Friday, October 11, 2013

Exclusive Interview - Hollie-May Saker

The Spring/Summer 2014 season saw the emergence of a new band of beauties whose spectacular looks were mirrored by personalities and a magnetic presence that had show attendees on the edge of their seats. Eighteen year old Hollie-May Saker from Liverpool England, is poised for a campaign and editorial season of epic proportions having logged runway mileage at 30 shows including Burberry Prorsum, Versace, Marc Jacobs, Roberto Cavalli, Miu Miu, and Chanel. Saker drew attention for her one-of-a-kind head spinning combination of strawberry blonde tresses, baby blue felinesque eyes, and angular sculpted cheek bones as much as for her grace under pressure at Nina Ricci amidst a kerfuffle with Femen protesters. Off the runway Saker's candid and genuine interactions with fans and roving photographers won her legions of supporters not to mention guaranteed exposure on style blogs and industry forums.

Saker's enthusiasm and excitement over her achievements throughout the Spring/Summer 2014 season is contagious. Having opened for John Rocha and Sonia Rykiel, and closed for Kenzo in addition to realising her modelling goals of walking for Burberry Prosum and Chanel, it's no wonder Saker is on cloud nine. What makes Saker all the more adorable is her complete lack of pretence, her positive outlook, and the fact that she has no inkling of just how special she is in spite of having casting directors and designers entranced. For all of these reasons and more, Hollie May Saker landed firmly on IMA's list of Top 10 Newcomers for the Spring/Summer 2014 season. IMA tracked down Saker as she was catching up on some well deserved R&R in Marbella Spain, for a debriefing on the whirlwind show season that has seen her truly come into her own.

Hollie-May Saker
Photographer - Andrea Carter Bowman
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Inoubliable Model Army (IMA): Hi Hollie-May, congratulations on an incredible Spring/Summer 2014 season, and also on making it onto IMA's Top 10 Newcomers list for the season! How are you feeling in the aftermath of the shows and are you pleased overall with how the season unfolded?
HMS: Thank you! I'm overwhelmed by how the season has gone! It's weird but amazing and I feel so lucky to have had the season that I did. I'm ecstatic with every show I booked and cannot believe some of the names I've walked for. Overall for me, it was a perfect season.

IMA: Would you mind sharing your backstory with IMA's readership?
HMS: I'm 18 and from Liverpool but I grew up in Marbella, Spain. I've been modelling for two years now since I was 16. I was discovered by a booker who was a friend of my boyfriend's Nan. The booker worked at Models1 in London. I'd only ever heard of Models1 on the TV on Britain's Next Top Model, so I could barely believe it when I was told that the agency wanted to meet me. I was signed a few weeks later and it was the best decision I've ever made.

IMA: Your Spring/Summer 2014 show list was nothing short of EPIC with appearances in 30 shows including Marc Jacobs, Burberry Prorsum, Giles, Versace, Miu Miu, Fendi, and Chanel. Has the significance of your achievements dawned on you quite yet, and what were your favourite moments both on and off the runway?
HMS: It's unbelievable. I can't believe it and I can't fathom that they wanted me! My favourite show was definitely Burberry because it is the most amazing show every time. It made me so proud to be British and I loved the rose petals so much. I also adored DSquared because Dean & Dan are so much fun. They make us enjoy it and they always get involved - I loved being part of it. My favourite moment throughout Fashion Week is always the moment before I go on the runway when I get butterflies and all sorts in my tummy and then the adrenaline rush after that makes you want to do it all over again!

DSquared 2 - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
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Roberto Cavalli - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
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Burberry Prorsum - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
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IMA: You possess one of the most intriguingly beautiful faces in modelling at the moment. Did you feel beautiful growing up and were you at all conscious of your modelling potential prior to being scouted?
HMS: I was bullied in school quite badly to the point where my mum took me out of school as I didn't want to go that school anymore. I learnt since coming into the modelling world that a lot of us were bullied so I don't feel so bad. I didn't realise I had the potential to model until I joined Models 1, then my confidence grew but even now there are times I don't feel so confident.

IMA: The stakes were high this season with a cavalcade of newcomers vying for limited runway slots. What was your approach going into castings and what do you think got you noticed by casting directors?
HMS: I don't really have an approach for castings, I see a lot of girls who I feel have more of a chance than I do but I just try to be myself and hope the casting directors like me. I'm not sure why casting directors booked me, I feel like I got lucky!

IMA: The fashion and modelling industries afford the opportunity to engage with a diverse cross-section of individuals from all over the world. Did you make many new friends in between castings, fittings, and racing to and from shows?
HMS: I met so many girls at the start in New York that I've since seen in every city and saw basically every day because of castings, fittings, and shows. It's amazing how many people I got to meet and make friends with. I've learnt so much about different girls and where they're from, and had so many laughs along the way. People have this perception of models during show season that we don't eat and we don't communicate with each other well, to me though we're all this one big dysfunctional family.

IMA: The interest in models as public figures and personalities appears to be on the upswing. Do you feel that the supermodel phenomenon can be rekindled and are you up for the challenge ;-)?
HMS: I don't ever see myself being a supermodel, that's a very hard thing to achieve. I'd be up for it but I doubt I'd make it that big; there are so many amazing girls that are supers in the making. It was only my first full show season so I want to see how it goes...

Garage Magazine - S/S 2013
Photographer - Nik Hartley
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Photographer - Rokas Darulis
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Neo 2 - March 2013
Photographer - Sebastian Troncoso
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Photographer - Jack Clarke
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IMA: Being a pretty face nowadays is not enough with models being encouraged to develop and showcase other facets of their personality and interests to add to their allure. What are your interests and passions beyond the worlds of modelling and fashion?
HMS: I love make-up and I want to get into it properly so when the time comes to leave modelling, I would love to become a make-up artist. It seems like a fun job but I'd also love to stay around the fashion industry.

IMA: A model's off-duty uniform has gained increasing relevance due to the rise of street-style photographers and bloggers. How would you describe your sense of style and which collections are you most looking forward to hitting the stores?
HMS: I just wear what I really like. I never really have the time to go splash out and buy loads so I just purchase bits along the way when I see something I like in H&M or Top Shop. I don't really wear too many designer clothes, they're all a bit much for me. I like comfy things mainly. I'd say that's my style.

IMA: The manner in which you gently palmed off the Femen protesters during the Nina Ricci show without losing your composure was commendable. Do you feel that fashion can in its own way serve as powerful tool of expression for women?
HMS: I would definitely like to use my modelling profile to support young girls being bullied. I want to put a stop to bullying altogether but that may be unrealistic as bullying happens everyday all over the world in different places. Still I would want to do my part to help raise awareness. 
I think that there is also a type of modelling for everyone for example curvier girls are as beautiful as us skinnier ones. Therefore more agencies should offer a curve/plus-size division like Models1 do and some other agencies have started doing.

IMA: You have an amazing rapport with fans and street-style photographers during post show proceedings. Are you surprised by the amount of attention that you've received during Fashion Week from fans and the press, and does the constant grappling for your attention get overwhelming at times?
HMS: I love the fans, they are adorable. They really are so sweet but I wouldn't really call them fans, they are just young girls that look up to me and I know what it's like to look up to someone and even to get their attention - it's the best feeling. I do find it a bit overwhelming when people are shouting my name, I don't understand how they know who I am!

Hollie-May Saker & fans
Photographer - Pierguido Grassano
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Hollie-May Saker's Street Style
Photographer - Adam Katz Sinding
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In the Line of Fire
Nina Ricci - S/S 2014
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IMA: You opened for John Rocha and Sonia Rykiel, and closed for Kenzo! Was it daunting being the first one out, and were you stoked at being accorded such an honour for so many shows?
HMS: I couldn't believe it and the worst part is they tell you when you arrive for show prep so it's even more nerve-wracking, but it's also an honour to open or close a show. It made me feel special and I get even more of an adrenaline rush from the show.

IMA: What do you appreciate most about your chosen profession?
HMS: I appreciate mostly the places I go and will go, the friends I make and people I never thought I would get to meet, and also how it makes going home after being away for so long that extra bit special. I also value the support and love I get from everyone around me.

IMA: What do you hope to achieve in your modelling career, and do you have any specific goals on your modelling bucket list?
HMS: Well I made walking for Burberry and Chanel my goals at the beginning of Fashion Week and I didn't expect them so that's incredible. Now I'm aiming to appear somewhere in British Vogue, that would be amazing and another career highlight.

IMA: What makes you "Inoubliable" (Unforgettable)?
HMS: I think my name is pretty memorable, well I hope so anyway!

Hollie-May Saker
Volt Magazine - October 2012
Photographer - Sohrab Vahdat
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Photographer - Luc Coiffait
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Love Magazine - S/S 2013
Photographer - Angelo Pennetta
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Special thanks to Joe Tootal at Models 1 London and Julie Murat at Elite Model Management Paris. For more information on Models 1 London and Elite Model Management Paris, please log onto and


  1. Why she was bullied? For being too tall or too much pretty?

  2. Because she's fabulous