Welcome to Face Time. DFW Style Daily’s exclusive series goes beyond the runways to get to know top models on a personal level. Through the years, dozens of fascinating men and women have captured attention of thousands. They’ve also proved, beyond a doubt, that Texas-based models are among the most talented and accomplished in the country.
Today, our series turns the tables to interview one of DFW Style Daily’s most beloved alums, modeling industry veteran and RSC Show Productions founder, Rhonda Sargent Chambers. As a contributor to this publication from 2011 – 2014, Rhonda enlightened us each week on the intricacies of fashion trends. As the producer of many of our city’s most fabulous events, her insider status lends an invaluable perspective to her clients.
Read on for the story of Rhonda’s journey, in her own words. Plus, she’ll share details on can’t-miss upcoming events.
Name: Rhonda Sargent Chambers
Hometown: Oakland, California
Company: RSC Show Productions, LLC
DFW Style Daily: Rhonda, we are so excited to “turn the tables” today. We’re excited to learn more about you, your company, and where your journey takes you this fall season. First, at what age did you enter the fashion industry as a model?
Rhonda Sargent Chambers: “I started modeling at the ripe age of 15. At that time, I was working at Chandler’s Landing Yacht Club in Rockwall, Texas, as a lifeguard and wind surfing teacher. I was scouted there, and my first job was modeling for a sailboat company.”
Tell us about your specific focus within the modeling industry.
“I was a commercial print model at first, but I added runway work to my resume, as well, at age 22. At the beginning, after I signed on with the Kim Dawson Agency, I began to work on the west coast. I also traveled to Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Some of my notable clients were Better Homes & Gardens, American Airlines, and Women’s Wear Daily, as well as retailers including Neiman Marcus, Dillard’s, Nordstrom, and Macy’s.
“I even had the opportunity to live in Japan for a few months, which was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are no words that can describe how thankful I am for that incredible experience. Some other unique assets that I am able to add to my modeling resume include meeting many celebrity designers, appearing on television, commercial acting, lingerie modeling, and even hand modeling!”
Tell us about the lessons you learned from working as a model.
“Modeling is known for being a tough industry, however, it’s a business, and should be treated that way. It’s very important to separate your feelings from the job and from the art of selling your looks. It’s so important to remain humble, and to never be late! Despite the fashion industry stereotype, being on time is a must. Most importantly, always treat others how you wanted to be treated. Be kind and have fun!”
Moving forward, what prompted you to make the transition from in front of the camera to behind the scenes as a show and event producer?
“I’ve always had a passion for modeling, but I became even more curious about working behind the scenes. I would always observe and learn how a fashion coordinator would do his or her job. I learned that the key for any coordinator is to be organized and calm, so I knew that I had the skills to take the helm myself and make visions a reality for my own clients.”
What year did you launch RSC Show Productions? Tell us how your business has evolved since inception.
“RSC Show Productions helmed its first show in 2001 for DIFFA, Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS. I was pregnant with my second child, but I decided to just go for it! We have evolved tremendously over the years, while maintaining a commitment to our goal of conceptualizing events on behalf of our clients and helping them to raise money for a cause. It’s crucial that we keep our eye on this ultimate goal, and we always keep our events elegant and completely relevant to the cause. Through it all, my crew is the reason why we have grown so much, headed by Assistant Producer and Lead Stylist, Doug Voisin (pictured below). I would not be here without them.”
You are also in-demand as a host and expert commentator. Tell us about how you connect with audiences on this level.
“I love hosting events of all kinds. I love sharing my knowledge about the history of fashion, and I feel that I am able to connect in a meaningful way, because I always research my demographic and subject matter. I do my very best to leave guests with something new to learn and consider as they continue their day.”
Do you have a personal role model? What have you learned from her example?
“My role model has always been my mother (pictured above). She has worked so hard for her entire life, both as a wife and mother, and as Executive Vice President for Lambert’s Landscaping and a distributor for Kemiko Concrete Stain. She was trained by Henry Lambert of Lambert Gardens and Stanley Marcus of Neiman Marcus, from whom she learned to observe and pay attention to every single detail.
“It’s so inspiring to see a woman work her way up to the top, and still be so humble – and I am so thankful that my mother passed these traits to me. She has such a drive and enthusiasm for life, and she enjoys every single moment. She also shares her knowledge with everyone, and doesn’t pay attention to her competition. ‘You are your own competition and others cannot touch you.’ That is my mantra.”
Last but certainly not least, tell us about any upcoming events that we cannot miss!
“Beginning tonight, October 29, and continuing through tomorrow night at the Winspear Opera House, the Dallas Opera First Sight and First Night opening events are truly magnificent. This is such an incredible client, and each year these events showcase both global and local designers’ interpretations of the coming season’s theme.
“Lastly, Brian Brothers of Planet Productions and I will again serve as Co-Creative Directors of the DIFFA Dallas annual gala on May 21, 2016. Words cannot express how thankful I am to return as part of this team; we will raise the bar, raise even more funds, and continue to raise awareness in the fight against HIV and AIDS through this anticipated annual event.”
All images courtesy of Rhonda Sargent Chambers. Lead and top line headshots by Kent Barker, hair by Ryan Chambers, makeup by Scarlett Chambers DeMoss, and wardrobe by Elements.