LEADING LADIES INTERVIEW: Candice Huffine, Model & Collaborator of CHxFortnight
Interview By: Liron Davis
Photos By: Matt Powers
“Can’t” doesn’t exist in Candice Huffine’s world. This force of nature has built an impressive modelling career, inspiring photographers and slaying the runways, all while staying true to herself. Transcending the camera lens, Candice has become an outspoken public figure for body positivity. Whether in media interviews or through her Instagram posts, Candice encourages women to wholly love the body they have. As an extension of that, she created Project Start, a running initiative in collaboration with Women’s Running to encourage all women to start running. Despite her active schedule, Candice found time to collaborate with us on a 12-piece capsule collection, which honours the uniqueness of women in all shapes and personalities. Her creativity, passion and energy inspired and motivated our team throughout their partnership. We wanted to know more about Candice’s journey and how her fearless, unapologetic attitude came to be. Sorry, not sorry 😉
FORTNIGHT: Who are you and what do you do?
CANDICE: I’m Candice Huffine. A model, marathoner, encourager of being yourself and hopeful game-changer.
FORTNIGHT: What’s the most rewarding thing about modelling?
CANDICE: Among so many beautiful travel experiences and the opportunity to work with my idols, the most rewarding part of modelling for me comes well after the photoshoot. When a woman contacts you and tells you the image she saw of you changed the outlook she has of her own body and helped her love it more that day, there is nothing that can compare.
FORTNIGHT: How do you stay so grounded having been in the fashion industry for some time?
CANDICE: Oh dear I don’t even know, but I’m thankful I have! I think a solid awareness that nothing is guaranteed or permanent is helpful for staying on track and true to who you are.
FORTNIGHT: So much of what you do and say inspires and empowers women. How did this personal mission come about?
CANDICE: My message of being your most authentic self has always been something I was passionate about, but I guess you could say it ramped up as a mission once there was a social platform in which to share it. Once I realized it was impactful for women to see me living an unapologetic, body positive lifestyle, I chose to not hold back. I have worked hard at sharing and baring all of my life and beliefs in hopes that it empowers women to make themselves a priority and be true to who they are.
FORTNIGHT: What are some ways you seek to empower women?
CANDICE: I hope to empower women by…doing!! I think being honest and vulnerable in any aspect of my life is important to share because in some way it helps lift a sense of fear or doubt a woman may have for herself. I want women know that they are capable of anything and if I put myself out there conquering all that I seek, I hope they know they can too.
FORTNIGHT: What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve done recently? And how did you feel doing it?
CANDICE: Running a marathon in April qualifies as the most challenging thing I’ve done hands down. It was my first and by far the hardest I’ve ever pushed myself both physically and mentally. I crossed that finish line though, and felt my life had surely changed forever – for the better! I finished the race a mere fifteen minutes before it officially ended, tired, emotional, and victorious. I vowed in that moment to never tell myself again that something is impossible or that “I can’t.” I turned something I never thought I could do into a memory I will never forget and felt more empowered than ever.
FORTNIGHT: Who inspires you?
CANDICE: Oh boy, I could never narrow down to one. Trust me, I’ve tried. I didn’t even have bridesmaids because it was too hard to choose. I just loved every lady in my life so much. To give you a broad idea of who inspires me, it’s women. And to narrow that down, it’s women who DO. Women who use their voices and bodies for good. Women who are seemingly fearless. Women who have failed, but never quit. Women with a story they are willing to share. Inspiration is everywhere. It’s up to me to be watching, listening and taking notes.
FORTNIGHT: What’s a really good piece of advice you’ve been given?
CANDICE: One of my greatest friends Wendy Brooks told me at the beginning of my career, “your only competition is with yourself.” In a time in the industry when it felt like everyone was a carbon copy of each other, trained to look and act the same, I remember becoming obsessed with what every model around me was doing. I remember being very hard on myself for losing jobs to other models and I was quite frankly on a path to becoming a monster. Wendy stepped in with a perfect reminder that it was just me in this game. That it didn’t matter what anyone else was doing and that all ships rise with the tide. She also made it very clear to me how important individuality was and to not lose my way or myself in this journey. I think I was 17 years old when we had this conversation and I’ve held on very tight to this advice ever since. So, thank you Wendy!
FORTNIGHT: What advice would you give to a young girl dealing with confidence issues about her body?
CANDICE: My advice is to find the things that make you happy and follow those without abandon. Counting calories and idolizing an unrealistic dress size for your body is not fulfilling. Live as healthy as possible and allow your body to be where it may. Don’t go to war with it and completely dismiss the life you could be living now. Think to yourself “am I going to allow my body to hold me back from making all of my dreams come true?” Embrace the girl you are today and let her shine!
FORTNIGHT: Beyond work, what is important to you right now?
CANDICE: Continual happiness. The wheels are not in motion for work, love, or life if you are not happy. It’s important for me to do what I love, be around people who make me smile, and always fun.
FORTNIGHT: What does the future of fashion look like to you?
CANDICE: To me the future always looks unknown and exhilarating. I dream big and work my ass off, doing my absolute best to accomplish it all, but some of the best things simply come from chance. I like to leave my life in the hands of that possibility as well.
FORTNIGHT: What’s on the horizon for you?
CANDICE: You know I happily share it all, but hey, a girl has to have some secrets. So stay tuned. 😉
LIGHTNING ROUND (Speedy Answers To Lightning-Fast Questions)
FORTNIGHT: What’s your equivalent of the power suit? An outfit that makes you feel strong and powerful, like you could take over the world.
CANDICE: A simple pair of jeans, a tee and leather jacket do the trick every time! #BossBabe at its finest. Also, let me add that I LIVE for a suit and even have mentioned that I would go back and get married in one. I don’t wear them nearly enough, but damn do I love them. It’s not called a power suit for nothing.
FORTNIGHT: What are some of your favourite independent labels or products?
CANDICE: FORTNIGHT for lingerie and swimwear of course! Glossier Eyebrow Gel. Herbivore Botanicals and Perfect Face Aesthetic Medicine for skin Milk Makeup. OAK and Universal Standard clothing.
FORTNIGHT: In three words or less, how would you describe your personal style?
CANDICE: Chic, tough, always evolving.
FORTNIGHT: What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
CANDICE: Matt and Jerry (my husband and my sweet puppy)
FORTNIGHT: If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
CANDICE: Hawaii! It’s my most favourite place. There and my Brooklyn apartment are the greatest escapes.
FORTNIGHT: When you were a child, what did you imagine being when you grew up?
CANDICE: Truthfully, this. A model. A Role Model. A Designer. All of it. I am literally living my wildest, most hoped for dream and I’m thankful EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.