Each week, we take the time to highlight one of our favorite emerging models. Previously, we profiled Alexa Schap and this week we're turning our attention to Hanna Tuuksam. We caught up with the budding beauty to talk about her career so far, her passion for modeling and her plans for the future.
Have you always wanted to be a model? If not, what did you want to be growing up?
Yes, modeling has always been a dream of mine. It started kicking through when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I asked my mom to take pictures of me all the time. I used to dress up with the fanciest outfits, put on a little bit of lip gloss and do the most dramatic poses as one can think of. It is a perfect example for me to always believe in myself, my dreams and to never settle for less. Anything is possible if you really want it.
How were you scouted?
I took up all my courage and reached out to an agency that I really wanted to work with. Only to get rejected by them. It was subconsciously a big kick for my self-esteem so after that I didn't try applying to agencies again. A year or so later my mother agency found me through instagram. I looked absolutely hideous in the polaroid's back then, but it was them who believed in me and saw the potential before anyone else. And I'm forever thankful for that.
How would you describe yourself as model in three words?
Hardworking, fun, responsible.
Your first modeling job?
For my first job ever, I got to work with Pull&Bear and it was unreal for me. Can't even describe the emotions I felt when I got to see myself on the website where I've been countless times before. It really gave me the confidence, belief and trust in myself to keep on going and never give up which I definitely needed back then.
What is your favorite or most exciting aspect about being a model?
The favorite part must be the constant and never-ending self-development. Since it is a job where you need to be well in tune with yourself, there isn't a day where I don't learn or find out something new about myself. And I can't imagine myself getting it this fast elsewhere.
Is there anyone that you admire as a role model and why?
I think everyone in my life is a role model to me in their own way. Starting with my family and ending with my favorite waitress at the local cafe. We all have different paths in life and I find it so inspiring to see other people's approaches to life. Hearing about their experiences and outcomes - I can always pick up something motivating and admirable for myself.
What's been your biggest OMG moment to date?
The David Koma fashion show catwalk in a gorgeous dress.
What is your dream shoot/campaign?
Every job is a dream come true in a way for me. But to give a little more specific answer, one thing that I can't wait for is the day I can buy a Vogue magazine with my face on the cover. And then frame it.
Biggest lesson that modeling has taught you?
To never give up and to just keep on pushing no matter the circumstances. It's always the hardest part when progress is being made.
What's the best life advice you've ever received?
To find beauty in every single thing around us. It completely changes the perspective in life and makes you appreciate the little things that you wouldn't otherwise notice. Because of that, you may see me on the street smiling at a random pigeon or a tree.
How do you stay in shape?
The easy answer would be correct nutrition and workout, but I think it's much deeper than that and starts from your overall wellness. What and how you feel reflects in all the things you consume in life. It is essential to have a healthy relationship with yourself. If your mind and soul is happy, you want to give the best for your body as well. Therefore, your nutrition inevitably becomes nourishing and highest quality. For the workouts, it's 2in1 for me. I do yoga and other mindful practices, which help with the spiritual as well as the physical part. I can happily say that my workout is something that is my passion and that I do with joy.
What do you think about fashion? What does it mean to you?
Like everything else in life, it is a form of art where you can express, experiment and state but with wearable materials. We all have various ways to give a personal piece of ourselves or our personalities to the world, and fashion I'd say is the most popular one. It is fascinating to see the diversity in the translations that everyone has come up with.
If you had to be head to tow in one designer brand for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Prada. There's the saying that the devil wears Prada so I'd like to prove the opposite.
How would you describe your style?
My style varies quite a bit. How I dress depends on the day, weather, mood, occasion and so many other factors. I just listen to my intuition. It's almost like having alter egos - one day I can wear an all black super classy/trendy outfit but the next day a crazy colored vintage set. I'd say that most probably I won't be able to form a "fit into a certain box" kind of style. Certainly will never stop experimenting.
Denim or leather?
Heels or flats?
As a model I should pick heels, but since I love to walk long distances every day, I have to go with flats. If somebody gets me the most comfortable heels that cause no discomfort after walking 10 kilometers, I'm sold to the other team.
Vintage or contemporary fashion?
Even though contemporary fashion has innovative, some never seen before solutions that I really like, there's a special place in my heart for vintage. I've always valued and been fascinated with objects or clothes that have a history to it. It is so meaningful for me to wear something that I can tell a story about. Nearly half of my wardrobe's content used to belong to my parents' or my grandparents' and was manufactured during the past century. There's hardly an outfit that I wear that doesn't include a piece from my family's (like I love to call) "heirloom". And a fun fact - the clothing pieces that catch attention or receive the most compliments have always been mother's old things.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Anything to do with peanut butter! My absolute weakness.
If you were an emoji, which would you be and why?
Definitely the sparkle emoji. 99 percent of the time I have a radiant smile on my face and just beam with joy. It also represents my spirit very well.
When you're not busy modeling, what are some of your favorite things to do?
I'm quite a creative person, therefore I'm drawn to all sorts of arts or crafts related activities. I absolutely love painting. It is a practice that shows very well the concept of trusting the process. At first it can be hard and infuriating, but in the end the outcome is beautiful and totally worth the trouble.
I also love photography. The first little push was from my father as he also loves taking photos all the time. When growing up, I remember he always used to take pictures anywhere we went, and it undoubtedly stuck to me. It became a habit of mine as well, but I didn't really pursue it that much. The second kick was when I got rejected from a modeling agency. My instant thought was: "Well If I can't be in front of the camera, I'm going to be behind it."
What are you working on now and what do you dream of happening in the future?
Right now I'm finishing my high school. I can't wait to start a new chapter of my life and fully focus on the things I want to achieve.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years' time?
Doing only the things that I love and that are good for my soul. Living the best version of my life.
Thank you Hanna for this amazing interview!
Interview by: Clinton Gonsalvez
Special Thanks to Teizeen Haji @ Why Not Model Agency (Milan, Italy).
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