As the majority of the most successful fashion models Irma Spies was discovered on the streets of Berlin while simply sightseeing with her family.
Two months later, in July 2013, she walked the catwalk for the prestigious German brands such as Achtland and Lala Berlin during Mercedes Benz Berlin Fashion Week S/S14.
She didnít have to wait long for more offers to come through her mail box as in September 2013 she was seen walking for Valentino, Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu in the capital of fashion, Paris.
Everything has changed for the beautiful girl from Ulm, a city in the west of Germany, as she is now taking part in luxurious editorials including the new Giambatista Valli photo shooting for Septemberís Harperís Bazaar and has already got credited for Spur and sleek magazines covers.
Your career is some sort of a Cinderella Story. You were discovered on the street of Berlin. How did you feel when you were suddenly approached by the agent? Have you ever considered being a model?
No, I hadnít before that moment. I was very surprised and a little anxious it might only be a bad joke.
You walked the MBFW in Berlin two months after you were discovered. How did you find your first fashion week experience?
Nerve racking because I had to get used to the fact that you go to many different castings but from the majority you donít get any personal (positive or negative) feedback. But it was also lots of fun, meeting all the girls who were going through the same thing.
There is no doubt that it is a great honor to walk Mercedes Benz fashion shows, especially for the brands such as Lala Berlin and Achtland. Do you remember the feeling standing on the backstage and waiting for your turn for the first time?
Yes, I was very nervous but I had received the precious tip to think of something good when Iíd step out. So I thought of my birthday.
Haute Couture Fashion Week is a very sophisticated event created for the richest people on the planet and celebrities. Every single detail, from the nail varnish to hair clips, has to be triple considered. How was the atmosphere during the F/W 14 HC in Paris for a newcomer model?
It was absolutely breath-taking being able to see some of the work behind the doors of the great designers. My DIOR dress was a true piece of art! Everyone expects HC gowns to be beautiful but if you havenít seen them being made, you cannot imagine how much energy, craftsmanship and sweat goes towards a single piece of clothing.
Have you got any interests for fashion? Itís a well-known fact that the fashion models have developed their own ĎITí look.
Iíve always liked fashion and making the current trends fit my personal style. But through modelling in particular, I have developed a good sense for quality and now I really appreciate well-cut pieces and nice fabrics.
Is there such thing as a friendship in the business of fashion? Do you- fashion models help each other to survive such a stressful period as the fashion month?
100% yes! I and my friends often rent a place together during fashion weeks, we cook together, go out and talk a lot. Itís important to have someone around you who has lived through the same stuff to share the stories, the worries and the joys with (although itís equally important to have someone who has nothing to do with the fashion business thing I think)
What is on your model bucket list?
My worldwide adapter, a concealer and a good book
Itís not a secret that social media such as Instagram are as important as building up professional portfolio 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 use social media but I donít let it rule my life. I still prefer a chat over a cup of coffee to a chat on WhatsApp but its great being able to keep my friends and family (and fans ;)) posted about what Iím up to via Instagram and staying in touch with friends via Facebook.
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)?
Most exciting part is still stepping on the runway. The thing I like least is my messed up daily routine during fashion week.
How would you describe yourself as model in three words?
Active, positive and punctual.
Out of all the places your career has taken you, where was the most memorable?
Japan. It felt like a completely different worldÖthe work ethic was very different, authority and tradition played a huge role and the food was incredible ( yes, probably because I love fish, rice and vegetables)
Is there a difference in posing when you are doing a cover and an editorial?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. In Japan for example we worked for several hours on my cover for Spur, always only changing the position very slightly. For Sleek magazine, we shot it together with the rest and I was only told afterwards that this would be the cover.
Would you share some of your future goals, your life motto, any words of wisdom that get you by in life and professional career?
Abraham Lincoln said ďwhatever you are, be a good oneĒ. And thatís what Iím living right now: I give my best as a fulltime model at the moment but later on Iíd like to study medicine in order to become a good doctor.
What should a relationship between an agent and model look like?
That always depends on the model and the agent. Some girls like to be best friends with their agents. For me, a friendly relationship is important but this may not result in loss of professionalism because the bottom line is still: first and foremost youíre working together.
Do other models inspire you?
Yes, especially if they have been around for some years and still surprise us with a new them.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I love being outside: running, hiking, sailing, etc. I also spend as much free time as possible with my friends and family
Who are your favorite fashion designers?
Valentino, Acne, Hermes
Leviís slight curve
What things in your wardrobe would you never throw away?
my leather jacket
What are your best beauty secrets?
Donít smoke, drink lots of water and always clean & moisturize your face
Do you have any beauty / skin care tips or tricks to look fresh and rested for early morning photo shoots?
Concealer to cover up the dark circles and some white eyeliner on the lower waterline, inside your eye
How much attention do you pay to meditation & exercise, or is it all natural? How do you stay in shape?
I have always liked sports so I do it as much to stay in shape as to keep me happy. I go running several times a week, whenever Iím there with the Nike running club in Berlin and I do yoga every morning. Just a short sequence of 5-10 minutes to wake me up.
What makes you feel sexy?
What is your favorite part about your body?
Favorite kind of food:
Sweet potatoes. Cheese and proper German bread.
Do you believe in homemade recipes? Do you have one to share with us?
Yes! One of my favorites is watermelon salad. Just chop Ĺ a watermelon into little pieces, crumble 100g Feta over it and add some spring onions. Itís the perfect starter on a hot day!
When models say they eat healthy, what do they mean by that?
Well, I canít speak for others but for me healthy means the base of my diet which is vegetables, salad, nuts, and fruits and then I have some fish, rice, bread, cheese and sweets with that. Healthy doesnít mean banning anything, itís just about the balance.
If you could have one superpower, what would you choose?
Being able to fly.
What would you like to change about yourself if you can choose only one thing?
Iíd like to be able to wink.
What are your favorite things to do in your free time?
Being outside. Or baking with friends.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? What could be your next career?
I want to be a doctor so Iíll probably be on my way there.
Do people act different around you since youíve become a model?
Some yes. But I am happy that many have just stayed exactly the same.
Favorite kind of music? Favorite television series or movie?
I love "Johnny Cash" but also bands like "Alt-J" and "Imagine dragons".
"Whatever you are, be a good one" Ė Abraham Lincoln
Whatís your favorite fashion magazine? Why?
Always depends on the issue, itís hard to generalize. But I love two German magazines: Achtung and Sleek. They have some incredible pictures but also good texts.
Happiness is Ö
What you should be searching for.
People have said I look like Ö
Lana Del Rey, Nora Tschirn, ...
Thank you Irma for this great interview!
note: all answers are original and unaltered - Editor:Interview by Iva Mirbach & Klaudia Ciszonek; Text by Klaudia Ciszonek