“Modeling has made me into the confident woman that I am today.”
Meet Mara Wuliger, runway and fashion model. Learn why she fell in love with modeling and how to succeed in the industry.
Mara’s natural beauty and graceful strut are some of her trademarks. She walks the runway, works edgy fashion shoots and features in music videos. Here are some of her favorite looks.
How did you get into Modeling?
For my whole life, my cousin, Shane Knee, has always been the one to tell me to model, so I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to, but never really did anything about it until the Trend*Setting Fashion Show (where Mara and I first met!) in 2012.
What obstacles did you face? How did you overcome them?
I did not have a lot of confidence and self esteem about myself, but many people told me I should try modeling. Ever since I have become a model, I have learned to be more confident. To really know my inner beauty along with my outer beauty.
Ever since then, I have been exploring modeling more and more and it has made me so happy! I feel like I am a part of something really fun. Also to be honest, I really love being able to play dress up and get my hair and makeup done-it would make any woman feel gorgeous!
What is one of your favorite photoshoots?
I really liked my first photoshoot with Demode. It is my favorite shoot so far! We used what we had around us to create really cool photos! We climbed roofs and I got to pose by this really cool car. It was a lot of fun.
Sounds like a blast. Do you have any advice for aspiring models?
Do what you love, which is modeling. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough. When you’re facing a No, know that there are many more Yes’s waiting for you in the future. Keep working hard and focus on becoming what you want.
“Modeling has given me passion and fire in my life. I love how when you go to a modeling gig, you just feel so at home with everyone, it’s almost like a small family.”
Thanks Mara! Look for her next on Charlotte Fashion Week. http://www.charlottefashionweek.com/
The latest looks. Beautiful models. Edgy fashion. A recipe for the perfect fashion takeover.
The 4th Annual Trend*setting Fashion Show was a culmination of talent, beauty, style and something more. This year’s TSFS raised the catwalk for fashion. Talent strutted style, new looks and beauty to prove it.
On June 21th, over 7 up and coming designers featured new styles for men and women on the catwalk at Zinda in downtown Raleigh. From southern inspired classics to edgy Vogue streetwear, this show displayed many faces of fashion hitting the streets.
< And hitting the interwebs. With budding designers on the rise, building an online presence is key for their brand’s success. We feature our top picks below. >
Designers high school and up shared their hottest and most inspired looks. Lines included urban streetwear, a twist on southern classics, daring and dramatic, and playfully edgy.
Models petite to plus size, men and women, pop to flow worked the runway. Talent in Raleigh is unstoppable. The audience and runway’s energy was electric.
Many local models and designers who walk the Trend*Setting Fashion Shows don’t stop there. Produced the last four years and counting by acclaimed model and enterprise owner, Latrisha Valdez-Rushing, the TSFS initiatives are changing the face of fashion in the south. Latrisha recognizes the demands of the industry and gives people opportunities. She recognizes talent and dedication and gives them a chance to shine. (For more about Latrisha, read our exclusive interview below.) Many who participate in the show pursue their talents and become discovered.
Last year’s TSFS put a local designer on the map. In a designer competition, winner Cori Spade shared her looks and now is recognized worldwide for her signature styles. We can’t wait to see what happens this year.
Move over, Hotlanta. Look out, NYC! Raleigh is on the rise. We’ll see you on the catwalk.
What people are saying about the TSFS14:
“The TSFS is a great opportunity to bring local designers together in the Triangle.” – G105 Radio Personality, Kimberlee B.
“Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors.” – Co-Host and Comedian, Jermaine Avery
Exclusive Interview with the show’s producer, Latrisha Valdez-Rushing.
What was the inspiration for the 4th Annual Trend*Setting Show?
I wanted it to be an intimate experience, more like the shows in NYC during fashion week. I wanted it to be standing room only type of crowd. This is why there was limited seating (not an accident). The 4th Annual Trend*Setting Fashion Show was exactly what I wanted.
And what attendees, wanted, too. When you put a show together, what do you look for in designers? In models?
I seek professionalism first, innovation, talent, passion and drive. Having these qualities makes for a well rounded designer who is going places! Models are another story. I look for professionalism, of course, but also loyalty, consistency, confidence and reliability!
How did you select designers for this show in particular?
It depends on the type of show, but just because the designers clothes fit into the theme of the show doesn’t mean they will make it. I go for more quality than quantity.
What motivates/inspires you in the fashion world?
I’m inspired by the art of fashion! When you see fashion from the perspective of the artist and get what the artist is saying or their story, it’s exciting. I’m also inspired by the innovation of fashion, the trend setters in the game!
What’s fashion life like as a mom and wife?!
Being a wife and mom has changed the way I shop and wear clothes, but I still appreciate other people’s perspectives and style like I always have. Now, I just try to figure out how to be stylish and respect my husband, and also let people know that I’m a stylish mom. Which makes me laugh sometimes, because I never thought I would be a wife and a mom, but that’s a whole other story!
What words of advice/encouragement do you have for designers, models, and talent?
I would say to designers, be yourself and don’t fall into the line of mediocre fashion. It’s ok to shine. We, your audience, wants to see you be different. We are tired of the same ole same ole things. To models and talent, know that YOU are in charge of your business, which is you! Make good decisions. Get a real mentor that has professional experience in the world of modeling to get advice. You need to keep your morals and values in check! Know everything out there is not good for you. Be careful.
What else do you want people to know about you?
I have a way in which I do things in this business-always uplift people and give them chances. I just want everyone to do the same. Let’s uplift and encourage one another to move the fashion industry in the Triangle area forward. Forward Movement!
Should Trend*Setting fans prepare for a 5th show? Any upcoming events in the works?
Every year I think either: “The next show will be bigger and better” or “I’m not doing another show”. Next year, I’m thinking I will do a show, but it will be a different vibe then I’ve ever done. I do have plans to do an ongoing pop-up retail type event with fashion and the arts. Stay tuned!
Thanks Trish! We can’t wait to see what happens next.
LaTrisha Valdez-Rushing’s, founder of Avance` Enterprise, fashion career began in the early 90’s as a professional model. She has graced the catwalk for numerous designers including Oscar De La Renta, Betsy Johnson, and Fendi. With decades behind her, LaTrisha continues to remain a vital member of the fashion business, known mostly for her expertise of grooming aspiring inexperienced models into “seasoned, recognizable models” ready for the runway.
Keep up with Latrisha:
The S.M.A.R.T. Hat Collection
Urban streetwear with a message.
Super. Mighty. Awesome. Righteous. Triumphant.
Featured: We can’t deny our love for the baby tee.
A stand-out style with something for everyone. Founded in Raleigh with locations in NYC, Demode is now worldwide. Offers looks for men and women.
Featured: We can’t resist The Vogue Shirt. Available online soon. For what Demode is up to next, go here.
Models to Watch
Nissha McNeil: This girl encapsulates beauty and positive energy! She is going places. As a model, Nissha believes in, “Embracing curves and being happy in your own skin.” Words to live by.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PlusModelNisshaMcNeil
A runway and print model, Mara’s effortless poise and beauty make her a natural. Where you’ll see her next: Charlotte’s Fashion Week! More info coming soon.
Meet the Host: Jermaine Avery
Known for using comedy to connect with anyone, anywhere, Avery is an improv and comedy guru. “Comedy brings people together, it’s universal.” Says Avery on his craft. Advice to comedians starting out? “Be yourself and write. Have fun. Don’t take it too seriously.”
Follow Avery at @averyisfunny on Twitter or stop by Tir Na Nog on Monday nights for a stand-up comedy routine.