Q&A with Mehran Khaledi and Phoebe Rutaquio
Solo Online Model Search 2010 Grand Winners Mehran Khaledi and Phoebe Rutaquio both have a good head on their shoulders and a lot more going on besides that.
Read on the very interesting personal insight into the lives and minds of our winners.
Q&A Mehran Khaledi and Phoebe Rutaquio
1. How do you feel now being the new faces of Solo?
M: I feel happy and blessed that this opportunity was given to me. Since I started modeling it has been my dream to have a big project such as this. It showcases my passion and love for my work.
P: It feels awesome! I have always been a fan of Solo and I have never imagined that I’ll be modeling them some time in my life. Haha!
2. Did you expect to win? Why or why not?
M: Not really because I know that everyone who joined the contest worked really hard for their entries so I knew the competition would be tough.
P: Not at all! I was already ecstatic when I was called for an interview as one of the finalist, for me, I was a winner already. It was past January already and I didn’t receive any callbacks or anything so I thought someone else must have won already. But lo and behold, that faithful day of February, I received a text from Solo. I was practically jumping around after that.
3. When you saw all your contenders in the Solo Model Gallery, what were your thoughts?
M: I found their entries artistic and each of the entries stood out in their own unique way.
P: I enjoyed browsing through the gallery because it goes to show that Pinoys are really creative. I love the concepts that my contenders presented. Some of the models too were exceptional, which is also why I did not expect to win. Anyone of us finalists deserved it.
4. What do you think about an Online Model Search vs. an actual Model casting search?
M: It’s good because in today’s generation knowing the influence on internet many people would rather go online than attend a model casting search. Nowadays, people have more time to go online so an online model search is more exposed to the public.
P: I think an Online Model Search is a good platform for us aspiring models. It gives us a chance to show what we got. Plus it gives the public a voice – they can comment and vote for the models they want to see donning Solo clothing.
5. How did you go through the process of submitting your entry? Who conceptualized?
M: Louie and our friends conceptualized the shoot and they chose me as their model. Louie was the one who submitted the entry.
P: I’ve been working with Em before we decided to join Solo. She’s a good friend and a great photographer, one of my favorites. With conceptualization, basically we wanted to emphasize the Larry Alcala clothing item from Solo since that is the point of the competition to model and look great in Solo clothing. We kept that in mind with the styling and the graphic design. We wanted to make it simple but still edgy. The location of our shoot was actually in an empty swimming pool. I was sitting on the stairs. It worked pretty well.
6. Tell us the story of your entries.
M: Me and Louie thought of the name The Soloist because in our photo entry there is a piano and the name SOLO is in the word Soloist so we thought that it would make it catchy.
P: Slice of Glam give us a peek of the modern Filipina lifestyle. It shows the modern Filipina on top of her game. She is confident, independent, and of course, glamorous.
7. How did you get into modeling? After winning the contest, do you really want to pursue this career?
M: Before this contest I was already into modeling, since I was 19. I was really skinny at that time so I started to workout at the gym and started my career in modeling. It took awhile for me to bloom as a model but if you really love what you are doing you will succeed in it if you really work hard and put passion into it.
P: When I was in my last year of high school, my friend invited me to model for his school project. He posted the pictures online and someone else saw it and invited me. The rest is history. It’s basically in that cycle – through connections. That’s one of the key things in the modeling industry I believe. Yes I really do want to pursue this career.
8. Your greatest dream?
M: My greatest dream would be to be successful travel agency business owner so I could take care of my family one day especially my mom. She risked everything to take care of me and I love her so much.
P: To become an epic filmmaker.
9. What do your consider your greatest achievement? Your greatest failure?
M: I achieved my greatest achievement when I saw my mom proud of me for the first time because of some of the modeling projects I did. She would always tell her friends about me and how proud she was to have me as her son. When she also found out that I got to be the new face of Solo she cried and was so proud of me. I felt so happy and I had another greatest achievement thanks to Solo =)
P: My greatest failure… Haha I don’t have a major major failure but… haha! Just kidding. It would have to be not being physically active enough, with sports or whatnot. I never tried to pursue any when I was a kid. A few years ago, I dislocated my knee. I can’t do or play any sport at all. I can’t even run. I miss it.
My greatest achievement would have to be me being able to finish my education. It was a long and faithful journey and here I am now trying to be independent, doing what I can do.
10. Share with us your hobbies and interests
M: I love to play sports. I play basketball, swimming, soccer, badminton, wakeboarding, billiards. Im a varsity swimmer in our college department in school. My passion is my work which is modeling. Im an adventurous person. I like to do a lot of outdoor and recreational activities like trekking, hiking, sight-seeing, snorkling and of course I really love to eat!
P: As I’ve said I like making films. There’s a part of me that always want to play with ideas and stories. I want to capture my ideas with films or videos. Other than that, I like reading and collecting books, blogging… I’m very much into fashion, and I’m also a business-minded person.
11. Where do you study? Course?
M: I am currently studying at Centro Escolar University in Mendiola, Manila. Im taking up BS Tourism Management. When I graduate I plan to save up money and I will work first in a travel agency to get to know the flow of the business then I will start my own travel agency and I would still sideline at my modeling career.
P : De La Salle University. October 2010. Major in Commuincation Arts.
12. Your shoutouts.
M: Thank you to my family Vincel, Maziar, Mehrdad, Maryam, my Dad and especially to my Mom for everything you’ve done for me. To Denice Sundiam for your love and support and making me realize how important I am. To Apollo and Athena. To my bestfriends Bryan Forronda, James Torres, Heinrich Omana, April Sun , Isabel Blaesi. Thank you to Mr. Jojo Victorio and the Victorio staff for all your support in my career. To Dr. Nelson Avelino. Lui, Athan and Jay thank you, if not for you guys I wouldn’t be in the contest. To all my friends thank you and to the whole Solo team thank you so much. And lastly thru this big achievement I want to thank God for giving me this wonderful blessing and for believing that I deserve it. Thank you everyone!
P: Thank you family, friends and to everyone who voted for me and believed and supported me. Thank you Em for inviting me to join and getting me as your model. Most of all, thank you Lord for blessing me with this opportunity. And thank you Solo team!