Modelling in SA Menswear Week

Last week Ogilvy called me with an incredible opportunity to model in SA Menswear Fashion week along with other personalities and celebs to model for charity.

Fashion designers created haute couture lifesaver jackets to raise money for the NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute.)

Hendrik Vermeulen Couture were going to design my lifejacket! How lucky and exciting?

At the time, I assumed the lifejackets would be made into fashion and I would wear them with jeans.

What I ddn’t know was that the intention was for me to wear the lifejacket with a bikini.


I am no swimsuit model. I’m a real girl with stretch marks and whilst I’ve been working hard on my healthy lifestyle, that doesn’t mean that I’m ready to strut down a catwalk with 1000 people watching, under bright, unforgiving lights and a whole bunch of media with HD cameras.

(If you follow me on SnapChat – BaileyVanilla – you would have watched my video diary/vlog)

I was very concerned about it but on Saturday when I had the fitting, JD from Hendrik Vermeulen Couture was happy that I wear black hot pants… still revealing, but at least my bum wouldn’t be exposed.

I decided to be brave, fearless and remember it’s all for charity!

I wish I could describe what backstage is like… there are models everywhere and I was lucky, because it was Menswear week, which meant male models. Six packs everywhere. Just saying.

The MAC Cosmetics and ghd teams were set up ready to do make-up and hair. At first, I thought the guys might just need a little powder on their faces to avoid shine, but instead, designers had full looks they wanted. Some had glitter all over their bodies, others had gold paint painted onto their beards and it was a work of art watching the make-up artists get these guys ready.

ghd had certain looks for the guys… there were braids, gelled back wet looks, spiky looks and groomed pony tails.

I was fascinated.

I saw the clothing rack with my name on it… with my outfit, ready and waiting and then it was into a dress rehearsal and hair and make-up.

At first we did a lose, textured down style…

We realised the lifejacket had a really high collar, so we did an up style…

Then we discovered that the lifejacket was bright neon and California girl fun, so we changed it to a high pony tail. It is amazing how fast the ghd team work and within minutes, I had 3 different looks.

I felt really nervous as we all had to line up. How bizarre. Put me on a stage with a microphone and I’ll happily MC an event to thousands. Make me walk a catwalk and my legs turned to jelly.

Once I was walking on, I just grinned – I didn’t do the model-no-smile-pout and just walked and tried to channel my inner Gisele Bundchen! I had such fun and the crowd was amazing shouting their encouragement.

Photo courtesy of Simon Deiner
Photo courtesy of Simon Deiner
Andries Hendrik Potgieter
Kia Johnson and Siv Ngesi

Danilo Acquisto
Carl Wastie

Once the celebs/personalities had walked out, the real heroes walking out from the NSRI. These amazing men and women volunteer at NSRI and are remarkable.

Afterwards, I met up with everyone and walked the media wall…

I felt really proud to be a part of this and thrilled that it was a sold out event – all the proceeds go to the NSRI!

Thanks for having me and thanks to JD and Hendrik Vermeulen for making me feel so comfortable, out of my comfort zone.

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