17-year-old Connecticut native Lindsay (Lulu) Bonfils is an inspiring up and coming model based out of New York who has already modeled for Gucci and Diesel as well as gracing New York Fashion Week this year. She is signed to the elite modeling agency Wilhelmina and is a part of their plus-sized brand called “Curve.”
Modeling is one of those extremely sought-after and glamorized careers that requires little to no prior experience or education. Perhaps that’s part of the intrigue of it, and the reason why sensation seems to follow any model who “makes it.” The richest model in the world, Gisele Bundchen, made $47 million dollars last year ($16 million more than her husband Tom Brady) and entered the industry as just a teenager.
In a recent interview, Bonfils shares her views on the industry and advice for anyone trying to break into it.
When did you start modeling?
Lulu: I first got started when my friends Julia Bayliss and Mayan Toledano saw me at their party and asked me to model for their brand me and you, those photos led me to getting discovered by a company called cast partner and eventually getting asked to sign with wilhelmina
How many hours does a normal shoot last?
Lulu: Shoots can be super different depending on what or who you’re working for, usually a full shoot day could be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
How many hours does hair and makeup usually take?
Lulu: Makeup and hair usually can take an hour or an hour and a half usually in separate chunks of the day, with 10 minute touch ups, but when there are more elaborate hair or makeup looks it can take up to two hours (laughs).
How many photos are usually taken/are actually used
Lulu: It depends a lot on the photographer you’re working with when it comes to how many photos you have taken, I’ve worked with some who only take a couple hundred the whole day and some who take thousands!
How many people usually work on one shoot
Lulu: Usually in a studio or commercial shoot it’ll be 10-15 but on something like e-commerce work it can be only 4!
What sort of education is required to enter the field?
Lulu: My job requires no specific amount of education, prior experience or internships and plus models specifically have the ability to stay in modeling for much longer until their 30’s because of the usual healthier lifestyle we have than straight size models and the much more diverse market we apply to.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to break into this industry?
Lulu: Get in touch w photographers and start shooting with friends, put together a portfolio and set up meetings with agencies if you’re looking to get signed. Also communicate with brands and designers.
What has been your favorite shoot so far?
Lulu: My favorite would probably be an editorial I did for nylon. it was shot in upstate New York at an old really cool mansion and was done with my friends julia and mayan and I shot with my friends Jada, Salem and Ami! we all wore vintage Chanel and Gypsy Sport which are my favorites.
What is it like being so young in this professional career?
Lulu: It’s interesting being super young in my industry but I’ve always been the youngest in most everything I do so it’s not too crazy. Because of my job a lot of my friends are in their 20s and have shown me another side of the industry that I’m super grateful to see. Plus size modeling is super cool and I’m glad I can do it…”