Written by Taylor Roberts
Photographed by Jon Premosch
We sat down with model Bryden Jenkins to ask her 15 questions ranging from her modeling career to her personal life. Bryden is featured in the Class Act fashion editorial in the July/August 2020 issue of Santa Barbara Life and Style Magazine. Keep reading to learn about her special connection to Santa Barbara.
1. Tell me about the time you've spent in Santa Barbara.
“I was born and raised in the Valley, which is rare among models these days, although a lot move to the Los Angeles area for work. I went to Santa Barbara City College for a full year lived in Isla Vista. I lived with three girls in a one-bedroom apartment, which was...interesting. After a year, I was devastated to leave Santa Barbara because I had picked up a job at Sundance Beach, which was located in the same shopping center as Costco. While the college scene was fun, I genuinely loved going to work everyday. As a family owned business, I truly believe the best thing in Santa Barbara for me was actually working with the amazing locals. "
2. How did your modeling career start?
“I got scouted at Coachella 7 years ago. It was my first year attending the festival and an agency approached me with an LA Models business card, saying they’d love to sign me. Immediately, I laughed at how that name must be fake so I did not think twice about it. It wasn’t until I was working as a receptionist and was bored during my shift one day that I decided to look up this so-called LA Models. Turns out it did exist, so I called them and they remembered me. They asked me to come in and I was signed the next day! I even went to my first photoshoot that day. It’s so funny because, while I had been working at that receptionist job, a man had walked in and asked what I was doing there and why I was not modeling instead. I almost laughed at this attempt at a pickup line! Turns out two or three years later I worked with this same guy on a modeling job. I'm currently signed with Wilhelmina and I am so grateful that the opportunity seemingly landed in my lap, considering so many girls dream of modeling."
3. How would you describe your ideal Girls' Night in Santa Barbara?
“My perfect night out with the girls is definitely a wine night. I love enjoying a delicious dinner out with a nice wine. Spending time in Santa Barbara, I have loved visiting different wineries and enjoying the local wines. Some of my favorite memories include enjoying a bottle of wine on the beach with a few friends.”
4. What’s your coffee order?
“I never used to drink coffee until I was roommates with a barista. She had me try just a simple sweetened iced latte and I have been hooked ever since. I now drink one every day."
5. What is your morning routine?
“I have a dog and a cat, so I start every morning by letting the dog outside and taking care of the cat. I then have my celery juice which I swear by. I started drinking it two years ago and never looked back!"
6. What is your favorite skincare product?
“My favorite skincare product is the Weleda Skin Food. My best friend introduced it to me, and I could go on and on about this product. It is made in Germany, which is a plus since my mom has always praised European beauty products. It’s an ultra-rich face cream that is my savior. It comes out thick, applies very lightly, and has never made me break out!”
7. What is one thing you never leave the house without?
“I have been like this ever since I started modeling, but I never leave the house without my Jao hand sanitizer. It smells like lavender without the alcohol smell of most hand sanitizers. They also have a travel size which I always keep in my purse.”
8. What is your favorite thing about Santa Barbara Life and Style Magazine?
“I always love looking at the shoot locations throughout the magazine. I have learned of many different food and drinks from keeping up with SBLS, which really line up with my lifestyle. I love my food and drink! The magazine also does a great job capturing beautiful pictures. I also look forward to the little tips the magazine gives on all things wellness, dining, and beauty."
9. Favorite travel destination?
“I have traveled to England for work which was super amazing. If it wasn't for modeling, I don’t think I would have ever worked outside of where I grew up. I really respect people who are able to go to school far from home or move far away because I have never been one to do so. This job has definitely opened those doors for me to work and travel, while taking comfort in the fact that it’s short-term.”
10. What is the best advice you have ever received?
“My stepmom always told me to pick my battles. Growing up with divorced parents and during other times in my life, I think picking your battles can really help navigate all of the different feelings and opinions you are faced with. Through relationships and all of life’s challenges, I find it valuable to pick your battles and ask yourself whether it will make each situation better or worse.”
11. What is a cause or charity you care most about?
“I am a huge advocate for the current Black Lives Matter movement, donating to the bailouts and Black Lives Matter Foundation has been super important during this time. I wish I had already been doing these things and had been more aware, but I have found that educating myself and others in this moment has been crucial. In addition, my biggest love is for animals, most importantly elephants. I donate every single year to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and I technically have an orphaned elephant that I also donate to. It is my biggest dream destination and project to actually visit the foundation in Kenya. I think that our wildlife needs and deserves so much attention, so that is truly where my heart lies for giving back.”
12. You recently did a photoshoot for the SBLS July/August 2020 issue. What was your favorite shoot location and outfit?
“This was my first photoshoot with the magazine and we went to Los Alamos, which happens to be my favorite place to eat and where I celebrated my 25th birthday. The farm-to-table food is the best I have ever had! I was so excited for the shoot because I figured lunch had to be from somewhere in the area. Norman restuarant at Skyview did not dissapoint. My favorite outfit from the shoot was when I was standing on a chair holding a few books. I wore a long pleated red skirt, a blue sweater, and a yellow purse. My favorite location, however, was when we took pictures sitting in a field because it gave the full perception of where we really were. You don’t always get to see locations like this in magazines since modern hotels and more touristy locations are the settings for many pictures. Because of quarantine, we were able to showcase a different scene which was awesome.”
13. How would you describe your style?
“Most of my clothes are black and white, considering I mainly wear black jeans with a white t-shirt. I think my style is that way because with modeling, especially e-commerce jobs, I try on so many outfits that I normally wouldn’t put myself in. Once these outfits for different jobs come together, I love them and enjoy those moments in more colorful, preppy outfits that aren’t necessarily my everyday style. For instance, I would never wear a long pleated red skirt by myself. I think that is why my clothes are more boring outside of work because my day-to-day modeling requires being dressed up, which I think makes up for it!"
14. What is something that you wish you had known about the modeling industry?
“I wish there was more information given to the men, women, boys, and girls before they are about to sign to an agency. With taxes and getting paid from modeling agencies, it was all a big wake-up call for me. Especially as many of the girls and boys start so young, I think offering a class to new models and educating them more on how to be safe with their money, staying on top of their jobs, and being safe in the different modeling environments could be so helpful. ”
15. What do you wish more people knew about the modeling industry?
“It is not as easy as it looks! It can also be easy for people to make assumptions or generalizations about models. For instance, people have told me they expected me to be mean or unfriendly. It is so important to be open to conversation and learning more about one another. I am very lucky to be doing what I am doing and I hope I can keep doing it for many years to come. I am 29, so I would love to show that this career does not have to be short-lived. I truly believe there is space for people of all ages to offer their talents and skills in the modeling world! Ethnicity and diversity within the industry are also starting to receive more and more positive attention which is great!"