In celebration of International Women’s Day, we sat down with the beautiful Nikki Mann, founder of Everi-Body Model Management. From her business journey (LA to the Gold Coast) to diversity and inclusivity in the fashion industry, we were inspired by Nikki throughout.
Nikki has been changing the game in the modelling industry here in Aus in less than 2 years. Her talent agency is proof that it's exactly what Australia needed and so in Lockdown 2020, Everi was born.
Everi represents talent of all sizes, shapes, heights and ethnicities across Australia. Nikki understands the need of showcasing beauty that has previously gone unnoticed; where the models are now walking billboards for everi-body.
Enjoy our sit-down with Nikki below xx
Q: Nikki, tell us about yourself!
So, a little bit about myself – I was born and raised on the Gold Coast, I’m 31 years old, I spent majority of my 20s living overseas. I’ve lived in New Zealand, a little bit of time in the South of France, Sydney and America. I have loving parents. I have a really cool, awesome boyfriend who’s also my best friend. My hobbies, sounds super cliche, but I love to go for long walks on the beach after work (we live by the beach, so that’s nice). And I’ve just gotten into pilates actually. So yeah, that’s just a little snippet of me.
Q: How did Everi start?
So Everi came about in what was the lowest time of my entire life. It was really hard. I was working over at an agency in LA and I represented curve women over there, I loved it. I was the head booker, I was doing crazy amazing things, it was the best time of my life. And then the pandemic hit.
So I had to come home. In May 2020 I decided to get on a plane and come home not knowing what was going to happen. I came home just before my 30th birthday, moved in with my parents, hadn’t lived with them since I was 17 which was crazy. Started doing some research on the industry here and just saw such a lack of diversity and inclusivity and I was quite shocked. I was quite upset with myself because I’d never really looked at the industry in Australia before, I’d only ever just focused on the American industry and they were definitely going in the right direction with diversity and inclusivity. So when I started to research, you know, who brands were using, other agencies, who they were representing and all that stuff, I just didn't see my beliefs and my mission… I didn’t see it fitting anywhere.
So my sister came in one day, my older sister Carly, and said “What are you doing? Why are you looking to work somewhere else? Start your own agency, you can do this on your own. This passion needs to be put in your own project, not somebody else's.” So I was like, how the heck am I going to do that? And yeah, fast forward to now. I just took a risk and it was the best decision I ever made; it was starting my own agency. And I guess I couldn't fail because I knew that the mission was so strong, my passion was there and Australia needed it, clearly.
Q: Tell us about your mission?
So my mission with Everi is to diversify the industry so that everyone can see themselves represented. We all deserve to have relatable people visible to us in campaigns, in eCommerce sites where you’re shopping online. You can see what that dress would look like on your body, not just a size 4/6. When you’re shopping at the shopping centre you can see relatable people in the store fronts. You’re more inclined to purchase something if you feel that you’re seen and heard and wanted in that store.
Q: Why is diversity & inclusivity the fundamentals of Everi?
Because this fashion industry can be such a toxic, negative place. And for me I really wanted it to be a safe space for models, for agents, for clients, for makeup artists, producers - everybody you name it. It needs to be a healthy, happy environment for everybody physically and mentally because it’s such a fun, creative job. There’s no need for it to be a negative space or be told that you need to look a certain way, or lose or gain weight to fit a certain sample size. Like, the sample sizes can change… it’s okay you know. You don't need to change. I think, when somebody is their healthy size they’re their happiest, and that’s when they’re their most confident and they glow and they’re so beautiful and sexy. I love seeing people/models be able to work at their healthy natural size, and stay happy.
Q: One woman who inspires you?
She is so incredible, she inspires me in every aspect of life: business… literally everything… is Rhianna. Surprise, surprise, she’s incredible. I think she’s such a powerful business woman and she once said [there was like a quote that went up on Instagram and it was like]: “Imagine if Rhianna didn’t open her makeup line because everybody else has a makeup line.” I feel like that’s so powerful in a sense because what Rhianna did with her makeup line is take it to the next level and show what every single makeup line needs to be doing, by having all those shades and being so inclusive and diverse. She’s done the same thing with NY Fashion Week Shows with her music, just with everything she does. She does it with grace and she doesn’t do it for the clout. You know that she’s doing it organically and she truly wants to see the change which I think is really powerful and empowering.
Q: What does IWD mean to you?
Powerful. Boss women. Femininity. Equality. And particularly this year with 2022 International Women’s Day being #BreakTheBias, I feel so aligned with that because that’s something we celebrate and push for every single day at Everi. So I’m really happy to be apart of this campaign talking about International Women’s Day and #BreakTheBias with you guys, because it’s something that, like I said before, I celebrate every single day and push for.
Q: What advice would you give the younger generation?
My advice for the younger generation would be to check who you’re hanging out with. Is your friendship circle like-minded? Don’t compare yourself to others. Everybody is beautiful just the way you are. And don’t change, be yourself. Be unique and you’re amazing.