Friday, March 15, 2013

Exclusive Interview - Antonia Wesseloh

German newcomer Antonia Wesseloh carved up the international show circuit during her debut season at the Spring/Summer 2012 collections where she racked up a 35 show tally. Wesseloh consolidated on her stunning debut with an equally impressive 45 show appearances during the ensuing Fall/Winter 2012 season. The doe-eyed, cherubic beauty left other newcomers in her wake with her sensational appearances in the Fall/Winter 2011 Prada campaign and in an editorial for Vogue Italia lensed by model maker Steven Meisel. Wesseloh's versatility and precious chameleon-like quality on film has been the focal point in editorials for a diverse range of publications including Vogue China, Korean Harper's Bazaar, Tush, Grey, Love, i-D, Mixte, and Dazed & Confused. Currently completing her high school studies, the 178 cm raven haired beauty with the distinctive hairline has for the past two show seasons walked selectively for Chanel and Valentino. Wesseloh exhibits a maturity beyond her 17 years and an easy going disposition which has enable her to counter the pressures of modelling. Wesseloh took time out between schooling and modelling assignments to chat exclusively with Inoubliable Model Army about her views on the CFDA's ban on models under the age of 16 on fashion's runways, the importance of seeing beyond beauty's facade, and going with modelling's flow.

Antonia Wesseloh
Photographer - Hans Joachim Schmidt
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Inoubliable Model Army: Hallo Antonia, thank you for taking a moment to chat with Inoubliable Model Army. I hope it's not as cold in Hamburg as it has been in Berlin! Tell us a little bit about your hometown near Hamburg.
AW: My hometown called Buxtehude is a very small and unique town. It has a lot of old houses with historic stories. I love it. You have the big city Hamburg nearby but you can enjoy the nature whenever you like.

Inoubliable Model Army: How old are you, how long have you been modelling for, and what was your initial meeting with your mother agency Modelwerk like after you were called to come in for a meeting after having sent them your pictures?
AW: I'm 17 years old right now and I sent pictures to my agency at the age of 14. Yes, that's quite a young age but I wanted to give it a try. Also Modelwerk has a very good reputation so my parents agreed as well. I started modelling internationally at the age of 15. The first meeting with Modelwerk was exciting. It felt comfortable and familiar right away. I was very nervous though.

Inoubliable Model Army: Were your parents concerned about you modelling at such young age and how did you initially cope with the pressures of modelling?
AW: As I only modelled in Germany at the beginning my parents were fine with it... as long as I didn't do bad at school.

Inoubliable Model Army: Your rise through modelling's ranks has been rapid. You were booked for editorials for Vogue Italia and landed a Prada campaign, both of which were shot by Steven Meisel within your first year in the industry. What was it like working alongside Steven and did he give any particular guidance to yourself, Ondria Hardin, and Kelly Mittendorf (all relatively new models at the time)?
AW: Steven did not really give directions, he just lets you grow and develop while shooting. He was very nice and I was very glad to be shooting with such an amazing photographer.

Ondria Hardin & Antonia Wesseloh
Prada - Fall/Winter 2011
Photographer - Steven Meisel
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Achtung - Issue 22
Photographer - Markus Pritzi
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Vogue Italia - July 2011
Photographer - Steven Meisel
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Vogue Italia - July 2011
Photographer - Steven Meisel
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Inoubliable Model Army: You made your international runway debut at the Spring/Summer 2012 collections. Have you gotten accustomed to the show circuit and how do you handle the huge amount of pressure and physical exhaustion required to get through the month of fashion mayhem?
AW: The shows are very exhausting and you feel like you need to sleep forever afterwards, but it's fine as it is only for a few weeks ;-). At some point you get used to that.

Inoubliable Model Army: The modelling industry is a very adult world in which young individuals are thrust into and forced to either sink or swim. Do you support the CFDA's ban on the use of models under the age of 16 on fashion's runways and what support did you receive being so far away from home during show season?
Inoubliable Model Army: I think it's very good that the CFDA ban exists. I think it's a lot of pressure for young girls. Not very much sleep, no family, no friends, far away from home, not a lot of time to eat... I was very lucky that my booker Claudia Midolo, President of Modelwerk was travelling with me.

Inoubliable Model Army: The casting process can be pretty daunting with so many beautiful girls vying for limited spots. What do you feel are the most important attributes for making a favourable impression on casting directors and designers?
AW: Just be yourself and feel comfortable. I don't really think about those things. I see them as friends and people who share their working place with you.

Inoubliable Model Army: There has been a recent wave of German models dominating the modelling scene as highlighted in your recent editorial shoot for Achtung Magazine. What do you feel is contributing to the current popularity of German girls in modelling?
AW: I have no clue, but maybe because German manners like punctuality and discipline are appreciated in the industry ;-).

Inoubliable Model Army: Who are your closest model buddies and what role do these friendships play in dealing with modelling's highs and lows?
AW: I'm close to Erjona Ala and Anne-Sophie Monrad. Both have been very close friends right from the beginning. The friendships you make are very important. You are not alone and you can share everything with a close friend who knows what you're are talking about.

Valentino - Fall/Winter 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
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Chanel - Fall/Winter 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
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Antonia Wesseloh & Erjona Ala
Nicole Miller - Spring/Summer 2012
Image courtesy of Style Bistro
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Inoubliable Model Army: You've appeared in editorials for a diverse selection of publications including Dazed & Confused, i-D, Grey, Love, 10, and the Italian, Chinese and Japanese editions of Vogue. Do you enjoy the editorial component of modelling and has there been a particular photographer that you have most enjoyed working with and gained a lot from the collaboration?
AW: I like photographers who want what they want and who work fast of course ;-). I don't have a particular favourite though. Most shoots have been a lot of fun, it's always a great adventure.

Inoubliable Model Army: What do you love most about modelling and if there was one thing that you could change about the industry, what would it be?
AW: If I could, I would love people to take the time to also look behind the beautiful appearance. What I love the most - meeting new people and travelling to places I have never seen before.

Inoubliable Model Army: The fashion industry can be extremely fickle and it seems that there is a high turnover of new faces each season. Is it a concern for you that your future depends on so many factors (casting trends) which are beyond your control and how do you cope with the rejection that comes with modelling?
AW: I think you have to get used to that as well. That's just how the industry works. So far I have been really lucky and I can only hope that it stays that way.

Inoubliable Model Army: What has been the most valuable modelling advice that you have received?
AW: Be yourself and do what you want to do, and never stress more than you need to.

Inoubliable Model Army: What makes you "Inoubliable" (Unforgettable)?
AW: OMG, I don't think that I can say that about myself. Maybe that I'm very responsible and trustworthy... and my widow's peak ;-)

Mixte - September 2012
Photographer - KT Auleta
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Dazed & Confused - April 2012
Photographer - Scott Trindle
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Harpers Bazaar Korea - April 2012
Photographer - Fred Meylan
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Tush - November 2011
Photographer - Armin Morbach
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Special thanks to Julian Niznik at Modelwerk Agency. For more information on Modelwerk, please log onto 

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