June 18, 2024

Illiana Stevens takes on New York

LWARONA TIGEDI & NOMVULA MOKOENA

“Life is a fashion show, the world is your runway” ~Coco Chanel. Illiana Stevens puts this quote in motion by venturing out into the unknown world of modelling, in 2022 as a 14 year old anorexic on the way to recovery and self-discovery.

Just like most teens, Illiana struggled with having to see herself in a different light. “Beauty is the ability to be confident in your own skin and do what you want without allowing negative opinions to slow you down” Illiana tells us how she views herself as a confident and strong individual and doesn’t let people rain on her parade anymore. The beginning of her modelling journey was not easy, often she felt useless and viewed herself as a sorry excuse for a model because at the time she didn’t have the same skills as her peers and no goals to chase the industry. Ever since then, she has grown immensely, mentally and physically that being said she continues to surprise herself on a daily basis by achieving things she never thought were possible.

In July of 2022, Illiana received a message from her coach informing her about an open call audition for the International Arts and Talent Showcase (IATS). When she received this she realised that many doors could be opened for her. At the time, her pessimistic thoughts told her not to get her hopes up but little did she know, after her second audition she would get a call back informing her that she had secured her place on the runway of ‘The City That Never Sleeps’, New York.

The first audition was held in Bloemfontein. The audition consisted of a one-minute acting monologue and an attention-grabbing strut down the runway. Not only did Iliana receive a call back for modelling but for acting too. The second round of auditions was held at Silverstar Casino in Johannesburg. The only difference was that this time she was being judged by talent scouts and international celebrities like Blaze Johnson and Nate Butler.

Iliana may not be a successful model yet, but she has the busy schedule of one. Directly after her audition in Johannesburg she was back on the road on her way to Cape Town where she was busy with non-stop photoshoots and agency visits. One of the agencies she went to was 33andMeTalentAgency, who offered her a contract which might start her journey as a signed model.

In July of this year, well-known designers chose Iliana as a model to represent the Free State at The Durban July.

Recently, she was chosen to be a model at the Sony Alpha Photography launch. She had become a human mannequin for 4 hours straight, dressed up as a character from Squid Games to allow the photographers to test out new equipment.

With the modelling industry continuously evolving, Illiana hopes to become another modelling success story.