We chatted to Alexis, our latest LH Woman, who we worked recently on set for Pillar. We were instantly drawn to her warm smile and cheeky dimples and her complete zest for life! Alexis is a city lover and jet-setter, between managing her own wig business and powering through a law degree, she still finds a healthy balance with work and life. Alexis shares with us why she started making wigs, why diversity is so important in fashion and her top tips on self confidence.
Tell us a bit about yourself, what can we expect in a ‘day in the life’ of Alexis?
I’m a Perth girl who has recently moved to Melbourne after years in NYC. I was lucky enough to return to Australia just before the Pandemic hit! My life in Melbourne is quite different now. A typical day starts with a jog and some stretching before I have my coffee and check my emails and social media. If I don’t have a shoot or a casting, I will typically study for 8-10 hours (I’m in the middle of my Juris Doctor degree). In the evenings I like to cook and switch off from the books. My creative juices start flowing around 8pm, and that’s when I will start working on colouring, styling and customising a wig for one of my customers.
Have you always had an interest in modelling? How did you get involved with People?
I have often been told I am photogenic and should start modelling. It's never been something I've considered seriously until I was scouted by my manager, who introduced me to People, who I was fortunate enough to be signed by.
What sets People apart from other agencies in Melbourne?
Before I signed to People, I met with a few different agencies who were keen to sign me, but on the condition that I lost weight. I realised that the pressure to change my body was detrimental to my mental health. People were so welcoming and accepting of me, just as I am. They embraced my curves and all my flaws. They are an agency that genuinely stands for diversity in the fashion industry.
The modelling industry is slowly evolving and striving to be more inclusive, have you felt any changes in your journey being a curve model?
I have noticed a shift in the industry. We still have a long way to go, but it’s evident that the industry is pushing to be more inclusive. I think it’s so beautiful when you see all different shapes, colours, abilities and ages being represented. Growing up in Australia, I never saw anyone that looked like me, so I’m thrilled and humbled to be a part of this evolving change towards expanding the definition of beauty.
What are some ways the industry can do better to cater for all different sizes and shapes?
Consistently showcase diversity and actively include people of all backgrounds, shapes and sizes both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. I loved that I had my make up done at the recent LH shoot by Kaydee, a talented First Nations makeup artist!
Not only do you model, you also have a wig business, we’d love to know more. When did you start? How did you start and what are some of the exciting moments you’ve had with it?
Yes, I am the creator of Eniola Hair.
I started my business in 2020, a few years after my sister was diagnosed with Brain Cancer. She had to shave her head for surgery to remove the tumours from her brain. In solidarity with her, I decided to shave my head too. From this experience, I realised how much hair (or a lack of) can impact our self-esteem.
Thankfully, my sister is now happy and healthy, and we are both fortunate enough to have our hair grow back. There are, however, many people who suffer medical hair loss, and wigs are a way to restore confidence and feel beautiful again. The whole purpose of my business is to make every customer feel like a VIP, wealthy in self-love, confidence, and beauty. That’s why I named my business Eniola Hair. It means 'person of wealth' and 'VIP' in Yoruba. It is also my middle name, given to me by my Nigerian Father.
The most exciting moments are when I receive feedback from my customers telling me how much they love their new wig and how great they feel wearing it. That excites me and motivates me to keep doing what I do.
Word on the street is that you’ve spent time living in London and New York, what a dream! Tell us a little bit about that, which was your favourite?
Yeah I’m a bit of a big city addict! I spent 3 years in London, studying, travelling, and living my best life. Londoners are some of my most favourite people, but the weather is a major buzzkill. I’d say New York is my favourite; it's truly the capital of the world. Such an inspiring and special place. It shaped who I am today and taught me to adopt the hustler mentality in always striving to achieve my dreams.
Not only do you also have a wig business, you are also studying Law! How do you maintain a work life balance with all these things going on?
To be honest, I have a lot on my plate, but I love everything I do, so it’s worth it. I must remain very organised and do my best to schedule 'me time' or time to switch off and have fun with some friends. I often feel overwhelmed and wish there were more hours in the day. Still, I always remind myself of how lucky and blessed I am to be able to do what I’m passionate about and to be continuously learning. What a privilege!
Why did you choose to study Law? Where do you see yourself in the next couple of years?
I have always been interested in social justice and equality. A very close friend was wrongly convicted of a crime he did not commit, and I was deeply affected by this. In my life, I have experienced and witnessed some things that sparked a fire in my belly to help innocent people who are caught up in miserable legal situations.
I’m not exactly sure where I see myself in a few years. The great thing about studying law is you can work in so many different fields! I change my mind every semester haha. I can see myself working on law reform here in Australia or even New York. For now, I’m just taking each day as it comes, working on my development, remaining open to all opportunities and enjoying the journey.
What would be your top 3 tips for our LH lovers on confidence?
1- It's none of your business what others think of you; never take on negative opinions.
2- Be kinder to yourself; you live most of your life inside your head, make sure it’s a nice place to be.
3- Always make time in your day to make yourself a priority, even if it's just for 30 mins. Work out, eat well and dress well. When you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you look good.
We would love to know what your favourite LH piece from the shoot was and why?
This is a hard one! I felt so confident and sexy in the grey jacket/ pant set. But I'd have to say my favourite was the cream comfort set. The material feels beautiful on my skin, it has some stretch which makes it extra comfy, and you can dress it up or down. A wardrobe must-have, my sister has already attempted to steal it from me, haha.