Jade Hubner is a woman of many talents. Besides having conquered the notorious challenges of the modelling industry, she has also flourished as a businesswoman, actress and television presenter. With so many things on her plate, we were curious about how she manages it all. We caught up with Jade to talk about surviving in the industry and how she keeps herself motivated and focused.


Photograph by Gareth Barclay


Why did you decide to get into modelling?
I always wanted to act, sing and present, but I was good at maths and everyone tells you that you will never make it in the modelling industry. I decided to take the safe option and study Business Science at UCT while pursuing my dream. That was challenging because, when registered at a full-time institution, it requires your physical attendance. I entered the modelling business so that I could pay for my studies and also as a means to get a foot into the door. I would do mostly commercials, so I never saw myself as a ‘model’. I had my lucky break when I won The Presenter Search on SABC3 in 2015, which changed my life and satisfied all of my many hobbies! I have since acted in an international TV series and a movie, I have also released a few songs on iTunes and videos on Youtube, as well as MC’ing and studying part-time now. 

What would you say has been your defining key to success?
I think it is energy, my genuine love for and interest in most things, my ability to function on very little sleep, my heart and my work ethic.

In an industry that constantly judges you on your appearance, how do you keep your mind clear, confident and untainted by what people say?
It is difficult and exhausting when people are constantly trying to look for faults, assume the worst and spread their assumptions. The more you achieve, the worse it gets. I have noticed that people in the industry either just stop caring or constantly keep trying to prove themselves and reveal their heart. I’m doing the latter as I believe time reveals all. It takes plenty of kindness and patience.

The modelling industry is notoriously tough, especially on women. What would you say are currently some of the biggest challenges facing women in the industry; and how do you think they can overcome it?
I think the biggest challenge is weight, I was constantly told I was too fat and too muscular. This was easy for me to overcome as logically I knew I was healthy, and often what they wanted was not healthy. I was not willing to compromise good food, health, fun and energy. Another challenge is when photographers or clients cross the line with inappropriate moves and words. Fortunately, I have always been very strong and able to walk away. It is important to respect your body, respect yourself and know you are worth more. 

What would your advice be to women trying to break into this business?
You need to have thick skin and not take anything personally. Beauty is subjective and you will always be attractive to someone. In modelling they simply choose someone who suits a specific look that they have in mind; it does not mean that you are not good enough. You also need to be someone who is not easily influenced. You also need to be realistic as to whether you can make a full-time career out of it, as the market is flooded, so if you are adamant about doing it, the best solution is to study or work part-time.

 What is the best piece of advice you ever received regarding your career?
Don’t expect anything to be handed to you and don’t take anything personally! I know, easier said than done, but it is possible!

We featured Jade in our May issue of Marie Claire. Flip to our @Work section where she, and other formidable women share their secrets to success.