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Behati Prinsloo interview
Behati Prinsloo: I was 15 and on holiday in Cape Town. A photographer gave me Storm's number, but at first I didn't want to go because I didn't really know what was going on. I thought it was a scam because he just wrote the number on some paper but my mum's brother said "No, no, Storm is huge. You have to go." I went there and they took me on. Then a couple of weeks later Noelle from Storm in London saw me and they decided I should go to London.
o2w: Did you know much about modeling before you were scouted?
BP: Well I knew what it was but I didn't really know much more than that. Some girls dream all their lives about being a model but it wasn't something I'd thought about. But I'm really glad to be in the business now because it's so much fun. The only magazines we have in my village are Cosmopolitan and Sports Illustrated. We all heard of Vogue but never saw it. I didn't even know who Kate Moss was until someone showed me a picture of her and said she looks like me. Then I started noticing her everywhere I looked and I loved her style.
o2w: Had anyone in your school or village ever said that you could be a model?
BP: Well I was always the tallest in the class, which was really embarrassing because I was taller than the boys too. Some of the grown ups said I should be a model. I only thought about it when the photographer gave me the number.
o2w: What do your parents think about your career?
BP: My dad is a pastor, it's like a priest. He really supports me and gets excited about it. I know there are some things not to do because he wouldn't approve of it and he trusts me not to, like being naked in a shot my whole town would disown me [laughs]. My mum called me the other day to say that she saw me on Fashion TV, she was so excited.
o2w: What were you doing before modeling?
BP: I was studying at school and I would come home and play hockey or netball, there was nothing else to do. Everyone went to the same school and around the town there are loads of farmers so all of their kids went to the school too.
o2w: What's it like where you're from in Africa?
BP: I'm from a really small place in Namibia. There is no cinema, no club, there is only one school and everyone knows everyone's business. They have a couple of supermarkets and a few clothing stores. It's a really big country and everything is so far apart; between the different towns there is nothing.
o2w: So what was it like when you first came to London?
BP: It was so different from what I expected. I came on a weekend with two other girls from South Africa. The streets were so busy with cars and it was tipping with rain. I think I expected a lot more actually because I remember the airport was so small compared with Johannesburg. After a while I really started to like it, it's like home now.
o2w: Could you speak English well when you arrived?
BP: Yes we use English back home. All our books are in English. We speak Afrikaans to each other though.
o2w: Do you know of any big models from South Africa?
BP: No not really, I only know of one famous person: Charlize Theron, the actress. There aren't any famous models from South Africa! But there are really good looking guys there [laughs], well I think so. There are so many South Africans in London too and they're all hot.
o2w: What was your first modeling job?
BP: I did a job for Italian Vogue, but don't laugh when I tell you about it. I was so excited about it. Then they told me it was just going to be a picture of my feet [laughs].
o2w: What has been your favorite job so far?
BP: It was so good to work with Mario Testino and Paolo Roversi on Vogue. It was a great experience and I went to Paris for the first time.
o2w: Is there much difference between working with famous photographers and less established ones?
BP: Well the famous ones have a lot more assistants [laughs]. They know exactly what they want from the shoot. Sometimes you work with a photographer and they don't really know what they want but the big ones know exactly how its going to be which makes it easy. The worst thing is when a photographer says "Do what you want, because it's always going to be wrong because it's not what they want.
o2w: What campaigns are you doing at the moment? Is there any campaign you would love to do?
BP: I'm going to be in Aquascutum and Marc by Marc Jacobs next season but my H&M is coming out in December. I would love to be in campaigns like Dolce & Gabbana. I love the D&G campaign too with the big wigs. Also Valentino, Dior, and Marc Jacobs.
o2w: Do you have any favorite designers?
BP: I love, love Prada shoes and I like some clothes I've worn on shoots like Dior. There are too many to name!
o2w: What are your beauty secrets?
BP: I don't wear a lot of makeup. On jobs you're always wearing so much so I go natural for a change. I use moisturizer, that's really good and a little bit of mascara is nice. I use Dermalogica face wash, Aveda Damage Control conditioner and normal shampoo. Sometimes hair stylists ruin your hair, you see it falling on your lap and you want to cry so you have to take extra care of it.
o2w: Do you feel that female models are under pressure to stay in shape?
BP: I don't feel any pressure but you know, you need to do it for yourself. If you eat too much or whatever you aren't going to fit into the clothes, and if you don't fit, you aren't going to do the show. The agency doesn't put any pressure on you, they will advise you to maybe do some exercise but ultimately it's up to you to look after your body. It can be tough for some girls.
o2w: You are really healthy looking now. Do you feel you need to be thinner?
BP: No, not really at the moment, there are some girls who look thin and sick, especially in Milan. I think that puts pressure on other girls too because they think that if they get thin too they will work more.
o2w: What's the coolest thing that's come from being in the industry?
BP: Going up the Eiffel tower was so magical, I saw the whole of Paris and I wanted to cry. Also in New York seeing TRL was crazy because we watch that at home in South Africa. I haven't really had anything amazing happen yet but I really, really want to meet Kate Moss.
o2w: Who taught you how to walk?
BP: I went to a woman who used to be a catwalk model for an hour and she helped me find my own style of walking.
o2w: Have you had any embarrassing model moments?
BP: Luckily I haven't had one so far! I haven't fallen over on the runway.
o2w: What's it like being with Storm Models?
BP: Well obviously I think they're the best [laughs]. The bookers are so nice and everyone gets along, you know everyone and they try their best to get you the top jobs. I will stay with them forever, except when they're really mean to me [laughs].
o2w: What do you like to do in your free time?
BP: I love to go to the movies, I love socializing, going to parties and being around my friends. I go shopping too. Everyone dresses uniquely here [in London]. Everyone has something a little bit different about their style.
o2w: What do you want to do in the future?
BP: When I was young I wanted to be a dermatologist or an air hostess. When you're young you have a different dream every other day I guess. Right now I want to go to New York and do lots of work there. I think that's every models goal, to go and get the big jobs. I want to travel the world with friends of mine, see everything and experience it.
o2w: Any advice for our readers?
BP: Always be positive in every situation, laugh a lot, definitely, smile and be happy, that will keep you young.
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