friends, I know how she worked really hard for this and I will be, again, more than happy if she got the spot.
We've known each other for quite some time now and we share each other's stories, I know how she patiently waited for her time.
I've seen the hunger, the passion, the love of what she's doing and i couldn’t be more proud if she will finally get what she really wanted. I’m just so privileged to share this #TNEI journey with her.
#3 What was your reaction when you were told you were being offered the Iconship? Why so?
Surprised! As in so surprised!
Since I’m not expecting anything, I just can’t believe it when I finally got the email. To be honest, I have cried tears of joy for it. The emotions were overflowing, I was so happy, excited, nervous everything! I just can’t believe the dream is now a reality.
#4 Now that you are an Icon, what are your initial thoughts about your upcoming responsibilities? Why so?
Being an Icon doesn’t only mean that you get to model high-fashion masterpieces, but there is always something that is way more than that. Being an Icon means you have to represent, very well, a certain demographic. With that, I know that there are huge responsibilities ahead of me. Well, skills wise, I know I still have a lot of things to learn. I have to be developed more. But like what I've said, I came prepared, I know that being an Icon is not going to be easy but I've made myself ready for anything.
It is not just about pure modeling. An Icon represents each and every Erzulliestas out there. If you are an icon, it’s your responsibility to serve as a good example. You have to be mindful of your actions. Live to your personal advocacy. Spread positivity and serve as an inspiration to others.
#5 Who do you think do you represent in the Erzullie-verse? Why so?
At first, I was really not sure who I represent. I think I don’t know myself that much that I think I just represent average women who wants to give fashion industry a shot. But big thanks to Ms. Aries and to Erzullie, that they made me realize a lot of things. That I’m not an average type of girl. I know that I’m an extra ordinary woman who represents well those young, fun, and playful Erzulliestas of the next generation.
#6 Do you think that you are better or lower in modeling skills with regards to the current Icons? Why so?
It’s quite obvious, of course I am lower in modeling skills compared to current Icons. I truly believe that I still have a lot to learn and that I need to work really hard to improve my skills. I accepted it whole-heartedly of course and I am looking forward to the learnings I'll gain on this journey. I think I have to undergo extensive training to develop myself and I couldn’t be more proud that I’m being trained by one of the bests in the industry. I’m just so glad of this opportunity.
#7 You have been a self-confessed Loren Monares fan. How does it feel to be part of the Erzullie Icon roster? Why so?
Yes! Im a very big fan of Ms. Loren!
And being part of the Erzullie Icon roster is just freakin' awesome! (excuse my word)
Knowing that I might have a chance to work with her makes me shiver. It’s just part of my daydreaming before but now, there’s a big possibility it will happen real soon! I’m just soooo excited for that day to come!
#8 Do you plan to imitate Loren Monares’ success? Why or why not?
Ms. Loren serves as an inspiration, really. Success wise? Who wouldn’t want to be like her? Of course, I want to imitate her success but not specifically imitate her as an Icon. I believe we have differences and no matter what I do, I will never be Ms. Loren. But I'll make sure that people will know me as Chezka Santos, not just a fangirl, but a Chezka Santos who will be equally successful in this career. I will work hard until I won’t have to introduce myself.
#9 Are you looking forward to headlining your own collection someday? Why so?
Of course Yes! During the go-see, I've mentioned that if I won’t be able to make it as an icon, that’s fine as long as I will see myself in the website. Haha. Of course, headlining a collection would really mean something! It means Erzullie trusted me to represent masterpieces, and I think that’s going to be my ultimate goal as an Icon.
#10 Now that you are an Erzullie Icon, will you be applying some changes? Why or why not? If yes, what are those?
Changes for the betterment. Absolutely Yes! I've started changing actually. I started with my personal appearance. I always make sure I look presentable. I've started studying make up application too and started practicing moving in high-heels. All for my personal development. But one thing's for sure. My heart will never change. The attitude will remain the same. The love and the passion will be unbreakable and I'll make sure I will forever be the Chezka you guys loved since day 1!
Erzullie is an invite-only fierce plus size fashion designer brand from the Philippines dedicated to serving the style of the empowered Erzulliesta. Get invited: www.erzullie.com