Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tough Chic

Indigenous model, Samantha Harris is on the cusp of becoming Australia's next big modelling export. The statuesque 180 cm tall beauty, was discovered in the 2004 Girlfriend Model Search competition alongside eventual winner, Abbey Lee Kershaw. Harris was signed on the spot by Chic Models in Sydney and is also represented in New York by Next Models.

In an industry that is saturated with beautiful girls, twenty year old Harris' exotic looks, soft doe eyed features and bee stung lips set her apart from the pack. Harris' striking features are the product of a hybrid mix of Aboriginal and German lineage. In an interview with the National, Harris acknowledges that her Indigenous background adds to her allure, "It gives me an advantage, there is no one else around who looks like me."

In June 2010, Harris made the cover of Australian Vogue, making her only the second Aboriginal model to appear on the cover since Elaine George's appearance in 1993. In an interview with the National, Australian Vogue Editor Kirstie Clements, insists that the decision to put Harris on the cover was not politically motivated, "Samantha is just extraordinary, and it's a happy and wonderful coincidence that she's indigenous."

Chic agent, Kathy Ward has carefully nurtured and navigated Harris' path through the modelling world. In 2006, Harris scored a major coup when she was flown to New York to be photographed by Patrick Demarchelier for Glamour magazine. Speaking with ninemsn.com, Ward recalls how following the plum assignment, Next Models were keen for Harris to take on more international bookings. Ward at the time however was adamant, "She's not ready, she's not mature enough yet and she just wouldn't cope being out there on her own, so it's not negotiable until she finishes school. But there's no doubt, the opportunities for Samantha will be endless, she's on the radar, she's out there." Ward adds that "There's absolutely no urgency, confidence is vital. If that means waiting another season and a half to launch a girl, we'll do it. You only get one chance when you meet the big names so we're prepared to invest the time to develop a girl."

For a model who has not been officially launched on the international modelling circuit, Harris has garnered significant support and interest. Photographers adore her; Robert Erdmann calls her, "the most ravishing thing that I know of" and David Bailey predicts a great future for her, "She has a real innocence in how she works that's very unaffected. She doesn't pose; she's very open and natural, which is great." Clements who has become one of Harris' most ardent supporters, having made her one of Australian Vogue's staple models, adds that "She has a quiet elegance that sets her apart, she's top drawer."

In the last 12 months, Harris has evolved into a truly versatile model, capable of conveying a broad range of editorial and runway looks.  I am hoping that 2011 is the year that Harris makes her mark on an international scale at the Fall/Winter shows in February. In an interview with the Sun Herald, Harris says, "I'll definitely go to New York some time in the future, which will be exciting and hopefully they will love me over there." I have no doubt that Harris would thrive in New York and yes, they will love her over there as much as we do.


Karen Magazine - February 2011
Photographer - Cara Stricker

Test shoot
Photo courtesy of Chic Model Management

Backstage at Alex Perry 2010
Source - thefashionspot.com

Australian Vogue - February 2011
Photographer - Nicole Bentley

Singapore Harper's Bazaar - April 2010
Photographer - Simon Upton

Australian Vogue - February 2011
Photographer - Nicole Bentley

Australian Vogue - March 2010
Photographer - Nicole Bentley

Karen Magazine - February 2011
Photographer - Cara Stricker

Australian Vogue - June 2010
Photographer - Nicole Bentley

Samantha Harris & Kirstie Clements
Source - the fashionspot.com



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