#INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
SPECIAL FEATURE TO CELEBRATE WOMEN’S WEEK
Samanta Bullock is a London based wheelchair model, a strong proponent of inclusive fashion and leads an active and healthy lifestyle. A Brazilian born, she represented her country “I’m wheelchair Tennis” at the 2007 Para Pan Am Games and won a Silver Medal in doubles. Apart from playing Tennis at the highest level, Samanta also plays other sports and has performed at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games held in London.
As a fashion model, Samanta Bullock has participated in renowned fashion shows like “London Fashion Week, Fashions Finest, International Dubai Fashion Week, Vogue Fashion Runway during NYFW” to name a few and worked with illustrious fashion designers and brands from across Portugal, Brazil, Spain, Turkey and Great Britain.
Samanta Bullock is an ambassador for “Parallel Global” that organizes accessible and inclusive fun runs and FreedomE in London. As a forward thinking Motivational Public Speaker, Samanta Bullock also works as a Professional Fashion Consultant because she believes “Fashion has the power to normalize situations” and aims to bring social equality through it, and make the world more accessible to everyone. Samanta has spoken at numerous conferences and workshops including at Naidex and the Springboard Consulting Conference in Switzerland.
Your early life made you Resilient?
I believe so, but I also believe it comes a little bit with education. My parents were never conformist people, they would shake things up and move forward, then I believe it came with my genes and education.
You had a successful career in Tennis?
Yes, even though when I started it was already too late to be a high performance athlete and I had many injuries in the process. It is different when you start a sport at an early age or when we start something and our body is already “old”. To adapt the body with new movements and repetitive ones wasn’t easy. It was long hours training every single day. We won a silver medal at the ParaPan AM 2017 in doubles, I represented Brazil in 3 World Team Cups and played in international tournaments around the globe. It was tiring and fun.
How you advanced yourself into Fashion?
It was mainly a decision. I used to be a model from the age of 8 until 14, so when I retired from tennis and I needed to do something with my life I decided to come back to my roots and follow my real dream. It was time to be fashionable again.
Your best moments as a model and favorite fashion trend and icon?
My favourite moment without doubt was London Fashion Week, but also Fashions Finest is one of my favourite shows here in UK. As a model I would say Gisele Bundchen as she is a UBER model and also Brazilian. She is from the same state as me in Brazil, so we share the same culture.
As a designer I would say Victoria Beckham, not only as a designer but as a role model and Gunda Hafner, they both are very strong women that deserve recognition.
My favourite fashion trend that is a trend now but came to stay is FreedomeE. It’s a sustainable platform, putting all designers, factories, schools, universities, etc in contact. It’s a circular movement where all involved are doing something to help sustainability in some way. Mainly it is a platform of transparency in fashion, looking after the common well being.
Your campaign for social inclusiveness is well received, tell us more?
I hope so, it’s hard to create a new concept in peoples mind. It’s a lot about consistency and good content. You can see nowadays magazines are talking about it and more shows are inclusive. Last year I did Fashions Finest for the first time, and the following season Madeline Stuart was there with me, she has Down’s Syndrome. This year I couldn’t go as I was at New York Fashion Week but we had a lot of models present watching and having a go on the catwalk.
How is Samanta Bullock different in a Speakers Role?
I am learning, I am becoming more relaxed and confident to express my thoughts. At first I was very scared, being completely transparent with you, I knew it would be a challenge and I faced it and I am still doing so. We need to have courage to go there and talk in public in a different language as I am Brazilian. Once you start to do more and more the confidence grows and we get better. We also get better in how we deliver our message. This year I will be at Naidex on 27th March, Adriana Chiara Magazine panel on 19th April, 27th April in LA … Portugal and 5 more events before the end of the year. There is a lot room for improvement and to put our message out there!
Travel keeps you busy when not working, destinations you like?
Any.. really any… I have my bucket list of places I haven’t been but also places I did go and I loved. To go: Japan, Africa, Bali and many more.
Most inspiring quote?
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door!
Cover image: Michael Atkinson.
Ways to connect with Samanta Bullock:
Facebook: Samanta Bullock
Linked-In: Samanta Bullock
Instagram: @Samanta Bullock
Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai