Though Linda and Evangeline Charlie assumed nothing had come of their Vogue shoot in March of 2021, they were both pleasantly surprised to find out that they were going to be featured in the prestigious fashion magazine.
“So excited,” said Linda, describing her initial reaction. “I was so excited. I ran up and I showed my sister and she was so excited to.”
“She showed me the picture and a part of me was like, ‘Oh, I’m sleeping, I’m going to wake up now,’” said Evangeline. “I was like, oh, I’m not waking up, is this real?”
“We did that shoot over a year ago,” Linda continued. “And basically we were like, ‘OK, I guess (the) photographer didn’t like the pictures because it was so long for us to get them back.
“Usually when we do a photo shoot we’ll see the pictures around three to six months later or like an ad campaign. So by the time you see the pictures, they’re old.”
Despite a seeming lack of results, this wasn’t anything to fear as a recent trip to Linda’s agency would bring about some clarity.
“I had to go to my agency to update my headshots because my hair grew and whatnot, and the photographer was like, ‘Hey, I just got those pictures back from the retouch,’” said Linda. “’Are you excited for them to be published?’ When she said that I was just in shock.”
“So after she said that, I was just checking Vogue every day. Like, it’s gonna get published, and when it did happen, I was like, ‘Oh, my God.’”
Linda, 23, officially started her modelling career around four years ago while Evangeline, 19, has been involved for about a year. They reside in Yellowknife.
“What was interesting for me (was) I wanted to work with photographers and I just wanted some cool pictures,” said Linda, describing why the job appealed to her. “I think like the campaign and the editorial things were just like a bonus. Like, I just got lucky that I got to do that.”
Before the Vogue shoot, the sisters had been involved in numerous outlets, including Bridal Fantasy, Hillberg and Birk, Jourdian, and Dean Davidson.
The response from friends, family and others to the sisters’ involvement with Vogue was nothing sort of spectacular.
“It’s a huge honour because we come from a small town in Nunavut, Taloyoak, and there’s about 800 people there,” said Linda.
What’s even more incredible is that the Vogue shoot was Evangeline’s first, making for quite a kicking off point in her career.
Evangeline got even more experience right out of the gate with another shoot that would be featured in Basic Magazine.
“Yeah, it’s been really good for Evangeline so far,” said Linda.
However, while the sisters do appreciate the recognition, experience and positive feedback that they have received, there is a deeper meaning that goes along with their success.
“We grew up a part of our Inuit community and our dad also went to (a) residential school and I think it’s important for us being a part of marginalized communities to be representing… these people,” said Linda. “Because people like us weren’t always shown in media… our mom’s side, she’s an immigrant from Kenya, and on our dad’s side, he’s Inuit, Indigenous residential school survivor.”
”We don’t come from a background of wealth. So growing up being a part of marginalized communities, we’ve had our fair share of hardships and oppression in life. But we’ve also been very, very lucky in certain situations, and we choose to highlight those, because unfortunately, groups of people like us, have not always been represented in media. So we hope that in the future, we see more and more of these opportunities given to Indigenous people,” Linda said.
Though they can’t reveal what the future holds, they are able to confirm that they have “some really cool projects” on the horizon that should be coming to light as early as this fall.
“I think it’s only going up from here,” said Linda. “Yeah, we didn’t expect such an overwhelming amount of support, especially from like our community up north, like our family and community members in love but sorry, also (they) are not only up north, like we have some family members in Texas and in Kenya who are sharing that, that last story that has been published with the CBC. So it’s, like, we were shocked that this amount of people have like, found their stories.”