Holly MacAlpine was 13 years old when she was first ‘discovered’. She was at Manly Wharf at one stage and there was a youth modelling competition being run and televised. She was asked to get involved and it was there that she got her first taste of being on stage and walking for an audience. Nothing ever really came of that day, but that was the experience that got her thinking about modelling as something more than Australia’s Next Top Model, as something real and worthwhile that she could do. Fast forward to today and she has now been in the modelling industry for over 7 years.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Holly to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:
How did you start with modelling?
I started modelling formally in 2014, signing with THE.MGMT for what would be a 4-year long contract. The agency took me under their wing and helped me find my niche in the market, developing my own look and style.
What do you like most about the modelling industry?
I love the collaborative nature of modelling, being a part of a creative team and helping amazing designers and artists realise their vision.
The downside to being a model?
I think that being a part of the modelling industry from such a young age made me overly aware of my outward appearance, placing too much importance on how I look rather than how I felt or what I thought. I think that this is something all women go through, but especially those within the modelling and entertainment industries, and I am still working on loving my inner and outer self unconditionally every day.
What has been the most memorable experience of your life as a model so far?
I was a part of a fashion show at the Star, paying tribute to the supermodels throughout the ages including everyone from Kate Moss to Cindy Crawford. I got to play the role of Jerry Hall and embody her on the runway as I wore a vintage Thierry Mugler dress. This was definitely a stand-out experience for me.
I’m guessing you’ve been in the industry for a few years now, what has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned. This can be about the industry or about yourself. Or both!
Something that this industry has taught me is to never let anyone other than yourself decide your worth for you. Sometimes you won’t be the right fit for a role or campaign, and other times you’ll be perfect. But as long as you are your most authentic self, what is meant for you will be yours and you should never try to change yourself just to fit into someone else’s mould.
Working in an industry whose only emphasis is on the outside characteristics of a person, how have you stayed grounded?
I think that it is so important to have goals and interests outside of the industry. Things like the gym, my degree, and my family and friends remind me daily of what is truly important.
What are your favourite downtime activities?
I am an absolute Northern Beaches baby, if I have a day off then you will find me down at the beach, being in the salt and sun is a huge part of my identity. I also love going to the gym. My partner is a personal trainer and is beginning his body-building journey, so the gym is a place that we bond and spend quality time together.
Is your family supportive of your career?
My family is very supportive even though they don’t understand it. My parents definitely had mixed feelings about the modelling industry when I first started, as they had heard the worst about it in the media, and I was so young at the time. But now they see how happy it makes me, and how strong of a woman it has helped me become.
What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.
I recently completed my degree in journalism and non-fiction writing. Ideally, this year will consist of lots of freelance writing and travel. My partner and I would love to move overseas for a couple of months if COVID-19 lets it happen.
The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:
1. Last good movie I’ve seen: I recently rewatched Princess Monoke, one of the Studio Ghibli animated films. I love Studio Ghibli for a feel-good, relaxing night.
2. What do you consider beautiful and why? ‘Beauty’ is entirely subjective and forever changing, I think that the only thing that is considered universally beautiful is the human capacity to love and care for one another.
3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? There are so many things that I haven’t done yet, and that I’m excited to do in the future! I definitely look forward to competing in Miss Universe at some point in the next couple of years. I feel that that experience will be a big step in my journey.
4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d be…” travelling the world with no sign of coming home soon, I think that we all have a sense of fear and responsibility around doing the “correct” thing, going to university, getting a job, buying a house, etc… I think that I would feel less tied to that narrative if I had no fear.
5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? I would have to say how emotional I am, whilst this can often be a flaw, I also think that how emotional I am helps me empathise with others and grow stronger relationships. I wouldn’t trade my personality for anything.