Saturday, January 26, 2013

Exclusive Interview - Esther Heesch

Sixteen year old German newcomer Esther Heesch blitzed a lightning trail through the Spring/Summer 2013 collections with 20 blue chip show appearances in Milan and Paris alone. The statuesque 179 cm blonde-haired, green/blue-eyed ingenue led a cavalcade of German newcomers down the runways for Spring/Sunner 2013 with key note appearances at Prada, Jil Sander, Miu Miu, Chanel, Balenciaga, Chloé and Valentino. Represented by mother agency Modelwerk in Hamburg and Next Model Management globally, Heesch has been able to successfully navigate the demands of school with a growing list of plum assignments including shoots for Interview, Vogue Japan and Wonderland with Patrick Demarchelier, Sharif Hamza and Michael Hauptman respectively, in addition to a slew of Spring/Summer 2013 ad campaigns for Valentino, See by Chloé and Closed. Inoubliable Model Army caught up with Heesch during the recent Berlin Fashion Week shows, and discovered an endearing and super sweet personality whose focus, determination and genuine appreciation of her unique circumstances will ensure her a loyal following amongst fashion's elite in years to come.

Esther Heesch
Photographer - Thomas Babeau
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Inoubliable Model Army: Hi Esther, congrats on a stellar Spring/Summer 2013 season. How are you feeling now that you have had a chance to unwind completely?
EH: Thank you very much! I am really happy that the season went so well and I am feeling as good as I felt before the show season.

Inoubliable Model Army: Tell us a little about yourself; how old are you, where are you from and what are your ethnic origins?
EH: I turned 16 in September, just before the shows started, which was good. Part of my family is from Denmark, but my sister, brother and I were born in Lübeck. It's a small city in the north of Germany very close to the Baltic sea. In Summer, you can go swimming and surfing which is great! The city is not as big as the cities that I go to for work so it's a nice change!

Inoubliable Model Army: How long have you been modelling for and how were you discovered?
EH: I started modelling a few days before Christmas in 2011. I was shopping in Hamburg when someone asked me if I wanted to try modelling and I said "yes", which I think was a good decision!

Inoubliable Model Army: You landed on Top 10 Newcomer lists for W Magazine, COACD, and! Did you anticipate such a positive response and are you able to recall any highlights from your experiences this past show season?
EH: No, I didn't expect it at all. But I am really glad things are good for me at the moment. The whole Fashion Week was a highlight in itself, but I will never forget opening for Valentino!

Valentino - Spring/Summer 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
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Vanessa Bruno - S/S 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
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Jil Sander - S/S 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
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Inoubliable Model Army: Fashion Week can be a pretty nerve-wracking and exhausting couple of weeks. How did you cope with the pressures of show season and was it difficult coming into castings as a relatively new face? What were your coping strategies?
EH: I just went to the castings and tried not to think too much about what would happen or not. If there was a problem, I would call my agency or my family!

Inoubliable Model Army: The modelling industry is at times a daunting and very adult world in which young individuals are forced to either sink or swim. What are your views in the CFDA's recent ban on models under the age of 16 on fashion's runways and how have you dealt with the pressures imposed on you by modelling?
EH: That's a good question. I try to stay calm at any time. For me, age isn't always an indicator of maturity. But in my opinion, I think 16 is a good age to start modelling.

Inoubliable Model Army: What do you enjoy most about modelling and what career path would you have chosen if modelling hadn't chosen you?
EH: I'm still in school so I haven't chosen a definite career path yet. What I love about modelling though is the fact that you travel a lot. In October, I was in Sicily for a shoot and in the morning we could go swimming in the Mediterranean sea!

Inoubliable Model Army: You mentioned you are still attending school. How do you manage to juggle school commitments with modelling?
EH: My friends and teachers help and support me a lot. I try as best to catch up on everything I miss!

Wonderland - September 2012
Photographer - Michael Hauptman
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Elle Denmark - November 2012
Photographer - Oliver Stalmans
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D la Republica - December 2012
Photographer - Jason Hetherington
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Elle Denmark - November 2012
Photographer - Oliver Stalmans
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Inoubliable Model Army: A big support throughout the shows comes from the friendships formed with fellow models. Did you have time to form friendships with any other model and did you enjoy the backstage camaraderie?
EH: During Fashion Week I met lots of nice people from many different countries. I really enjoyed talking to them and sharing experiences.

Inoubliable Model Army: There has been a recent surge in German models doing really well including yourself, Franzi Mueller, Elena Bartels, Josephine Van Delden, Kati Nescher and Lena Hardt. What do you feel are the factors contributing to the current popularity of German models?
EH: It could be the stereotype: the punctuality of Germans haha!

Inoubliable Model Army: Who has been the biggest support to you throughout your modelling career and what is the most valuable modelling advice anyone has offered you?
EH: My greatest support is my family! As far as advice where modelling is concerned; always have a big breakfast before you leave your hotel/apartment during fashion week as the chance that you are going get the opportunity to eat again later that the day is very limited. It's also very important to always be on time (no matter what the appointment) and reachable by your agency especially during the shows as there can be a lot of spontaneous changes!

Inoubliable Model Army: You've recently appeared in a spate of editorials for German and Japanese Vogue, Interview, Wonderland and Achtung. How was it working with the legendary Patrick Demarchelier for Interview?
EH: Working with Patrick was amazing! I was so excited anyway, as it was my first time in New York City. Patrick is very precise and gives great instruction. You can really tell he has envisaged the final pictures in his mind when he shoots. I hope to work with him again. Also, seeing Karl Templer again who styled the shoot was very cool, and a week later we shot the Valentino campaign together! 

Interview - December 2012
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier
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Henna Lintukangas & Esther Heesch
Tush - November 2012
Photographer - Armin Morbach
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Stina Rapp Wastensen, Nathalia Oliveira & Esther Heesch
Japanese Vogue  - February 2013
Photographer - Sharif Hamza
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Photographer - Julian Niznik
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Inoubliable Model Army: A massive congratulations on scoring a spot in the Valentino campaign shot by industry icon Sarah Moon! Sarah's imagery often has a dreamy, restrained quality to it. How did Sarah communicate the brief for the campaign and her vision, and what did you learn or take away from the overall experience?
EH: The first thing that comes into my mind is the impressive set at Valentino with amazing white colours and gorgeous interiors. Just by being on set you could feel the mood for what the concept of the shoot was about. It made me feel like a creature from a snowy fairy tale. Sarah is a very professional and super kind woman, and spoke to the models in a really kind way. Basically all the big name photographers, stylists, and hair and make-up artists I have worked with have been really nice - no one has had the stereotype "diva attitude" that you might come to expect from fashion industry superstars... maybe that's the key to success.

Inoubliable Model Army: What are the biggest challenges that you feel you face as a model?
EH: Existing on little sleep and standing for hours, but I don't want to complain ;-).

Inoubliable Model Army: How do you feel that the modelling industry has changed you (if at all)?
EH: I have gained lots of new experiences and the industry has definitely made me more autonomous.

Inoubliable Model Army: What are your hopes and dreams for the future both in modelling and beyond?
EH: I would like to stay as happy as I am now.

Inoubliable Model Army: What makes you "Inoubliable" (Unforgettable)?
EH: That's a very tough question. I just turned 16 and haven't really had time to kind of "understand" the success... less than a year ago I had my first test shoot and now I'm giving interviews and backstage people are screaming my name. It's really exciting and it goes so fast! I think what makes me "Inoubliable" though is that I've never changed myself for this job, getting superficial or arrogant for example. I'm just the person that I always was and people either like that or not... I think modelling is a very big opportunity and I'm so thankful that everything is going so well! Having people such as your agency and clients believe in you is very flattering!

Achtung - September 2012
Photographer - Markus Pritzi
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Esther Heesch & Linus Gustin
Closed Campaign - S/S 2013
Photographer - Benjamin Alexander Huseby

Valentino Campaign - S/S 2013
Photographer - Sarah Moon
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See By Chloé - Spring/Summer 2013
Photographer - Glen Luchford
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Special thanks to Julian Niznik and John Roggendorf from Modelwerk Hamburg. For more information on Modelwerk, please log on to

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