Wednesday 19 June 2019

It's tough to 'make a connection' with other models in New York - Aoife Walsh

Aoife Walsh, from Clonmel, Co Tipperary, at Punchestown Racecourse in Naas, Co. Kildare. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Aoife Walsh, from Clonmel, Co Tipperary, at Punchestown Racecourse in Naas, Co. Kildare. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Sean O'Grady

She made a name for herself in the Big Apple, but Aoife Walsh has admitted life in New York wasn't always as easy when it came to making friends.

The former Miss Ireland (29) signed with a modelling agency in the US last year and quickly hit the ground running.

She now divides her time between Dublin and New York, but is trying to spend more time at home.

Asked about what the other models in the city are like, Aoife admitted it's sometimes tough to make "a connection" with them.

"I wouldn't necessarily say they're bitchy," she said, "but I just think there's so many over there it's very hard to make a friendship with them.

"There are hundreds of girls going for casting. It's just a different environment."

Aoife, who won Miss Ireland in 2013, has been a familiar face in the Irish industry for years and reckons the smaller scale of it means it's easier to get to know everyone.

"I just think it's harder in New York because the industry is so much bigger. You'd be going on a casting with girls and you might hit it off, but you won't necessarily ever see them again.

"I think it's easier in Ireland because the industry is smaller and everyone knows everyone.

"You see the same faces all the time, so you build a relationship. You just see them more often."

The Tipperary woman, who was at home to celebrate her birthday last weekend, is not the first Irish model who has tried to make it abroad.

Another former Miss Ireland, Emma Waldron, moved to New York in 2015 and collaborated with some of the biggest names in the media industry, including broadcasting legend Larry King.

Shahira Barry has lived in Los Angeles for several years and previously worked as a stand-in for reality star Kim Kardashian, while Andrea Roche model Sarah Tansey also spent a while in New York.

"Me and Sarah used to work in Abercrombie and Fitch before I was Miss Ireland. I think she might have been modelling at the time," said Aoife, who previously studied to become a primary school teacher.

"She was a great adviser to me because she'd been there before."

Aoife isn't sure where she will ultimately settle, but thinks it's important to strike while the iron is hot.

"Roughly, maybe a month on, a month off kind of a thing," she said.

"I don't really have set dates. I definitely want to do a little bit more in Ireland because I just really enjoy being at home.

"It's a lot of go, go, go, but sure, look, you're only young once. In a couple of years I don't know where I'll be, so I'm just trying to make the most of it."


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