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Freelancers in fashion during coronavirus crisis: the model

By Ole Spötter

Apr 7, 2020

Fashion |INTERVIEW

What do professional models do when there are no fashion shows or shootings due to the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic? Many of them are freelancers who move from job to job, so steady work is crucial.

In this series, FashionUnited spoke with several sole proprietorships from the fashion industry - from a safe distance, of course - what the current situation looks like for them and how they are dealing with it.

Today the Portuguese model Maria Rosa reports from her lockdown diary. The 18-year-old lives with her family in a rural area near Lisbon.

pictures: Editorial for Emma Magazine by Branislav Simoncik (left) and Costume Magazine by Sarah Stenfeldt (right)

The Portuguese capital is also home to her head agency We Are Models. In Germany and Denmark, she is represented by the Scandinavian agency La Management, with its’ German headquarters in Hamburg. For assignments in Spain, Rosa works with Uno Models and worldwide with Next Models.

Before the coronavirus crisis limited her work, she was shooting with fashion companies like Marie Claire, Esprit, Courreges and Lhers; adorned covers of fashion magazines like Costume or Wam and walked the runway at the Portuguese Fashion Week.

We asked Maria Rosa what it is like not to be on the road all the time and how she spends her time in lockdown.

Picture: Zoe Jordan

What is the current coronavirus situation like for you?

At the end of what will be my third week of isolation, I am hopeful that the world will gradually return to normal again. I remember that during the first week, me and my family were shocked as if we could not believe in the reality of the facts that threatened to change life as we know. Also, because I always enjoyed spending time away from home. Travelling is my favourite thing ever and being a model gives me the chance to travel a lot. So it was very difficult for me to adapt to this new reality. As a consequence I try to be as active, as productive as possible. The hardest thing to deal with is that I am a people's person and not being able to be with some of my loved ones is a little tough but in the end we will take good lessons out of this.

Picture: Lucie Hugary

What does your everyday life look like right now?

I am living one day at a time. When I wake up I plan and organize my day and I fill it with activities that make me feel positive and calm. It can vary between taking a walk (because I live in the countryside), spending a day in the kitchen devoting myself to new recipes or painting with my favorite pencils. I spend a lot of time with my family and we do a lot of things together which is great because I feel like we've never been more united.

How worried are you about the future?

At the moment, I am mainly concerned with the possibility of populations in developing countries being infected with the coronavirus, as they do not have the economic or social capacity to face such a crisis. In addition, it is impossible not to think about the possibility of a global recession that can have as a consequence the increase of unemployment or hard times in some areas of business or the instability of students and their school paths. However, I would rather focus on the positive side of every story and the truth is that this pandemic brought a whole re-learning of human values. On a personal level, the only thing on my mind right now is when I'll be able to pack for the next trip and my next experience.

diary

Are you aware of any support measures for freelancers in the current economic situation? Do you feel well informed or rather a little helpless?

Although I am not aware of such measures, I do not feel helpless at all. I have been working closely with my mother agency, which has developed alternative and innovative projects to promote their model's image, which are not only positive and challenging for us, but also for the fashion market. For that reason, I completely trust the sustainability of the coming months. Generally speaking it's pretty clear that freelancers are always amongst those who are left behind concerning financial supporting measures and face more difficulties in the developed societies. On the other side and depending on the area, freelancers have the freedom and opportunity to be creative and find new ways to pursue their goals.

What is your current favorite distraction?

There is something about the simplicity of gardening that fascinates me. To sow something that will grow into new life is one of the purest sensations that exists. Plucking weeds brings peace to my mind and the smell of grass and flowers is refreshing. Besides that, I am also spending a lot of my time in my basement, learning how to play drums and practicing some of my favorite rock songs.

”the simplicity of gardening”

If you're working on a project during the lockdown, can you tell me a little bit about it?

I love art and I've always been a big fan of handcrafting. So I challenged myself to build a kind of personalized diary in which polaroids, notes, mementos, poems, clippings and drawings are mixed on the pages of the notebook, reflecting moments of my life that in the future I will certainly treasure.

Picture: Editorial for Dscene Magazine by Mirko Morelli

To find out more about the impacts of Covid-19 linked to the fashion sector, visit our dedicated page.
To read more of this series click here >> 

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.DE, translated and edited.

Fotos: Maria Rosa/We Are Models