It’s been a breakthrough year for model Emily Senko. The Chicago native made waves this past summer when she appeared in the resort shows for Calvin Klein and Oscar de la Renta. From there, she had a stellar spring 2011 season walking for noted design houses, including Chanel, Chloé, Proenza Schouler, Diane von Furstenberg, Topshop Unique, Haider Ackermann, Prabal Gurung, Costume National, Dries Van Noten and Graeme Armour (which she opened). Propelled by an especially strong performance in Paris, Senko — with her cool gaze, full lips and charming personality — is positioned to stretch her hot streak into New York next season.
Agency: Ford Models
Home city: Chicago
Birth sign: Capricorn
How did you get into modeling?
"When I was young it was something I always thought about doing, but my parents insisted on me finishing school. I finally took myself to an open call at Ford and was signed that day.”
Since you’ve moved to New York from the Midwest, what do you miss about Chicago? What were your favorite hangouts there?
"I miss the snow. There is something so peaceful about the first Chicago snowfall. And during the summers I love to hang out on Lake Michigan."
Cubs or White Sox?
"Cubs, 100 percent! When I was growing up, my family had season tickets every year. Nothing better than a losing team."
What was it like walking Chanel this past season?
"It was the closest I will ever be to living inside of a snow globe. It was absolute magic; a beautiful Chanel world lead by a kind and benevolent ruler: Mr. Lagerfeld. To be completely honest, I didn’t want it to end!"
Who are your favorite designers?
"It’s really hard to pick, but generally speaking, I love Chloé, Celine, Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang and Michael Kors."
How would you describe your personal style?
"Simple and timeless."
What are your favorite pieces in your wardrobe?
"An Yves Saint Laurent sweater dress, a vintage suede wrap skirt that I found in a Paris thrift shop this season and my plain black lace-up Repettos.”
What music are you listening to?
"I’ve returned to my perennial winter album: Bon Iver — 'For Emma, Forever Ago'."
What was the biggest surprise for you about being a model?
"I can say that I was truly surprised at how demanding, both mentally and physically, the work is."
Do you have any favorite “must-have” accessories?
"Not really, to be honest. I tend to go for more timeless and classic pieces. I stock up on those, rather than being trend-oriented and living only for the accessory of the moment."
Can you offer any makeup tips or beauty advice for our readers?
"Drink lots of water. Also, finding beauty cures in everyday products — Greek yogurt makes an excellent face mask."
Who’s the coolest person you know?
"Rose Cordero, hands down. She has the best personality and energy about her. I went to do European shows for the first time this year and ended up rooming with Rose the entire time because she was so much fun to be around."
What’s the best advice you’ve received about the modeling industry?
"No two models have ever taken the same path to get where they are."