Meet the New Girl: Kat Hessen Refuses to Conform

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Kat Hessen (Next). Photo: Imaxtree

Norwegian model Kat Hessen is on the rise, and she's determined to make it on her own terms. The enigmatic beauty first landed on our radar when her Polaroid sheet from Next London reached our in-box this summer. We were impressed by the 20-year-old's raw yet sensual face; it was apparent homegirl knew how to model. When she landed on our shores, Hessen's go-see chart was filled with casting's elite: Michelle Lee, Russell Marsh, and Anita Bitton. At the spring 2011 shows, Hessen debuted on New York's cooler runways, walking for Rodarte, Marc Jacobs, and Alexander Wang. This success followed her the remaining three legs of Fashion Week, as she walked for Topshop Unique and Christopher Kane in London, Prada and Missoni in Milan, and Miu Miu and Chanel in Paris. In the months to come, anticipate the Nirvana fan to be prominently featured in those directional British magazines.

Tell us something random and totally weird.
Horses can't throw up. This is a fact.

You walked for a slew of top shows; what's one of the most memorable for you?
Chanel had us parading in a huge pebblestone garden around fountains to hard-core classical music by a live orchestra. Enough said?

You're twenty minutes late to your appointment, and you have no time to get dressed, what would you wear?
A blue nylon blanket from British Airways. There's a possibility this might already have happened.

If not modeling, what would you be doing?
Backpack the world alone, do yoga on the top of remote mountains somewhere in Bhutan with my bearded guru, search for the holy grail in various shady pubs, etc., etc. Why? 'Cause that's what all the hip kids do.

Any models you look up to?
The ones who refuse to conform.

What scares you?
Time.

What's your ultimate goal in modeling?
Goals in modeling? What a tempting but impossible concept. I'm just enjoying the ride as the ruthlessly changing winds of fashion sweep me along.

Tell us something you learned from this Fashion Week.
I learned a whole encyclopedia worth of things about modeling. But maybe this above all; the fashion world giveth and the fashion world taketh away. And always bring a book.

Explore other rising stars (plus all the big names) in our extensive Model Manual, featuring runway pics, glamorous editorials, model bios, career timelines, and more.