Rita Ora On Being A Brand & What She Wants Aspiring Models To Know

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In 0ne of our previous America’s Next Top Model post, we  confirmed that Rita Ora will replace Tyra Banks as the show’s host (see it here). In our last post, we reported that model Ashley Graham, Paper magazine‘s creative director Drew Elliott, and stylist Law Roach will join Ora on the show as judges (see it here).

Ora is currently in Tuscany, shooting a film. Taking a brief break from filming, she chatted with WWD about being a brand, and what she wants aspiring models to know.

I feel like I’m in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in the town,” says Rita Ora. “There’s no one here. I feel like everyone knows each other and I’m the weird outsider.

It’s not just about finding a beautiful girl,” Ora says. “It’s about finding a beautiful, smart, reinventing longevity brand. I really wanted these girls to understand that after they go through the bootcamp of ‘ANTM,’ they’re gonna be up against the Gigis and the Kendalls and the Bellas and incredible young models and have to stand out.” And to stand out in Ora’s eyes, you need to have a brand.

America’s Next Top Model premieres on VH1 on Dec. 12. Outside of modeling, Ora will release a new single in February and has just wrapped her 15th and final collection with adidas. She is also returning to Fifty Shades of Grey in its upcoming sequels.
In England, Ora is a superstar, but Stateside, she’s having a hard time being understood. Some people don’t know if she’s a singer, designer or model. Well, she’s all of those things.

I can’t speak for the whole of the United States of America, but I’d like to say that I think this perspective of me is really exciting, being a celebrity model, a fashion designer, a businesswoman,” says Ora when asked what she thinks of people’s misconceptions of her. “I think it brings a unique voice, a unique perspective to the whole series. It’s as simple as that. It’s more about these girls rather than me. But I guess I like to say that I bring a breath of fresh air to the whole perspective of ‘America’s Next Top Model.’ I never try to be more than I am on the show and I always remind the girls that I’m in the same boat with you. This is the first time I’ve ever hosted a show. I can just tell you how to be a brand and how to be good at it. And that’s really it.”

Ora on Banks involvement in the show (we mentioned that the fashion and media mogul will stay on as executive producer).

Tyra is still very involved,” Ora says. “Obviously she was the original host and she’s now an executive producer and she will continue to, for the new season as well, make appearances.”

It’s clear she’d rather focus on the models and the one lesson she wanted them to learn: that it’s better to be a brand than to just be beautiful.

I think just being a beautiful lady is not enough anymore,” she says. “You can always be beautiful, but what else are you gonna give to our culture? And how are you gonna have people wanting to look like you and dress like you and listen to you and your voice amongst the beautiful Gigis and Bellas of the world? I wanted these girls to believe in themselves and know that once you get out of this show, it’s the real deal. So they take on multiple tasks, out on the street, being endured. I don’t want to give too much away ’cause some of them are crazy. You have to watch.”

Ora has mastered the art of staying busy, but being ambitious often comes with a price. What’s her secret to doing it all?

It’s just a sacrifice that you have to make,” she says. “Is it sleep or is it work? I choose work and I guess that’s just what it is. My personal life definitely doesn’t balance out, but it’s just one of those things, isn’t it?”

Photos Credit: VH1

Source: WWD

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Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of www.dmfashionbook.com. For all general inquiries please email don@dmfashionbook.com Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.