Originally published in FOAA Mag Issue 2
BEYA was founded by Astrid Tshidibu in 2017. Face of Africa Australia has watched Astrid’s career grow and acknowledges her contribution to the modelling industry and celebrates her new Modelling Academy.
BEYA targets mostly young adults of any ethnicity and culture who have a true passion for the industry. So far, they have had 14 successful graduates. “A lot of the models not only do the course for modelling but for courage”, says Astrid. They have had models move on to public speaking something they never thought would have been possible before joining the agency.
BEYA has guided models into events such as the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival, Vancouver Fashion Week, Africa Gala, and Curtin University for several shows a great achievement for a new brand. The recognition these models have received for being a part of the academy has been amazing and some have gone on to engage in successful freelance modelling.
The vision behind BEYA is to showcase the exotic and multicultural diversity in Perth because they believe that there is not enough focus on this around the world. They are looking to give opportunities to those whose race and culture has impacted their journey into the modelling industry, as they may not be considered your ‘standard model’. BEYA is all about giving everyone a go and letting everyone have the chance to reach their goals. If they have the passion, BEYA will guide them into the industry.
About Astrid – BEYA Founder
Astrid’s career started with humble beginnings. A descendant of the Congolese Republic, Astrid moved to Germany when she was nine years old and spent the majority of her life there until moving to Australia in 2008. Her modelling career began at the age of sixteen in Germany however she had a very long break as a result of self doubt. It wasn’t until she moved to Australia that her passion and love for the modelling industry returned stronger than ever. She’s been modelling professionally for five years now, and loves every second of it.
According to Astrid, the fashion industry is starting to change now. Many people are starting to open their minds to diversity and culture. When she first started, the client base for black models was almost non-existent or very rare. A lot of make-up artists and photographers didn’t know how to deal with dark skin colour, which in itself was a huge struggle, but now a lot of makeup artist take extra courses to learn how to deal with dark models. Likewise photographers are also learning the techniques to make black models stand out.
As her business progresses, many people are starting to pay attention to her experiences. They are learning from them and taking the extra measures to work adequately in a multicultural society. Her agency BEYA has held multiple multicultural runway shows as well as hosting cultural photoshoots to push the beauty of different cultures and races. Currently BEYA is looking into opening the academy Australia-wide, so all who have the passion will have a chance to learn and grow in the broader fashion industry.