In Her Words — Carla Pereira

Photo: Pedro Afonso

Carla Pereira is one of those cases you read about in books. She was just a 15-year-old student at Seixal Secondary School. A friend insisted on taking her to a casting. The persistence paid off and she won the Karacter on Tour contest. Her first show was at ModaLisboa. She knew little about walking in heels, photographs or catwalks. But what she didn’t know was that she had the whole world at her feet.

Do you still remember how you started in the fashion industry?
I will never forget how my journey began. Perhaps that’s because I never imagined myself in this place. Who knows? I keep the moment I entered Karacter, in the presence of Flávio, in a very specific place in my heart.

My inexperience spoke loudly and my nervousness consumed me. New concepts like Polaroids, booker and test shoots. One week under the wing of my booker Har was enough to make me look at this industry through different eyes. I would say with fascination.

Are there any moments you remember with great fondness?
I remember many such moments. I can’t mention any specific one other than the great friendships I’ve made along the way. Friends made backstage, trips to places I never imagined visiting. All of this, plus coming back after so long and being welcomed with such warmth is undoubtedly what I value the most.

What are the biggest challenges of being a model these days?
Maintaining good mental health is definitely the most challenging. It is an industry full of competitiveness, insecurity and uncertainty. Being constantly told “no” doesn’t help you keep a good state of mind and is perfect for shaking us up. Since this is an industry in which people start working at such a young age, I think it’s a good thing to have the luxury of falling asleep peacefully and waking up thinking everything is OK.

Love, affection and compassion are things that are never too much to give. We shouldn’t hold back on it knowing that this is something that is so important and can have such a big impact on anyone’s career. Especially when it’s something that is constantly overlooked.

What has it been like “conquering” some of the world’s biggest brands?
It’s like a dream come true. I remember seeing supermodels at the beginning of my career and never imagined that it could become a reality for me. I recently came to the conclusion that things happen at the right time and, while they may take a long time coming, they do come, so it is important not to give up. My heart is bursting to realise that it all worked out.

What’s your biggest dream?
That’s one of the few questions I don’t know how to answer. As cliché as it may sound, my dream is to be happy. And to make the people around me proud.

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