Charlene Almarvez | Model in Focus

At a very young age, she has achieve so much compared to other girls of her age. A sixteen year old from Laguna, who got discovered in a Santacruzan and now conquering the runways of New York for world-renowned designers and labels and gracing top glossy magazines.
Runway2Reality interviews Charlene Almarvez, Ford Model and Super Model of the World 2009 First Runner-up. Charlene shares her personal style, humble beginnings, experiences in NYC and a lot more.

Name: Charlene "Chat" Almarvez

Secondary: Laguna State Polytechnic University
Tertiary: De La Salle College of Saint Benilde

Photographer: Niko Villegas; Hair & Makeup: Archie Valencia

Describe your Personal Style, Inspiration and Fashion Philosophy.

I like clothes that are simple and comfortable. I like colors that are pale because it makes me look younger. If you’re comfortable in what you wear you can carry it more with confidence and that would make the clothes beautiful.

They say you're the next Asian Super Model. What can you say about it? How did you start? How long you've been modeling?

I discovered by fashion director Cata Figueroa when he saw me at a “Santacruzan” in my hometown (Sta. Cruz, Laguna). He approached me and encouraged me to attend the go-sees for Philippine Fashion Week. After that, I joined Ford Models’ Supermodel of the World Philippines. Luckily, I won the national finals and went to New York to get training from my mentor Joey A. Espino, Jr. After which, I went straight to Sao Paulo, Brazil for the World Finals…the rest is history. It’s flattering to hear from people that I would make it big in the international modeling scene, but I guess I’ll just take that as a challenge to be more determined to succeed.

How would you compare the modeling scene here in the Philippines and abroad?
Castings are very fast abroad, especially during fashion week and we have 18 castings each day in different locations. In the Philippines, castings take only in one venue. But with regard to presentation and shows and even the clothes, it’s pretty much the same.

Favorite fashion/modeling moment:

When I saw Chanel Iman in person, I thought, “THANK GOD, I AM REALLY HERE!” I thought I would never see the day when I meet the models that I only see in fashion magazines!

Charlene with other finalists.

Challenges and threats that Filipino models are facing in the industry:

When I first got here I saw a lot of different models from around the world…they all have firm bodies, different eye colors, and they are all gorgeous. But come to think of it, the global market demands different looks. I don’t see any “threat” at the moment, since we Filipinos have unique beauty.

Advice for budding professional models:
Be yourself. Don't compare yourself to others and believe on what you can do. Have discipline and most of all offer all to God.

What is your favorite brand, label, shop?

I don’t have any specific brand or label, so long as the outfit looks good and comfortable on me.

Katie Ford, Charlene and mentor Joey Espino

What is the best fashion and or modeling advice you ever received?
Be happy with what you are doing. Be positive and offer all to God.

What is you biggest splurge or the most expensive item you ever bought?
Phone and laptop, as of the moment, because I need them, especially right now that I am based in New York, communication and information are essential.

What advice can you give when it comes to personal style/fashion?

Style with your own clothes wherever you are comfortable with. Your individual style will bring out the best in you.

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