PAUSE Her meets the Model and Influencer Eva Appio, otherwise known to you by her Instagram handle: @evssofficial
Meet The Team
Styling & Creative Direction: Samantha Ria
Photographer: Jack Alexander
Video: Noah Sapon (Music produced by Parsley Palette)
Hair: Kayleigh Jane
MUA: Mario Brooksbank (Thanks to Too Faced cosmetics)
Model: Evio Apio
Interview by Johnson Gold.
So tell me about you. You’re a model. When did you start modelling?
E: When I was 6.
Seriously? How did that happen?
E: So I grew up around fashion really, my mum she started modelling at a young age, and she won miss Uganda, then she got scouted and moved to Germany and was modelling there, she was in Berlin modelling. This was after she had me. She had me and left me with my aunt, who’s a fashion designer in Uganda, so then she just used me as a little muse. There are pictures of me on google walking down the catwalk, I was doing like coca-cola, and little magazines and stuff. Then my mum moved to London, and I joined her later on when I was. Then from 10, I was in London, chilling and doing little shoots here and there for my mum and stuff. Then I stopped because I didn’t want to be like my mum, we already have the same name; Eva. So I didn’t want to be her, I wanted to go through my own path, but my dad wanted me to do modelling. So I went away when I was 16 and had just finished school. I went on a little retreat. My dad calls me, and he’s a there’s a modelling agency that wants to see you, I signed you up. At first, I was like why would you do that?! But then I was like okay, I’ll give it a shot. So I signed up for like a year. All other agencies had said no to me because of my height; I’m 5’5. But before I’d left for the retreat, I’d sat down and written down all the agencies I wanted to join, and every time they had a walk-in, my dad and I got in the car and drove to every single one. They’d all say ‘I’ll get back to you’, but we all know what that means. Most of the feedback was ‘You’re beautiful but too small’.
What gave you the confidence to just walk in there? Because some models are shy, and they won’t do that.
E: Actually, I was shitting myself. Because when you sign up online, it’s different to seeing someone in real life. Like how I look in the picture I send you online won’t be the same as me looking at you face to face. And for me, I’m not someone who likes wearing skinny jeans; I’m more of a baggy clothes kind of girl, so I’m not like your typical clean-cut model.
How old are you now?
E: 19. To me, I haven’t achieved enough, but to other people, it’s ‘Oh my God she’s done so much’!
Why do you feel like you haven’t done enough?
E: I feel because so many people say I have an impact on them, but I feel like I haven’t done enough to have an impact on people. Like, there are models who do stuff like talks for girls and stuff like that. Even when girls message me and ask for modelling advice, I don’t want to lie to them and I say keep trying. I just want to give them the truth and tell them you’re going to break down, and you’re going to cry, you’re going to lose your mind, you’re going to go crazy. It’ll be worth it, but you will go crazy in the process!
How did you feel the first time you saw yourself on a big campaign? What was your first reaction?
E: My first ever one was for The Body Shop. My mum texted me and told me the campaign was out. I said cool and went to every single Body Shop, just walking around the shop until I finally found myself. I just stared and cried; I said mum look, I FaceTimed her. Now every time she goes to The Body Shop, she asks for the picture. They say ‘No’, and then she tells them that I’m her daughter and she needs it! Now there are pictures in my house from campaigns because my mum just takes it from the store. She always asks them that when the campaign is done, they give her the pictures. We even have newspapers stacked. Lots of magazines too, she collects them.
How do you deal with negativity from social media?
E: Before, I’d shut off. I’d switch off my phone, and I even deactivated my Instagram a couple of times. No one knows this, but I have anxiety. Social anxiety. People will see me out a lot but miss the fact that when I’m out I’m always with someone. I don’t like being by myself.
When I moved to London from Uganda I was bullied, because my English was not that great. Even my own friends turned on me. Once, I was sitting down near a little paddling pool in the park and my friend just pushed me in there. And she was like, ‘You think you’re going to be someone. You’re just a little girl from Uganda, and you thought I was going to be your friend.’ I was just like ‘Huh?’, confused. I got on the bus drenched, all of my books were wet, and I was crying.
What advice would you give to like young people like you, who are dealing with this stuff?
E: I wouldn’t tell them how to deal with it because maybe how I’d deal with it could be different to them. So my coping methods might not work for them because we’re all different types of people, but I would literally just say have time away from your phone because somehow your phone could be your mental break down. And also, what you read or see online is not always what’s real. As long as you’re surrounded by actual love in real life. Everything online is fake, the likes are fake, the comments are fake. I would say don’t let these trolls control you at all. The world is still moving, people are still walking and time is still ticking, why the hell are you sitting in one spot upset about one person who’s probably still out there going about their day? Nowadays we concentrate too much on the negative. There’ll be so much positivity going around, but we’ll choose to concentrate on that one negative thing. We give so much energy towards negative vibes, negative energy and comments and forget about what’s actually positive.
I’ll be following people on Instagram, and I’ll scroll through, and I’m like ‘ man, I need to go to the gym.’ In someone else’s mind I look perfect, but I’ve just scrolled through Instagram and seen a girl with abs, and I’m like I need to go to the gym. Social media can really mess you up, that’s why these days I unfollow a lot of people because I don’t want to consume too much. If Instagram were to shut down right now, everyone would be so frazzled because they rely on it so much.
So with your personal life, blogs are posting about you and everything that’s going on around you. So tell me about your previous relationship, because it’s spicy. How did you meet Michael from POWER?
E: He’s so sweet, we were friends for like three years. We met in New York, through a friend and then I went to L.A., and he was there, so we just ended up hanging out and started to like each other. So we started seeing each other and then he posted something and it blew up.
How long did you guys see each other before you posted it on social media?
E: Not that long. I wanted to keep it private but yeah he posted first then I just posted 1 picture, and that was pretty much it. But the topic with him, I don’t like bringing him up too much because I don’t want it to seem like I’m riding off his name. He lives in New York, so I was back and forth a lot then, but now I’m a single pringle.
Why did you guys break up?
E: We’re both young, so we just both weren’t ready for a relationship. Plus his career was picking up and mines picking up, we live in two different countries, so it was just a bit hard.
Do you date? How do you find dating with your career and everything right now?
E: I find it so hard because I don’t know what’s genuine. I don’t know if someone is trying to talk to me because, not to give myself a big head, but I don’t want people to say, oh I’ve spoken to that Eva girl. People might see it as moving prestige, but I’m just protecting myself because I don’t know what’s real anymore. Not saying that my last relationship wasn’t genuine, I’m just saying now, whoever comes to me, I don’t know whether they’re trying to get to know me or they’re trying just to say they know me or be in a relationship with me.
Also, because of my busy schedule, I’m always travelling, and I’m hardly ever in London. I’m all about the universe, whatever comes to me, comes to me; if it’s meant for me, it’s meant for me. If it’s not, then it’s not my time at the moment.
So in terms of fashion, what brands are you into these days? What are you feeling? Like if I went into your wardrobe, what kind of pieces would I find?
E: If you went into my wardrobe, it would just explode because there’s too much stuff in there. But at the moment, I’m into my tracksuits because it’s winter, but yeah I’m more like have my Nike trainers and my few little designer ones. Literally, my closet is just boxes of Nike! I also have loads of baggy jeans. I don’t really spend too much on clothes; most of my money goes to shoes. I have a little sneaker highlight on Instagram with all my footwear. If they were to make an Eva starter pack, it would be a white vest, baggy jeans, oversized jacket and trainers.
Have you ever thought about doing your own clothing line?
E: That’s the plan. Right now I’m just in talks on what I’d want to name it and stuff, what I want to start with. So, I’m going to start with clothes. I’m dipping my hand into like DJ’ing as well.
I love music. I have like Apple Music and Spotify on my phone, and I’ll be in the Uber playing music and my friends are like send me your Spotify playlist. And then I just started sharing on my Instagram my Spotify and my Apple Music, and I literally just make playlists. My friend Izzy, from BOSSYLDN, had a workshop and invited me to come down, so I learnt from there and then practiced. I’m not perfect, but I can mix. When I wake up, I say ‘Hey Siri, play me something.’ And whatever Siri plays me, is my mood today. Music even determines what I’m wearing. If the music I’m listening to in the morning is like happy, then you’ll see it in my outfit. So my first set is for Izzy on the 30th of October, and I’m so nervous, but hopefully, it goes well.
If you have a good social media following and you have good people around you, you can literally dip your hand at anything, and if doesn’t work, you just have to take out your hand, wash it and start again. People nowadays are too scared to try new things, but I could easily go on a set and mess it up. That’s how it goes. Mistakes make you; that’s what I live by.