Up close and personal with Sadé Greenwood

By Mahika Panditha 


Hello January! Those of you who have passed by Cotton Collection must have seen this beautiful young lady and wondered who she was. Well, we here at Happinez had the chance to have a chat with her last week.

Meet Sadé Greenwood! She just graduated from Asian International School, where she is also interning, alongside working at Embark. Sadé also received a scholarship to study international relations at Tokyo International University in Japan! We are so proud of her and cannot wait to see where this journey takes her. She is passionate about animal welfare – she has been an active and promising volunteer at Embark for the past few years! She also takes part in many musicals and concerts. What a well-rounded young lady! We were honoured to have a word with her this new year and talk about her life and work. She hopes to make a positive impact in our world – which is why she is studying international relations! Check out what she had to say. 


Hi Sadé! Tell us a little bit about yourself.  

My name is Sadé Greenwood and I’m an 18-year-old biracial girl, born and raised in the sunny coasts of Colombo, Sri Lanka to two incredible beings. My dad is half British and half German, whilst my mum is Sri Lankan. I also have an amazing elder sister, Sabrina who has always been my partner in crime. Having just graduated from high school, I’m currently waiting to continue my higher studies in international relations in Japan. Coming from a family of animal lovers, I spend most of my free time volunteering at Embark and trying to rehome animals in need of a loving home. Besides that, I’m also a part-time model for The Model Atelier and I’m currently interning at my school. 


When did you get into modelling?

I was first scouted at the age of 14 by Jacquie Mei, one of the founders of the modelling agency The Model Atelier. My father had introduced Jacquie to me at an event, and the rest is history! I had taken an interest in modelling around that time – at 14, I was nearly 5’8”, so I was persuaded by many people to give it a go, and I’ve never looked back since. It was really my family and my best friend Dinuri that supported my decision to pursue modelling.  


What has been your favourite shoot thus far? 

My favourite shoot would probably have to be my first-ever shoot, which was the 2017 Winter, Spring, and Summer campaign for Cotton Collection. I had only just turned 15 and was really inexperienced back then, so you can imagine; I was literally jumping into the deep end and was incredibly nervous. However, the shoot lasted for roughly two days and I was surrounded by an amazing crew and had the opportunity to work with some of the most talented people in the industry. Soon enough, that nervousness faded and I had some of the best memories from that time. They taught me so much and three years later, I’m still working with my amazing family at Cotton Collection.  


Any funny stories for us?  

I was totally embarrassed at the time, but looking back, it certainly was one of the funniest moments in my life. This actually happened recently, so you all will be getting exclusive access to this embarrassing story! So not long ago, I had mixed up the studio location for a shoot and ended up taking an Uber to the middle of nowhere. I got down and confidently walked into this house, my modelling bag in tow, striding into someone’s front yard. I rang the doorbell and out came this family. Literally 10 people were standing behind the door looking at the unusual girl standing in front of them with a smile on her face and duffel bag in tow. I proceeded to greet them warmly before asking if I could come inside, they were so sweet about it, until they asked me who I was. My heart stopped for a moment. They explained that the studio had moved months ago and they were the new tenants of the property. I wanted the ground to open up when they said that! They probably thought I was trying to forcefully move into their house or something!

Aside from modelling, how do you spend your time? 

I spend most of my time reading, volunteering, and trying desperately to master the Japanese language! With Covid around, I’m not able to fulfil my gap year plans, which were to travel around Sri Lanka and spend time with my grandparents in Germany. However, I had the opportunity to spend my time with my family, my close friends, and my three little rescue dogs. If anything, it was one of the best things that came out of this year.  


What has been something you learned this year? 

How to appreciate and be grateful for what I have. Before Covid, I was always a busy person. Trying to balance my school life and work life often meant I didn’t always have a chance to spend time with my family and close friends. There were days when I’d stay after school for my extracurricular activities for a couple of hours before taking a shower in school and going straight for any castings or shoots I had. It really wasn’t easy but I liked being busy and having such a supportive family made it easier. After Covid, I learnt that I also needed to find a better balance and slow down once in a while. I took the time to rediscover who I am as a person and learnt how strong I can be, after picking myself back up after the many obstacles and setbacks I experienced this year. If anything, 2020 was a year that really gave me the character development I needed. 


Any advice you can share for aspiring models? 

The best advice I can give is the advice I was given by my mum. Before going for castings, my mum would always give me a pep talk to boost my morale and one of the many things she would say is, “just be yourself”. It’s probably a very common phrase, but it’s also the most honest one, because you only really realise the impact of these words once you see your pictures. Your personality does shine through the camera almost always, and it most certainly shows in your pictures. Also, always be true to yourself and know your roots. No matter what happens in life, always keep yourself grounded and stay humble. 


PHOTOS Arantha Photography, Sassanada Liyanaarachchi, Malaka MP Photography