By Alex Knies – Phresh Off the Runway
Model – Kia Low @kialow

Kia Low is both a model and a student. By night she crams for her exams, but by day she is walking in fashion week after fashion week. Signed with NEXT models in New York, Paris, and Milan and Chadwick Models in Sydney, Kia has balanced both demanding practices better than most.

I had the pleasure of talking to Kia just after Australian Fashion Week- which, of course, Kia was in. Besides modeling in Australia, Kia has posed for high-fashion brands like Dior and Rodarte and walked for designers like Chanel, Giamba,. Other than the fact that she jets off to Paris every now and then, Kia is your normal, laidback Uni-girl.

kia low

How long have you been modeling for and what has made you want to continue modeling?

I have been modelling full time for almost 4 years. I love meeting all kinds of creative people from all over the world.

You’ve done a lot of modeling overseas- Paris, New York- so how is working in those fashion capitals versus Australia?

Australia is a much smaller market which means it can be at times less stressful.

A lot of models- including me- dream of walking for Chanel and Calvin Klein, which you’ve done! What has it been like to walk for these highly regarded brands? 

It is such a cool feeling walking and working for such amazing designers. I remember when I first started I made a list of all my dream jobs and Dior, Chanel and Alexander McQueen were at the top of my list. It’s really an unbelievable feeling to accomplish them. Such a whirlwind.

kia low
kia low
kia low

In fashion, there’s always some interesting new pieces displayed at fashion week. What’s been the most interesting and/ or most memorable look you’ve walked in?

If we are talking ‘interesting’ I would have to say what I wore for Alexander McQueen plus the hair and makeup plus the runway set. I truly felt like I was in another universe.

Is the fashion shown in Australia- especially fashion week- different than in other fashion weeks?

No matter where you work for fashion week it will always be stressful running to castings and fittings and squeezing 5 shows in a day; however I found Australian fashion week a tad more relaxing as majority of the shows were in the same location . It was also a lot of fun running around with your friends from one show to the next and experiencing the rush before hitting the low

One fashion trend lately has been models off-duty. Do you find yourself always dressing camera-ready, even when you aren’t modeling?

I think model ‘street style’ and ‘models off duty’ is becoming a lot more popular, which scares me so much!! I’m not the most stylish person and on my down days I like to be as comfortable and natural as possible.

How would you describe your style? Has it changed being surrounded by all of these designers and fashion icons?

My style is Black, Blue or White and never ever tight haha. I think since working in the fashion industry I’ve learned that less is more and to invest in good quality pieces and low

And who’s the most interesting person you’ve encountered while working in fashion? Have they given you any words of wisdom?

100% Raf Simons!! He is such a visionary in fashion. He made me feel apart of the Dior family for at least four seasons and the way he works and acts is truly amazing.

Was modeling always on your radar? Or did you have other plans for your future?

I’ve always had an interest in modelling but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would take off as much as it has. University was and still is my plan.

How are you able to balance school and modeling? Do you see both being beneficial for the future, or is modeling more of a side gig for you?

I love the fashion industry and see myself working in it forever ! I am modelling now but also studying a business degree in Sydney. I plan on working the business side of fashion when I retire from modeling.

kia low
kia low

With balancing both, you must not get a lot of sleep! Would you say you’re maintaining a healthy lifestyle right now? Is exercising a priority as a model for you?

I feel like I am finally finding the balance between school, work and travel. Eating healthy food and doing Pilates and yoga is what I enjoy doing so I don’t see it as a ‘priority’ I see it as my ideal way of life

Besides exercising, what’s something you like to do to prepare for Australian Fashion Week?

I try and get as much sleep as possible before fashion week because let’s face it you don’t sleep for the week of fashion week. I also try to zen out at yoga to handle my stress.

What advice can you give to aspiring models?

Do it because you love to do it. See modelling as a fun experience and adventure. DO NOT get too caught up in the stress of the industry, like any job it shouldn’t be the only thing in your low