Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Exclusive Interview - Amanda Murphy

Twenty-six year old Amanda Murphy is riding high on a wave of interest that has been steadily building momentum since she began modelling some 7 years ago. Over the past 12 months Murphy has amassed a list of career defining achievements that include multiple Vogue Italia covers, editorial appearances for a precise grouping of high fashion and indie publications, not to mention unprecedented back-to-back runway and campaign bookings for Prada. One glance at the IMG-repped beauty's illustrious client list would suggest an overnight success story however as IMA discovered Murphy's narrative is one that speaks volumes of her resolve to succeed, her tenacious spirit, and her appreciation of the collaborative efforts of a battalion of individuals towards the course of her modelling trajectory.

Murphy popped on IMA's radar during the Fall/Winter 2013 collections when she graced the runways of Chanel, Proenza Schouler, Stella McCartney, Miu Miu, Hermés, and Prada with her powerful womanly presence. Blessed with a sweeping dark auburn mane, exotic brooding features framed by strikingly angular cheekbones, and a spectacular 180 cm silhouette, Murphy clearly has the required physical dna for modelling success. It is Murphy's chameleon-like quality in front of the lens and her desire to bring more to the modelling table than just her looks which are earning her accolades and comparisons to legendary supermodel Ms Linda Evangelista. Murphy is in good hands as Steven Meisel's latest muse, having collaborated on recent shoots for Vogue Italia, American Vogue, and Prada's Pre-Fall and Fall/Winter 2013 campaigns. Murphy has a particularly telling cameo moment in the Prada Fall/Winter 2013 campaign video, when she glares straight down the barrel of Meisel's lens and shrieks, "Stop! I'm not who you think I am." In the aftermath of the Spring/Summer 2014 collections, IMA had the opportunity to peel back Murphy's many layers revealing an insightful, candid, and compelling individual who is the very definition of "Inoubliable".

Amanda Murphy
Photographer - David Agbodji
Source - wwd.com

Inoubliable Model Army (IMA) - Congratulations Amanda on a phenomenal Spring/Summer 2014 season, not to mention two back-to-back Vogue Italia covers in addition to consecutive opening and closing slots for Prada! How are you feeling in the aftermath of the show season?
AM: I did not expect to open or close Prada for the second time! It truly was a surprise, I had to try so hard to keep a straight face on the runway because I was so happy! Having a Vogue Italia cover two months in a row was also unexpected!

IMA: You've been modelling now for seven years so your journey has been anything but an overnight success story. What factors do you feel have come into play in allowing you to breakthrough to modelling's elite level, and is your success particularly gratifying given your career trajectory?
AM: Sometimes the best things happen in life when you have the patience to wait. Everything happens for a reason and hard work gets noticed eventually.

IMA: Tell us a bit about your backstory?
AM: I turn 27 November 16th, I'm a Scorpio but I don't feel like I'm getting older. I don't smoke and I rarely drink alcohol, pop, or coffee. I'm just not attracted to those things. If you take good care of your body it will take good care of you. I grew up in Orland Park, Illinois. I'm Irish, German, and American Indian. Growing up everyone told me I should try modelling. I made it easy on the agencies, I went right to them at an open call.

IMA: The past few months have been major for you; a Prada Fall/Winter 2013 campaign, two Vogue Italia covers, and debut appearances in the French, British, and American editions of Vogue! Has the significance of your achievements over the past year sunken in quite yet?
AM: I'm really proud of all my accomplishments, 2013 was a tough year for me. I've worked extremely hard and I've had my fair share of struggles. But you have to struggle in order to fully appreciate what it feels like to stand at the top of the mountain. My horse Jesabel is still recovering from a surgery she had in July. There were times when no one was sure if she would pull through. I flew back and forth from NYC to Chicago for dozens of emergencies and doctors appointments. As of September, Jesse is in the clear and I should be able to ride by Christmas. That will be the best Christmas gift I've ever received!

Vogue Italia - August 2013
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - thefashionspot.com

Amanda Murphy & Ethan James Green
Vogue Italia - June 2013
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - thefashionspot.com

US Vogue - August 2013
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier
Source - models.com

i-D Magazine - F/W 2013
Photographer - Willy Vanderperre
Source - thefashionspot.com

IMA: You also hold a part-time job as a radio technologist! What does this profession entail and how do you manage flit back and forth between the two vocations?
AM: I take x-rays so that physicians can properly diagnose and treat fractures, abnormalities, and foreign bodies. I enjoy helping people and making a difference in this world. During fashion week they are nice enough to give me the time off and the rest of the year I work as a float a few times a month, I love all my co-workers, we are friends, and we get great customer service reviews which I'm really proud of!

IMA: What are your passions and interests beyond fashion and modelling?
AM: I'm the oldest of four siblings and I am very close with my parents and brothers/sisters. I grew up sharing a room with my two sisters. I love spending time with my boyfriend, we both have horses and go on long trail rides together. I have a pit bull/lab mix named Duke that I rescued, he goes everywhere with me at home. I am truly blessed to have a group of friends that I consider family. I enjoy jumping lessons on school horses. I also like kick-boxing and enjoy doing any outdoor activity.

IMA: Many models have a love/hate relationship with Fashion Week. What do you enjoy most about the runway component of modelling and what are your survival tips for the month long fashion frenzy?
AM: I love meeting new people and seeing friends I haven't seen in a while. Along with wearing really amazing clothes!
Survival tips: my boyfriend is a Naturopath so he gives me supplements to keep my immune system strong. He also trains me before the season starts. I love oatmeal with honey in the morning, it gives me the energy to kickstart my day. I always call family, my boyfriend, or friends before I go to sleep, it helps me relax and wind down.

IMA: The Spring/Summer 2014 season saw you walking for Dries Van Noten, Lanvin, Tom Ford, Donna Karan, Proenza Schouler, Jason Wu, Carolina Herrera, and of course Prada! What were your most memorable moments of the season?
AM: Michael Kors signed my backstage pass for a friend, hugs and conversations with Olivier Rizzo and Ashley Brokaw. Opening and closing Prada AGAIN! I still can't believe that one really happened. It's like winning the lottery and I've never been very lucky with buying those tickets.

Tom Ford - S/S 2014
Photographer - Marcus Tondo
Source - style.com

Prada - S/S 2014
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source -  style.com

Proenza Schouler - S/S 2014
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source -  style.com

IMA: You collaborated most recently with Steven Meisel on the Prada Fall/Winter 2013 campaign, and have a particularly memorable moment in the campaign's video where you look straight into the camera's lens and yell, "Stop! I'm not who you think I am." Did you enjoy working with Steven Meisel and did you get a buzz out of the acting component of the campaign?
AM: It is always a pleasure working with Mr. Meisel, he is so professional and organised. That was my first ever acting experience! I loved the elevator shot the best.

IMA: The modelling industry presents many different takes on Beauty. What is your definition of a modern day beauty?
AM: Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colours, and life forms. When I think of the definition of beauty, I think of the special moments in my life I'll remember forever.

IMA: There appears to be a growing trend towards models hitting their stride professionally, well into their twenties. Do you feel that your age and life experience has enabled you to cope better with the pressures and challenges of modelling?
AM: In your 20's you have a better understanding of who you are and what you want. You have more confidence, life experiences, and have a better understanding of what is important in life. As a child growing up I was always taught to respect and fear adults. When I first started modelling I was a kid still, adults were intimidating, and I just did what adults told me to do. Now they are my co-workers and friends. I enjoy working as a team and having a voice when making important decisions.

IMA: What makes you "Inoubliable" (Unforgettable)?
AM: I want people to remember me as the girl who was there when they needed me most. Life's not about the places you go, the things you do, or the things you buy. It's about the people that were with you and who shared those experiences with you. I would do anything for my friends and family.

Amanda Murphy
Image courtesy of IMG Models
Source - imgmodels.com

Prada - F/W 2013
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - thefashionspot.com

Amanda Murphy & Alex Bouchard
Interview Magazine - May 2013
Photographer - Mikael Jansson
Source - visualoptmism.blogspot.com

Another Magazine - F/W 2013
Photographer - Alasdair McLellan
Source - models.com

British Vogue - September 2013
Photographer - Craig McDean
Source - wearesodroee.wordpress.com

Paris Vogue - August 2013
Photographer - Alasdair McLellan
Source - thefashionspot.com

Amanda Murphy & Jesse
Photographer - Uncredited
Source - thefashionspot.com

Special thanks to Josh Otten at IMG Models. For more information on IMG Model Management, please log onto www.imgmodels.com

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