It's been a whirlwind month for Melodie Monrose. The Martinique beauty was minding her own business — reading books, going to museums, and doing other normal 18-year-old things — when she was discovered mere weeks before the spring 2011 castings began. Monrose flew to New York days later, and signed with Wilhelmina on the spot. Though she arrived late to the casting circuit, she snagged a slot in Vena Cava's line-up on Day One of New York Fashion Week. This resulted in high profile bookings for Marc Jacobs, DKNY, rag & bone, and Jason Wu later in the week. When she arrived in Milan, Monrose was booked for Prada, Missoni, Bottega Veneta, and Gucci. We managed to steal a few minutes of the rookie's time before she jetted off to Paris to walk for Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino. Click ahead to read a brief Q&A with Monrose, and then visit her new model profile to see loads of on and off the runway pics.
What was your childhood like?
I was a quiet and very, very shy girl. I always had my face in a book! My mother, who is a teacher, encouraged me to study. I have one older brother that I love so much and I'm proud of my family and happy with the support they've given me to do this job.
What do you do on your days off?
I try to take as much rest as possible. I like to see my friends, discover new restaurants, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE museums, especially Parisian museums. And all the usual things like shopping, seeing movies ... I really like Pedro Almodóvar's movies. He is amazing.
Describe your most memorable day of New York Fashion Week.
The day of Marc Jacobs's show. I thought I didn't have this show and I was a little bit sad because I'm a big fan of the brand and then they confirmed me on the morning of the show. I think it was the most beautiful show I did for spring 2011. Michelle Lee and everyone at KCD was so kind to me and I couldn't believe that I was this new girl walking in such a big show. But overall, I can say that I enjoy doing every show and it was a really amazing experience.
Who is your favorite supermodel?
Noémie Lenoir, because every angle I see this woman [from], I stop to think "Wow, this girl is just awesome!" And maybe I identify a little bit myself because she is from a French island, too. I also really love Coco Rocha. She is just amazing to watch pose and move. She has been teaching me how to be a better model.
Are you listening to any hot jams right now?
"Empire State of Mind," by Jay-Z and featuring Alicia Keys. Everything in this song is true. New York is the place where your dreams come true. I just love this city.
If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would you meet?
Marilyn Monroe, because she is the incarnation of femininity and glamor — a legend .
Tell us a secret.
When I was child, I dreamed about becoming a designer! I dreamed about becoming the next Karl Lagerfeld. I gave up this dream when I was younger because everybody was telling me it wasn't possible. Now I realize you have to be very creative and very talented to be a good designer. You need the proper training and passion. Maybe someday after modeling ... Hopefully being around all of these talented designers will teach me a little bit more every day, and then who knows?
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.
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