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Phoebe Watson is a real newbie. After signing with Fusion, the fresh-faced Brit arrived in New York just 10 days ago. But with her 5-foot, 11-inch stance, strong brows and prominent pout, it shouldn’t take long for clients to notice the 19-year-old. Just don’t tell her that. “When I first went into Storm [her mother agency] in London, I was a bit shocked. I was so tall and gangly and awkward,” Watson says, sounding extra charming in her English lilt. “I was like, ‘Why am I here?’” What a kidder she is.
How do you like New York so far?
I’m just starting to get used to it. Everything is just a lot bigger here than in London. The biggest building in London is like a quarter of the size of a normal building here. I’m always kind of looking up.
Did you grow up in London?
No, I grew up in a place called Bath, west of London. It’s so small and it’s right in the middle of the countryside. You drive five minutes away from the center of town and you’re in the middle of fields. I feel like a small fish and in very big pond.
What does your family think of you modeling?
They love it. My mom’s an artist so she considers it an art form. She gets really, really involved. She’s sometimes more involved than I am. Like when I told her I was going to New York, I gave her all the information and she rang me up an hour later telling me all these things I had no idea about, like about who’s who at the agency and which photographers are important. She does her research!
Has your personal style changed since you started modeling?
I dress very differently when I’m on castings. Normally, I dress very laid back and low key. I don’t really like to stand out in a crowd. I like just jeans and plain T-shirts. At home, you’ll always find me wearing sweats. I’m not one to wear tight-fitted things or heels during the day but you have to when you’re working so designers can see your physique.
February is going to be your first show season. What are your thoughts so far?
I’m really nervous about walking because I’ve always been really, really clumsy. The other day at the model apartment, I opened the fridge, a bottle fell out and smashed on the floor. And I knocked another bottle out while I was trying to clean the first one up. And I just moved in! I thought all the girls would hate me after that. Luckily, they found it funny.
Has the agency given you any tips on your walk yet?
Just to look at the end of the runway, don’t let yourself look anywhere else. And cross your legs over each other while you walk but don’t walk like a horse.
What’s next for you?
Just exploring New York while I’m here to meet the clients. I’ll probably see “Twilight” if I have time today. I was supposed to go see it with my little sister. We preordered tickets like a month ago when I was still home but then I found out I was going to New York so she was pretty annoyed with me. I can’t believe I still haven’t seen it yet. I’m like a 14-year-old girl when it comes to my enthusiasm for it!