QUARANTINE DIARIES 2 with : UNE JONYNAITE
Facetime photographed by Mathieu Puga. Words by Charlie Newman.
Please can you tell us where you're from and the best thing to do there.
I was born and raised in the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius. I can’t single out one activity, there are so many new and exciting things have going on here over the past few years. People have opened galleries, bars, clubs, restaurants, I love to go out and be a part of the culture. During the quarantine I got to see Vilnius from a different perspective-the city has a lot of nature, roads, parks, therefore I like to take a walk with my friends or by myself in the places I have never been before.
How long have you been modelling for and what has been a career highlight for you?
I have been modelling for 3 years already. The biggest highlight for me was when I did one of my first editorials for Another magazine. We were shooting in the Great Yarmouth and I got to meet and work with Lotta Volkova and Johnny Dufort, who are the most incredible artists in the fashion industry and whose work I have admired for a long time.
What was the biggest surprise for you when you first started working in fashion?
Watching movies and shows I had imagined that people from fashion are mean and fussy, so what really surprised me was that they are much kinder than I had expected, especially those who are the most famous and respected artists in this industry.
And what do you wish people knew more about when it comes to the world of fashion?
I wish people could see and know more about the process of making a collection. I have noticed that nowadays a frequent buyer doesn’t care about the background of a garment and the message the designer wishes to express through a piece of clothing. A lot of people tend to chase the clout and blindly purchase clothes without knowing the history of it. I believe it is a disrespect for the artist.
Drawing from your personal experience, what have you gleaned from working in fashion?
I could definitely say I have become more confident. Working in fashion got me out of my comfort zone- being a model isn’t just standing in front of a camera, it demands you to be sociable, you get to meet so many incredible and talented people who most would dream to talk to. My sense and knowledge about fashion have grown as well, I have become more mature and conscious about it.
Covid 19 has undoubtedly transformed the way the world now works, the fashion industry included. How would you like to see the industry change for the better in the future?
I believe if there was less production, designers would have more space to focus on creativity, quality and sustainability. I hope that everybody in and outside fashion industry shall become more conscious about the impact we make on earth and cooperate in doing our best to reduce the damage, ensuring a better future.
What have you discovered about yourself throughout the struggles of this year?
As for most, the pandemic forced me to stop and think about what has been going on in the past. I have to admit that pre pandemic I was spending time a bit superficially, having acknowledged this I have started to wonder what kind of contribution I want to give to this world. I decided to embrace my creative self, so during the quarantine, I prepared for the exams and got into Vilnius Academy of Arts, in the product design department.
Who do you look up to in the industry and why?
Currently, my biggest inspiration is Adwoa Aboah. I admire her energy, attitude, style and looks plus her project with Gurls Talk. I love how positive and honest she is and her activism in supporting women
Who do you think we should be watching/admiring when it comes to up and coming talent right now?
Recently I have discovered promising designers like Mowalola Ogunlesi, Rui Zhou, A Sai Ta, Nensi Dojaka; Creative Director Edward Quarmby; Photographers Drew Vickers and Vitali Gelwich; Stylist Ursina Gysi. I would love to work with them one day.
What would your advice be to young, up and coming models now?
I would advise to always learn beforehand whom you are working with, respect artist’s work and commitment. Be open, kind and enjoy this journey. Don’t be afraid to take opportunities it brings you.
Lastly, with the closing of 2020, what do you hope 2021 brings?
I hope people will continue living slowly, taking time for each other and concentrate on their spiritual well-being instead of material consumption. I expect 2021 to be a new page for humanity to write a more conscious, loving and caring history.
Une appears courtesy of UNO Models.