Source: Shakara Studios / Shakara Studios
Name: Asia Trebian
Agency: Self Represented
Claim To Fame: Trebian was a contestant on the modeling competition show Thick House. She has also been featured in ads for Ankara Ready-To-Wear brand Mae Otti.
Asis Trebian started modeling in Kansas City. The smaller scene, full of boutiques and grass roots shows, provided a hands-on learning experience. “Because it’s so small, it’s pretty easy to hear about castings,” she told HelloBeautiful. SHe said the region has “a lot of fashion shows.”
“We’re known for creativity, the arts, jazz, barbecue, of course,” she added.
Through friends’ encouragement she found her way to representing accessories brands and other local retail brands before taking a break to figure out her next move.
She plotted how to turn her practice into a full-fledged career not long after she began. “Before moving to LA, I was actually in school,” she told HelloBeautiful. “I went to cosmetology school at Paul Mitchell and so I was going to school and I was also working at a bar. And then after I graduated cosmetology school, I started working at a hair salon downtown doing blowouts.”
Trebian used the work she was doing to invest in her goals after receiving some practical advice. “My goal in working and going to school was honestly just trying to get to LA, to be here, to do modeling and music, but my mom was like, you need to have something in your back pocket so go to school for something just so you’ll have a way to, to have an income. And so that’s why I ended up going to cosmetology school because I was already pretty naturally good at hair.”
That skillset allowed her to have “an easy transition moving to LA,” by picking up shifts at Drybar (the franchise originated in California.) “At first I didn’t invest in myself. I just kind of did everything on my own, but it’s important to actually get out there and get a good feel of how it’s going to be,” she said.
She attempted to get signed to an agency but was met with resistance from would-be recruiters.
“It’s really been hard for me to get assigned with an agency, honestly,” she said. “ I haven’t had the best of luck. I’m not really sure, but it really surprises me sometimes when I get the email back that unfortunately I’m not what they’re looking for at the time.” She acknowledged the element of randomness that can come into play in the industry. “I kinda get the run around to be honest,” she said. She noted how who you’re talking to, where they work, and what’s on trend where, can have an impact on your future. “They’re like, oh, you know what, you’re perfect for New York. And then you go to New York and they’re like, oh, you know, you’re better for LA. I think it just depends on what they’re looking for in the moment,” she said.
She listed a number of alternatives aspiring models can look to to kickstart their own careers the way she did. “There’s model, mayhem, model management, there’s groups on Facebook,” she said.
“Some of the first jobs that I got in LA were from there’s like groups on Facebook,” she revealed. “So that’s where I’ve gotten a lot of exposure.”
“My role at first was to sign with an agency, but as I’m talking to models that have done it [for] way longer than me, that shouldn’t even be your main focus. And that’s also what I want to share to other models that are coming up too. Don’t be so focused on signing with an agency just because you signed with an agency doesn’t mean that they’re going to have consistent work for you as friends or something, and you see hardly ever get booked,”she continued.
“ So don’t be so dead set on getting assigned with an agency.”
She advised other models to locate “somebody that can work closely with you and understand you and your brand and help you.” She opted to raise her own visibility by joining the cast of The Shade Room’s modeling competition series Thick House. She hopes to be one of the faces that takes plus-size visibility beyond tokenism. “Ultimately, I want to be in high fashion,” she said.
“ I don’t feel like there’s enough African-American women, enough plus-sized women doing high fashion.” As she continues to move forward and begins booking more work, that skill set her mother encouraged her to develop shows itself on sets frequently when hair and makeup is present with every step she takes.
“I get so annoyed all the time,” she admitted. “I look at their brushes if they’re clean or not, I look at how they’re blowing my hair out, how they’re stringing it, all of it, even the makeup artist is all the same thing for me,” she continued before adding. “I know everything.”
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