Monday, September 2, 2013

Exclusive Interview - Elisabeth Erm

Cherubic faced Estonian Elisabeth Erm barely made a misstep throughout her 26 blue chip show appearances during the Fall/Winter 2013 collections. Casting directors were unanimous in their appraisal of Erm with the 20 year old amassing an impeccable show list which included appearances at Calvin Klein, Givenchy, Dior, Balenciaga, Lanvin, Valentino, Miu Miu, and Chanel amongst others. Erm enchanted all in her midst with a precious beauty that is more akin to the supermodel aesthetic of the early nineties. The Wilhelmina-repped beauty has moved into modelling's major league with Fall/Winter 2013 campaigns for Balmain, Etro, Moschino, and Top Shop lensed respectively by Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Mario Testino, Juergen Teller, and Alasdair McLellan. Erm's clean sweep of the campaign Fall/Winter 2013 season has been matched with equal precision by editorial exposure for a diverse array of publications including Interview Magazine, French Numéro, Russian Vogue, Glass Magazine, and Vogue Italia. On the eve of the Spring/Summer 2014 show season, Erm brought IMA up to speed on her love of New York, modelling's unique challenges, and her relaxed approach to wowing casting directors.

Elisabeth Erm
Image courtesy of Union Models
Source - thefashionspot.com


Inoubliable Model Army (IMA): Hi Elisabeth, thank you for chatting with IMA. You're the newcomer on every casting director's watch list having layer the Fall/Winter 2013 season with a 26 show tally which included appearances at Calvin Klein, Miu Miu, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Valentino, and Chanel! Were you surprised by the industry's overwhelming positive response during your debut season and are you looking forward to the upcoming Spring/Summer 2014 season?
EE: Of course I'm excited, how could I not be! I really hope I get the chance to work with the designers I walked for the last show season and also to explore some new ones.

IMA: Would you mind sharing your backstory with IMA's readership?
EE: I'm 20 and come from Tartu, the second biggest city of Estonia. I was discovered like many other girls - at the local shopping mall! At first, I didn't think anything of it - I was given a card with a  phone number on it. If my mother hadn't encouraged me to give it a try I would never have called that number as I had never seen myself as a potential model.

IMA: What do you hope to achieve in your modelling career and what would you be doing otherwise if modelling hadn't chosen you?
EE: Well, my hopes are high. I want to be as good as one can be! If I weren't a model, I don't really know what I would be doing. I think I might be studying something that I'm not all that passionate about at a local university ;-)

IMA: The casting process for shows can be daunting particularly for newcomers. How did you approach castings for the Fall/Winter 2013 season, and what do you feel are the key elements to making a favourable impression on casting directors?
EE: As it was my very first season I didn't know much about the high fashion world or its people. I felt pretty relaxed doing the castings and meeting all of those people. The key elements to making a good impression - be confident, positive, and talkative!

Maud Welzen & Elisabeth Erm
Interview Magazine - September 2013
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier
Source - thefashionspot.com

Interview Germany - July 2013
Photographer - Greg Harris
Source - visualoptimism.blogspot.com

French Numéro - June/July 2013
Photographer - Billy Kidd
Source - thefashionspot.com

Dauphine McKee & Elisabeth Erm
Vogue Italia Suggestions - May 2013
Photographer - KT Auleta
Source - thefashionspot.com

French Numéro - August 2013
Photographer - Sofia Sanchez & Mauro Mongiello
Source - models.com


IMA: New York is a far cry from Tartu, Estonia! What are your impressions so far of New York, and what do you miss most about your hometown?
EE: My first impression of New York was that the buildings are so tall! I had never seen a proper skyscraper before... it was amazing! Also, what I love about New York is the feeling of the city being so alive, there's always something going on. Of course after a while I start missing home, especially my family and some Estonian dairy products!

IMA: You're currently represented by Wilhelmina Models in New York. How did Wilhelmina and your agents prepare you for your debut season?
EE: Wilhelmina took really good care of me and I'm so thankful to them for guiding my career!!! My agents have taught me so much... how to walk in those killer heels and got me some amazing shoots for my book to prepare me for all of this.

IMA: What are the biggest challenges that you feel you face as a model, and did you hold any preconceived notions about the modelling industry which have since been dispelled as a result of  your industry exposure?
EE: I would say that the biggest challenge so far is being away from home and from family, also spending most of the time on your own can be tough. Luckily, I don't mind being alone. The biggest misconception I had heard about models is that they don't eat! Completely untrue.

IMA: You opened for Lacostem Theysken's Theory, and Emanuel Ungaro, and closed for Alberta Ferretti and Giorgio Armani! Aside from these pivotal moments, what were your fondest memories of the Fall/Winter 2013 season?
EE: I can't really single out one event or experience as my favourite. I must say though that the whole season was pretty epic!

Chanel Haute Couture - F/W 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Vanessa Bruno - F/W 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Balmain - F/W 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Valentino - F/W 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com


IMA: You've backed up a stellar show season with key editorial spots for Russian Vogue, French Numéro, Vogue Italia, Glass Magazine and Interview Germany. What aspects of runway and print modelling do you appreciate the most, and do you have a preference for runway vs print work?
EE: On the runway I love the adrenaline rush I get on a catwalk, the music, the clothes - amazing! At photo shoots, I like the different stories and ideas - it's a bit like acting I guess. I don't have a preference between print or runway, just as you start getting tired of the shows, the season ends and they start shooting editorials and campaigns, and then there's another show season once again - the perfect combination of everything.

IMA: How has your sense of style evolved as a result of your exposure to the industry, and which three designers best reflect your personal aesthetic?
EE: I guess I have started to appreciate the quality of the fabrics in a way that I didn't before. I've always liked simple and clean cuts... one of my favourites is Theysken's Theory.

IMA: Do you feel better equipped to deal with the pressures of modelling now that you are in your 20s and what advice would you offer to young girls considering a career in modelling?
EE: I think it's good that I'm a bit older now because when I look back I realise that I wasn't necessarily mature enough to be on my own like that when I was 16 or 17. My advice to other models would be that Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder, so don't get yourself down when someone doesn't like you.

IMA: What makes you "Inoubliable" (Unforgettable)?
EE: I don't know really... I let other people decide that ;-).

Elisabeth Erm
Image courtesy of Union Models
Source - thefashionspot.com

Numéro - September 2013
Photographer - Jason Kibbler
Source - wilhelminanews.com

Willy's Girl
Image courtesy of Wilhelmina Models
Source - wilhelmina.com

Top Shop - F/W 2013
Photographer - Alasdair McLellan
Source - wilhelminanews.com

Balmain - F/W 2013
Photographer - Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin
Source - thefashionspot.com

Aymeline Valade & Elisabeth Erm
Etro - F/W 2013
Photographer - Mario Testino
Source - thefashionspot.com

Dauphine McKee, Elisabeth Erm & Marine Deleeuw
Moschino - F/W 2013
Photographer - Juergen Teller
Source - models.com

Special thanks to Roman Young at Wilhelmina Models. For more information on Wilhelmina, please log onto www.wilhelmina.com or www.wilhelminanews.com

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