Model of the Month

please stand up for the grandiose and the unique
Cathy Fedoruk
Cathy Fedoruk
December 2017

Cathy Fedoruk is our December 2017 Model of the Month. Known for her effervescent personality, the Canadian born beauty is one of the few models of 80's who followed a unique path and went on to star in several campaigns such as Revlon, Cover Girl, L’Oreal, Vichy, Max Mara, Guy Laroche and Georges Marciano.
In her 15 years as a fashion model, she had the privilege of working with famous photographers such as Richard Avedon, Patrick Demarchelier and Steven Meisel. She also graced the covers of many international fashion magazines including Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Chatelaine and Flare.
After a decade-plus hiatus, Cathy is excited to step back into the fashion world. In an exclusive interview with us she talks about her life as a model in the '90s, her love for nature and her future goals.

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?

In truth, it wasn’t really a matter of being inspired. I wanted to break free of the small-town Canadian scene where I was raised, to travel and experience the world. I couldn’t think of a better path that could deliver the resources and opportunity to make that happen.

How would you describe yourself in a few words and what would you consider your main strengths?

I am a nature-lover with a spirit of adventure. My main strengths are loyalty, patience and persistence. I try to be true to myself and live my life in accordance with my values.

What is the most pressurizing aspect of the world of modeling?

On a practical level, success came fast, and I don’t think I ever felt the sort of financial or career pressures that most of my friends in other fields have encountered. On the other hand, I felt social pressures it was a challenge for someone from rural Canada to adapt to the ways of the international fashion scene.

Do you think the role of supermodel has changed over the last 20 years?

Not really. The advertising space that used to be the exclusive domain of supermodels is shared with actresses more than before. But the role remains the same: an aspirational figure, not quite attainable and somewhat aloof, but somehow appealing to the public.

It seems that today, models are given more of a voice especially through social media rather than just being the image of a brand. Do you agree?

Its backwards to suggest that models are given a voice through social media. Nothing is given. You create your voice yourself, or you do not. And today, if you do not have a following on social media, you have little chance to ever succeed as a model.

When did you first work with Richard Avedon and Steven Meisel? What was it like to be lensed by them?

I worked with Dick Avedon for Vogue and Revlon in his New York City townhouse studio. He was polite, professional and prepared. He always knew exactly what he wanted, and his sittings were over fast. He had a way that put you at ease on set. In my experience, only the very best photographers had the confidence to work like that.

Do you remember your first professional modeling job?

Not really. It was in Vancouver, British Columbia. That’s all I can remember about it.

What were some of your favorite experiences in modeling?

Cruising down the Nile in the same steamer that inspired Agatha Christies novel. Posing on icebergs in Iceland. Shooting on the Great Wall of China. Just to name a few.

How Do you think the industry has changed?

Spontaneity is diminished in this digital age. When film was used, the end result wasn’t known instantaneously. There was an element of mystery about how and whether we got the shots we wanted until the film was developed, (sometimes not until weeks later, if we were on location).

Obviously, the modeling business has changed a lot over the course of your career. How do you feel about the atmosphere in fashion for the girls who are coming up right now?

Truthfully, I worry about the body images that fashion promotes now, and the message it sends to young girls, models and women in general. Size zero didn’t exist in the 90s. It seems unhealthy to me, maybe dangerously so.

What tips and advice do you have for aspiring models just starting out, something you wish someone would have told you?

As the saying goes, Make hay while the sun shines. Modeling careers can be short, but can be a ton of fun and profitable. Don’t squander your time forgetting to enjoy life, and don’t squander your money forgetting that it won’t last. Be smart, avoid predators and parasites, invest wisely, develop other interests and a diverse network of friends, and most of all, be true to the values with which you were raised.

What are some of your greatest memories from the 90's?

I was working non-stop and traveling everywhere, flying first class, meeting top photographers, designers and editors, staying in the best hotels and eating in the finest restaurants. It was beyond my wildest dreams, but exhausting.

What else was happening in your life during that time?

It was tough on my private life and often lonely. By the end of the 90s I was ready to settle down with someone I could have a family with. Which is what I did.

If you could turn back time would you do anything differently?

I would have read more and gotten my college degree sooner.

What would you say defines this period of your life and career?

Work, work and more work.

What about fashion right now do you find exciting?

Same as always: it’s a crazy industry where everything goes. The more eccentric, the better. What is more entertaining than fashion? Just look at the runway these days; shows are like Broadway spectacles.

How do you feel fashion has empowered you?

What could be more empowering than filling my eyes with beauty, my heart with experience, my head with knowledge of far-away cultures, and my pockets with money? Thank you, fashion!

1990s nostalgia is back in a big way—why do you think that the 90s remain so influential?

It was the last gasp of the pre-digital world! The world was bigger then. Somehow, after the 90s, the entire world seems to have shrunk into a palm-sized computer.

What made you want to quit the modelling business at the height of your career?

I was ready to have a family. It was impossible to see how that jived with the 2-million-mile frequent flyer status I obtained before I was 30.

At the point when many women with your experience might pivot away from the camera, you are bold enough to step in front of it. What made you want to return to modelling after all these years?

My kids are older now. I’ve gotten my college degree. So, I have time. And I miss it.

Who are your favorite fashion designers?

Yves Saint Laurent, Vera Wang, Jil Sander, Manolo Blahnik and Ines de la Fressange to name a few.

Best Jean?

Seven for All Mankind

What era would you like to bring back?

1950's for fashion and 1970s for music

Who is your style icon?

Katherine Hepburn

Your favorite store?

The Strand (Book Store) in Greenwich Village

What was your style back in the 90's?

Casual and comfortable. I lived in distressed Levi’s, a cotton t-shirt and Robert Clergerie black leather derby shoes. And, I carried a black parachute Prada handbag.

What do you wear today?

I haven't changed that much. I’m still a jeans and t-shirt gal (I love James Perse cotton). These days I carry a black leather M0851 bag (made in Canada) and prefer Uggs on my tootsies (this season in grey).

What are your best beauty secrets?

Less is more.

Do you have any beauty / skin care tips or tricks to look fresh and rested for early morning photo shoots?

Sleep is the best recipe for looking and feeling your best.

Do you believe in homemade recipes? Do you have one to share with us?

I believe in homemade meals. My favorite salad is an Israeli salad: cubed cucumber, red pepper, tomato, red onion, salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice.

How much attention do you pay to meditation & exercise, or is it all natural? How do you stay in shape?

I work out at least 3 times per week. I do a regiment that includes cardio and weight training with a former Soviet Special Forces Sergeant, Studio 26 Pilates and I walk our rescue beagle daily.

What makes you feel sexy?

Being in nature and wearing anything silk.

What is your favorite part about your body?

My brain.

Favorite kind of food:

I like so many different types of food. If I had to pick one it would be Japanese.

When models say they eat healthy, what do they mean by that?

I can’t speak for others, but for me healthy means a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins ideally, locally grown or raised, and organic.

How would you describe yourself as a human being in three words?

Adventurous, curious and ethical

What’s controversial or unique about you?

I am a Virgo, which means that perfection is part of my nature; however somehow, I can’t keep my desk organized. It’s a complete disaster!

If you could have one superpower, what would you choose?

Since I can remember, I always wished I could fly.

What would you like to change about yourself if you can choose only one thing?

My fair complexion, since I’m prone to burn.

What are your favorite things to do in your free time?

Read, to be outdoors, and travel with my family.

Do you have a mentor? Who? What is it about them that affects you? Why?

Polly Mellen. She believed in me and put me on the map. I wrote a letter to thank her not too long ago, and she was so humble and dignified.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? What could be your next career?

A published author.

Favorite kind of music? Favorite television series or movie?

Classic Rock and The Big Bang Theory

Favorite quote:

So much better to travel than to arrive. (Margaret Atwood)

What’s your favorite fashion magazine? Why?

The Wall Street Journal Fashion Magazine. The fashion and photography are accessible, classic and beautiful. And, the articles are readable.

I'd like to meet …

I would have loved to meet Emily Dickinson.

Happiness is

Hanging out with my family around a campfire in the countryside.

If you could change one thing in the past years, what would it be?

I wish I learned sooner to stand up to bullies and bad men, and learned more quickly to recognize quality men.

People have said I look like

Ingrid Bergman

What would you ask yourself that we haven’t asked you in this interview?

You haven’t asked me about the most important thing in my life my children.

How would you describe FMD in one phrase? Your quote about FMD?

It’s the definitive digital encyclopedia of the fashion industry.

Thank you Cathy for this great interview!
note: all answers are original and unaltered - Interviewed by Iva Mirbach and edited by Clinton Gonsalvez

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