Shannon loving life on Milan catwalks
IT'S been a big year for Shannon Guthrie.
No sooner was the 19-year-old lifesaver and university student named Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival Ambassador, than she was heading to Milan for a six-month modelling contract.
One month into her new life, far away from the sun and surf of her hometown, the teenager checked in with the Daily to give an update.
Q: What have been your early impressions of Milan as a city and the local people?
Milan is extremely different from home in so many ways.
It is a big, bustling city with breathtaking architecture and delicious food. It's a mix of old and modern, with a fantastic Metro system, which I'm using several times a day.
The locals are intriguing people! People watching can prove very entertaining and the men pay a lot of attention, always quick to pay you a compliment or two.
The biggest difference to home is that there's no beach! I'm craving a frolic in the ocean.
Q. How are you finding the fashion industry there? Is it anything like what you expected?
The fashion industry in Milan is highly competitive. It is one of the world's fashion capitals and apart from New York is the hardest to break into.
It is brimming with beautiful girls from all over the world who have worked so hard just to get here. I feel very honoured to have been scouted by a leading agency, 2Morrow Models, and considered as worthy of being in this company.
Never having been to Italy, I really didn't know what to expect of Milan before I left home other than knowing it would be very different to anything I'd experienced in Australia.
The language barrier has been a bit of a challenge at times.
Q. What's a typical day for you?
A usual day for me consists of darting around the city to many, many castings for all sorts of jobs: commercials, campaigns, look books, showrooms, editorials, catwalks etc.
Because I'm so busy the days go quickly, which in a way is good but there's so much you want to cram in once you've finished working despite the exhaustion.
There's also regular visits to my agency and photo shoots.
I share an apartment, which is supplied by our agency, with another Aussie, an American and a Brazilian so at the end of the day we have a home-cooked dinner and share our days' experiences, catch up on emails, social media, etc.
We get weekends off and so far have managed a weekend on the amazing coastline around La Spezia, Cinque Terra and Portofino, (of course growing up on the coast I was drawn to the water, however it was a bit too cold to swim), a trip to Venice (more water!) which was surreal and my flatmates and I were VIPs at a music festival in the mountains!
Q. What has been the highlight of your time so far?
In all honesty, the experience as a whole has been the highlight. I don't think I could pick one single thing that has stood out above the rest yet.
I've only been here for a very short time but already I've been able to meet some pretty amazing people from all over the globe, travelled to some beautiful locations and continued working in the field I love.
Q. Has the experience increased your desire to live and work overseas?
This experience has definitely increased my desire to live and work overseas! Initially it was really overwhelming, especially for the first week as this is the first time I've ever been overseas, so being so far away from home without a companion was tough.
But I've been lucky enough to have met some great people and have an agency that is very welcoming and nurturing, so it wasn't too long before I started to settle in and feel more comfortable.
Being able to travel and work has always been a goal of mine so for it to become reality is a dream come true.
Q. What lies ahead during the rest of your time in Milan?
Who knows what lies ahead?
The beauty about this industry is you really don't know what the next day could produce, for example I've had to race off to photo shoots in the countryside with half an hours' notice!
You can see Shannon Guthrie strut her stuff, on the catwalk as the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival Model Ambassador on Saturday, October 17 at The Event Centre Caloundra.
Tickets and more information are available on http://www.sunshinecoastfashionfestival.com