NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – No stranger to high fashion and unapologetic style, New York City is the fashion mecca of the world for a reason.
While other fashionable cities such as Los Angeles, London, Paris and Milan can all make a valid argument, NYC is perhaps the only one that offers all four seasons, in addition to a variety of looks. Thanks, it’s multi-cultural population of different cultures and races, NYC is also home to a array of talented models and names such as Kemi.
Kemi–whos full name is Kemi Areke– is one of the most in-demand models in the industry, has modeled for brands such as Forever 21, Danessa Myricks Beauty, as well as being featured in publications such as Bazaar, Yahoo! Finance, Model Management and INSCMagazine. In what has already been a banner year for the Colombia Business School MBA 2023 student, Kemi recently appeared and was featured on the world-famous billboard at Times Square featuring the luxury international makeup brand, Florasis.
Below is my Q and A with Kemi as we talk fashion, being featured in Times Square, missing each other at NYFW, and future projects on the horizon.
Who Is She?
Social Media: Instagram @kemiiixo
Media/Campaigns/Notable Publications: Harper’s Bazaar, Forever 21, Danessa Myricks, interviewed by ModelManagement.com, INSCMagazine and Yahoo! Finance.
Publicist/PR/Agency: R.J. Garis
Congratulations on getting featured in Time Square on a billboard! How excited are you about this?
Thanks! I’m definitely excited that I was able to get a Times Square billboard, even though I recently started modeling last year. It was such a great and positive way to begin the new year on a strong note. Very excited for 2022.
What campaign was this for? How did this all come about?
Style Cruze reached out to me, before they released even their first Times Square billboard, so I am very excited that I was part of the top 5 first billboards they released. If anything, they wanted to do it sooner, but I was having 5-hour finals almost every day for Columbia Business School, so I requested them to delay the billboard several weeks.
The billboard is also featuring Florasis lipstick, a luxury international makeup brand.
When Florasis sent me their collection of makeup so many people asked me how they could order Florasis products, but the products were not available yet in the United States. What I love about Florasis makeup is not only the quality of the makeup but also that the makeup packaging and product itself have intricate designs.
You’ve been on quite a roll recently! Yahoo! Forever 21, etc, what has been the best and most exciting campaign and shoot you’ve done.
I would say my luxury sunglasses campaign for Kazokulunettes. This campaign shoot led to an NYC storefront placement, recently on a Long Island storefront as well, during Vision Expo in Las Vegas, and their official website. This is a handmade luxury sunglasses company that I essentially have been the face of.
I’m sorry that we missed each other during NYFW, but it looks like you have been busy. What campaign and designer did you enjoy walking for the most?
Forever 21, and I always love sharing about that experience. I kept it such a secret I didn’t tell anyone until seconds before I stepped foot on the Forever 21 runway. Not only was the show so much fun I really loved meeting the other models who walked the show. I ended up with something like hundreds of pictures and videos from just maybe 1-2 minutes total of walking two looks for them!
What new projects do you have on the horizon?
Definitely, I have several in the pipeline even though 2022 just started!
Any one campaign or designer that you’d love to work with?
I’ll have to think about it!
Special thanks to Ms. Kemii and R.J. Garis for their time and assistance during the interview process.