German model Zoe Willim is our Model of The Month for December 2016. The young Dusseldorf native got scouted at the age of 14 when a model agent contacted her parents. While she had no idea about modeling or the fashion industry, she was amazed by the idea of doing something extraordinary.
Vivid, honest and unstoppable, Willim is still very new to the fashion game but wise beyond her years. She considers unpredictability as the favorite aspect of her job. With a 'Non, je ne regrette rien' approach to life, the green eyed model considers Sasha Luss her style icon, because she always looks cool, chic and cozy.
When she is not modelling, Willim loves spending time with loved ones and exploring cities which is evident from her Instagram photos.
Learn a little bit about this German beauty in this month’s inspiring interview below. Later, check out her profile on FMD.
Did you always wanted to be a model, or did you stumble upon it, get discovered etc.? Who or what inspired you to become a model? How did you get started in the modeling business?
When I was 14 years old a model agent talked to my mother, after we had a coffee together in a café. She didn’t like the idea of me being in this industry at that age, so she threw away the card he gave her. Later on she told my father about the agent, who looked him up and contacted him. Everything after that is history - not the usual start but now they both support me in the best possible way. At that age, I had no idea about modeling or the fashion industry but I was amazed by the idea of doing something extraordinary!
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 (of your modeling career)?
My favorite aspect about my job is probably the unpredictability. Every week, every month new opportunities come up and vanish again, which always keeps you busy and prepared. Once you get used to it, modeling is like a big adventure. On the other hand this is one of the most exhausting aspects of the job too, sometimes you really long for consistency and routine. You start to miss the simplest things.
What’s the funniest thing that happened to you on a photo shoot or fashion show?
The funniest thing: Whilst my ?rst Fashion Week I took off my shoes on the runway…they were way to big and I knew that I would loose them at some point. Rookie haha
How would you describe yourself as model in three words?
Vivid, honest and unstoppable
Out of all the places your career has taken you, where was the most memorable?
Sydney - Australia has been an amazing experience for me … on a carear and personal level.
Who is your favorite photographer? Why?
I don’t really have a favorite photographer, but I have great respect for everyone who has a recognizable style of shooting. In a era were everyone who owns a smartphone can take pictures, it is hard to set your self apart from the mass.
What was the hardest photo shoot for you, and why?
There isn’t one particular shoot that I could name, but it is de?nitely hard to work when it is cold and windy or you have to climb in stilettos.
Did anyone in the industry ask you to change your look, name, etc… If so, what did you do?
Almost a years ago my agency asked me to cut my hair. Something that I probably would not have done on my own. But since it is short I work better and can not imagine going back :)
What tips and advice do you have for aspiring models just starting out, something you wish someone would have told you?
Do not take critic to personal - which can be hard as a young, clueless girl in this industry. But you will learn quickly and it will make you stronger. Promise.
Have you had any negative experiences with model agencies, talent scouts? What are top 3 warning signs to look out for?
Three things to be careful about when you approach a agency or a agency approaches you: If the agency is professional they won’t ask you for money, when you start, they won’t ask you for half-nude/nude pictures and (in case you are underage) they will ask your parents for consensus.
What should a relationship between an agent and model look like?
The ideal relationship between an agent and a model should be honest and open. The right amount of trust from both sides is vital. The agent should be able to give constrictive critic and to care of the model, whilst the model should feel comfortable enough with the agent to let them know about any worry, problem or wish that is on her mind. Teamwork is the key!
Who is your favorite all-time model?
Do other models inspire you?
Going from Bodybuilder-model to Governor sounds pretty inspiring to me ;)
How do you feel fashion has empowered you?
Fashion has inspired me - in a unexpected way. Seeing yourself in different cloth/ make-up/ rolls makes you realize how versatile you are. Nevertheless - when all the glamour is over you are still the same inside, which keeps you grounded.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
Explore the cities that I get to visit and live in because of modeling.
When I was 15 or so I bought these amazing black high-waist skinnies from Gina Tricot. Comfortable and perfect ?t. They broke a few years later but luckily I was able to get another pair of the same jeans.
What things in your wardrobe would you never throw away?
No brainer - my leather jackets. Such a timeless, classic and sustainable piece that works with everything and keeps you warm.
What era would you like to bring back?
Stone age - so low-key love it!
Who is your style icon?
I really like Sasha Luss' Style. She always looks cool, chic and cosy. But then again when you look like her you can probably pull of anything.
What are your best beauty secrets?
No big secret really. Drink a lot of water/tea/ coconut water, eat greens and get enough sleep.
Do you have any beauty / skin care tips or tricks to look fresh and rested for early morning photo shoots?
Washing your face with warm water ?rst and then go ice cold. That makes your skin look fresh and glowy (and really wakes you up).
How much attention do you pay to meditation & exercise, or is it all natural? How do you stay in shape?
Having an active lifestyle keeps you in shape. I include a lot of vegetables, fruits and nuts in my diet.
Favorite kind of food:
How would you describe yourself as a human being in three words?
more to come
What’s controversial or unique about you?
It’s all in the eyes.
If you could have one superpower, what would you choose?
Being able to ?y. Seeing this world from a bit further away to realize how small we actually are.
What are your favorite things to do in your free time?
Spent time with loved ones and travel.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? What could be your next career?
Hopefully something that involves traveling
Do people act different around you since you’ve become a model?
That doesn’t really concern me.
Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who ?nd it. - André Gide
What’s your favorite fashion magazine? Why?
Love and W Magazines Covers are always so beautiful and artistic. They really stand out.
I'd like to meet …
Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama
Happiness is …
If you could change one thing in the past years, what would it be?
„Non, je ne regrette rien.“
People have said I look like …
... my mother.
Thank you Zoe for this great interview!
note: all answers are original and unaltered - Interviewed by Iva Mirbach and edited by Clinton Gonsalvez