Is life easier for the most beautiful among us? This is the assumption many of us make.
Larissa Drekonja founder of Neoncoat, has a different story to tell… From sexual harassment to exploitative binding contracts and unreliable paychecks, models admittedly face their fair share of challenges – often in a new and unfamiliar city.
That’s where Neoncoat comes into play. This app connects top models to all sorts of freebies and “experiences”, from three-course dinners, to Pilates – sky’s the limit.
In order to become part of this exclusive community, models go through a lengthy application process, including a full portfolio and Instagram review. If you’re lucky enough to be let off the waiting list, you can enjoy access to a broad range of complimentary activities in exchange for a post on social media.
Not well known among the general population, modeling agencies have been negotiating deals and freebies for their talent for years. Apps like Neoncoat have centralized this process and put the power in the hands of the model to access a greater range of benefits.
Larissa divulged the following and more…
Brana Dane: How do you explain your app to your average person?
Larissa Drekonja: NeonCoat is a social media marketing app that empowers the performing talent, in this case, models.
Brana Dane: What are the benefits to the businesses you work with?
Larissa Drekonja: The benefits businesses receive is direct social media marketing, a lot of content they can use on their social media, larger engagement and followership and they also enjoy in person value models contribute. Models are timeless and are the original elite influencers.
Brana Dane: Is it harder to get vendors to sign up or to keep the models active on the app?
Larissa Drekonja: Neither is hard; both parties see great benefit, but it’s all a lot of hard work. We also promote volunteerism and list different volunteer activities available to models on the app. It’s truly a community.
Brana Dane: What challenges do you face on a day to day basis running your business?
Larissa Drekonja: We have a great team, so everything runs pretty smoothly, however getting the word out and publishing has been our greatest challenge. It’s hard when you’re new and innovative, people have to get used to you.
Brana Dane: Tell me a little about your personal background.
Larissa Drekonja: I’ve been modeling for over 22 years, I started when I was 15. I’m also an actress and an artist. All these professions are not your typical 9 to 5 and can be very hard. They taught me a lot about the industry itself and what it takes to succeed in an arts related career. I saw a way to help the industry and the models and subsequently started Neon Coat.
Brana Dane: What’s next?
Larissa Drekonja: Neon Coat is pretty young right now and needs a lot of attention and it’s taking most of my time. We recently brought on male models into the app and are making new expansions every day.
Brana Dane: How do you take your coffee?
Larissa Drekonja: I like mine hot with a touch of milk and agave.