I had the opportunity to interview Daphne Bye about her experiences as a U.S. Marine turned model and fashion stylist. This interview was very interesting to me because her career path is unconventional but at the same time, the foundation of her success is traditional in regards to her tactics. Continue reading to gain more insight on Daphne's story.
1. Question: How long have you been modeling?
Answer: I started when I was young, so probably around 12, but then there’s a huge gap in between where I stopped, but then I started again in my early 20s.
1. Question: Where are you from?
Answer: I’m from New York… Brooklyn
2. Question: What brought you here to North Carolina?
Answer: My husband, he’s in the Marine Corps
3. Question: In this industry, what would you say is the most challenging part of it?
Answer: Having to keep true to yourself and not follow the trend that is currently happening, whatever trend that might be. I think that’s a huge thing. And not having to feel like you have to change yourself. I know a lot of girls who tried to compete with each other and try to look like each other, but it’s one thing my talent manager always said was "Never change yourself. Be true to who you are because there is nobody else like you" and I have to constantly remind myself of that.
4. Question: What type of places do you currently work?
Answer: I don’t work. I haven’t worked since I moved out here actually. It’s been hard because I'm used to being a constantly-on-the-go type of person and working in LA kept me busy.
5. Question: What is your dream job?
Answer: I would love to continue print modeling. I’m not a six foot, ya know, double zero model, so that’s impossible, but yea, I would love to continue working as a print model. Eventually, I know age comes and you can’t always look perfect in front of the camera to others, but I'd love to continue working in the entertainment industry even if it's behind the scenes. That’s my niche. I know everything. I know my friends there. That’s what I would love to do.
6. Question: What kind of things would you like to do behind the scenes?
Answer: I would love marketing and fashion marketing. I did work as an assistant stylist for a celebrity stylist before I moved out here, so that would be ideal. That is another thing where you kind of have to put yourself out there and have a portfolio. It’s a lot work. I learned a lot working with that stylist. As long as I’m in that environment. I’m such a creative person that if I was in a 9 to 5 in a cubicle, I would go insane because I’ve done it. I was in the Marine Corps, I know what that’s like. So it’s like, no. I’d like to be myself and be creative and not just stuck.
7. Question: So you spoke about your time as a celebrity stylist. Is there anyone you’d like to name drop?
Answer: So, um, Kelly Rolland. We had to style her a few times. She’s super nice. It was insane having to go in here house and dress here, and be like, oh my gosh she’s a normal person and I can’t freak out right now. Ya know, she’s a mom and she has everything that we all have. She has insecurities. It was nice because now I see her in pictures and I’m like yea, I’ll keep that a secret. [laughs]. I styled a few Disney actresses and my last one was, which I wouldn’t say was much styling, Pamela Anderson. The last photoshoot with her was funny because the stylist was like I need you for her. You need to bring a rack of clothes and some shoes. She’s going to be modeling her new design of shoes coming out. When the time came, she was like whoop! Robe off and JUST shoes on. I was like wow! That is the easiest styling I could have ever done [laughs], so yea, that was pretty awesome.
8. Question: How long were you styling when you were in LA?
Answer: I started for about four months. It wasn’t very long because unfortunately, I had to make the decision to move out here to keep my family together. He [the stylist] really was sad when I had to leave because we meshed and everything. We had the same type of mentality and work ethic, which he had a hard time finding. I was lucky to find him. I think a huge thing in this industry is knowing people. Networking is very huge and that is something I learned in the Marine Corps, oddly enough. When I went back to school a second time to fashion school, I went to FIDM in LA. And that is where I was able to get the connections to work as a stylist. My most favorite is with him because I got to work with celebrities. So that’s why I didn’t do it very long. He really wanted to keep me, which I was like YES YES, but I had to make the adult decision.
9. Question: You mentioned you were in the military. How long were you in the military?
Answer: I was in the Marine Corps for four years active duty and I decided that it was time for me to move on when I got married and had my daughter, just because we were both dual. We barely saw each other and we barely saw her. She was pretty much being raised by daycare. It wasn't my intention to get out. I wanted to do a lot of things. I wanted to make a career, but once you become a mom things kind of change. I made my decision to go back to school, finish my degree and that was it. I decided to get out. Did four years and I was like, I really miss the Marine Corps, so I went back into the Marine Corps, but as a reservist, because I didn't know if I wanted to go fully active again. I did that for about a year and I was lucky I was able to get out because I wasn't under a contract. You know what, I missed it, but I didn't miss it that much. I'm just going to be a full-time mom, student, whatever I was doing at the time.
10. Question: Is there anything else you want people to know about you?
Some people will ask how can I get my daughter into modeling? How did you get this job? because they'll see a lot of my posts on Facebook. Recently I was part of Pin Ups for Vets. I'm not sure if you're familiar with them. The girl who started it, she started for her grandfather who was a veteran. She does a calendar every year as a fundraiser to be able to get money for veterans in VA hospitals for whatever equipment or medical stuff that they need. The calendars are bought by anybody and of course, you can buy calendars so that they can send them to troops overseas as a moral type thing. A lot of people were like oh my gosh how did you do that? Again, Its who you know. I think its more putting yourself out there. A lot of people are surprised I was in the Marine Corps. You can do it all. If you ever have time to look at the calendar, every single girl was in the military. Just because we were in the military doesn't mean we can't be girly. You can totally do both.
I hope you enjoyed this interview with Daphne. You can find her on Facebook at Daphne Bye, on Instagram at daphne.bye, and also at her online boutique Chloe and Isabel. Thanks to North Shore Mulch and Garden for allowing us to use their beautiful garden for a photo shoot. If you liked this interview, I have a podcast in the works called The Stylish Collective. I interview people with experience in the fashion industry. If there is anyone you'd like me to interview or have any feedback, comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Takeaway #1 There is no traditional path to your success. No one's journey is the same.
Takeaway #2 A part of reaching your goals is knowing the right people. Not one person can succeed on their own. At least one person will affect your outcome.
Takeaway #3 Just put yourself out there. You never know where it will take you.
My question for you is, What will you do today that will put yourself out there?