Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Exclusive Interview - Julia Frauche

The recent Spring/Summer 2013 collections were dominated by a new battalion of French models led most memorably by Julia Frauche, Aymeline Valade, Manon Leloup, Marine Deleeuw, and Josephine Le Tutour. Amongst the almost 150 models that I encountered throughout the Spring/Summer 2013 season, Cannes native Julia Frauche stands out vividly in my mind due in part to her mesmerising beauty and more so, for her genuinely warm and engaging personality. Frauche's road to modelling success can only be described as a journey of self discovery and perseverance. Twenty-four year old Frauche had been grunt modelling for close to five years before breaking through to modelling's major league a year ago during the Spring/Summer 2012 collections via pristine appearances at Calvin Klein, Altuzarra, Givenchy and Balenciaga.

In the 15 months since, Frauche has emerged as a key editorial go-to-girl, displaying stunning versatility in a diverse array of publications including Dazed & Confused, i-D, V, Wonderland, Exit, 10 Magazine, and in the Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, American, Australian, and German editions of Vogue. Frauche's classic French beauty, melting baby blues, and relatable womanly allure have fronted campaigns for Jason Wu, Gucci Eyewear, Burberry Black Label, Top Shop, and Ivoire de Balmain Fragrance. Frauche possesses that indefinable "it" factor which stops you dead in your tracks, however her even temperament, mature outlook and clearly defined sense of self have an instantly calming effect on all in her midst. Inoubliable Model Army recently took time out with Frauche to discuss her evolution as a model, and her insights on modelling and more importantly, life.

Julia Frauche
Exit Magazine - Spring/Summer 2012
Photographer - Benny Horne
Source - models.com

Inoubliable Model Army: Salut Julia! Congratulations on a phenomenal Spring/Summer 2013 season, 49 blue chip show bookings across three fashion capitals. How are you feeling now that you've had some time to unwind?
JF: Salut! I am feeling very good! I really enjoyed my third season and I am very happy about all the shows I walked.

Inoubliable Model Army: How were you discovered and how would you describe your modelling journey? What would you say has contributed to your recent modelling success?
JF: I was discovered when I was 16 in the south of France but at the time I didn't want to be a model. School was very important for me so I waited until I graduated and moved to Paris to attend university. Then I decided with my mother agent to meet agencies in Paris and I started the next day! But I was shy and not really ready for this business, it took me a while to accept the idea of stopping university and being a model. The factor that has contributed most to my recent modelling success is maturity. I feel like a woman and not a teenager anymore. I've got more confidence and I know myself more. I also learnt during all these years that modelling is a real profession and that you need to find your place in the industry. So a year ago, I finally felt ready for the shows and I really was! 

Inoubliable Model Army: The recent Spring/Summer 2013 collections saw an influx of French newcomers doing really well. Have you noticed any discernible modelling trends and why do you think French models are making such a big impact?
JF: I have noticed that now models seem to come from everywhere. It's no longer only Brazilian and Russian girls. And for many years, French models had a bad reputation with people saying that they were too complicated, capricious, never happy, not easy-going... and this has finally changed! This is possibly why French beauties are coming back.

L'Officiel Paris - October 2012
Photographer - Emma Tempest
Source - the fashionspot.com

Vogue Nippon - January 2013
Photographer - Cedric Buchet
Source - visualoptimism.blogspot.com

Inoubliable Model Army: What are the biggest misconceptions about models and the modelling industry in general?
JF: That we earn millions while doing nothing! Also that modelling is the easiest job in the world, and that we are all anorexic and drug addicts. There are so many misconceptions and it's funny when you meet someone who has these prejudices then after 5 minutes he/she realises that you are actually a normal person with the same interests or private life as anyone else.

Inoubliable Model Army: The shows coupled with endless castings, fittings etc can be pretty stressful. Throughout the chaos there is a camaraderie evident between the models. Did you form any close bonds with other models?
JF: This is one of the best parts of Fashion Week, being all together. We spend a full month, everyday together supporting each other, having fun. It's very important because when you get too tired or stressed, you always find someone to change your mind. It's almost like going to summer camp!

Inoubliable Model Army: When we first met at the fittings for Oscar de la Renta, you were pretty knackered (exhausted) and it was only the beginning of the show season! How did you cope with the remaining three weeks and do you have any tips for surviving the month long fashion frenzy?
JF: The beginning is always the hardest (for me) because your body has to get used to the different time zones. My show survival tips are to get as much sleep as I can and to try to take some time for myself like having a massage or having dinner with the girls. It's very important to disconnect from work a little bit.

US Vogue - February 2012
Photographer - Raymond Meier
Source - models.com

Julia Frauche & Caroline Brasch Nielsen
US Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Peter Lindbergh
Source - thefashionspot.com

Inoubliable Model Army: What are your hopes for the future and do you have any dream assignments on your bucket list?
JF: My plan following the S/S 2013 season is to work for great editorials and some campaigns as well. For the future, I just want to continue my career as long as it makes me happy and I feel good about myself. And as a French model, my dream would be to appear on the cover of Paris Vogue!

Inoubliable Model Army: The life of a model involves a lot of travelling and time spent alone. What do you love and miss most about home?
JF: I miss my family and friends the most. I'm never there for birthdays or special events and they always remind me how great it would be if I could be there. But they totally understand and respect my choice. What I love most about home when I am there is that I don't think about work or travelling or (modelling) options. I am not a model anymore, I am just me and I like the fact that my family and friends never see me as a model.

Inoubliable Model Army: What are your likes and dislikes about modelling?
JF: I love the travelling and having this exciting life which is never boring. I am very glad that I have the chance to meet people from everywhere with different cultures and being in places I could never have dreamt about. And also working with such talented and great people all the time. The things I dislike are that I can never plan anything, I usually do everything very last minute.

Dazed & Confused - January 2012
Photographer - Yelena Yemchuk
Source - thefashionspot.com

Wonderland - April 2012
Photographer - Victor Demarchelier
Source - thefashionspot.com

Inoubliable Model Army: What has been the highlight of your modelling career so far and why?
The highlight would be my first show season a year ago, because I had been modelling for a few years already but I never had the chance to meet the casting directors or the designers before because I wasn't ready for that. When you are not doing the shows you are not doing the same jobs. I finally had the opportunity to prove to them and to myself that I have a place in this business and that I was able to do it (the shows). It gave me a lot of self-confidence.

Inoubliable Model Army: A pivotal moment in your modelling career was being cast in the Calvin Klein S/S 2012 show. How was the experience appearing in the show?
JF: I think it was one of the best experiences I've had so far. I couldn't believe I was there. When I entered the catwalk I was scared but very proud at the same time. I was asking myself "How did I get here, why me, and am I really walking Calvin Klein right now!"

Inoubliable Model Army: Do you feel that show exclusives are good or bad for a model's career?
JF: It depends for who, for some girls it's very positive because it can lead to campaigns and very good editorials and industry recognition. For others, they are "exclusive" for one show one season and then you don't see them anymore. I couldn't tell you why it works for some and not for others. But this is the game.

Calvin Klein - S/S 2012
Photographer - Filippo Fior
Source - style.com

Balenciaga - S/S 2013
Photographer -  Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Inoubliable Model Army: Do you feel that your age gives you any particular insights or advantages to cope with modelling and what are your thoughts on the CFDA's banning of models under the age of 16 in fashion shows?
JF: I think for me, it's an advantage because I know myself, I know my body, and I know what I want. When you are 16 or 18, you may be too young to define what what you want for later and it's not always easy to deal with people who just forget that you are a teenager away from home. To me before the age of 16 you are a kid so it's important to take the time to grow up with your family, your friends and to be at school. This job makes you grow up very fast, so it's good to (be able to) keep your innocence for a little bit more.

Inoubliable Model Army: What makes you "Inoubliable" (Unforgettable)?
JF: It's a French word! I don't know it's hard to say. I am a very quiet person and I know where I am going (in life). I hope people appreciate that.

Australian Vogue - April 2012
Photographer - Kai Z Feng
Source - thefashionspot.com

10 Magazine - Spring/Summer 2012
Photographer - Greg Harris
Source - thefashionspot.com

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