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Face Value: Five Models Talk Fashion Week

WWD caught up with a handful of breakout models to discuss how they’re gearing up for their second season of New York collections.

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Alexander McQueen RTW Spring 2012

Photo By GIOVANNI GIANNONI

NADJA BENDER

Stats: 21 years old; from Copenhagen; repped by New York Models.

Spring runway scores: Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen.

Toughest part about collections: “For McQueen, I was going to wear this lace mask covered in pearls and I couldn’t see s--t so I got a new mask, thank god! And the shoes, they were for Lady Gaga and no one else. I was like, ‘I’m going to die!’”

Second toughest part about collections: “I tripped in the fitting to confirm Versace last season. I was this close to hitting Donatella, and I broke the shoe! The assistant said, ‘It’s OK. You’re like the fifth girl to do it today.’”

NYFW uniform: “Black jeans, black T-shirt, black jacket, black boots. But in Paris they want me to be more girly-girl and wear dresses.”

Runway wish list: “I’m really hoping to get Proenza Schouler. I watched this documentary on them and they’re so smart and adorable! My girlfriend, Caroline [Brasch Nielsen], did some looks for them and she got to keep so much. Walking in her closet is like going to Barneys.”

NYFW boot camp: “I do push-ups sometimes. I don’t know if it’s working though.”

NEXT: Valery Ka >>

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Valery Ka

Photo By Taylor Harris

VALERY KA

Stats: 17 years old; from Moscow; repped by Marilyn.

Spring runway scores: Alexander Wang, Theyskens’ Theory, Vera Wang, Miu Miu.

Fashion week musings: “You always have like eight places to go — some way uptown, then in five minutes you have to rush all the way downtown, then back up again.”

Biggest fear: “I’m scared of being late because I’m a really slow person and never know where I am. Even with GPS on my phone, I’m always asking people, ‘Do you know where this is?’”

Casting necessities: “My headphones are always with me. I listen to Lil Wayne and Kid Cudi to pump me up. Oh, and Justin Bieber! I’m going to marry him, by the way.”

On-the-go snacks: “Yogurt, cashews, Starbucks hot chocolate.”

I really hope I run into: “Kanye West! I love him!”

Newbie advice: “Try to be on time!”

NEXT: Marihenny Rivera >>

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Prada RTW Spring 2012

Photo By Giovanni Giannoni

MARIHENNY RIVERA

Stats:
19 years old; from Dominican Republic; repped by New York Models.

Spring runway scores: Louis Vuitton, Ohne Titel, Prada, Giles.

Fashion week musings: “Since last Thursday, I’ve had like 25 or more castings a day. In the Dominican Republic, they make all the designers get together for a whole day of castings in one big room. They should do that here.”

I love New York: “Besides the food, I love that you can do whatever you want and nobody cares. You can walk around in your pajamas and no one looks twice.”

Newbie advice: “Don’t get your hopes up. Last season I went to the same client five times. The day of the show, I was still waiting for the e-mail with the call time. Nothing. It broke my heart. Now I tell my agent I only want to know about confirmations, not options.”

NYFW uniform: “I have this little black dress that I call my lucky dress. Every time I wear it, I get the job. It’s not even designer, I think it’s from H&M.”

Toughest part about collections: “Staying the same size. If one month you have a 34 hips, the next month you can’t have a 33 or a 35.”

I really hope I run into: “Naomi Campbell. They say I have her young face. I want to compare personally.”

NEXT: Karo Mrozkova >>

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Karo Mrozkova

Photo By Taylor Harris

KARO MROZKOVA

Stats:
21 years old; from Czech Republic; repped by Marilyn.

Spring runway scores: Lanvin, Chanel, Rodarte, Thakoon.

I love New York: “You never get lost because you always know where north is.”

Favorite shoes for castings: “My Gucci spiky heels look killer but they’re really easy to walk in. Between castings I wear flat Theyskens boots.”

Fashion week musings: “It’s just pure adrenaline. You constantly feel a time pressure, but in the end it all works out. It’s also nice to see all your model friends again because during the year everyone’s all over the place. It’s nice when we all get back together.”

NYFW uniform: “It’s tricky in winter because you want to dress warmly but you still have to show your body, so I live in black tights with leather shorts.”

Beauty regimen: “You don’t really wear makeup for castings because they need to see you in your purest form so they can transform you into whatever they want. When I get out of the shower I put Moroccan Oil on and then a really thick layer of heavy moisturizer.”

NEXT: Lida Fox >>

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Marc Jacobs RTW Spring 2012

Photo By Thomas Iannaccone

LIDA FOX

Stats: 17 years old; from Pawleys Island, S.C.; repped by Next.

Spring runway scores: Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Chanel couture.

First show ever: “Marc Jacobs. Supposedly he does his castings in the middle of the night but mine was at 7; I was one of the first girls there. Everyone had to change into this gold metallic slipdress and Marc had us sit on a chair and positioned us into this very Fosse pose. I’m a dancer so I walked up and automatically did a similar pose. He asked me if I was a dancer — I guess it worked!”

On Chanel couture: “It was a dream, especially since it was my first couture show. I was kind of starstruck when I saw Karl [Lagerfeld]. I went up and thanked him after the show and we did the French double air-kiss thing.”

Casting necessities: “Today I brought beef jerky, a granola bar, vegetable chips, dried fruit and a chocolate bar. And I always have Band-Aids for my feet.”

NYFW uniform: “We’re supposed to wear lots of black. I grew up near the beach where everyone’s in flip-flops and brightly colored dresses. It’s been an adjustment. My agency gave me tips on how to dress to get the mood of the designer — really sleek for Calvin Klein with your hair pulled back in a bun, and more downtown-edgy for Marc Jacobs.”

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