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Giannina Oteto

A kenyan refugee turned model. New York, USA @gianninaoteto

What was the situation in which this photo was taken?

It was a behind the scenes selfie before a shoot. I loved the makeup and team!

Could you tell us something about what you do

I model for a living, also I am currently starting a foundation for malaria and trying to build a hospital in Kenya.

How did you first become interested in modelling

I honestly never was interested, I thought it was too girly, but after hearing how I should try it out, I gave it a try. I love it!

What do you enjoy most about what you do

I get to be myself, my crazy and silly faces I make with my friends are accepted. I get to talk about my experiences and where I come from.

What are you working on at the moment

Currently, starting my foundation and getting different representation that understands what my overall goal is.

What are the challenges in what you do, and how do you overcome them

Challenges are being not as tall as they would like. I overcome them by bringing who I am, and making sure they get the end results they want. I love being the underdog.

Could you describe your personal style

I love dressing in things no one likes. lol I wear baggy jeans, baggy shirts. I love this to be comfortable. My mom finds the best finds for me in Michigan.

What is your present state of mind

I’m in the best place mentally. Focused and looking forward to the future. Nothing better.

What music are you listening to at the moment

I am currently on the cover of Childish Gambino’s album. And I am a huge fan, so definitely that. The Weeknd’s album, as well as Solange’s album.

Which artists or designers inspire you

I adore Givenchy, Phillip Plein, Mario Testino, gosh so many! I love individuality let’s not forget Versace.

 What is the purpose of art, in your view

Art is a way to express individuality, as well as a way for people to speak their mind, but with so many ways to be able to do it.

How do you spend your free time

I spend my free time with my boyfriend and friends! I love cooking, poetry, hanging out a lot. I’m a free soul 🙂

Model, Giannina Oteto, walking down the street