Can you remember when and where you were scouted?
Without knowing it, I was scouted very young in Stockholm’s metro. My school class was out on a day trip and a modeling agent apparently approached my teacher to ask if I’d be interested. He told my parents, my parents told me, and I said “no thanks”. A few years later I changed my mind and set up a meeting.
What is the earliest memory of a model burnt into your mind?
My grandma Marianne used to make beautiful fashion sketches. Her design inspiration was mainly from the late 40s and 50s. I suppose the image of a mannequin was introduced to me through her.
Can you tell me an iconic model whose work you got very fascinated by? — What did you feel when looking at images of them?
Sasha Pivovarova, Natalia Vodianova and Kate Moss. They all have a strength to their beauty that I like. They can transform and shape-shift, but the strength remains.
Do you think the “male gaze" is a myth?
Not at all. I think perhaps we should be careful to assume that all male photographers see the world (or, models) similarly. But the “male gaze” is real insofar as it has long dominated how women are portrayed in fashion. It’s femininity as construed by men.
What was your first fashion shoot?
My first job I think was a small shoot for H&M’s website. Either that, or it was a showroom presentation for a Swedish jeans brand. I can’t remember, it’s been so long!
What do you love most about being a model?
The teamwork. And the chance to see people in the same creative roles do their jobs indifferent ways. I’ve never met two make-up artists, stylists, set designers etc. who work identically. It’s inspiring!
What do you most hate about being a model?
I’ve never liked how the uncertainty of modeling can inflict on personal life. Maybe it’s a small price to pay for the other perks of the job, but the older I get the more I value being able to own and plan my time.
How do people react when they find out you are a model?
My family and friends aren’t too fussed about it (in the best possible sense). Some people are curios, though. Most often they just want confirmed whether or not the stereotypes and rumours about the industry are true.
What is the most common question you get asked as a model?
Probably “Can I give the time for this option?”, by my agent.
If you would start out now what would you be doing, how would you go about // who would you work with and where would you be aiming?
It’s interesting to look at how the industry has changed since I started working nearly ten years ago. High social media presence is essentially a must for models today, which it wasn’t back then. I’m not too keen on that, so perhaps I’d advise myself to not start out at all. Or, if I did, to hold out yet a couple decades and give modeling a go in my 50s or 60s.I could be in commercials for nice beach resorts, they always feature mature couples!
Statistics show that only 1 in 10 of the big money jobs i.e. womenswear- beauty and perfume campaigns are shot by women. Is there just no qualified female fashion image makers out there?
I’ve worked with numerous fantastic women photographers and in no way do they fall short in skill, ambition or ingenuity. To think otherwise is bizarre! That said, the fashion industry has been exposed to the same patriarchal forces that have shaped adjacent industries; it’s been a matter of selling beauty as defined by men. The lack of women photographers behind top campaigns is not a reflection of their inferiority as image makers, it is a reflection of sexist power structures in fashion that we are ready to see dismantled.
How does it feel to be shot by a female photographer vs a male photographer — is there a difference, if so how?
There isn’t necessarily a difference. Some photographers --- regardless of gender --- are simply more intelligent as creators. That said, I find that female photographers have been better at capturing the less obvious beauties of female bodies. Shapes and angles otherwise surpassed. They are, I experience, better at embracing asymmetry and imperfections.
What makes you feel comfortable in front of a camera?
A communicative photographer. And music.
Besides modelling what do you do?
I’m a graduate research student and teaching assistant in philosophy.
One says it takes 10’000 hours to become a master of a craft, how long inhours/days/years did it take you to feel like a master of a craft?
If anything, I’m a master of balancing work and studies, which is a skill I must have spent 10,000 hours on by now.
Who is your female fashion image maker icon and who is your the one to watch?
My favorite female photographer icon is Annie Leibovitz. As for one to watch: Angelina Bergenwal
Who is your female designer icon and who is your the one to watch?
Miuccia Prada will be my designer icon, because that Italian style never grows old. I’m afraid I’m not in touch with up-and-coming names.
What do say about the charge that all fashion imagery is predominantly sexist?
Much of fashion imagery has been sexist, and some of it still is. But it mustn’t be, and I think we have plenty of images to support that claim (look at work from Cass Bird, Alexandra Nataf, Boe Marion, Benjamin Vnuk etc.). Fashion can be an art form, to portray it in a sexist manner drags down its potential.
There is a big surge of feminism at the moment - do you think that will affect fashion image making?
I think it already is. I also think we’re moving away from rigid roles, and broadening our conception of who can be what. Old rules about what counts as “correct”, “pretty” or“ desireable” are being questioned, whether in the spirit of feminism or not.
When I look at your work as a model, my favourite is still the B&W shoot by Alexandra Nataf. What is yours?
I loved working with Nataf, her work is stellar! I also like the image from a Dazed &Confused shoot where make-up artist Isamaya French painted a suit onto me. And I love everything shot by Benjamin Vnuk, we worked a lot together very early on.
What was your relation to design/fashion prior to modeling? Has it changed?
My personal relation to fashion has always been and remains simple. I keep an extremely small wardrobe, and tend to only buy clothes that feel nice to the touch.Denim, corduroy and silk are my favorites. Work is where I get to wear more extravagant looks!
What qualities do you value in an agent or booker?
Integrity and kindness. And a sense of humor! We’re all just humans doing our best in an industry with superhuman demands --- recognizing that goes a long way.