With razor-sharp cheekbones and a swagger that evokes the glory years of the nineties supermodel, 17-year-old Emily Baker is poised to become this year's most impressive new face. Courted by influential casting directors Russell Marsh and Ashley Brokaw, the New Zealand native debuted on the fall 2011 catwalks for Prada, Balenciaga, Proenza Schouler, Miu Miu, and Dries Van Noten. Represented by DNA Model Management, Baker's already made an impact on the editorial world, too, with her first spread in this month's Chinese Vogue, shot by Daniel Jackson.
You are, undisputedly, this season's top new face. How are you handling your success?
I haven’t really had a moment to reflect on what I’ve achieved this season until now. It was a whirlwind! I did the shows in all four cities, so basically I worked all day, every day for about four or five weeks straight. Thankfully, my family and friends are so supportive. Mum and dad came with me during Fashion Week, which really helped, as it was my first Fashion Week ever. I really needed their support to help me get through it. Without them I don’t think I could have done it. Also, coming from a small town in New Zealand, nobody really knows what the fashion industry is like or what to expect, so for my parents to experience the business with me gives them comfort knowing that I’m safe.
Tell me about your childhood.
I have two sisters — one is 19 and the other is 12 — and I love them to death! I was pretty quiet kid. I loved the beach and fishing.
If you could change one thing about the modeling industry, what would it be?
Early morning call times during Fashion Week, especially after getting home super late from fittings the night before. There is absolutely no time to sleep.
Any fun shoots post–Fashion Week?
I shot for Chinese Vogue with Daniel Jackson which just came out. [Jackson] is so much fun to work with! Everything else, you’ll have to wait and see.
Is it difficult for you to maintain your physique?
It is an effort, of course, but it is a part of the job of being a model. I live quite central to everything in New York: healthy markets and great restaurants. Living by the gym is quite convenient, too. But I don’t have an extreme diet or anything. I just drink plenty of water and eat healthy with tons of vegetables and fruits. I also have a treat every now and then. I do miss my mum's cooking, though!
Describe your style in three words.
Boyish, hippie grungy, and classic. Whatever I feel comfortable in, really
What scares you?
Nothing, I’m a kiwi!
Let's play favorites. What's your favorite:
I have a very eclectic taste when it comes to movies I like recent movies, but I also love to watch old classics from [Federico] Fellini and [Alfred] Hitchcock.
My Sister's Keeper; it's a serious page-turner!
My agency in New York, DNA Models, is right in the middle of the Chelsea art district, so I get to see some pretty cool exhibitions. The last one I saw was Kim Simonsson's sculpture exhibit.
What's one thing you can find in New Zealand that you can't find in New York, Milan, or Paris?
My family, obviously!
What inspires you?
My past mistakes are my greatest inspiration. Each time I’m reminded of them, I am driven to improve. There is nothing more inspiring than knowing you have a second chance at something.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I would love to be successful as a model; it is my dream. Ten years is quite a long time from now, so maybe I'll also study at a university.
Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones who don’t! Also, I believe that everything happens for a reason, so if you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said that it was going to be easy; they just promised it would be worth it.
Model Profile: Emily Baker
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