With a name as striking as her camera-ready features, German eye-catcher Antonia Wesseloh took her first step into the modeling world after making a standout runway debut during Berlin Fashion Week back in 2011, where she walked for brands such as Escada.
According to her own statement, the now nineteen year-old stunner was always interested in fashion and tried to apply at several agencies when she was just fourteen years of age. She was then discovered by Hamburg giant Modelwerk, the same agency which a number of years earlier introduced her fellow countrywoman Toni Garrn to the fashion industry. So it did not take long before big-name designer houses started knocking on Wesseloh’s doorstep and advertisements came pouring in. Shot by none other than the widely renowned fashion photographer Steven Meisel, the first major campaign for which the nonchalant beauty was recruited was for the Autumn/Winter 2011 collection of the Italian luxury label most models can only dream of fronting; Prada.
The five-foot-ten-inch mannequin thereafter had the privilege of working once again with the noted American lensman, this time for her introductory appearance in the pages of Vogue Italia, arguably considered by most the crème de la crème of all international editions of the highly saught-after fashion bible, in its July 2011 number. Subsequently that year, the charming brunette with the hooded blue eyes and porcelain complexion made her grand international catwalk debut, taking the “Big Four” Fashion Weeks of New York, London, Milan and Paris by storm with a total of thirty-five combined shows which included prominent high-end brands such as Anna Sui, Balenciaga, Chanel, Giles, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Prabal Gurung, Prada, Miu Miu and Valentino.
Determined to extend her mark in the modeling scene, Wesseloh has continued to grace top fashion publications, campaigns and runway spectacles across the numerous style capitals of the world.
How was the atmosphere during the Spring/Summer 2015 fashion week?
I was very happy to see lots of familiar faces again so the atmosphere was very enthusiastic and exciting!
Milan isn’t just famous for their fashion, it’s also one of the best cities for parties. Have you been invited to some after show parties? If yes, which ones and how was it to be there?
No, I actually have never been out in Milan.
You have been at Fashion Weeks in Berlin, HC in Paris, New York, Milan and so on. What was your personal highlight during the time?
I love the feeling of being with my family that I have in Berlin and Paris, because I’ve been there so often now and I know everyone so well.
Is there such a thing as a friendship in the business of fashion? Do you have a model friend with whom you travel around together and help each other to survive such a stressful period as the fashion week time?
Of course! I have some awesome friends like Esther Heesch, Josephine van Delden or Franzi Muller. With them everything is much more fun and easier.
There were rumors that you wanted to quit modeling because you don’t enjoy it that much. But Karl Lagerfeld is always booking you for his shows and you are considered as a favorite of Steven Meisel. Is this one of the reasons why you keep going on?
I wanted to finish school first and would like to go to university at some point, but I enjoy modelling very much and of course I am very blessed to be liked and booked by those big names!
It’s not a secret that social media, such as Instagram, is as important as building up professional portfolios these days. Forbes magazine has put a couple of youngster models including Karlie Kloss and Cara Delevingne on the highest paid models list this year. They are well-known for sharing their private life on social services to gain more fans and contracts. How do you feel about social media?
I loooove Instagram! I love to share some parts of my life, but am aware of the fact that you shouldn’t post everything. Some privacy is important.
What is your favorite or most exciting aspect about being a model? What do you like least? Have you encountered any surprises along the way? What has been your most awkward moment?
I love to meet new people and see the world. Of course I’m sometimes busy and it’s often very exhausting, but from time to time you’re lucky and clients treat you extremely good, with 5* hotels and business flights.
How would you describe yourself as model in three words?
Loyal, polite, responsible.
Out of all the places your career has taken you, where was the most memorable?
Probably the Chanel shows in Singapore and Tokyo! The team is so nice and the locations are absolutely breathtaking!
Who is your favorite photographer? Why?
Steven Meisel. No need to explain.
Is there a difference in posing when you are doing a cover and an editorial?
I think it’s pretty much the same and often they even take an editorial image for the cover.
Is there an artistic or general difference in doing editorials/covers in Europe opposed to USA?
Not so much, as it’s often the same creative teams.
Did anyone in the industry ask you to change your look, name, etc… If so, what did you do?
I dyed my hair to a lighter color in summer but my agencies didn’t like it. So I went back to dark for the spring/summer 2015 show.
What tips and advice do you have for aspiring models just starting out, something you wish someone would have told you?
You always have to stay who you are and do what you want. Stay loyal and don’t take things so serious. And enjoy yourself and the time you spend abroad with creative people!
Have you had any negative experiences with model agencies, talent scouts? What are top 3 warning signs to look out for?
Luckily, I never made any negative experiences - a good warning sign is when they want money from you. Professional agencies invest in you and pay your expenses (copies, flights, apartments...) upfront.
On your Facebook fanpage you post an image of almost every fashion show you attend. Does the brands take notice of your posts or are you posting because you are proud that they have you there?
I really hope that they are noticing it! :) For me, it is a kind way to say “thank you” and of course I’m very proud! Who wouldn’t be?!
Would you share some of your future goals, your life motto, any words of wisdom that get you by in life and professional career?
I think that everything happens for a reason. It might seem bad and unfair at first sight but after some time it will turn into something good or -at least- teach you something.
What should a relationship between an agent and model look like?
You should be 100% honest and tell them about how you really feel and what you want - and they should do the same in reverse. Of course it’s a business relationship but often also a friendship!
How do you feel fashion has empowered you?
It has empowered me by showing me what I want in life and what not. It is very important to be aware of that!
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
Spending Time with my family and friends and of course with my boyfriend and my dog Ivy.
Who are your favorite fashion designers?
Chanel and Christian Dior.
What things in your wardrobe would you never throw away?
My MCM leatherjacket and of course my Chanel bag.
Your favorite store?
What are your best beauty secrets?
Sleep a lot and don’t use too many beauty products.
Do you have any beauty / skin care tips or tricks to look fresh and rested for early morning photo shoots?
I use Bioderma make-up remover and Embryolisse moisturizing cream.
Do you believe in homemade recipes? Do you have one to share with us?
I often use homemade medicine when I get sick. Pressing the juice of a lemon into some hot water and drink it when your throat is sore. It always works!!
How much attention do you pay to meditation & exercise, or is it all natural? How do you stay in shape?
I just do some exercises in between but not much actually...guess I’m very blessed with my body!
What makes you feel sexy?
Wearing pretty make up and sexy clothes, but often just being myself.
Favorite kind of food:
How would you describe yourself as a human being in three words?
Loving, loyal, funny.
What’s controversial or unique about you?
My widow’s peak and my husky blue eyes in contrast to my dark hair.
When models say they eat healthy, what do they mean by that?
Most of the models I know, eat like everyone else. Of course they have a healthy nutrition, you can’t go for fast food every day. But the stereotype of models that simply don’t eat anything is definitely not true.
If you could have one superpower, what would you choose?
Beaming myself from A to B, so I don’t need to fly with airplanes anymore.
What are your favorite things to do in your free time?
Going shopping with my best friends.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? What could be your next career?
In 10 years I would like to have a big family with a husband and children!
Do people act different around you since you’ve become a model?
No, not really.
Do you have any model friend that you would suggest for the next model of the month on FMD?
Favorite kind of music? Favorite television series or movie?
Ed Sherman is my favorite musician and “The Great Gatsby” is my favorite movie.
What’s your favorite fashion magazine? Why?
VOGUE Germany, it has a great variety of artistic photographers, models and very interesting articles
I’d like to meet …
Happiness is …
Do what you love!
If you could change one thing in the past years, what would it be?
Nothing, because it made me who I am now.
People have said I look like …
Thank you Antonia for this great interview!
note: all answers are original and unaltered - Editor:Interview by Iva; Text by Theo