Meet 40 Marie Claire Models

Confessions of high-fashion models: what they eat, their most embarrassing moments, and how they got their big break.

July 17, 2009 10:18 AM
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Ruven Afanador
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Model Diaries

Model: Zuzanna Krzatala
Hometown: Szczecin, Poland
Discovered: At 13, by an agent who spotted me at the mall. (I was cutting a chemistry exam.)
Most embarrassing moment on-set: While a corset was being tightened on me, I accidentally spat out my gum at the stylist.
Favorite item in my closet: Blue Chloe bag- it's very rock-and-roll.
Hidden talent: Reciting poetry.
If I weren't a model, I'd be: A ballet dancer.
Her fashion shoot: The Menswear Trend
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David Oldham
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Model Diaries

Model: Rachel Alexander
Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA
Discovered: By a photographer in my town. I was 13.
Favorite designer to work with: Christopher Bailey for Burberry Prorsum.
Celebrity I'd love to meet: Sean Penn
Guilty pleasure: Eating Swedish Fish and browsing Facebook.
If I weren't a model, I'd be: A psychologist.
Her fashion shoot: The Fearless New World of Fashion
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Kevin Sinclair
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Model Diaries

Model: Heidi Verster
Hometown: Cape Town, South Africa
Most embarrassing modeling moment: I was jumping up and down for a shot, and my pants split open
Hidden talent: Cooking
Celebrity I'd love to meet: Michelle Pfeiffer
Bad habit: Shopping
Hardest part about modeling: Looking fresh in the morning
Favorite item in her closet: Vintage Versace leather dress
Favorite Jeans: Cheap Monday
Three words to describe herself: Outside the box
Her fashion shoot: Jean Pool: The Denim Guide
what models are like
Ruven Afanador
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Model Diaries

Model: Matta
Hometown: Reykjavik, Iceland
Discovered: At a mall in Iceland when I was 15.
Favorite song: "Hey Joe" by Jimi Hendrix.
Favorite designer to work with: Steinunn. She's also from Iceland. I've got to promote my people!
Guilty pleasures: Chocolate and beer.
Hidden talent: I can fish with my toes. Just kidding!

Model Diaries

Model: Hannah Davis
Hometown: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Fashion icon: Gwen Stefani
Favorite items in closet: Sneakers a friend hand-painted for me.
Most embarrassing modeling moment: My hair extensions once fell out midshoot.
In ten years you'll be: Working as a primatologist in Africa.
Her fashion shoot: Street Chic - Fashion for the Urban Girl
Fabio Chizzola
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Model Diaries

Model: Atong Arjok
Native of: San Diego
After modeling, I'll be: A psychologist or forensic scientist.
Favorite fashion decade: The '70s-so full of free spirits.
Guilty pleasure: Watching The Bad Girls Club.
Best advice I ever got: Don't compare yourself with anyone.
Her fashion shoot: The New Fashion Frontier
Diego Uchitel
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Model Diaries

Model: Anna Davolio
Hometown: Copenhagen, Denmark
If she weren't a model, she'd be: An inventor
Fashion icon: Her Grandma Horty
Most memorable experience: Eating delicious egg-and-liver pancakes cooked by Bedouins in the Sahara.
Her fashion shoot: Fashion in Bhutan
Andrew Durham
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Model Diaries

Model: Elena Potapova
Hometown: Moscow
Discovered: By the Italian agent Anna Mora in Moscow. I was 19.
Can't live without: Mascara.
Celebrity I'd love to have met: Helmut Newton.
Bad habit: Being too trusting.
If I weren't a model, I'd be: An athlete-a basketball player or a swimmer.
Favorite song: "I Feel Good," by James Brown.
Best part of the shoot: The diamonds!
Her fashion shoot: Costume Jewelry: Dripping with Diamonds

Model Diaries

Model: Alyssah Ali
Native of: Mississuaga, Ontario
Fashion icon: My always-in-the-loop sister.
Star I'd love to meet: Jim Carrey. When I was young, I wanted to be Jim Carrey.
Denim brand of choice: J Brand's dark skinnies fit me perfectly.
Party trick: I can do a free-form French manicure that looks professional.
Bad habit: Biting my French-manicured nails!
Her fashion shoot: Sexy Summer Swimwear

Model Diaries

Model: Taylor Warren
Hometown: Johnstown, NY
Favorite item in closet: A bag of nail heads for bedazzling accessories when needed!
Hidden talents: Crocheting, bubble-gum blowing Favorite designer: Alexander Wang
Bad habits: Caffeine, bad boys
Toughest part of the job: The misconceptions people have about models
Her fashion shoot: The Price is Bright
Ruven Afanador
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Model Diaries

Model: Bruna Hort
Hometown: Santa Catarina, Brazil
Discovered: By an agent at a mall when I was 11.
Famous person I'd love to have met: Einstein.
Bad habit: Talking to people on the street. I like just being nice or helping people who are lost, but then they think I'm their best friend.
Can't live without: Sunblock!
Her fashion shoot: The Best American Fashion Designers

Model Diaries

Model: Nivine Khalil, 26 (second from right)
Hometown: Jounieh, Lebanon
How does your country feel about the fashion industry? Lebanon loves fashion! Even Dubai residents go there to shop.
Which city do you consider the fashion capital of the world? Probably Paris.
What body type is popular in the industry? Tall but not super skinny.
Best part of being a model? Years from now, looking back and seeing what you used to look like.
Max Cardelli
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Model Diaries

Model: Olga Serova
Hometown: Tallinn, Estonia
Discovered: At 16, while buying flowers for a friend's graduation.
Most memorable moment: When my agent called from Milan to say I was booked for an Armani campaign.
Can't live without: Love-and my BlackBerry.
Best part of the job: Collaborating with the fashion photographer to make an artistic picture.
Hardest part of the job: Flying so much.
Bad habit: Daydreaming.
Her fashion shoot: Lady of the House Fashion
Peggy Sirota
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Model Diaries

Model: Ariel Meredith
Hometown: Shreveport, LA
Hidden talent: Baton twirling.
Celebrity I'd love to meet: Oprah Winfrey.
Guilty pleasure: Soul food.
Best advice about modeling: With rejection comes acceptance.
Her fashion shoot: Home on the Range Style
Raphael Mazzucco
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Model Diaries

Model: Olga Elnikova
Hometown: Sakhalin, Russia
Discovered: Without my knowing, my sister sent my pictures to a modeling contest in Moscow, and I won!
If you weren't a model, you'd be: An animal trainer
Favorite designers: Louis Vuitton, D Squared, and Chloe.
Best part of being a model: I get to see the fashion trends before everyone else.
Favorite Location: Iceland! I fell in love with the scenery. And the people were so friendly and warm. I had a hard time leaving.
Her fashion shoot: Fashion, Romance and Everything Iceland
Fabio Chizzola
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Model Diaries

Model: Anna de Rijk
Hometown: Haarlem, The Netherlands
Discovered: By the Dutch photographer Ingmar Sigram at a Christmas party. I was 15.
Can't live without: Rosebud lip balm.
Personal style: A strange mix of hippie and elegant (with room for improvement).
Best part of the job: Not knowing what I'm doing next week.
Her fashion shoot: Sexy, Sporty Fashion
Jonty Davis
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Model Diaries

Model: Hattie Sewell
Native of: Stoke-on-Trent, England
Discovered by: A model scout at a fashion show when I was 14.
Guilty pleasure: British TV host Jeremy Kyle- our Jerry Springer, only worse. When not cat walking: I'm riding horses.
Signature style: Ironically, given this story, I love bright colors.
Bad habit: Cursing.
Favorite item in this story: The shoes! I want every pair.
Her fashion shoot: Nude is The New Black
Gilles Bensimon
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Model Diaries

Model: Maja Latinovic
Hometown: Kikinda, Serbia
Discovered: On the street by my manager, Dajau Marcovic, when I was 18.
If I weren't a model, I'd be: Working with kids.
Guilty pleasure: Smoking.
Favorite fashion decade: The '80s, because women started wearing whatever they felt was comfortable.
Best modeling advice I've gotten: Don't lose your moment; be professional.
Her fashion shoot: Escape in Easy Island Style
Raphael Mazzucco
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Model Diaries

Model: Maria Dvirnik
Hometown: Toronto, Canada
Baaa-dest modeling moment: A baby lamb I was holding during a shoot tried to nibble the cherry blossoms printed on my dress
Hidden talent: I have a brown belt in karate
Hardest part of the job: Not owning my own time; having to jet across the globe at a moment's notice
Favorite designer: Lanvin
Her fashion shoot: The Lady is a Vamp
Ruven Afanador
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Model Diaries

Model: Amanda Murphy
Hometown: Orland Park, IL
Discovered: At 16, during an open call in Chicago.
Favorite item in my closet right now: Classic brown leather riding boots.
Can't live without: Horses. I feel weird if I don't ride every day.
Celeb I'd love to meet: Evangeline Lilly-Lost is my favorite TV show.
Hardest part of the job: Surviving fashion- show season-it's so hectic!
Her fashion shoot: Volume Control
Jonty Davies
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Model Diaries

Model: Helena Sopar
Hometown: Novalja, Croatia
Favorite items in my closet: My Uggs and a t-shirt a friend's mom made for me.
Bad habit: Staying on Facebook all night!
Favorite jeans: J Brand skinny jeans.
Best part of the job: Traveling alone. I really get to know myself and what I want from life.
If I weren't a model, I'd be: A math teacher.
Her fashion shoot: New Streamlining
Kelly Klein
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Model Diaries

Model: Sylvia
Hometown: London
Where I was discovered: At the dentist. I was 10 and getting a filling, and an agent happened to be there, too.
Can't live without: Classic rock. Historical figure I'd love to have met: Socrates.
Favorite denim brand: Black H&M jeans.
Hidden talent: I make my own bread.
Her fashion shoot: "In" with the Old

Model Diaries

Model: Eva Poloniova
Hometown: Krnov, Czech Republic
Favorite designer to work with: Alexander McQueen
Hidden Talent: Painting
In 10 years she hopes to be: A lawyer
Hardest part of her job: Wearing beautiful clothes without being able to keep them!
Her fashion shoot: The Lace Age
Kelly Klein
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Model Diaries

Model: Elise Van't Zand
Hometown: Dedemsvaart, The Netherlands
Personal fashion icon: I really look up to fellow Dutch girl Doutzen Kroes [the Calvin Klein Eternity model].
If I weren't a model, I'd be: A psychology major.
Favorite item in my closet: My new Coach boots-they go with everything.
In 10 years, I hope to be: The healthy, lucky person that I am now.
Most embarrassing moment on-set: The time I had to change outfits on the street during a shoot-with all the truckers watching.
Her fashion shoot: Fashion's Perfect 10

Model Diaries

Model: Devynne Scilingo
Hometown: Vernon, NJ
Most embarrassing moment: On a DKNY shoot, I fell backward off the makeup chair in front of the crew, stylists, and other models
Personal fashion icon: Victoria Beckham
Favorite designer to work with: Gwen Stefani
In 10 years, I wish to be: An elementary- school teacher
Her fashion shoot: Beautiful Fall Floral Fashion
April Hughes
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Model Diaries

Model: Cristina Tosio
Hometown: Madrid, Spain
Discovered: At 14 she was spotted - and signed - by her now-agent on a Madrid street.
Style Signature: Mixing Chanel with Gap
Best part of the job: Taking photos during her world travels to show her future children and grandchildren.
Her fashion shoot: Business RISQUƒ: Fashion for the Office
Iris Brosch
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Model Diaries

Model: Tanya Pilyukova
Hometown: Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine
Discovered: At a beauty contest in Latvia (Trivia: Originally, she didn't have money to fly there-then her father won a raffle and sent her!)
Celeb she'd most love to meet: Woody Allen
Her fashion shoot: Go Beyond the Little Black Dress
Kevin Sinclair
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Model Diaries

Model: Barbara Garcia
Hometown: Asturias, Spain Is she weren't a model, she'd be: A rock star (hidden talent: singing)
Most memorable experience: Her Paris debut, opening Ann Demeulemeester's fall 2006 show.
Favorite items in her closet: Lots of funky hats and headbands.
Hardest part of the job: Being in new places without friends.
Her fashion shoot: 12 Fall Fashion Trends

Model Diaries

Name: Samar Breitem, 26 (middle)
Home: Dubai (although I am half-Palestinian, half-Armenian).
Does your family support your career? My family is very supportive and proud of my modeling, although my mother is not too happy about the swimsuit shots!
Any interest in American fashion here? Definitely. Even the young women who are veiled wear jeans—from Levi’s to Rock & Republic.
Have you treated yourself today? Why yes, with a pair of peep-toe patent-leather and velvet shoes by Marc Jacobs.
Lee Jenkins
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Model Diaries

Model: Michelle McCallum
Hometown: Vancouver, Canada
I can't live without: My family
Wobbliest modeling moment: Leaping around in water in heels that didn't fit
Hidden talent: Jell-O wrestling
Her fashion shoot: Sexy Styles for Summer

Model Diaries

Model: Anna Kuchkina
Hometown: Moscow
Fave items in my closet: High-waist skinny pants and a funny pink hat from Beijing
If I weren't a model, I'd be: A clinical psychologist
I can't live without: High heels, red lipstick, my toothbrush
I wish I could have met: Sigmund Freud and Leo Tolstoy
Her fashion shoot: Wild West Fashion Statements

Model Diaries

Model: Whitney Coble
Hometown: Rockport, TX
Personal fashion icon: Heidi Klum
Celebrities I'd love to meet: The Olsen twins-for my brother's sake
Favorite denim brand: Cheap Monday
Why I love modeling: The experience!
Her fashion shoot: Fashion's Artistic Vision
Kevin Sinclair
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Model Diaries

Model: Rosanne
Hometown: Heino, The Netherlands
Most embarrassing modeling moment: The top of my dress fell down on the runway, and it made the next day's front page
Can't live without: My family
Favorite item in my closet: High-waist jeans
If I weren't a model, I'd be: A nurse
Her fashion shoot: Statement Pieces of the Season

Model Diaries

Model: Anna Barsukova
Hometown: Tomsk, Russia
How were you discovered? At a dance recital
Celebrity you'd most love to meet: Baryshnikov
Favorite item in your closet right now: Moncler ski jacket (it gets really cold in Russia)
In 10 years you hope to be: An economist working with global companies
Her fashion shoot: Retro Fabulous Fashion
Joshua Jordan
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Model Diaries

Model: Melody Woodin
Hometown: Hockessin, DE
Memorable modeling experience: Took my mom to the fashion shows in Paris. We got to be tourists for a week-the best trip ever!
Favorite designer to work with: John Galliano
Hardest part of the job: Each shoot calls for a different look or attitude. Sometimes it's difficult to step out of my comfort zone.
Her fashion shoot: Put it in Neutral
Iris Brosch
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Model Diaries

Model: Jessica Hart
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
If she weren't a model, she would be: A policewoman
Favorite item in her closet: Leather jacket
Hidden talent: Basketball
Her fashion shoot: Go Beyond the Little Black Dress
Joshua Jordan
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Model Diaries

Model: Adriana Cernanova
Hometown: Bratislava, Slovakia
Hidden Talent: Painting
Fashion icon: Marc Jacobs
Celebs you'd most love to meet: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Her fashion shoot: Fall Fashion Preview
Sarah McColgan
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Model Diaries

Model: Ana Sofia Martins
Age: 19
Hometown: Lisbon, Portugal
Nonmodeling ambition: To be an architect
Most embarrassing moment on a shoot: I flashed everyone when I was trying to change my outfit really fast.
Designer icons: Narciso Rodriguez, Betsey Johnson, Marc Jacobs
Her fashion shoot: 101 Ideas: Brocade

Model Diaries

Model: Leigh Yeager
Hometown: Chicago
Discovered how? I was working at The Sharper Image, and a man claiming to be a model scout came in four days in a row. I had him thrown out each time. I finally called the Better Business Bureau and found out he was for real!
Favorite item in my closet: Chloe boots
Jeans of choice: Acne skinny jeans
Hidden talent: I used to design lingerie for women who'd had mastectomies.
Bad habit: Cracking my knuckles.
Her fashion shoot: Go Sporty!

Model Diaries

Name: Narsis, 26
Home: Currently Dubai, but originally from Iran
If you weren't a model, you'd..be an architect.
Favorite music: R&B and soft rock
How do you negotiate global style trends? In Iran, we have the hijab (the veil), but we also want to dress fashionably—so ours is the art of mixing tradition and change, which I think we do rather nicely! Can I just say that the world’s most beautiful women can be found in Iran?