Introducing our #TIALSBB of the week, Kaneema Hill. Kaneema starred as one of our vintage beauties in our Women Try On Fair Trade Inclusive Millennial Pink Lingerie video. We got a chance to chat with Kaneema behind the scenes on the set about how she got started in the modeling and fashion industry, her point of view of traveling the world and her message that she would give girls wanting to pursue modeling as well!
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How long have you been modeling and how did you get into it?
I signed with O Models agency, based here in Los Angeles this February, but I’ve been modeling off and on for fun for several years. My first true job was on the Torrid website several years ago. I was scouted at one of their stores actually. One of their buyers and their stylists said I fit the denim so well and asked me to come in for a test. It was all very serendipitous.
What got you interested in becoming a data analyst in the fashion industry?
I went to college for engineering, quit a couple of years into that program, then went back for fashion merchandising. Buying seemed like the perfect blend of creativity and math. I love analyzing sales data (Mondays are my favorite days in the office because of this) and I also like being efficient. While honing my skills as a buyer, I took several free courses online on different programming languages: VBA, SQL and currently Python. I left that job after almost 4 years and moved to London to study lingerie design. When I came back, I knew I didn’t necessarily want to get right back into buying full-time but was open to various freelance opportunities in planning, reporting or buying. I loved working at my freelance job so much, they actually asked if I’d be interested in staying on permanently. So I work for a clothing company as a Reporting Analyst for the buying division and as a Store Allocator.
If you could choose your one true love between data analyst and modeling, what would it be?
Honestly, I can’t decide, they’re both very much so a part of who I am. I’d find a way to marry the two if I were forced to choose. But I can tell you that my absolute one true love is cooking and entertaining!
You’ve been to so many different countries!
Which ones are your favorite and why?
My dad is from an island in the British West Indies called Anguilla. Most of his family are either there or based in Europe, so my parents made it a point for us to travel frequently overseas. My favourite city is London, hands down. I don’t need a car, it’s so cosmopolitan, tons of history and the WEATHER! Give me all of the rain and overcast days please. This LA native is not one for the 327 days of sunshine and heat we get;anything over 75 degrees is unnecessary. I think it’s so important to travel; it makes you realize people are truly the same no matter where you are. I’ve traveled on shoestring budgets, staying in hostels, couch surfing, etc. (made a bunch of lifelong friends along the way by doing that too) and have returned the favor back to all of my friends as well. I’m taking a break for a bit from doing big trips and working on saving up for my last continent, Antarctica!!! When I was 10 I promised myself that I’d get to all continents by the time I’m 35.
Almost there with some time to spare!
What is something that you want people to know more about you?
I have been obsessed with all things Martha Stewart, Julia Child and Nigella Lawson since I was a little girl. My favorite TV show is Martha and Snoop; Game of Thrones is the second. One day I’ll meet her (Martha) and probably fangirl or faint. They really got me interested in entertaining and hosting people.
What would be your message to any girl who is looking to get into modeling or the fashion industry?
Modeling has changed so much because of instagram and it has truly been the great equalizer as far as representation. I think it’s done a great job but we also have to be aware that very few women are solely models even though it seems that way on their IG. Most of the supermodels make their money from other entrepreneurial endeavours. Look at Tyra, she’s an author and TV host; Heidi Klum, TV Host and Model; Ashley Graham, model, spokesperson, collaborates with multiple brands for capsule collections; Karlie Kloss, TV correspondent, created a code academy for girls, side hustled by baking cookies! Modeling is great and it can provide a great launching point for all of your other endeavours.
I think the number one thing to remember is that you must always be a student of your business;you are responsible for your own growth and development. The second is that you are your own spokesperson. Write that resume, practice those poses. These are your calling cards.
When you’re not working, what is something that you do you in your spare time that brings you joy?
I’m most likely doing one of the following: hanging with my family and friends; recipe testing and menu planning for a dinner or brunch; designing a bra; decorating my house.
What are your plans for in the future?
Due to an illness in my family, this year has taught me how to slow down and really be present in the present. We can make all the plans we want, but if you aren’t taking care of yourself and your health (and sometimes even if you do) life can throw you a big curveball. I used to plan my life out down to the minute in an effort to maximize all of my hours and it wore me down into the ground. Finding a true work/life balance is key.
Such as big picture tasks, I’m working on filming content for my other instagram dedicated to all things food @KaneemasKitchen. My friends prodded me into starting it up because they say I make things look super easy to do in person when entertaining and on my IG stories. I started posting cooking videos as an inside joke for my close friends on my main account with the hashtag #KaneemasKitchen thinking no one cared about what I eat. Lo and behold, I get more DMs asking about my food than anything else!