Naomy Gmyrek is a 5’10” Indonesian bombshell. Not only is she beautiful, but she’s incredibly cultured, and very well educated. Her bubbly personality makes her easy to talk to and her humor adds to her charm. Now a runway model in NYC, the 23-year-old spoke with me about how she got her start, what she thinks of the modeling industry, and her love for 50 Cent.
Born and raised in Indonesia, Naomy considered herself somewhat of a tomboy. She loved playing sports, and with her tall stature and competitive attitude she excelled in athletics. When she was 16-years-old, a designer asked her to model some cultural pieces for a fashion magazine. This is when she discovered her passion for modeling.
“That was my first experience ever modeling and I loved it,” Naomy says. “It wasn’t awkward trying to find poses. The camera kept going and it came naturally.”
Naomy put her dream of modeling on the back burner as she gradated high school, indulged in some traveling, and continued on to attend college in the States. By this time, Naomy says her desire to model had slowly faded and by the time she started college she “literally forgot about it.”
It wasn’t until her junior year at Ithaca College, in upstate NY, while visiting NYC with some friends, that she was reminded of her teenage aspiration. While trying on makeup in Sephora, Naomy was approached by an America’s Next Top Model recruiter and was told she had a very marketable and versatile look.
Naomy sent photographs to the ANTM recruiter, and was soon one of 200 girls that were exclusively called back for Cycle 15 of the show before open calls had begun. Naomy made it to the Top 50 before being eliminated.
“At that point, I was like, if I can make it up to the Top 50 in this whole country of girls that were perspective ANTM models, that’s pretty awesome,” Naomy says. “I started thinking maybe I can do something with that.”
By the time Naomy graduated college she had an offer from one of the top five modeling agencies in the country, as well as many offers from smaller ones. Not wanting to feel restricted, Naomy ended up moving to NYC and signed on with three of the smaller agencies.
Her first runway show was during Fall Fashion Week 2010 walking for Project Runway Designer, Gordana Gehlhausen. Here, Naomy had to walk down the runway in a pair of “9-inch glass stripper heels.” These shoes make her list of most uncomfortable items she’s had to wear (along with a crocheted thong she recently sported for a charity event).
Naomy says she came into modeling with high expectations, but after her first show she had mixed feelings.
“It was sort of like a mix of ‘this is really cool’ and ‘this is also really stupid,’” Naomy laughs. “Every single show you do, makeup and hair takes 6-7 hours. You’re probably out [on the runway] for 30 seconds at the most. Maybe you have a second or third outfit change, but in total, 7 hours of prep equals a minute and a half of being out there.”
Since her first show, Naomy has walked down the runway countless times for different designers, been in music videos, and participated in video campaigns for up-and-coming designers.
Though Naomy has been able to stay consistently booked, she doesn’t see modeling as a career, but rather something to help pull in extra cash. As of now, Naomy bartends at a quaint Tuscan wine bar on New York’s upper East Side while taking classes at NYU to earn her certificate in Arabic translation. She hopes to attend Law School in the fall while continuing to model on the side.
When asked what it is about modeling that keeps Naomy so dedicated, she replies,
“It’s thrilling and exhilarating to be a performer [in a run way show]. They spend all this time on you with hair, makeup and clothes. Somebody’s blood sweat and tears went into whatever piece you’re putting on, so it’s kind of like when you go out there you need to put out your best, and walk your best, and pose your best, and have the best face on. You just want to make the whole process flawless.
So much time and effort goes into this, and at the end, you’re the finished product and you better deliver. It’s a lot of pressure, but that kind of challenge to me is fun and I think that’s part of the reason why I love it.”
Like any model, Naomy has been turned down from runway shows, as well as catalog and editorial modeling opportunities, because she did not have the right body size, weight, or height. However, she doesn’t let rejection get to her. “This is an industry that’s all about appearances, and it is this shallow. You can’t really go home crying about [being turned down] because you came into this knowing that was what [this industry] was all about.”
While Naomy loves what she does, she stresses caution to those trying to get involved in the industry.
“Modeling is fun but you really have to be built for it because you need to be very comfortable with being nude in front of everyone. In a lot of ways, it can be kind of degrading. It’s just not seen that way because it’s high fashion, it’s okay because ‘it’s glamorous.’ But if you want the real, honest, raw truth, it’s just putting on clothes and walking around.”
To end my conversation with Naomy, I asked her what kind of music she likes. She informs me she listens to a lot of hip-hop and rap. “I love to dance so I love anything with a good beat and rhythm to it.”
Her favorite artist? “I f***ing love 50 Cent,” she says right away, laughing.
He hasn’t come out with any new music in a while has he? To this she guffaws saying, “I’m still listening to the ‘Candy Shop,’ and you know it!”Tags: america's next top model, ANTM, fashion, Indonesia, Ithaca College, model, Naomy, Naomy Gmyrek