Jocelyn Chew Dishes on 'The Face,' Working with Naomi Campbell, and Her Feud with Sandra

Jocelyn Chew (photos by Steve Fenn, courtesy of Oxygen Network)

'The Face' (Steve Fenn, Oxygen Network).
Jocelyn Chew has made a serious impression this season on The Face, Oxygen's new modeling reality series that follows supermodel coaches Naomi Campbell, Karolina Kurkova, and Coco Rocha as their models compete for the chance to become the new face of ULTA Beauty.

The 20-year-old half Chinese/half Icelandic model from Canada caught mentor Naomi Campbell's eye early in the competition, thanks to her unique beauty and fierce posing skills. She's already advanced to the Top 6 and looks poised to take the fashion industry by storm after the show.

Zimbio recently caught up with Chew, who dished on working with Campbell, her reality TV competition strategy, and how she really feels about on-screen nemesis Sandra.

Were you nervous to meet Naomi Campbell and to be put on her team?
I was nervous, for sure, to first meet Naomi. But at the same time, I was excited because it's not every day that you get to meet someone so iconic. So I would say nervous and excited. A mixture of both.

She has a reputation of being a diva. What was your experience of working with her and being mentored by her?
My experience was a good experience. I don't think that Naomi's necessarily a diva. To me it's just like she knows what she wants and she knows how it should be, and I think that she doesn't beat around the bush with her critiques. She'd rather just be direct instead of wasting time on trying to sugarcoat things.

Do you feel like you've learned a lot from her and from the other judges?
I definitely feel like I've learned quite a few things. Especially with Naomi being my mentor, but all the coaches and Nigel as well are always telling us little things. And if you're paying attention you'll take notes.

If you had to name the one most important thing you've learned from Naomi Campbell, what would it be?
I would say all the walking advice she gave. I mean, she's the queen of the catwalk so there's no one to better teach you... It's something that I haven't done as much of in my career, so it was something that I was excited to be taught be Naomi but at the same time nervous because she's like the ultimate judge.

Did you have a strategy coming into the competition?
I would say my strategy was to stay confident and positive. And to just focus on myself and not the other competition... At the end of the day, I'm a really big believer in not comparing yourself to anybody, especially in the modeling industry. Because everybody is so different, if you keep comparing yourself to someone else that's all you're going to think about and you're just going to drive yourself crazy. So I really just tried to focus on myself.

Have there been any challenges so far that were harder than you thought they would be?
I think just all around, as a whole, every challenge is a little bit more challenging than I thought it would be because of it being a TV show and how many people are in the room and watching. It's not something I'm used to so I think it makes you a little bit nervous with all the extra eyes.

You were at odds with Sandra throughout the season. Do you think that's been accurately portrayed or was there some editing that made it seem bigger than it was at the time?
I do feel like it's fairly accurate. I mean, it's hard to put everything that happens in a 45 minute show — the whole show would be Sandra and I. [laughs] We just have very different, clashing, strong personalities and I think everybody realizes that.

Outside of modeling, what are your other passions?
I like extreme sports! I definitely like going on adventures and trying new things. And traveling. One of my favorite things that I've always liked to do and want to keep doing is culturing myself — visiting different countries and doing different things. I never like to be doing the same thing.

What's your favorite place that you've been to so far?
It's so hard to choose one place because I like everywhere for so many different reasons. But I'd probably have to say Ibiza. It's amazing.

How would you describe your own personal style?
I definitely don't have one specific trend that I'll always stick to. I think that I kind of mix everything, but mainly I stick to basics but basics looking kind of trendy and chic. Like layers and scarves.

Any fashion trend you could never ever see yourself trying?
Crocs. [laughs] And probably glasses with no lenses in them. I mean, you're obviously not blind and I don't understand why your glasses don't have lenses in them.

Any favorite designers that you'd love to work with?
I mean, I would love to work with any major designer. But I would have to say Alexander McQueen even though he's no around. But his clothing is still amazing. The structure of the dresses and the colors that he uses… he's just very outside of the box. It's very outside of the box and it's different, but at the same time whenever you see something by him you know it was Alexander McQueen. I love that you can always tell what's his.


The Face airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c on Oxygen. You can follow Jocelyn Chew on Twitter, Instagram (@jocechewbacca), and Facebook.
I'm the Chief Content Officer of Livingly Media (Livingly, Lonny, StyleBistro, Zimbio, Mabel + Moxie, and It's Rosy). My TV boyfriend is Pacey Witter. You can reach me at jill@livingly.com.
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