Interview with Une Jonynaite
Please can you tell us where you are from and what is the best thing to do there.
I was born and raised in the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius. I can't single out one activity, there are so many new and exciting things that have happened here in recent years. People have opened galleries, bars, clubs and restaurants. I love going out and being part of the culture. During the quarantine, I've seen Vilnius from a different perspective - the city has a lot of nature, streets, parks, so I like to walk with my friends or alone in places I've never been before.

How long have you been modelling and what has been a career highlight for you?
I have been modelling for 3 years. The biggest highlight for me was when I did one of my first editorials for Another magazine. We shot in Great Yarmouth and I got to meet and work with Lotta Volkova and Johnny Dufort, who are the most incredible artists in the fashion industry and whose work I have long admired.

What was the biggest surprise for you when you started working in the fashion industry?
Watching films and shows, I had imagined that people in the fashion industry were mean and fussy. What really surprised me was that they are much friendlier than I expected, especially those who are the most famous and respected in the industry.

And what do you wish people knew more about the world of fashion?
I wish people could know more about the process of creating a collection. I've noticed that a lot of buyers nowadays don't care about the background of a garment and the message the designer wants to express with it. A lot of people tend to chase after the razzle-dazzle and blindly buy clothes without knowing the story of the garment. I think that's a disrespect to the artist.

What have you learnt from your personal experience of working in the fashion industry?
I could definitely say that I have become more confident. Working in the fashion industry has taken me out of my comfort zone - as a model you're not just in front of the camera, you have to be outgoing, you get to meet so many incredible and talented people that most would only dream of meeting. My sense and knowledge of fashion has also grown, I've become more mature and aware.

Covid-19 has undoubtedly changed the way the world works today, including the fashion industry. How would you like to see the industry change for the better in the future?
I think if there was less production, designers would have more room to focus on creativity, quality and sustainability. I hope that everyone inside and outside of the fashion industry becomes more aware of the impact we have on the earth and we do our best together to reduce the damage and ensure a better future.

What have you discovered about yourself through this year's struggles?
Like most, the pandemic has forced me to pause and reflect on what has happened in the past. I have to admit that before the pandemic, I spent my time somewhat superficially. After realising this, I started to ask myself what contribution I wanted to give to this world. I decided to embrace my creative self, so during the quarantine I prepared for the exams and was accepted into the product design department at the Vilnius Academy of Arts.

Who do you look up to in the industry and why?
Currently, my biggest inspiration is Adwoa Aboah. I admire her energy, attitude, style and looks as well as her project with Gurls Talk. I love how positive and honest she is and how she stands up for women.

Who do you think we should be watching/admiring at the moment when it comes to up-and-coming talent?
Lately I've discovered promising designers like Mowalola Ogunlesi, Rui Zhou, A Sai Ta, Nensi Dojaka, creative director Edward Quarmby, photographers Drew Vickers and Vitali Gelwich and stylist Ursina Gysi. I would love to work with them one day.

What would be your advice to young aspiring models?
I would advise them to always find out who they are working with beforehand and to respect the work and commitment of the artists. Be open, friendly and enjoy the journey. Don't be afraid to take opportunities that it brings you.

In conclusion: As 2020 comes to a close, what are your hopes for 2021?
I hope that people will continue to slow down, take time for each other and focus on their spiritual wellbeing rather than material consumption. I expect 2021 to be a new page for humanity to write a more conscious, loving and caring story.

June 20, 2024