Not just a beautiful face
Both a professional model and architecture student, Angeliki Ioannidi is a busy girl. Here, ELLE investigates how she gets the best of both worlds.
When you see someone so beautiful in real life, it’s intimidating. You always see gorgeous models on magazine covers, and the only way to handle it is thinking it’s a lie. Then you meet Angeliki, with her almost extra-terrestrial beauty: big, pillowy lips, long eyelashes, a smile that could lighten the world. But actually, it’s not her looks that make you fall in love with her, but her kindness, her intelligence, her modesty.
She shows up with barely any makeup on, wearing a tracksuit, looking like a normal 18-year-old girl, a student of Architecture at Northumbria. She has chosen to show me this side of her, not her glamorous model one. You could tell she was tired. Anyone would be if they were in her shoes. Being a student is hard enough, but mixing that with a career in modelling can only be exhausting.
She is warm, talking in a confused accent. Angeliki grew up in Rhodes, Greece, with an English mother, and moved to Newcastle to follow her dream of becoming a professional model, while also studying to become an architect. She’s a busy girl, trying to maintain balance in her life. “You find your way by experience. At first it was hard, I didn’t know what to prioritize.” Her agency, Savalas Models, constantly asks her to go to castings, most in London. Apart from that, she has a lot of University work. “I do enjoy everything I’m doing, so it’s not bothering me. I hope it pays off.”“I’ve always had a passion for fashion”, she reveals. It was all influenced by her mother, who studied fashion design in Newcastle. “I used to think that when I grow up I’ll be a fashion designer, but I became a model.” She sees clothing as her armour, and thinks her character is shown by what she wears, “I have to put a lot of effort into what I wear, as I feel like that is something my industry is all about.”
To her, though, beauty is more than looks “Sometimes, having imperfections is what makes you beautiful. Being feminine, kind, confident is the key.”
It was always her dream to become a model, but living in Greece didn’t allow her to become professional. She is wise for her age. She knows modelling is a tough industry, but criticism motivates her to be better. “My mum always told me, as she has been in the fashion industry before, to be ready and to not put myself down.”
When asked about what she would change about the industry, she states, “The only thing I don’t like about it is the rules they have.You need to be a certain height, weight, size. You hear about models getting anorexia every day. I hope that will change, so not many lives are lost.”
Angeliki’s only regret is leaving people behind because of her busy lifestyle, and having to prioritize the jobs she signed up for before the relationships in her life “I never want to feel selfish. I think people who are selfish are going to end up alone in their lives. I never want to end up alone.” Contrary to that, though, she does not ask for help even at her lowest. She tends to keep everything inside, thinking it will pass. “Life is not just always going to be pretty.” She was able to learn from that mistake when her close friend passed away, which led her to stop eating “Don’t bottle things up, because you’re going to crash one day.”
Now, she sees life differently. She tries to be her best self, both in her career as a model, and at university. Mistakes are now seen as a learning experience. “I always stress about being the best or getting a really high mark, but out of all the tests I’ve taken, the things that I’ve done wrong are the things I remember today. So, I kind of see life like that.”