What’s On meets the team at Life Model Academy in Dubai, which delivers model advice and tips on how to be a top model, including style and make-up advice.

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Modelling can be a tough business where cold, ruthless rejection is an everyday occurrence. It’s this kind of pain that led Billie Mobayed to set up Life Model Academy, a new course that teaches grooming, etiquette, presentation, photographic posing, deportment and posture.

“I set up my modelling agency, Life Model Management, some years ago and have the horrible job of having to turn girls away who will never enter the industry for one reason or another,” she explains. “It was heart-breaking to see the disappointment that I was responsible for. Instead of destroying dreams I wanted to help make them come true and to encourage confidence, self-esteem and love so even if these girls don’t become fashion models, they’ll become life models.”

How to become a model - Life Model Academy

The six-week course costs Dhs2,500 and provides a weekly two-hour class. Women can choose a Thursday, Friday or Saturday slot for their session, which can be flexible to fit with school and exams. It’s targeted at girls between 12 and 18 and Billie plans to expand the class to accept men next year. Parents must give permission for their daughter to attend. At the end of the six weeks there’s a catwalk show. “Watching the girls in the final catwalk show brimming with new confidence and a positive attitude is my favourite part of the course,” smiles
Billie. “My goal is to make every girl feel like a supermodel.”

Life Model Academy, White Cube Studios, Fortune Executive Tower, Cluster T, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai. Metro: Dubai Marina. lifemodelacademy@gmail.com


Milica Novakovic
Style Consultant

What is your role within the academy? My role is to help the girls find their ‘inner stylist’. I give them the confidence to think beyond buying the latest item from a big fashion brand, and instead work with combinations that can be pulled together from their current wardrobe. In other words, I teach them to be different.

How to become a model - Life Model Academy, Style Expert

How did you get into styling? From a young age I liked mixing my own blend of outfits, much to the irritation of my mother. This stayed with me, and I went to Milan to study fashion.

Can style be taught? Yes. You just need to give people confidence that will allow them to explore the variety of colours, textiles and accessories that complement their personality.

What sort of tips will you pass on to students? Don’t ever underestimate staple fashion items such as a white shirt or old jeans. They’ve remained fashionable for a reason.

What’s your best advice for looking good? Get a feel for your own style. Once you have an idea what works for you then you can start developing combinations that align with your taste.

Jean Zammit
Make-up artist

What will you be doing within the academy? My role is to teach the girls how to get the best out of their individual beauty. Each face structure requires different contouring and highlighting to bring out the best features.

How to become a model - Life Model Academy, Make-up expert

What sort of techniques will you be teaching? Applying make-up correctly for their skin colour and appropriate make-up for different occasions, from natural day applications to evening glamour. I’ll also be showing them what brushes to use, how to blend, hygiene and organising their kits.

What’s the best thing about being a make-up artist? Make-up is an art form and each face is a blank canvas. I get the pleasure of transforming faces and seeing the joy when a woman’s confidence is boosted.

What’s your best piece of make-up advice? Keeping your skin healthy with a good skin care routine is important. Make-up should also be age appropriate and well applied. Finally, always wear the correct make-up for the right occasion.