Reality TV Games participated in a post-elimination phone call with America Next Top Model 14's Gabrielle Kniery.
How old are you?
I will be nineteen next month. (height?) 5' 9 1/2' (hometown?) St. Louis. (What is your connection with Florida, that was mentioned as your home on a blog?) That's a fake page someone made that up a year or two ago. It is untrue it says that I am twenty-two... I'm bisexual, all of that is untrue. It sucks because now being in the spotlight people think that it's true. (When did you find out about it?) I googled myself a long time ago when I was with my old agency to see if my photos would pop up and that popped up. I think it was made back in 2008 or 2009 (Do you know who put it up, they put up real pictures of you?) I have no clue who made it.. someone sees you trying to do something and there is always someone who wants to to tear you down. (What is your ethnicity?)My mother is German, my grandmother came here from Germany and my mother was born here and my father is black.
What is your personal style?
I would describe my personal style as kinda crazy because I don't care. If I feel comfortable wearing it I will throw it on because I don't really care what people think, matching is over rated.
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You mentioned that not having a relationship with your father has affected you when it comes to relationships and black men, what did you mean about that?
I have just recently been in touch with my father, I don't know if it is related to this or not, but (in the past), I have had contact with both sides of the family. I was rebelling against men and relationships in general because I have seen women being held back from what they want by men. I am very open minded but I feel that I have things to learn and I want to put my career first before I have a relationship, I am not downing it I just want to be stable in my career.
How did you come to be cast on Top Model? Why did you try out?
I always wanted to model... modeling has always been an interest of mine... really the whole industry. My mother has always encouraged me to go after the things I wanted. [One day] my friend called me up and she was like, "hey auditions are going on for Top Model and do I want to go with her?" and I was like, "sure!" and she came over and spent the night I went and ended up getting a call back to Chicago. (when did you graduate, it doesn't seem like it was that long before you were cast on the show?) I graduated on May 31 (of 2009) and a month or two later I was on the show. [later] I wanted to get hands on experience and I wanted to get my face out there so that people could recognize me and know that I have a passion about what I'm doing.
Since you were eliminated so early were you able to meet your goals of getting more exposure and experience.
I think that from the first episode I showed that I had knowledge of the industry and how interested I was in it. I think being the first person cut you are always getting the short end of the stick So it is unfortunate, but I can't complain that I made it much further than a lot of people who wanted this.
Did you think that your elimination was fair?
I thought that it wasn't fair because that was not my best photo, but I think for a lot of the girls that was not their best photo. I thought that was kinda unfortunate that they were critiquing the worst photo, but you know hearing what they have to say about my photo even though it was the worst photo I will make sure that none of my other photos turn out like that again.
Do you agree with the judges assessment of you?
I can't disagree like I understand the neck thing and now that I have come to realize it, I can take it into consideration going forward. Now I will make sure that I elongate my neck and make sure that my eyes aren't dead and things like that. They weren't trying to be mean they are just telling you the truth.
Which is the best memory you have about your experience on the show? Would you change anything?
I enjoyed the exposure and the experience and I really enjoyed getting to know the girls that I met. I made a lot if good friends, when I think about it I wouldn't change any of it.
Who were your closest friends in the house? Who have you kept in touch with?
I was closest to Ren and Angelea. I have kept in touch with them, I speak to Simone and Naduah every blue moon... I talk to just about all of the girls.
How did you feel about your makeover? Are you planning on keeping the look or changing it?
It took a while to get used to it, but after I got used to it I like that [Tyra] gave me this look because I probably never would have done this look. I wanted to change my look and a a lot of people were like, "No don't bleach your hair!" so I'm glad Tyra gave me this look, I think it's pretty cool. (Do you still have your makeover?) I still have it but I am letting it grow out though. I am keeping the look because I really like it.
What few words pop in your mind about...
Jay Manuel - Extraordinary! Amazing! He is someone that I really look up to. e is the only person portrayed as he is. I liked hearing things that he had to say about me, I really took it into consideration and was like yeah well maybe I do need to change that. When it comes to the industry, I really do look up to him as an icon along with Freja.
J Alexander -He is a character. Just being around him, of course you want to impress him but he makes you feel really relaxed and that you can be silly and goofy but modelesque at the same time. He makes everything a little more fun.
Nigel Barker - When we were at panel he said a lot of good things but we did not get much of a chance to interact. I met him like a year ago at his wife's save the seal party and he was really down to earth cool. The person his wife used to babysit is one of my old roommates from the agency that I was with.
Andre Leon Talley - I don't really have an opinion of him because i did not get a chance to interact with him, other than I know that he has made a big impression in the industry... other than that I do not have an opinion.
Tyra - I really appreciate her giving me the opportunity to experience all this. I mean I did not get a chance to interact much with her, but she is an amazing person and beautiful.
When did you start modeling?
About three years ago, I went to this Barbizon audition but I didn't know that it was a Barbizon audition and [the representative] was like, "Gabrielle you don't belong here, you belong in New York and if you can come up with a ticket next month is the MAAI convention and if you are able to go, we would love to have you. I was able to go to the competition and there were about fifty agencies there - Wilhelmina, Ford, Elite... top agencies from New York, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Miami. I won the runway competition and I got thirty-seven call backs... I had the most call backs. I ended up signing with ID, a boutique agency because I wanted to grow and I wanted an agency that would look after me. I've been with them since I was sixteen, well I was seventeen when I went to to New York for the summer. It was the summer after my junior year, I left school three weeks early and was in New York from May through the beginning of August them. I did a lot of test shoots and I worked for MAC, Make up Forever, Redken and ??? [unintelligible]. I did a mix of print work and demos... hair and makeup were the main things that I did in New York. I was working with them until they closed down last year... not long after they closed down I had the opportunity to try out for ANTM.
What kind of comments or feedback have you gotten about your look?
I have been told that I look very interesting... because I don't look like the average mixed person.. I am very pale with porcelain skin. People may think that I am being conceited when I mention it but it is something that has been said to me by a lot of people and therefore I bring it up when I'm asked about it.
Who are your favorite designers?
Christian Dior... John Galliano
You mentioned Freja Beha Erichsen as a favorite model, what is it about Freja that appeals to you.
She is so different than the models I see. I like the way she carries herself, she doesn't care what anyone says. I think that someone like that should be looked up to because someone is always looking at you and waiting to talk down about you. I like how she is so feminine looking, she is like a handsome woman and the way she carries herself she is like a boy in a girl's body. and I think that is totally unique. (Who are your other favorite models?) I am in love with Natasha Poly and Lily Donaldson'
Not counting any of the Cycle 14 cast, who are your favorite ANTM competitors?
I love Caridee, she's cool. I love Lisa Jackson from Cycle 9, one of my friends introduced us and she has been like a big sister. She has been helping me get my foot in the industry. She's awesome.
You can come off as kind of harsh... well not harsh, direct may be better word, do you think that that will help you in your career?
Yes, being direct to a certain extent. I don't want people to think that I am harsh, I will say what I feel but then I know how to be respectful about it. So being direct may give me an edge... maybe, but it's because I know how to say what I feel but at the sane time be respectful about it and care about what other people think
What have you been doing since the show?
I just stopped working at Starbucks... I've been working there for three years. I like to sew... when I have free time I sew (Do you do the designs and make the patterns?) Yes I design.. I like to draw and I make the patterns.My mom taught me and from there it became an interest and I taught myself from the rest. (what kind of clothes do you design?) Classic but more urbanized for today's times. It is stuff that an older person would wear but so would a young person
What are your plans when it comes to modeling?
I am definitely going to go back to New York. I will probably move there this summer and stay with some friends for a while and figure out where I want to go from there. (What about agencies?) Ford was really interested in me a couple of years ago, so I'll try to see what Ford thinks as of now... see if they are still interested and go from there.
What type of modeling appeals to you?
I love runway because I get a lot of compliments on my walk. Editorial and runway are my number one goals to do.
Are you on Facebook, Twitter or some other social network / blog?
I am on Facebook as Gabrielle Michelle. I had a twitter but I had to deactivate it but I will probably make a new one. (Update: Gabrielle's Twitter).
Tuan Lee, antm411
Thank you Gabrielle!
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