A conversation with the fashion model Victoria Monette.

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Best airport and why?

My favorite airport is London Heathrow. They have such awesome shopping and one of my favorite places to dine on a layover is "Giraffe". Anytime I have a layover coming from Paris or flying directly out of London to go back to the United States I always make sure to stop by and order the Belgian waffle with sliced strawberries, honey drizzle, Greek yogurt on top. I always tell all of my friends to make sure they go to Giraffe to try it.

Worst/craziest cab drivers are in ... ? and your experience was?

The absolute worst cab drivers are in New York City! The way they drive is so scary and so reckless. It makes me feel like I am in one of the Fast & Furious movies! I am a huge Uber fan. I have used it in San Francisco, New York, Dallas, Australia. In the last year I have become a VIP with them.

Top, backstage in hair at the Academy of Art University Graduation Fashion Show 2014. Bottom, on the runway. Photographs: Steve Phipps / FAMAMOCA.

This is sort of trivial but I'm backstage a lot, so this is near and dear to my heart: What show had the best food for cast and crew?

I honestly think the Academy of Art show has the best food selection. They are always so great about providing a healthy, hearty and filling meal. I truly appreciate that about them. Some people take the shortcut of just ordering pizza. I'm not saying pizza is a bad thing but it truly does not provide the nutrients and energy for a long day of work. I always show up to jobs with healthy snacks in my bag and a bottle of water just in case.

Victoria, we're going to time warp you back to the 1970's. You're getting a guest spot on a television episode. Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Charlie's Angels, MASH, Star Trek, Dallas, Hawaii Five-O, Three's Company. Anything, whatever you want. What show, who's your character and what's her story?

I would definitely have to choose Charlie's Angels! My character would have to be "Victoria", a fierce yet funny, independent, and strong woman. Dressed in black leather and knee high heel Stuart Weitzman boots who secretly joins forces with the original Charlie's Angels to go undercover, solve crimes, and save the world! I mean what girl doesn't want to be a Private Investigator?

Oh, you even gave wardrobe too. That's great.

You were just here for the Academy of Art University show. You were in one of the model lounges, also known as the hallway outside Makeup, and there was a discussion among the models about differences between markets, Europe or Paris versus New York, say. Also the service and direction that different agencies provide. Would you please talk a little about those differences and your experiences in different markets and with different agencies?

On the runway at the Academy of Art University Graduation Fashion Show 2015, for a collaborative project for Hervé Léger for BCBG Max Azria Group. Photograph: Steve Phipps / FAMAMOCA.

In general I think each of those markets is very different and every girl's experience is also different. I have had such awesome experiences in London, Paris, Australia, New York. London and Australia are more of fashion and commercial markets, where as Paris in my opinion is mainly fashion. And then you have New York which is a mixture of everything. Also, the direction and service each girl gets and the quality of it depends on what agency you are with. All of my agencies have given me great direction and service and then also being able to apply my own experiences and things I have learned along the way is the cherry on top.

I wondered if you might talk a little about model apartments or accommodations you've had while working abroad. Where it was, what the neighborhood was like, what you had to adjust to. What was it like for you living there?

To be honest, I have never stayed in model housing. I always find a reasonably priced hotel to stay at. I have heard great things about model housing and also negative things. I just would not want to stand in a line of ten girls to take a shower or not be able to use a mirror to get ready for my castings and events. I find it easiest to stay in a local hotel. I feel like it helps you to be more focused and prepared each day.

In Paris I always enjoy staying in the 1st Arrondissement which is the center of the city. In Australia I stayed downtown on Castlereigh Street in a "hotel-apartment". In London I always stay in the Paddington area and in New York I always stay on the Upper West Side. The only thing you really have to adjust to is not having a car and relying on public transportation or Uber to take you everywhere. It's definitely something you have to get used to but after a while you get much better at it.

Also, if you are overseas you don't have access to using apps on your cellphone like you do here in America. Which means you have to unlock your iPhone or buy an unlocked phone and insert a sim card that can give you unlimited data, talk, and text in the country you are in. Which also gives you access to maps on your phones and apps for the subway.

Would you talk a little about your decision to postpone college? Is there any one piece of advice or input you received that was helpful or persuasive?

On the runway for designer Feijing Song, at the Academy of Art University Graduation Fashion Show 2013. Photograph: Steve Phipps / FAMAMOCA.

I actually had an opportunity when I was eighteen to go to Los Angeles. I had just graduated high school and this opportunity came up but also the opportunity to go to my dream school LSU, Louisiana State University.

Long story short, I passed up the opportunity to go to Los Angeles to model and continued on with my plan to attend LSU. I attended LSU for a full year, joined Zeta Tau Alpha, and was on a plane more than I was in my classes due to modeling commitments. At the end of the school year with much prayer and consideration I decided to pursue modeling full-time. I even talked to the dean at LSU about my situation and they were all so supportive. They told me that I could always come back to LSU whenever I wanted to but that it seemed like I had some big opportunities in front of me in the modeling industry.

I have now been modeling full-time for three years and have gotten to do so much in this short amount of time. I am so thankful and grateful that I have such an awesome and supportive family behind me, cheering me on everyday. The best advice and input I have received is just following my heart and to pray about everything. God will take care of the rest. Without Him, I would not be getting to do this. College will always be there but the opportunity to model is not!

Our thanks to Victoria Monette, and Ian MacKintosh at the Academy of Art University.

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