Ana Cassian @ Central Models
Energetic and adventurous, Ana irradiates this amazing energy that involves us in her story and her stories. She probably doesn’t fully realize it, but she is a role model, for aspiring models and strong girls that can see in her the strength to persevere.
Where are you originally from?
Moldavia! Another one from Moldavia... there is also Daniela (Hanganu).
Great genetics coming from Moldavia!
We’re a mix, you know? Our grandparents were Bulgarian, Polish, Gipsy... In my genetics I have Armenian, Polish, Russian and Gipsy. Not one Moldavian! Cassian is an Armenian name, but my mom and dad were born in Moldavia...
When I go to castings abroad I end up introducing myself as Portuguese. This was the country that welcomed me and gave me the head start in my career. Of course I always explain my background, but I have a Portuguese ID and Passport and proudly represent Portugal. But sometimes... I don’t know... when I was in the Miss Universe contest in 2010 I tried to be discrete because there were Portuguese girls also participating and I started thinking that maybe people wouldn’t accept the fact that I was also representing Portugal... But I feel at home here! My family and friends are here...
Did you always dream of becoming a model?
No, never! When I was young I wanted to be in the police force or do something badass. I used to watch a lot of X-Files and wanted to be a secret agent! Or something that would allowed me to kick people hahaha! I was also influenced by my father, who was a prison guard. It was inspiring to come home and look at the military gear.
So how did you start your career?
It’s a long story, but putting it short, my mom signed me up for the Pantene hair contest. On the day of the casting I showed up and my current directors, Emília and António, were there. I did the casting and had some photos taken and then they called me aside and told me that, even if I didn’t win the contest, I should pass by the agency to talk. I went to Central Models a few days after and signed with them!
It isn’t common for models to stay in the same agency for so long. What do you think is the most important thing about your relationship with your agency?
I’m very loyal. I’ve always had a familiar relationship with my bookers and got along very well since the beginning. They supported me and gave me great advice. I’ve been together through good and bad moments and I think it would have been unfair of me to abandon my agency during worse moments. And, honestly, I was never interested in changing. I really like them and have absolute trust in them. I know we are in it for the best and the worst.
What do you like the most about being a model?
Traveling, of course, and getting to meet different places and people. And having the opportunity to work with creative people... designers, makeup artists, stylists, photographers... I always feel proud for being able to be a part of these projects!
What have you already done abroad?
I’ve been in Barcelona for six months... with a break during Summer, because nothing really happens in this time of the year.
How was it like?
Barcelona is not much different from Lisbon. Of course, there are a lot more opportunities. The city is more a metropolis and you have a lot going on. The jobs are better payed also... But I didn’t think there were huge differences regarding the market. It was great for me to learn to be alone and to speak English because no one spoke Portuguese... or Moldavian, of course! It was a good experience. I like adventures.
Of every work you’ve done so far, what was the one that impacted you the most?
I really enjoyed doing Angola Fashion Week. I don’t really get to do a lot of runway shows and I love doing it, so to have this opportunity was unforgettable. I hanged out with different people in a different place (Luanda).
Part of the modeling work is going to castings. How do you deal with rejection?
When I go to a casting, I know they want someone like me. If they want a latina, I’m not going, of course! So I hear a 50/50 yes/no. But even nowadays, when I get a no... it’s hard. I always try to let it go and leave with my head up, but it’s hard. You start thinking where you went wrong. But when I leave and have another casting to go to, I’m already focused on that casting!
What are the most important characteristics a model must have in order to be successful? Besides physical attributes.
To have an interesting personality, I would say. It’s important to have other hobbies and interests besides fashion and to always try to learn new things... things that can enrich your character.
And what do you do besides fashion?
I love reading and searching for astrology-related stuff. I would love to take an Astrology course and learn how to make na Astral Map.
Tell us something curious about you...
I love eating sunflower seeds! It’s weird, but I love it and eat a lot and really fast. I peel them while eating. When I was in Barcelona me and the models in my apartment used to do contests to see who ate more of them. I always won. I always had a bunch of seeds in my plate at the end.
You said you liked reading. Is there a book you can recommend?
I’ve recently read “Wild”, by Cheryl Strayed. It’s amazing... it’s about self discovery and adventure. A story about gaining courage.
What advice could you give a young woman who would like to be a model?
I’m terrible at giving advice! Well... I would tell her how to deal with rejection and how to be ready for a casting. I had to learn it the hard way, going to castings and not having everything I needed. Nowadays I always carry heels and a bikini in my bag. You never know! Besides my book, always have a bikini and a pair of heels! And you also need a strong attitude. To think that, if a client doesn’t chose you, ten will. It is important to keep a positive mind!
What about goals?
For my career or my life?
Well my life goals keep changing. I like to live in the moment. There is a sentence I love… “live like you’ll die tomorrow and learn like you’ll live forever”. It fits my personality. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring me and am constantly learning. As a model, I would like to have the opportunity to do at least 10 Vogue covers! I’m keeping my goals realistic and won’t say I want to be a Victoria’s Secret model!
photography Gonçalo M. Catarino
styling Catarina F. Pinto
make up & hair Tiago Figueiredo
model Ana Cassian @ Central Models