Friday, February 28, 2014

Top 10 Newcomers F/W 2014 - Ronja Furrer

For industry veteran Ronja Furrer the path to her stellar run at the Fall/Winter 2014 collections has been paved by years of grunt modelling and an iron will to succeed. Discovered via the Elite Model Look contest in 2006, Swiss-born Furrer placed in the top 15 finalists before relocating to Paris to begin her modelling career. Furrer attained moderate success with editorial appearances for German Elle, GQ, and Marie Claire coupled by a Spring/Summer 2012 campaign slot for Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply. Turns on the runway at the Spring/Summer 2011 collections for Pierre Cardin and Reed Krakoff's Fall/Winter 2011 show hinted at Furrer's potential. A switch of representation to IMG Models in November 2013 precipitated a major overhaul and rebranding of Furrer's image in time for the Fall/Winter 2014 season. An avalanche of bookings for Rag & Bone, Altuzarra, Derek Lam, Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, and Narciso Rodriguez, unequivocally declared Furrer the most coveted "newcomer" of the New York collections. Across all four fashion capitals, Furrer blazed a blue chip trail appearing at J.W. Anderson, Burberry Prosum, Fendi, Prada, Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Emilio Pucci, Balenciaga, and Lanvin proving that incredible things do indeed come to those who wait. 

Ronja Furrer
Photographer - William Lords
Source - thefashionspot.com

Narciso Rodriguez - F/W 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Bottega Veneta - F/W 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Burberry Prorsum - F/W 2014
Photographer - Kim Weston
Source - style.com

Barbara Bui - F/W 2014
Photographer - Marcus Tondo
Source - style.com

Balenciaga - F/W 2014
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Exclusive Interview - Lauren English

Canadian newcomer Lauren English made an auspicious debut just over a year ago as an Alexander Wang exclusive at the Fall/Winter 2013 collections. Based on that singular 'golden ticket' booking, English found herself in high rotation walking the runway for Balenciaga, Loewe, Céline, Paco Rabane, Maison Martin Margiela, Acne, and Elie Saab amongst others. During the recent Spring/Summer 2014 season, consolidation was clearly on English's mind with the twenty-one year old IMG-repped beauty logging a solid twenty show bookings. English's modelling achievements are remarkable given that she was discovered only three years ago at an open call held by her mother agency Elmer Oslen Model Management. English's chiselled bone structure, razor sharp cheekbones, and powerful 180 cm frame clearly struck a chord with agency owner Elmer Olsen who signed her on first sight.

Since the Spring/Summer 2014 show season, English has steadily racked up a diverse selection of editorial clients including the British and Russian editions of Vogue, the Gentlewoman, D La Reppublica, and Indie publications Grit, Husk, and Clash Magazine. English's versatility and her ability to convey a myriad of emotions via the camera's lens are complimented by her desire to continually push the limits of her modelling ability. Aside from her obvious physical allure, it is perhaps English's authenticity and the warm appreciation that she displays towards her agents, colleagues, industry supporters, and fans which defines her. English caught up exclusively with IMA during the Paris Fall/Winter 2014 collections to chat about the power of exclusives, her love of all things from vegan cookies to oversized sweaters to sightseeing during Fashion Week, and the value of being forced out of one's comfort zone.

Lauren English
Photographer - William Lords
Image courtesy of IMG Models


Inoubliable Model Army (IMA): Hi Lauren, thank you for chatting to IMA and congrats on an impressive Spring/Summer 2014 season. Were you pleased with how your second show season unfolded?
Lauren English (LE): I am very pleased with my show season this go around! I feel that the more time that passes, the better understanding I have and greater appreciation I gain for the industry and the people within it. I am very lucky to have walked in the shows that I did.

IMA: As a relatively new face to modelling, would you mind filling in IMA on your personal backstory?
LE: I was born in Brampton, Ontario which is where I currently still live. Although I'm usually only there for a week or two at times between travelling, I would definitely still call it home. Right now I am 21. I started modelling when I was about 18 when I first signed with Elmer Olsen Models in Toronto. I met with Elmer Olsen during an open call and he signed me on the spot because he said that he saw big potential in me. My background is Scottish and Romanian, although the endless jokes of being English from my last name are never-ending!

IMA: You were launched on the international modelling circuit during the Fall/Winter 2013 season as an exclusive for Alexander Wang. What are your thoughts on the power of exclusives to make or break a new model's career?
LE: I was extremely fortunate to have landed an exclusive in Alex's show. He has been known to jump start many a girl's careers, which I strongly feel he had a big part in mine. Being an exclusive in any show as a new face I think is one of the best things that can happen to a model on the international runway circuit. It forces you out into the spotlight for casting directors and bloggers everywhere to see.

Alexander Wang Exclusive - F/W 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Alexander Wang - S/S 2014
Photographer - Marcus Tondo
Source - style.com

Christopher Kane - S/S 2014
Image courtesy of Christopher Kane
Source - style.com


IMA: At the past Spring/Summer 2014 season you logged runway mileage at Alexander Wang in addition to Richard Chai Love, Peter Som, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Christopher Kane, Erdem, Kaufman Franco, Les Copains, and Missoni to name but a few! What were your personal favourite recollections of the Spring/Summer 2014 season?
LE: It truly is hard to pick a favourite because every collection is so unique in their own way. Alexander Wang is always one to look forward to because he himself is such a humble, down-to-earth person to work with. His shows are very elaborate with music and the atmosphere he creates, not to mention I would wear everything. Being my first season in London, I was lucky to have the opportunity to walk for another amazing designer Christopher Kane. His collection featured many beautiful pieces that are versatile and easy to wear. Strutting down a multi-levelled, mirrored runway while walking to Pink Floyd in a gorgeous outfit, it was hard not to feel like a million bucks.

IMA: Fashion Week is an extreme test of endurance both physically and mentally! What are your survival tips for getting through Fashion Week, and how do you decompress in the first few days following show season?
LE: I think one of the biggest tips for staying sane during Fashion Week is keeping in touch on a regular basis with my family and friends back home. It's great knowing that I have such a big support system. Their constant reminder of how proud and happy they are of me always puts a smile on my face during those crazy weeks. Another biggie is spending as much of the little down time I get in the gym. Working out is a huge stress reliever for me. Post-Fashion Week getting a massage and having a big meal full of the things that are not part of my meal plan is the best!

IMA: This season you ran the full gamut of the show circuit in all four fashion capitals. Did you find any time to do sightseeing in between castings and shows? Of the four cities, was there one that you felt a closer affinity towards?
LE: I was very busy towards the beginning of the month, luckily I managed to squeeze in a few hours of site-seeing during my first weekend in New York when my mom came to visit. We went to a few popular posts but being able to show her Times Square for her first time was really great. I had quite a bit of down time in Paris which was a nice change from my previous season of seeing everything from a car window. It's rare that you get free time to see and appreciate the beauty of these cities so I was very happy I could be a tourist for once! Since working in London for my first time during the Summer, I definitely fell in love and would have to say it's my favourite of the four. I plan to move there in the future!

IMA: The modelling and fashion industries  are a high pressured adult world in which young individuals are forced to navigate. What are your views on the New York State's recent passing of the new Child Labour Laws which provide protection for models 16 years and under from unsafe, unhealthy, and unlawful working terms and conditions?
LE: As a young adult working and travelling around the world on my own I still undergo feelings of major pressure and stress from the industry, so I can only imagine how models 16 and under would feel. At that age you don't really have a voice for yourself and you don't think to speak up when you feel something isn't right. The law is long over-due and could be one of the most beneficial things for young models. I believe this is such a relief for models and especially for their parents.

Grit Magazine - S/S 2014
Photographer Niclas Heikkinen
Source - models.com

British Vogue - December 2013
Photographer - Rory Payne
Source - models.com

Lauren English
Photographer - Adrian Nina
Source - thefashionspot.com


IMA: During your relatively short tenure as a model, what have you found most surprising about the industry in which you inhabit?
LE: People are very friendly! Well, the majority for that matter. Coming into the modelling industry I had no idea what to expect really once I started travelling on a regular basis. So I was surprised to see how nice and welcoming everyone was.

IMA: A big misconception about models is that they don't eat! IMA hears that you are an accomplished cook, tell us more about this passion of your's and what are some of your most popular recipes?
LE: I can definitely vouch that we eat... and we eat a lot! I would say my three favourite recipes to concoct would firstly be my vegan cookies... I have a huge sweet tooth so I created my own four ingredient recipe. I also love to make omelettes and different types of stir-fry dishes.

IMA: Recently you've appeared in editorials for the Gentlewoman, Clash Magazine, Grit, Husk, and the British and Russian editions of Vogue. Have you gotten used to seeing images of yourself in print and what do you appreciate most about the print component of modelling?
LE: I don't think I'll ever get used to opening a magazine and seeing myself! It's a very cool and accomplished feeling every time. I like to collect all my published work because I think it's great to hold onto for the future and compare my work from start to finish. Having done my fair share of look books and other online stuff is great but unfortunately it doesn't stay up forever. So having something tangible that I can hold onto and show my family and friends is something I appreciate the most about print.

IMA: The relationship between a photographer and his/her subject is unique, and requires an exchange of confidence and ideas. What have been some of your favourite modelling experiences and are there any key photographers whose vision you particularly admire?
LE: I've worked with many talented photographers over the years but I will always remember my first test shoot in New York with William Lords. Walking into his studio, not knowing what to expect just like any other shoot. Will pushed me out of my comfort zone, but in a good way of course. To be honest I was pretty intimidated by him at first haha. There was some yelling, some laughing, and bonding. But by the end of the shoot he had got expressions and movements out of me that I felt I wasn't able to give photographers in the past because they didn't push me. I appreciate that he took me away from what I was comfortable with because that's what makes you grow as a model. Will is a great photographer and friend with a strong passion for his career.

Lauren English
Photographer - William Lords
Image courtesy of Elmer Olsen Models

D Repubblica Magazine - February 2014
Photographer - Julian Broad
Source - thefashionspot.com

Grace Mahary, Lauren English & Senait Gidey
Backstage at Loewe - F/W 2013
Image courtesy of Style Bistro
Source - thefashionspot.com


IMA: Toronto is a city known for its multi-ethnic population, and also has an impeccable track record of producing remarkable modelling exports. What is your take on the Spring/Summer 2014 season's sudden embrace of ethnic diversity and did you notice any other discernible casting trends throughout the season?
LE: I never quite understood why in the past diversity was obviously not there. I think it's amazing to see that casting directors and designers are finally changing their ways. When a close friend told me last year that it was difficult for her to book big shows because of her skin colour I thought it was ridiculous. So I am more then thrilled to say the least, that ethnic diversity exploded this past season.

IMA: Your mother agency Elmer Olsen has a formidable reputation of discovering and nurturing new modelling talent. How did Elmer Olsen prepare you for the international modelling stage, and now that you are represented globally by IMG Models, have you developed and appreciation for the scale of the behind the scenes work that goes into managing a model's career?
LE: Elmer is amazing at what he does and truly knows what it takes to prepare a girl to meet international agents and launch their career. If you're willing to give back just as much hard work and dedication as he invests in you, then there is hope that your career could/will go somewhere. It was hard to get to where I am right now but I am so grateful for everything he has done for me up to this point. If I had been told at the start of my career that I would eventually be travelling the world on a regular basis and signed internationally to one of the biggest agencies, I would never have believed it haha...

IMA: A model's presentation is vital both on and off the runway. How has your fashion aesthetic evolved as a result of your industry exposure? How would you describe your street style, and which three designers are you currently obsessing over?
LE: I've definitely come a long way from my all black uniform of skinny's and a tank top, which is the typical casting attire. Over the years of my career, I would say my closet has evolved a lot and I've donated several bags of my old clothes that I couldn't part with for years. I don't know how to describe my style because I tend to dress according to my moods. I have my fair share of comfy days that consist of wearing mostly leggings and oversized sweaters. But otherwise I like to look a little dressy, whether it be some leather pants and a cute top or a pair of oversized jeans and a blazer. I love 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang, and an independent designer Sui Yuan who I found in a small store on Brick Lane in London.

IMA: What makes you "Inoubliable" (Unforgettable)?
LE: That's a hard one to answer because I think it's more about who's watching and what they believe is memorable about me. With so much competition in the industry, I think having a great personality and sense of humour is important, but also staying humble and true to yourself will make you stand out and be truly "Unforgettable" in the eyes of the fashion world.

Lauren English
Photographer - William Lords
Image courtesy of Elmer Olsen Models


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

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Top 10 Newcomers F/W 2014 - Waleska Gorczevski

DNA Model Management's Waleska Gorczevski has experienced a meteoric rise since she was discovered via the Kee Mod Star Model Search in 2012. The sixteen year old Brasilian took out the winning title and was swiftly signed by the Sao Paolo-based agency. In the short space of a year, Gorczevski has graced the pages of Brasilian Vogue and was the most requested model at the Sao Paolo Fall/Winter 2014 collections amassing a total of nineteen show bookings. Gorczevski's international runway debut as a Christian Dior exclusive at the Spring 2014 Haute Couture shows placed the 179 cm tall newcomer on high alert in the lead up to the current Fall/Winter 2014 season. With her wistful green eyes, impeccable bone structure, and hard to place looks - a result of her mixed Polish and Portuguese heritage, it's no wonder Gorczevski has proven to be a hit with casting directors and designers from the get go. Gorczevski swept the pool at the New York collections, setting a blistering pace with bookings at Victoria Beckham, Tommy Hilfiger, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Marc Jacobs, Narciso Rodriguez, Hugo Boss, and Calvin Klein. The love for Gorczevski crossed the Atlantic with a slew of London bookings for every top tier show imaginable from J.W Anderson, to Christopher Kane, and Giles. The big guns proved to be no match for Gorczevski in Milan with Alberta Ferretti, Prada, Fendi, Sportmax, Roberto Cavalli, and Jil Sander submitting to her burgeoning show list. Appearing in a total of thirty five shows across the three fashion capitals, Gorczevski left all in her wake holding opening/closing honours at seven shows. 

Waleska Gorczevski
Photographer - Matthew Priestley
Image courtesy of DNA Model Management

Narciso Rodriguez - F/W 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

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

Calvin Klein - F/W 2014
Photographer - Gianni Pucci
Source - style.com

Christopher Kane - F/W 2014
Photographer - Marcus Tondo
Source - style.com

Prada - F/W 2014
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Top 10 Newcomers F/W 2014 - Imaan Hammam

No Top 10 Newcomers List for the Fall/Winter 2014 season would be complete without the inclusion of Dutch ingenue Imaan Hammam. With Hammam there are no gimmicks, instead her appeal relies on the kind of drop dead gorgeousness that lingers long after the final turn on the runway. Scouted at the age of fourteen by Code Management, Hammam's modelling trajectory has been guided with pinpoint precision and patience via key editorial bookings for local publications including Vogue and Glamour, and on the runway at Amsterdam Fashion Week. Fast-forward to the Spring/Summer 2014 collections and Hammam's stunning debut opening exclusively for Givenchy has the seventeen year old singled out as the most hotly contested newcomer leading into the current Fall/Winter 2014 season. Model-maker Steven Meisel recently photographed Hammam for Vogue Italia, and American Vogue has championed the Egyptian/Moroccan beauty in five editorials this year alone. Casting director Ashley Brokaw appears to be equally enamoured, having selected Hammam to tread the runway at Narciso Rodriguez, Hugo Boss, Proenza Schouler, and Prada. Hammam's precise Milan show list which includes appearances Versace, Bottega Veneta, Roberto Cavalli, Fendi, and Prada, suggests a slow burn heading into the Paris collections.

Imaan Hammam
Image courtesy of DNA Models

Narciso Rodriguez - F/W 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Reed Krakoff - F/W 2014
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

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

Prada - F/W 2014
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Bottega Veneta - F/W 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Top 10 Newcomers F/W 2014 - Charlene Högger

Sixteen year old Cologne native Charlene Högger began her modelling career a little over a year ago after being scouted via Facebook by her Dusseldorf-based mother agency No Toys Model Management. Following a year of careful development and placement, Högger has emerged like a bolt out of the blue as a major contender in the newcomer stakes at the Milan Fall/Winter 2014 collections. At 181 cm in height with gazelle-like proportions, pristine features, startling baby blues, and an adorable smattering of freckles, Högger commanded industry attention as she glided down the runway at Prada, Bottega Veneta, Alberta Ferretti, Dolce & Gabbana, Emilio Pucci, Fendi, and Tod's. Högger was the very embodiment of ultra glam chic displaying a serene maturity and confidence on the runway way beyond her teen years. With representation by Elite Model Management in Paris and The Society Management in New York, Högger heads into the Paris Fall/Winter 2014 collections as one of the most buzzed about and sought after newcomers of the season. 

Charlene Högger
Photographer - Edgar Berg
Source - thefashionspot.com

Prada - F/W 2014
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Bottega Veneta - F/W 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Emilio Pucci - F/W 2014
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Tod's - F/W 2014
Photographer - Kim Weston
Source - style.com

Top 10 Newcomers F/W 2014 - Leila Ndabirabe

Twenty-three year old Leila Ndabirabe (Nda) was one of the most captivating faces that IMA encountered at Oscar de la Renta's Fall/Winter 2014 castings. Hailing from Burundi and raised in Belgium, Ndabirabe was impossible to miss throughout the New York collections championed by casting director Russell Marsh who featured her as a semi-exclusive at Victoria Beckham and at Tommy Hilfiger. Blessed with a magnificent 180 cm silhouette, hypnotic brown eyes, and a perfectly ovular face shape, Ndabirabe charmed all in her midst with her regal runway composure. Represented by New York Model Management, Ndabirabe carved up New York's runways with appearances at Marc Jacobs, Rodarte, Oscar de la Renta, Tory Burch, Hugo Boss, Marchesa, and Ohne Titel. Opting to skip the London collections, Ndabirabe's picked up speed in Milan at Versace, Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, Sportmax, Emilio Pucci, Bottega Veneta, and Marni, ensuring that the issue of ethnic diversity remained omnipresent in the minds of casting directors, designers, and show attendees. Ndabirabe's combination of disarming good looks, good old fashioned savour-faire, and intelligence - she speaks six languages fluently and is a law student at the University of Libres in Brussels, will serve her well as she navigates the final leg of the Fall/Winter 2014 collections in Paris.

Leila Ndabirabe
Agency - NYMM
Photographer - Anthony Arquier
Image courtesy of Leila Ndabirabe

Victoria Beckham Semi-Exclusive - F/W 2014
Photographer -
Source - style.com

Marni - F/W 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Bottega Veneta - F/W 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Gucci - F/W 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Top 10 Newcomers F/W 2014 - Iana Godnia

Each model's path to success is unique and paved by a combination of prescient timing, incredible DNA, persistence, and sound management. For twenty-four year old Ukrainian Iana Godnia, years of industry experience and multiple changes of management have brought her to her current standing amongst modelling's elite. Since being discovered in 2009 when she was introduced by a former model to her mother agency Faces in Kiev, Godnia has earned her stripes gaining invaluable industry and life experience while growing into her looks. When IMA visited Major Model Management's headquarters in the lead up to New York Fashion Week, Senior Women's Manager Domonick Hannosh hinted at major interest from key fashion houses in the 177 cm raven-haired beauty. Fast-forward three weeks and Godnia has blazed a trail through blue chip appearances at Calvin Klein as an exclusive, Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Kane, Simone Rocha, Antonio Berardi, Bottega Veneta, Aquilano Rimondi, Dolce & Gabbana, Jil Sander, and Cédric Charlier. Godnia's remarkable versatility and ability to morph from super chic at Bottega Veneta, to modern day grunge at Calvin Klein, and hippie goddess at Burberry Prosum has made her one of the standout newcomers of the Fall/Winter 2014 season.

Iana Godnia
Agency - Major Model Management
Photographer - Felix Wong
Source - models.com

Bottega Veneta - F/W 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Calvin Klein - F/W 2014
Photographer - Gianni Pucci
Source - style.com

Burberry Prosum - F/W 2014
Photographer - Kim Weston
Source - style.com

Christopher Kane - F/W 2014
Photographer - Marcus Tondo
Source - style.com

Top 10 Newcomers F/W 2014 - Alisa Ahmann

Germany's Alisa Ahmann certainly made a powerful statement opening exclusively for Calvin Klein at the Fall/Winter 2014 collections with her sensual womanly presence. Aged 19 years and standing at an imposing 179 cm, Ahmann's striking looks are reminiscent of Danish late 90's top model Rie Rasmussen and the iconic German Super Veruschka. Represented by Model Management in Hamburg, Elite Model Management in Paris, and newly signed to the Society Management in New York, Ahmann has modelled extensively in Australia for local fashion labels Trelise Cooper and Country Road. Ahmann's expressive grey/blue eyes, flawless complexion, and voluminous lips have already graced the cover of German publication Quest and seem destined to attract interest from cosmetics companies. With the Paris Fall/Winter 2014 collections currently underway you can expect Ahmann to surface exclusively on the runways with the most influence, proving that a quality versus quantity approach prevails.

Alisa Ahmann
Agency - The Society NY
Photographer - Thuy Pham
Source - thefashionspot.com

Calvin Klein Exclusive - F/W 2014
Photographer - Gianni Pucci
Source - style.com

Jil Sander - F/W 2014
Photographer - Marcus Tondo
Source - style.com

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Exclusive Interview - Maartje Verhoef

Maartje Verhoef is unequivocally a modelling superstar in the making. Pretty lofty words to describe the sixteen year old high schooler who has been modelling part-time since being discovered only three years ago by her mother agency Micha Models. Verhoef's modelling track record thus far speaks volumes with a riveting Spring/Summer 2013 debut opening for Prada, blue chip campaigns for Valentino, Prada, and Céline shot respectively by Steven Meisel, Craig McDean, and Juergen Teller, lens time with Patrick Demarchelier for Interview Magazine, and a growing model as muse status holding opening or closing honours at Bottega Veneta, Jil Sander, Céline, and Paco Rabane. Indeed Verhoef's rapid ascent through modelling's elite ranks coincides with the timely arrival of fellow teen compatriots Imaan Hammam and Julia Bergshoeff, forming what could aptly be described as the Dutch Trifecta. All three models have left the fashion industry hankering, appearing selectively at Fashion Week via a slew of strategically placed runway bookings, all the while completing their high school education.

Verhoef's graceful lithe 179 cm frame, prominent forehead, perfectly arched brows, and petulant pout have sent casting directors and designers into a tailspin as they scramble to secure the Dutch beauty in their show line-ups. Verhoef's elusive runway quality has translated into pure campaign gold without running the risk of overexposure that has halted many a promising new face dead in their tracks in the ever fickle world of fashion. With the final leg of the Fall/Winter 2014 collections underway in Paris, Verhoef has already galvanised industry attention via an immaculate Milan show list including Jil Sander, Emilio Pucci, Alberta Ferretti, and Fendi. With her pristine peaches and cream complexion, piercing runway stare, and stunning versatility, Verhoef will surely have Paris burning in the week ahead. Verhoef chatted exclusively with IMA in the lead up to the Fall/Winter 2014 season about the chance photo shoot which led to her discovery, the challenges of balancing school with plum modelling assignments, and the undeniable perks of show season.

Maartje Verhoef
Photographer - Uncredited
Source - bellazon.com


Inoubliable Model Army (IMA): Hi Maartje, thank you for taking time to chat with IMA. Congratulations on a sensational Spring/Summer 2014 show season and on making it onto IMA's Top 10 Newcomers List. How would you describe your overall experience at the Spring/Summer 2014 collections and are you looking forward to the Fall/Winter 2014 shows?
Maartje Verhoef (MV): I was really happy that I had some days off from school to participate in Fashion Week. I didn't expect to walk in so many shows, I felt very honoured. It was also my first time doing the shows in Paris (as in the past I was not allowed to miss too many days of school). I'm really looking forward to the Fall/Winter 2014 collections. I hope I can walk in as many shows again. I just had my school exams so I'm happy I will be able to take off some days from school. When I do Fashion Week it motivates me to work even harder at school, it gives me so much energy!

IMA: As a relatively new face to modelling, would you mind sharing your backstory with IMA's audience?
MV: I'm 16 years old and come from the South of Holland. I started modelling 3 years ago, and over the past year, after my Prada debut everything has been moving faster. I was discovered by a photographer (he worked at my dad's company). He was doing a shoot and one of the models was ill so he asked me to replace her, and he sent the pictures to my mother agency Micha Models. That is how my modelling career started. Before that I had never actually thought of being a model!

IMA: Your international catwalk career kicked off with an exclusive opening slot for Prada at the Spring/Summer 2013 collections! How did you handle the pressure of being first out onto the runway and the intense media attention that followed?
MV: Everything was completely new for me. I hadn't done a show before so I didn't know how everything worked. When I had my Prada casting and Ashley Brokaw booked me as an exclusive I didn't realise the full significance of what had happened. That day my mother agent from Holland came to Milan (because it was my first show) to be there with me. Just a few minutes before the show, she told me that I had to open the show. I didn't have time to think about it and before I realised I was on the catwalk. That was really a special moment for me.

Opening for Prada - S/S 2013
Photographer - Marcus Tondo
Source - style.com

Max Mara - S/S 2014
Photographer - Fablo Iona
Source - style.com

Opening for Bottega Veneta - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com


IMA: Your mother agency Micha Models has gradually introduced you to the modelling world via a selective roster of blue chip clients and jobs with the key focus on allowing you to complete your high school education. What kind of support has Micha and your agents provided you to enable you to juggle your modelling career with your education?
MV: Micha always makes a careful selection from the requests. If there is an important job I should do she asks me if it is possible to fit it in with school. My school allows me ten days off, they are flexible and helpful. And if it is not possible to do a job, Micha (and the other agents) are not pushing me.

IMA: At the recent Spring/Summer 2014 collections you opened for Bottega Veneta, Jil Sander, Paco Rabane, and closed for Céline, it addition to appearances at J.W Anderson, Marni, Emilio Pucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Balenciaga, Christian Dior, and Viktor & Rolf to name but a few! Was the season a bit of a blur or are there any special moments which standout as personal highlights for you?
MV: I really enjoyed closing a show for the first time. But every show is special, it's nice to see how everyone is working so hard to make the show a success. The Viktor & Rolf show was especially memorable because there were a lot of Dutch people working there (the designers, dressers, and a lot of Dutch girls).

IMA: Aside from the obvious choices of travelling and meeting new people, what do you enjoy and appreciate most about modelling?
MV: No one day is the same, and sometimes we get free stuff from the shows which is really nice to have. This season I got a Marni bag, a Céline bag, and Balenciaga dresses! And it is also amazing to walk in such beautiful clothes.

IMA: In 2013, you posed for Steven Meisel and Patrick Demarchelier for the Prada Spring/Summer 2013 campaign and for Interview Magazine's feature on "The New Breed" of Supermodels. Was it an intimidating experience to pose for two of the most influential industry figures?
MV: When I worked for the first time with Steven Meisel I was a bit nervous as it was my first campaign and my first time working with such a good photographer. But the shoot was so relaxed. The shoot with Patrick Demarchelier was a nice shoot and Mr Demarchelier was really friendly.

Prada Campaign - S/S 2013
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - thefashionspot.com

Maartje Verhoef & Esther Heesch
Valentino Campaign - S/S 2014
Photographer - Craig McDean
Source - thefashionspot.com

Maartje Verhoef
Image courtesy of Seeds Model Management


IMA: Which also brings us to your recent Spring/Summer 2014 campaign for Valentino lensed by Craig McDean. The Valentino shoot featured a stunning line-up of new modelling talent including Ine Neefs, Malaika Firth, Auguste Abeliunaite, Esther Heesch, and yourself shot on location amongst a stunning backdrop of rocky boulders. Where was the shoot set, how did you get into character for the shoot, and was it fun sharing in the excitement with the other models in such a magnificent location?
MV: The location was beautiful and really special. It was in the desert in Los Angeles. We had to drive to the desert on each of the shoot days, it was 2 hours driving. When we were in the desert we were taken to the top of the desert in jeep buggies, that was a lot of fun. When we arrived at our the shoot location we had to stand on rocks, it was warm but the crew on the shoot protected us well. I knew a few of the girls from before so it was great to see them again. The atmosphere with all of the girls was really nice and pleasant.

IMA: It's unusual for a sixteen year old to have access to the world's most exclusive high fashion designs! Has your sense of style changed much as a result of your fashion industry exposure, and which three designers are you most inspired by at the moment?
MV: Yes my style has changed since working in the fashion industry. I try to wear more fashion pieces. I'm the most inspired by Valentino, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana.

IMA: Given that you are still in school, which other professions interest you as an alternate career to modelling?
MV: Actually I don't know what to do after or as an alternate career, I'm thinking of pursuing university studies but I don't know which one yet.

Malaika Firth, Maartje Verhoef, & Tami Williams
Backstage at Alberta Ferretti -  F/W 2014
Photographer -
Source - vogue.com

Backstage at Emilio Pucci - F/W 2014
Photographer - Paolo Musa
Source - dazedgitial.com

Maartje Verhoef & Ophélie Guillermand
Photographer - Uncredited
Image courtesy of Style Bistro


IMA: Dutch girls continue to dominate the modelling landscape with many of Micha Model's girls achieving international success. Have you had the opportunity to meet many Dutch girls so far during Fashion Week?
MV: Yes I met a lot of Dutch models at Fashion Week and during shoots. There are also Belgian girls who I enjoy working with. But I haven't formed really close friendships yet because I haven't walked in so many shows. Most of the time during the show season I'm with my mother in an apartment and I don't have so much time to spend with the girls because I need to return to Holland as soon as possible to go back to school. But it is always nice working with Dutch girls ;-)

IMA: What have you found most surprising about the fashion industry and what have been the most valuable life lessons that you have acquired so far from your experiences?
MV: The fashion industry taught me how to take care of myself. Since I've been working and travelling, I'm much more grown up.

IMA: Beauty is very much in the eye of the Beholder... After having seen so many beautiful girls during your travels and at the shows, what is you personal take on a modern day Beauty?
MV: I think a modern Beauty is someone who has some special qualities in their face.

IMA: What makes you "Inoubliable" (Unforgettable)?
MV: Haha! It is hard to say something like that (about yourself) but I think that most people remember me because of my eyebrows! Besides that I always try to be positive and to bring that feeling to the set!

Maartje Verhoef
Photographer - Richard Bakker
Image courtesy of Micha Models

Interview Magazine - September 2013
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier
Source - thefashionspot.com

Maartje Verhoef
Photographer - Karel Losenicky
Source - thefashionspot.com


Special thanks to Micha Emmering Krijger at Micha Models. For more information on Micha Models, please log onto www.michamodels.com