Natalia Popis is a beautiful Polish young lady that came to Worceste, England to do a degree in Business Management. However, Natalia, doesn’t have the usual story of following the education path. She is a successful model with shows in Milan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, all while studying. How does she manage? We asked her:

When did you discover that modelling is your passion?

When I was a little girl,I was never thinking of being a model. I was focused on sports – swimming was my biggest passion. For over 8 years I was a professional swimmer and I imagined continuing my studies on this path. Then, when I was 17 years old I became very interested in fashion, I found out that taking photos gives me a lot of pleasure and a chance to show different aspects of my personality in front of the camera. Many people told me that I should try real modelling but I wasn’t sure if this is what I want to do.  One day I got invited to the national pageant and I decided to try. I was awarded 2nd place in Poland. Shortly I signed a contract with the model agency and after one week I went for a modelling contract to Milan. Everything happened so unexpectedly and when I have found myself in the capital of fashion for the first time, I fell in love with this world. I knew that it is just the beginning of an amazing experience. After that I went to Japan for 2 months where I spent my 18th birthday. Obviously, my parents were not convinced about letting me go to the other part of the globe, but I was full of courage and motivation to make my new dreams come true. As soon as I wrote my last exam at the end of the High School, the next day I had a flight to China where I was supposed to stay only 3 months. However, after China I received other offers from agencies all around the world and finally I spent over 2 years working abroad.



You’ve decided to go to university, despite having already launched your career as a model, how come?

Of course, I love travelling and working as a model but this is just an adventure. I want to use the opportunity that I’ve got in my life but I have other priorities besides and I think education is very important. The decision to take a 2 years break after high school was the best thing I could do and I am sure it was one of the best lessons in my life. Soon after, I decided to start higher education abroad in order to settle my future where I want it to be. Doing Business Management studies will help me gain essential knowledge in order to open a business where I can apply my current experience. My dream is to remain in this industry and open an international model agency.

Do you find it hard combining your studies with your modelling career and all the travelling that comes with it?

I believe that nothing is impossible if we really want to achieve our goals. We are young and we should fight for our dreams because everything is in our hands right now. Combining my passion with studies is a pleasure and it fills me with even bigger motivation and aspirations. Obviously, It is not always easy. I’m living out of a suitcase and very often I have to study in the trains, planes or even backstage but it is because I want to use every opportunity. I’ve learnt that thanks to a good time management I am able to combine my responsibilities, modelling, find time for my other hobbies (running, swimming, yoga)  and achieve good grades at the same time. Moreover, I don’t see my family and friends very often, sometimes once/twice per year. However, the support they give me is spreading my wings to fly. They make me believe in myself and inspire all this good energy from people all around.



What is the best experience you’ve had as a model? Any ideal brand you would like to work for?

I could say that all these 5 years working in the fashion industry are one huge experience and every single day of work brings me a lot of happiness and new knowledge. I am especially thankful for an occasion to work in USA and in a few Asian countries because it was a chance to discover more about other cultures but also to learn more about myself. I became a strong and independent person easy to adapt into any new environment.

I was honoured to walk for a Chanel fashion show in Indonesia, Calvin Klein Underwear show in Shanghai, shoot for many magazines such as ELLE Indonesia, work for a CK showroom or Dior Make-up in Beijing, Maybelline in Hong Kong. Those travels were an opportunity to meet amazing people and see how the real fashion world looks like because behind the scenes it is different than people imagine. As for my dream, one day I would love to work for Victoria’s Secret because this brand promotes a healthy canon of beauty, real confidence and femininity. I love watching VS’s shows!


Do you think the fact that you have chosen to go to university is differentiating you from your colleagues in the industry that haven’t done so? Will you still choose you career to be around modelling/fashion?

Probably my decision of going to University was a surprise for many of my friends and family. They thought that my modelling career is going to be over because I won’t have time to travel anymore. In fact, I knew what I want and I was sure that I am able to combine both. The desire of being educated doesn’t exclude me from working in the fashion world. On my first year at the University of Worcester, I was travelling to work in New York, London and Poland for several jobs, and finally in the summer I worked full-time in other countries as well. I love to be a student and I am really happy I can do both. Not many of the models decide to do so because travelling is very addictive and it’s hard to ‘get back into reality’. However, I am proud of my decision because I know it will benefit me in the future. I am still going to follow my dreams and work as a model before I become a real entrepreneur. I want to see as many places as I have on my modelling check list.

What is your advice for young girls that are thinking about combining university and a modelling career?

Believe in yourself. Many people give up easily because they feel anxious about reaching new horizons, finding themselves in new places and being overloaded with too many things. The key is to find the balance between all the values in our life so we know what should come first. I think the courage and passion is crucial if you want to be a model, because there might be many moments when you simply want to be at home instead. I always believe that positive attitude will help me enjoy every single day and overcome my fears, it really works. Trying to see the bright side of every little thing brings many opportunities, makes me stronger and brave. For every person who has a passion (doesn’t matter if it is modelling, sport or anything else) I would highly recommend to follow what brings them happiness, believe that they can reach their goals and manage to study at the same time. University time is an amazing experience as well. Don’t be afraid, everything is possible!



Article by: Diana Iusco

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Diana Iusco


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