Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Exclusive Interview - Gabrielle Sullivan

Perth model Gabrielle Sullivan is one of the key faces that Inoubliable Model Army will be keeping its eagle eye trained on during the Mercedes Benz Australian Fashion Week shows next month. The 176 cm tall, eighteen year old possesses a versatile beauty and a simmering androgyny that is perfectly in sync with current modelling trends. Sullivan recently took out the award for the Mercedes Benz Australian runway model of the year at the Western Australian Fashion Awards and is attracting considerable international interest having returned recently from Paris where she was the fit model for red hot Australian fashion label Ellery. Sullivan is a standout not only because of her delicate elfin-like features, runway perfect proportions, and dreamy blue eyes, but more so for her divine personality. In short, Sullivan is the real deal displaying a natural, easy-going nonchalance, and a refreshing lack of pretence that smacks of sincerity. Sullivan kept it real when she caught up recently with Inoubliable Model Army, to discuss her take the appeal of Australian models, her love of animals, and her initial disbelief at being named the Mercedes Benz Australian runway model for 2012.

Gabrielle Sullivan
Image courtesy of Chadwick Models

Inoubliable Model Army: You're one of Chadwick's most exciting new modelling prospects, recently taking out the Mercedes Benz runway model of the year award at this year's Western Australian Fashion Awards. How did it feel to be bestowed such an honour so early in your modelling career and what went through your head when your name was read out?
GS: Winning the award was the highlight of my career. It is such an honour even being nominated for such a big award let alone winning. When my name was called out, I was in shock but couldn't wipe the smile off my face even though I was terrified of accepting the award/public speaking in front of hundreds of people. I may have had a little cry on stage!

Inoubliable Model Army: Tell us a little bit of your backstory...
GS: I'm 18 years old and originally from Perth, WA. My mother is Australian and my father is English. I've been modelling for nearly 6 years now. I started very young when I was 13. I never really understood what modelling was about. I started going to Chadwick development classes because my mum wanted me to break out of my tomboy habits. I got signed half way through my first year!

Inoubliable Model Army: Australian models are in high rotation on the international modelling show circuit with girls including Julia Nobis, Ruby Jean Wilson, Nicole Pollard, Catherine McNeil, Jemma Baines and yourself, attracting considerable overseas interest. What factors do you feel are contributing to the current popularity of Aussies among casting directors and designers?
GS: I think Australians have a real spark when they go into castings, you can spot them from a mile away. Maybe it does have something to do with the water here ;-), but I think we are real and show that to the client.

Gabrielle Sullivan
Image courtesy of Chadwick Models

Natural Beauty
Image courtesy of Chadwick Models

Inoubliable Model Army: With so many beautiful girls looking to break through to the elite level of modelling, what do you feel are the most important attributes for standing out from the pack?
GS: Being yourself is probably the number 1 thing, and let your personality show because people appreciate meeting the real you.

Inoubliable Model Army: The past few seasons have born witness to the emergence of an aspirational type of beauty that consumers can identify with. What is your definition of a modern-day aspirational beauty?
GS: A modern-day aspirational beauty in my opinion is Abbey Lee Kershaw. She is different, unique, and someone I really look up to.

Inoubliable Model Army: Modelling is a craft which is nurtured and developed through practice and on the job experience. How has your understanding of modelling evolved since entering the industry?
GS: Definitely! When I started, I didn't know what modelling was! I hadn't looked at a fashion magazine until I was 15 or so, the more I observed and read, the more I learned.

Inoubliable Model Army: What are the greatest challenges that you face as a model and what are the most important life lessons that you have acquired through your modelling experiences?
GS: Believing in myself is probably the biggest lesson I've learned, and not to compare myself to others. Modelling can entail a lot of rejection so you need to be very strong and believe in yourself in order to grow and become stronger from the experience.

Style & Comfort
Image courtesy of Chadwick Models

Gabrielle Sullivan
Image courtesy of Chadwick Models

Inoubliable Model Army: How has your personal style changed since modelling and which three designers send you to heaven and back?
GS: I think since starting modelling I've learnt a lot about fashion. I am a very relaxed girl so I don't dress to impress. I wear what I feel most comfortable in and try to make it look stylish. That's a tough one. My favourite Australian designer would be Ellery, and then I love Alexander Wang and Balenciaga.

Inoubliable Model Army: Which designers would you most like to walk for at the shows for Mercedes Benz Australian Fashion Week?
GS: I don't want to get my hopes up but I'd like to walk for Ksubi, Ellery, and Sass & Bide!

Inoubliable Model Army: What are your longterm modelling goals and do you have a Plan B?
GS: No matter what happens in the future with modelling, I hope to one day to open up an animal refuge somewhere in rural Western Australia. That is my ambition in life to be surrounded by animals! I have a cat and would love to get a sausage dog. I would love to spend a few years travelling the world with modelling and being able to walk in the big designer shows like a lot of Australian girls are doing, also being recognised in Australia would be amazing.

Inoubliable Model Army: Complete this sentence. I'm happiest when...
GS: With my mother, family, and cat.

Inoubliable Model Army: What makes you "Inoubliable" (Unforgettable)?
GS: My personality, I am very shy but secretly I have a real cheeky/goofy side?

Photographer - Romain Duquesne
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Mercedes Benz Runway Model of the Year for 2013
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In Motion
Photographer - John Koh
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Photographer - Rachel Claire
Image courtesy of Chadwick Models

Special thanks to Joseph Tenni at Chadwick Models. For more information on Chadwick Models Management, please log onto

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