South African Katryn Kruger is fast becoming one of fashion`s most coveted models.
At the tender age of 17, Katryn Kruger’s career is gaining momentum. Having walked some of the most coveted shows in Paris and Milan, Kruger recently posed for one of fashion’s most alluring designers, Oscar de la Renta. But, it was never about becoming a model, says Cape Town born Kruger in this exclusive interview. However, when opportunity knocks on your door, it’s okay to dream big and give it your best pose. And, that’s precisely what Kruger is doing.
You’re headlining a lucrative campaign, with Candice Swanepoel, for Oscar de la Renta. That’s a huge feat, how did you feel when you first got the campaign?
I was very excited, and a bit nervous, because this was a big campaign. Working with Candice Swanepoel was amazing because she is a nice person. And, I also got to work with photographer, Craig McDean. I had a lot of fun.
Was Mr. de la Renta present at the shoot?
No, he was not.
How long did it take to shoot the campaign?
The shoot took a day to complete. We started at 8am and wrapped up by 9pm. This is a normal 13-hour working day for a shoot.
How does a high-end campaign, such as Oscar de la Renta, change your future?
It ensures that clients notice me, and it opens up more opportunities, especially when it comes to the various Fashion Week events we have lined up. I hope it will give my career a big boost, just like the Prada summer 2012 campaign did.
What’s been the biggest surprise about the industry thus far?
It's like nothing I had expected it to be. I was more focused on school and sports, and knew nothing about it, while other girls were interested in the modelling industry. But people who are not in the industry have preconceived ideas about models and their lives. On the surface you see a beautiful girl in an exotic location but what you do not see is the hard work, long hours and determination needed to get to that point. Rejection, fatigue and missing home are very much part of this business too.
What, and who, inspired you to be a model?
No one did. I didn’t see myself as a model. I had no aspirations to become one either. It all began when I was scouted at Canal Walk Shopping Centre. I was flattered, but did not really know what would become of it.
How old were you when you did your first editorial, and can you tell us a little bit about it?
My first editorial was in 2011, and I was 16-years-old. It was right after my first trip to Paris, where I had signed with IMG worldwide. The all-white shoot was with Marie Claire South Africa. I was nervous and excited at the same time, and had to skip school for the day in order to do the shoot.
Do you remember the first runway show you walked?
Yes, I walked the Givenchy spring/summer 2011 show at Paris Fashion Week. The experience was adrenalin-filled. I felt out of place next to the supermodels who took part, but I enjoyed it.
If not this career, what would you be doing right now?
I’d be in school.
What are some of the perks of being an international model?
I get to visit the most interesting places, meet amazing people, and experience different cultures. And, of course, I get to wear the most beautiful clothes.
What are the most common challenges a model faces?
For me, the biggest challenge is being away from home. And, most models will tell you that it gets pretty lonely.
What can we expect from you between now and early next year?
I am heading to New York, Milan and Paris for fashion week in September. There is nothing else confirmed as yet.
Do you have a beauty and fitness routine, and can you share what works for you?
I don’t really have one. But, I always remove my make-up before I go to bed, I drink a lot of water, and I don’t stay in the sun for too long.
Who’s your favourite model?
I don’t really have a favourite model, but I like Gisele Bündchen; I’ve only met her once and she was lovely.
Who’s your favourite designer?
My favourite designer is Elie Saab. You can see that he loves, and knows, women really well because he creates beautiful clothes.
Is there a dream campaign you wish to land?
I’d love to headline a campaign for Valentino.
What are your make-up dos and don’ts?
Less is more.
Describe your style?
I believe that simplicity is elegant.
What can’t you live without?
I can’t live without a toothbrush, a good book, and my dogs.
Do you have a favourite South African fashion label?
I like Kluk CGDT.
What’s the best piece of advice you can share with aspiring South African models about making it big at home and abroad?
The best piece of advice that I can share with aspiring models is: stay true to yourself. Don’t change for anyone or any amount of money. And, be proud to be South African!
(Pictured above, Katryn Kruger in Marie Claire South Africa)