Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Defining Moments

Behind Ava Smith's explosive Fall/Winter 2012 season where she racked up a show tally of over 50 shows, belies a story of determination, persistence and resolve. At age twenty-three, Smith is practically a veteran in an industry where novices are often proclaimed stars months within being discovered. Smith herself, was scouted seven years ago in her native Chicago and her modelling career showed initial promise with plum assignments for British Vogue and United Colours of Benetton shot respectively by Paolo Roversi and David Sims. For Smith, the hype quickly dissipated and she found herself relegated to commercial catalogue jobs for the likes of Nordstrom. Smith is reflective about her early forays into modelling speaking with the Cut, "When I worked with Paolo Roversi and David Sims earlier in my career, I wasn't old enough to know that this was what I truly wanted. I think you need to have passion. When you're young, it's easy to be pushed into thinking this is what you want... I feel much more comfortable pursuing this now."

Ava Smith
Image courtesy of  Production Art + Commerce
Source - artandcommerceproduction.com

A change of representation to Wilhelmina Model Management in 2011 and an overhaul of Smith's image sparked a renewed interest in the lead up to the Fall/Winter 2012 collections. Smith was undoubtedly the "it" girl of the Fall/Winter 2012 season with models.com declaring emphatically, "This is a girl you remember, which is not so easy these days." Smith cut a striking figure at Calvin Klein, Alexander Wang, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci amongst others, with her cobalt blue eyes, the contrasting effect of her luminous pale skin with her dark raven mane, and her beguiling presence. Smith has since capitalised on her newly declared blue-chip runway status with editorial appearances in Interview, V Magazine, British Harpers Bazaar, and Dazed & Confused.

British Harpers Bazaar - September 2012
Photographer - Sebastian Kim
Source - thefashionspot.com

Interview - May 2012
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier
Source - thefashionspot.com

Dazed & Confused - June 2012
Photographer - Daniel Jackson
Source - models.com

Ava Smith, Kati Nescher & Thairine Garcia
V Magazine - Issue 78
Photographer - Sebastian Faena
Source - models.com

Interview - May 2012
Photographer - Gregory Harris
Source - thefashionspot.com

Ava Smith & Maud Welzen
Black Book - October 2011
Photographer - Jason Kim
Source - thefashionspot.com

Amra Cerkezovic, Stef Van der Laan, Thairine Garcia,
Ava Smith, Marie Piovesan, Cora Emmanuel & Frida Aasen
CR Fashion Book - Preview Issue
Photographer - Sebastian Faena
Source - thefashionspot.com

Smith's dedication to her craft and the ability to remain circumspect about her status as modelling's newest sensation are admirable. Speaking with V Magazine, Smith enthuses "I've always taken this job seriously. I see how much passion the people who are really good at what they do have, and I respect that. The good photographers, stylists, art directors, and editors didn't get to where they got by fooling around. Models shouldn't be any different. It's not just about luck and being beautiful." Clearly the industry is beginning to recognise Smith's high fashion possibilities with the 177 cm lanky beauty scoring Fall/Winter 2012 only-girl campaigns for Max Mara and Burberry Black Label shot by Emma Summerton and Kacper Kaspryzk. 

Smith displays a mature outlook, level headedness, and a steely focus which may stem from her age and life experience. When quizzed about her advice to newcomers hoping to break into the industry, Smith is one step ahead, "I don't mean this to sound too negative, but remember it's just a moment. I think it's very easy to get caught up in... thinking you've made a name for yourself where people are aware of you and what you're doing. Whether it's fame or notoriety or whatever you want to call it, just remember that eventually there's  going to be someone else who's going to be just as beautiful as you, or just as smart, or as funny, whatever it is. So, enjoy it while you have it, but don't let it define you, because it's a wonderful moment while it's there, but there will be many other wonderful moments following this one."

Max Mara - F/W 2012
Photographer - Kacper Kaspryzk
Source - thefashionspot.com

Benjamin Eidem & Ava Smith
Burberry Black Gold - F/W 2012
Photographer - Emma Summerton
Source - models.com

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