Artist & Model Sha Marie Is Finding Beauty Everyday

A cancer diagnosis led Sha Marie to explore the world of modelling. Photo / Zico O'Neill-Rutene

Quite often it's the most important layer closest to our body that we sometimes neglect, so when ethical lingerie brand Videris entered the market in 2020, at last came an option that focused on the holistic power of good lingerie aimed at making the wearer feel good, both physically and mentally.

Made with breathable Tencel fabric and free of harmful chemicals, Videris has quickly gained a reputation for its mood-enhancing colours and prints too, including verdant green and vibrant pinks.

Founder Chloe Julians has the credentials. She spent 15 years abroad working for top lingerie brands including Stella McCartney Lingerie, Agent Provocateur, David Beckham Bodywear, and, prior to returning to New Zealand, launched Rihanna's lingerie line, Savage X Fenty, as VP of Design in 2017.

To celebrate her new season, she's teamed up with dancer Yayoi Matches and multidisciplinary artist and creative Sha Marie (pictured) whose personal recovery from cancer instigated her foray into modelling and acting, a later-in-life approach that aligns with the brand's celebration of finding beauty in everyday moments.

"I love the fact that Videris has broken the mould of using young, slim girls, and has embraced all body types and ages," says Sha.

"Every piece is free from heavy metals and toxic dyes. This is very important to me, especially as I have had cancer and care about what I put in and on my body."

Sha Marie wears Videris 'Maggie' bra $90 and 'Whitney' high waist bikini bottom $40. Photo / Zico O'Neill-Rutene
Sha Marie wears Videris 'Maggie' bra $90 and 'Whitney' high waist bikini bottom $40. Photo / Zico O'Neill-Rutene

Congratulations on being part of a beautiful and special campaign with Videris. Tell us about how your involvement with the brand came about.

My modelling agent Rebecca at Silverfox Management (who only represents mature models), phoned me one day telling me she had a wonderful job for a lingerie company and asked if I would like to do it. Once I met Chloe and saw her passion and learnt about how Videris worked and their ethics, it was a perfect match.

What are your favourite pieces from the new collection?

My favourite knicker style is the bikini. I found for my size (I'm normally a D cup) and breast shape that the Sarah bra fitted me beautifully, and I am a proud owner of these. My favourite colour from their range is probably olive.

As an artist, how do your creative pursuits give you the motivation to stay inspired?

I think having my fingers in various creative industries, from being an illustrator, actress, model and, recently, a qualified hair, makeup and special effects artist, helps me see things from different perspectives. They all kind of intertwine beautifully and I get to see and be inspired by others daily.

Living with cancer can be a rollercoaster journey. How did your creativity help you during those times and how did it keep you focused on your recovery?

The first time I was going through chemotherapy and radiation, I never left the house except for treatment and hospital visits, so creating artwork kept me sane. When the cancer returned I focused on my illustration work to stop me thinking about being classed as terminal, but after my immunotherapy treatment and with no cancer detected I decided to join a modelling agency and an acting agency to get me out of the house and have some fun.

Beautiful lingerie is just a small part of feeling good about ourselves and our bodies. How would you describe your approach to style and what you choose to wear?

I'm very much a colour-coordinating person. If I'm wearing green I wear green underwear, if I'm wearing pink I wear pink underwear (is that weird?). Although, since modelling, I've seemed to have accumulated a whole drawer just of natural nude-toned lingerie. My wardrobes (very much plural), contain original garments from Vivienne Westwood to a pair of dungarees from Dotti. Being older I've learned what suits my body, and I rarely try on clothes before I buy them. I can go from wearing a beautiful flowing dress and high heels one day to a boiler-suit and Dr Martens the next. It all depends on my mood and what I'm doing.

Modelling came to you later in life. What do you love about this medium for creative expression on a personal level?

I actually used to model when I was 16, but I was very shy and had low self-esteem, so it was short-lived. I think the modelling industry has changed so much over the years, and I love that. For me, it's all about working with a team to get the final image. It's wonderful to watch it all get pulled together. At the beginning of the photoshoot with Videris, I was very anxious and a little scared as lingerie shots are very intimate. I am very self-conscious of my body since having my operation, which left a large scar and a misshapen stomach, but the photographer Zico O'Neill-Rutene and the Videris team put me so at ease I almost forgot I was the only one in undies.

What advice would you be able to share for anyone wanting to start modelling in their 50s?

I'd say go for it and be a part of the new age positivity movement and inspire other mature people to feel okay within their bodies. I think it certainly helps to be fun and outgoing, with great flexibility and availability. You will need a lot of patience as often you are just sitting around waiting. Being able to flow from move to move (almost like dancing) would be an advantage.

What else are you working on in 2022 that we should keep a lookout for?

Gosh, 2022 has already started as a busy year for me and it's fantastic. I’ve worked on a few photoshoots and a couple of TV commercials already. I can't really say too much at the moment as they are not yet out and public. But I can say watch out for me flying high laughing. I'm always on the lookout for fun shoots and productions that push the boundaries.

Share this article: