Model Berite Labelle Shares Her Story – The Hype Magazine
Many girls dream of making it big in the world of fashion, but only a few get to strut their stuff on the runway. Berite Labelle is one of the hopefuls who has made it. The Moldovan-born model, dancer, and actress is currently living her dream in LA having represented some of the world’s most luxurious brands in Europe. She is now producing her own short film that she co-wrote with The Dream Team directors, Daniel and Bayou Lir, inspired by some of the world’s most iconic women. Nevertheless, Berite is quick to point out that Hollywood success comes with its own challenges.
“It’s not always the lifestyle of glitz and glamor that many imagine. Working in the limelight can be stressful and challenging. Getting that perfect picture depends on many aspects of the environment in which you work. It’s a team effort and video shoots can go on for weeks at a time. It can be hard to find a moment for yourself to relax,” Berite says. “This lifestyle can also be quite isolating. I do feel lonely at times. My husband lives in Geneva in Switzerland, and I’m alone in Los Angeles. Oftentimes I don’t even get the time to see my friends or enjoy the ocean.”
Fuelled by Passion
Despite the hard work and grueling hours, Berite says that she is thankful to be leading such a fulfilled life. Just like so many other girls, Berite was already dreaming of a career in Hollywood at the tender age of five. One of Berite’s earliest memories is of her father’s colleague telling her that one day she would make it as a model, a premonition she heard well into her adolescence. “This idea intrigued me. As I turned six, my favorite channel became Fashion TV and I spent hours watching it. Even if I couldn’t watch the show, my father would always record it for me.”
Inspired by celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Naomi Campbell, and Noémie Lenoir, Berite believes that it is not just her talent, but also emotional intelligence and patience that have helped her achieve success. “I consider myself an intelligent, emotional being. I have been through a lot of difficulties from a very young age. This has developed both my resilience and patience. I am committed to achieving my goals and this has spurred me on to where I am today.”
While Berite’s Hollywood career is currently flourishing, the 28-year-old has had her fair share of hardship. Born to a Chadian father and a Moldovan-Russian mother in Tiraspol, Moldova, a tiny country that used to be a part of Russia, Berite’s childhood was far from perfect. After her parents separated when she was six, Berite found herself traveling across the globe with her father who worked for the United Nations. And the transitions were not always easy.
“I had to blend into different cultures. When I arrived in Switzerland, I was the only girl of color speaking Russian. Since I couldn’t really speak the language, I was placed in a special school.
After Berite’s father succumbed to cancer when she was 14, the young girl was sent to a boarding school in France where she soon started to excel. “I was getting the top grades in my class. It was mainly because I wanted to make my father proud and prove to myself that I could be a smart student.
And even though Berite was not able to locate her mother at the time, the adolescent girl pledged that one day she would be a huge international star. “I wanted my mother to see me on television or in the tabloids,” she says. As it turns out, Berite got to see her mother again three years ago, a meeting to which she took a Swiss magazine in which she was featured.
The Road to Success
With so much already behind her at such a young age, Berite decided that if she could survive so much hardship, she could do anything. She started studying commerce and working as an intern at Bucherer 1888, a Swiss jeweler and watch manufacturer behind such swanky brands as Audemars Piguet, Omega, and Rolex. She soon got her first modeling job for Bank Dukaskopy. “Every month I would walk the runway at the Four Seasons Hotel in Geneva wearing outfits by luxury brands and high jewelry such as Faberge and La Perla.”
Other jobs followed for the young talent who is currently represented by Truth Management and Colby Management. Over the years, Berite has worked for up-scale brands such as Michaud SA, Fabergé, and La Perla, and has appeared at internationally renowned events including Tiffany’s Fashion Week in Paris and Le Bal des Créateurs in Geneva.
While pursuing her acting career at the New York Film Academy, where she studied on a partial scholarship last year, Berite wrote a script for a short movie, which is currently in postproduction. “It’s a story of two powerful historical figures – Mary Wollstonecraft and Cleopatra. Even though these women lived in very different times, both were independent and determined, which are qualities that have brought me to where I am today,” she says. “I am no longer afraid of being vulnerable and showing what life has taught me through acting. It’s taken a while but I am finally ready to share my universe with others.”
Being a perfectionist, Berite has had to learn the art of taking care of her personal well-being, something she advises all women working in the entertainment industry to focus on. “Your well-being is crucial to your performance as a model or an actress. Overloading yourself with activities and excessive stress can tear you down surprisingly quickly,” she says.
“I am normally incredibly busy with Zoom appointments, perfecting my accents, exercising, looking for gigs, doing castings, and managing my social media accounts,” she continues. “Over the years, however, I have learned that both self-love and self-care are indispensable. I have a routine through which I take care of both my body and mind. I make sure that I get enough sleep and exercise, and I meditate and drink plenty of water. When you love yourself, you not only perform better at work but can take care of others without sacrificing your own needs.”
Photo Credits: Tina Sokolovskava