09 Jul INTERVIEW WITH MODEL ZOË HUXFORD
Meet Zoë Huxford, the 19-year-old model from Essex, England who has been storming the runways of Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana and Givenchy, to only name a few, and has shot for i-D, Vogue and Interview Magazine over the past 3 years. She is not just a pretty face with a fast-paced career, but spends her free time travelling, watching West Ham Football team and indulging in intellectual documentaries. Growing up in the countryside contrasts her life in buzzy London, allowing her to fluctuate between the two lifestyles, from the runway to mud puddles. Here is our exclusive interview with Zoë.
- How did you get into modelling?
When I was 16, I was scouted in a shopping centre called Bluewater in Kent, England. I was with my mum shopping for a prom dress. At the time, I thought it was rather exceptional but now, having listened to other modelling stories, I realise it’s almost cliché. It makes me laugh; I sometimes wish I had a better story to tell!
- What was your first big break in industry?
So I was scouted in the February but because I was 16 I was revising for my GCSE’s and chose not to work in order to focus on my exams (as it turns out, it was a good choice; I got straight A’s!) I thought I would be returning to school in September to begin my A-Levels but instead I did London Fashion Week. As a ‘new face’ it was quite exciting for me because fashion loves to ‘discover’ emerging talent. This lead me to debut internationally as an exclusive for Jil Sander in Milan, and then went on to walk for Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga in Paris. I was very fortunate to get practically instant success.
- Being a model requires a lot of travel. What are three items you couldn’t live without in your bag?
First and foremost, my phone. I know how terrible that sounds but, to be fair, I try not to use it as much when I’m at home. Smart phones really are revolutionary inventions- I can’t imagine how 90’s models got around navigating physical maps. I’ve done it before in Paris as it’s easy to get around, but Google maps and Citymapper have saved my life on numerous occasions. And I have all my emails, schedules… It’s my life made tangible.
I’m also never without my purse. I carry my bank cards, travel cards, keys, cash… I’m very much an organised person. I like to utilise my space wisely so that what I carry I will actually use.
Lastly, it’s absolutely imperative that I have a book. It’s immeasurably useful. I can read as I’m commuting; at a casting; backstage; on set- literally whenever I have a moment that needs to be filled, I instantly have something to do. I’ve read so many books just by doing this!
- At any one point in your career, has there been someone who you’ve met in the fashion industry, be it model, photographer or designer, that changed your perception or gave you advice that impacted your life?
I’m lucky in that I’ve made some amazing friends through modelling from all over the world and I think it’s this insight into other cultures that they give me that has enabled me to gain perspective on life. By sharing the same job, and therefore so many experiences together, many of which can be harsh, you learn to not take everything so seriously- especially because this industry is so fickle. It’s important to remain true to yourself because you really have no idea what’s about to happen.
- What has been your favourite job so far, and why?
I have a few so the best I can do is narrow it down to my top 3. I once did a shoot which was focused on me (not as in a model to portray someone or something else but actually who I am) so it was subsequently decided that the shoot was going to be in my house! I had so much fun because I met some of the most amazing people, and got 2 days off school to have a laugh and they let us keep the catering leftovers, so literally didn’t go on a food shop for a week!
My first magazine cover was very special for me too. It was for 10 Magazine and was a beautiful couture story. The editor, Sophia Neophitou, was one of the first people in the industry to really believe in me so I was deeply humbled at this opportunity she was allowing me to have. One of my favourite women.
Finally, walking in a Prada show was just incredible. It’s seen as the pinnacle of anyone’s high fashion career so to do so is almost like being given the seal of approval from fashion’s elite. It also happened to be the show Gemma Ward opened and Lara Stone closed so I was just on cloud nine.
6. Any advice you would give your 13-year-old self?
That you’re going through some of the most important years of your life developmentally. You will really discover who you are; what your beliefs are; your morals etc… so it is paramount that you don’t give value to the words of other people. What you think of yourself is far more important than what others do. As long as you listen to body, conscious and mind in order to do the right thing for you, you will do the right thing. And that kindness is much more valuable than wisdom.
- And finally, what do you aim to achieve this year?
I’ve always had interest in the written word; English literature was my favourite subject but before I used to predominately read. Only recently have I actually written myself. Early in the year, I decided to start a blog (www.zoehuxford.com) to give myself something to focus on for when I wasn’t working (the hours are very unpredictable.) Therefore, I want to develop my writing skills and write collaboratively for magazines, companies etc. I want to use my platform as a model to branch out and work with different companies.
I also learnt how to knit, so maybe I’ll knit a scarf by the end of the year, too!
Zoë is only at the beginning of a whirlwind career, and we wish her the best of luck!
All catwalk pictures courtesy of style.com