Being both a fashionista and Reality TV junkie, I jumped at the chance to interview Olga Tavarez, Vice President of The Network & Star of “Remodeled”! For those of you not in the know, Olga Tavarez is a modeling industry veteran and Paul Fisher’s second in command at The Network in The CW’s new reality series “Remodeled.”
And Olga has quite the impressive career, working as a Model Manager for IMG Worldwide for 10 years where she maintained responsibility for guiding the international careers of over 300 models. She also developed vital relationships with photographers, studios, stylists, agents, advertising agencies, casting directors, magazine editors and international design houses.
Now in her current position as Vice President at The Network, Tavarez works side-by-side with Fisher. She’s entrusted with finding and developing new talent, she’s there to help when Fisher makes over modeling agencies, and she guides the models through makeovers, go-sees, photo shoots, as well as runway shows at Fashion Week and beyond.
How did you get involved in the fashion industry?
I was always around it because of my mother, she worked as a pattern maker for every major designer in NY and I was backstage at shows for Dior and Calvin as a little girl. Growing up around it, I met people and friends who then introduced me to my first job at an agency DNA when I was 20. I loved being an agent and went to IMG and stayed there for 10 years.
What is your day to day like as VP of The Network?
There’s so much to do at The Network and never enough time to do everything, but its great – I work with a really great team who all do a lot. I have to oversee everything, so it’s always different. From working directly with all the agencies, handling the models we help manage and helping each agency develop and place models internationally, as well as taking meetings with everyone we work with – its a big job but I love it!
What was your experience like on ‘Remodeled’ and would you be open to appearing on Reality TV again?
At first I was terrified – I have never been comfortable in front of a camera! But I got over myself and dove in, then I realized it was tough work but really fun too. I think I now have the bug and enjoy doing it, so I am totally open to it again and acting as well. I went to film school and have a huge appreciation and love of film, so I wouldn’t mind giving it a try as a beginner.
What do you look for in a model?
Sounds cliche – but it’s just simply an “it” factor. It’s hard to describe a specific thing because as an agent you just know when you spot it. And although it is physical, height and weight etc, it’s also a presence and type of personality that people just gravitate toward and is infectious.
What health and fitness tips can you give to the everyday woman? And what is your personal health/fitness routine?
I think it’s so important to be conscious of what you eat. It needs to be a lifestyle, not a diet or temporary. Always drink lots of water, eat lean proteins, eggs, chicken and fish with veggies and stick to brown carbs if you do eat them – brown sugar, brown rice, yams and sweet potatoes. And you need to be active, walk instead of drive if you can’t make it to the gym. I walk 5 miles a day to and from work. If I can’t make it to the gym, I sip water all day and I try to eat really well every meal.
You do need balance and can indulge every once in a while, I have a cheat day once a week to stay sane – and some wine ; )
As a strong business woman, what advice can you give to today’s working girl?
My advice for girls starting out is- In the beginning you need to listen and learn. Absorbing and learning are the best ways to really become an expert and develop work ethic. Humility seems out of fashion these days and I think it still has huge value and allows you to gain integrity. I also believe the things you earn in life you appreciate and value, so working your way there is important. Instead of getting it too soon, which can be the kiss of death, or just expecting to be there or being entitled.
How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve been working since I was 13. I’ve always worked very hard, for a long time, and I still work hard every day probably more now than ever. And the older I get, the more responsibility and work I have. It’s a constant- I think I learned to be a hard worker and independent from my mother Norma Tavarez, who is my personal hero and the most talented and competent person I know.
What do you love most about being a Latin woman?
What I love the most about being a Latina is being very naturally feminine and being ok with expressing my sexuality through fashion. For example, I go everywhere in heels. It’s such a normal thing in my culture to wear them and want to look sexy and be aware of your appearance. It’s really just the way it is in my culture and I kind of get made fun of in daily life, but I really enjoy dressing up and being a girl. And I was raised to always look my best when I leave the house, even if it’s to the supermarket
What is your favorite thing about being in your thirties?
I just feel so much more confident and relaxed in myself as a person period.
It does get better as you get older, especially mentally – I‘m just so much more secure in who I am. All the nonsense you worry about in your 20’s just fades away and you don’t care about it.
What was the biggest lesson you learned in your twenties?
Hmm, not to waste time and get distracted haha- I’m a total romantic and get carried away. I lose focus on things I’m doing when I fall in love - I know better now.
What does the term ‘Dirty+Thirty’ mean to you?
It’s okay to be a little dirty in your thirties- haha
Worst date you’ve ever been on?
I was at a lounge / restaurant, I agreed to meet this guy there and I didn’t know him all that well. He was a bit of a meat head and when our waitress came over he just started flirting and carrying on. I wasn’t interested in him, but his behavior was just really rude and weird. I just got up, said goodbye and left.
If you could have a conversation with 25 year old you, what would you say?
Be an over achiever, hold on to your 401K and wear a seatbelt!
What’s next for you?
I want to develop and produce film projects.