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First Nations model Luca Saunders on debuting at Melbourne Fashion Festival, freelance modelling and juggling careers

Phoebe Blogg -

Known for her joyous personality, stunning features and down-to-earth nature, First Nations model Luca Saunders is infamously known in the Indigenous modelling community as a bright and bubbly character who always puts her best foot forward.

Despite being just 18 years old, Saunders has already made a name for herself in the industry have walked in both Melbourne and Australian Fashion Week as well as featuring in numerous editorial campaigns around Australia.

Now continuing her runway pursuit, the young model has started 2024 with her debut appearance at PayPals Melbourne Fashion Festival.

Although Saunders is a proud Biripi woman from Taree Biripi country and does call the small town home, she regularly travels for both modelling and singing opportunities.

“I am from Biripi country which is located on the mid-north coast of NSW my favourite place in the world and favourite feeling is being back home on country with my family,” she said.

“I’m now modelling and singing full time and have been working on my own music for the past month or two.”  

Luca Saunders and First Nations model Lucas Schober. (Image: Dan Castano) 

 

While Saunders has engaged in several career-defining modelling opportunities, she is thrilled to be walking in the Emerging Mob In Fashion runway show, further sharing that the diversity across mobs and the support of one another, creates an energy and atmosphere like no other. 

“I am so excited to be walking in the Emerging Mob In Fashion show. First Nations-based shows are my favourite to walk because the energy is like no other. Diverse faces of people that I know and don’t know from all across Australia, from different mobs and countries but still connected,” Saunders told Style Up prior to walking the runway," she said.

“The buzz and the noise and the support of each other makes you feel so at home and so ready. I am most looking forward to seeing so many incredibly talented Indigenous creatives absolutely dominate MFF.”  

As passionate about culture and community as modelling and the opportunities the career holds, Saunders believes that whilst representation within the industry has improved, there is still a need for greater improvements -  across both fashion and the broader creative industries.

“There is definitely representation whereas in the past there was a complete lack of accurate portrayal of First Nations people. I still believe it needs to go further with Indigenous led leadership with varied voices and perspectives in this industry and every industry in Australia," she said. 

Luca Saunders backstage at Melbourne Fashion Festival with models.(Image: Dan Castano)  

 

After walking in the Emerging Mob In Fashion runway yesterday evening, Saunders - similar to most models after large-scale runway events – has plans to to return home and wind down.

That said, the passionate creative does state that she does have plans to travel to Byron Bay for one photo shoot, prior to returning to her home town of Taree.

“After the MFF I’m headed to Byron bay to shoot something exciting with the deadly Marley Morgan, hopefully, I’ll see my man (boyfriend) after seven long weeks and wind down back in my beautiful Biripi country with family,” Saunders told Style Up.

Luca Saunders backstage at Melbourne Fashion Festival with models.(Image: Dan Castano)  

 

Not currently signed or represented by an agency, Saunders states that she is currently freelancing, only taking on the opportunities she is truly interested in pursuing.

“As I am recently unsigned, I am just working hard and enjoying the process,” she said.   

Saunders has a busy 2024 ahead. With future plans to continue modelling and further pursue her singing career, the locally loved Australian model is enjoying taking opportunities as they come, nourishing her wellbeing and spending quality time with friends and family, no matter where they be.

“I think this year I would like to work on my music and my singing, as I am picking it back up full-time and looking for more modelling opportunities,” she said.

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