Beyond The Lens – Model and designer Chantelle Starr is shining on the front page of our website after she shed some light in a recent interview we did back in March. I had got in contact with her through messenger and sent her questions after she accepted an invitation I sent to do an interview.
I have been connected with her through Facebook for a while and learned of her work with her very talented sister Charlene. Be sure to check out their amazing work by clicking the links posted below. I hope you enjoy the interview!
~*~*Beyond The Lens /w Chantelle Starr*~*~
Internet Hollywood: Hey Chantelle! Welcome to the Internet Hollywood universe. It’s a great pleasure to learn about another new face that I haven’t interviewed before. You are one out of two of the Tini Twins that I wanted to interview, which makes this interview even more exciting for me. Before we begin, could you fill our readers in on who you are, where you come from, and what talent of yours you are aiming to make a long-term career out of?
Starr: My name is Chantelle Starr. I am a clothing designer, Lash specialist and soon to be a Certified Cosmetologist. I have a twin sister Charlene, and we own a clothing business called Latini Couture. My sister and I were born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe and have resided in Boston Massachusetts since April 2007. In 2012, my sister and I started our own business mostly to express how we liked to dress. As our business grew, we started to see how we could make a huge impact on other girls and encourage them to start their own businesses at a young age. Growing up we dressed ourselves and people always told us how we should be models so we used that as motivation to start our modeling career. Charlene and I both attend Empire Beauty school and are soon to graduate this month!
Internet Hollywood: You and your sister have chosen to pursue your careers as an independent powerhouse called the Tini Twins. Where did that name come from and how did everything start?
Starr: Tini Twins was a name a fellow Zimbabwean Social Media Influencer that we met sometime in 2015 thought it would be a great name for us. It’s derived from our last name Mahlatini. From then we thought it was the best name that represented who we are. The Tini Twins is a brand created to represent us as models and entrepreneurs.
Internet Hollywood: You and your sister also hand design some pretty nice swimwear. I saw a lot of your products on your Instagram and I truly feel it expresses its meaning with a powerful message that comes directly from your vision. When did you become passionate about designing and was it hard learning how to design?
Starr: Latini Couture is a brand that enforces women to love what they wear and be comfortable while still expressing themselves and showing who they are, even in a simple bikini. Charlene: When I was 17 years old I discovered my passion for fashion and I wanted to start creating custom pieces. I learned how to sew on YouTube. It took a lot of patience and practice and I still have a lot to learn but I love what I do. It wasn’t hard to learn how to design. It was challenging, but I had to push myself because it was my passion & quitting was not an option.
Internet Hollywood: Do you currently have products on sale that you would like everyone to know about?
Starr: Yes we do. They are available on Latinicouture.com We recently released the Impala Collection inspired by African Safari and Wildlife, it’s a great collection for the 2018 Spring/Summer as animal prints are trending. We also have an Instagram, Twitter & Facebook page @latinicouture.
Internet Hollywood: I always felt like twins have a unique advantage in the industry especially when it comes to the world of television. Most twins I know are highly interested in getting a show of their own on television or are doing vlogs on Youtube. Do you and your sister plan on taking that route as well?
Starr: Yes we have posted a few YouTube (Tini Twins on Youtube) videos. We are working on posting some more as soon as we complete beauty school so we can have more content. We also have a blog on Thetinitwins.com where we share mostly about the struggles we face as Twins, our personal fashion styles, tips and traveling, which we are very excited to be sharing more of this year!
Internet Hollywood: What are your favorite themes to shoot in photo shoots and what do you look for in the photographers that you choose to work?
Starr: We love creating content that inspires people to be true to themselves, to tell a story where someone can relate. We also scout for models for Latini Couture. We try not to always work with the same models more than once so we can give other aspiring models a chance to show us what they got. Most of our models are amateur models that are learning how the industry works. We love that because then we get to share our knowledge and help them create their portfolios and great content. We love to support other women and small businesses. That is what it’s all about. Charlene: We like to work with photographers that provide quality and know what they are doing. We love when we get our pictures in a timely manner, so that’s definitely a plus. As for our swimsuits, we mostly take our own photos as we feel we haven’t met other photographers that focus on merchandise shooting, they usually focus on the model.
Internet Hollywood: Last question; Are you currently working on any projects?
Starr: We are currently working on collaborating with other brands regarding creating some lookbooks. Our first Latini Couture Swimsuit Fashion Show is this summer, so look out for that. We are excited to just keep working towards making Latini Couture a bigger and better brand that helps women & men all over the world. We can’t wait for all the great things coming. We are always happy to collaborate with others who have a vision, want to create some magic & a positive change to the world.
Internet Hollywood: Thank you so much for the interview, Chantelle!
~*~*Thank you for reading*~*~
~*~*Credits & Links*~*~
Photographer (first photo): @jmpimage
Photographer (second photo): @ml_king
The Tini Twins: website
Latini Courture: website