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Meet the New Girl: Casting Agents Used to Fault Josephine Skriver for Being ‘Too Beautiful’

For a model, being "too beautiful" can be a big flaw. This was the criticism top casting agents leveled against Danish newcomer Josephine Skriver when she tried out for New York shows. Yet the 18-year-old booked for the fall 2011 rag & bone and Calvin Klein shows here, going on to Milan to open Alberta Ferretti, close Prada, and open and close Just Cavalli. Her momentum continued in Paris, where the 5'11" beauty walked for Chanel, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, and Givenchy. After the shows came coveted editorial bookings, including shoots with Steven Meisel for Italian Vogue and Greg Kadel for German Vogue. We recently spoke with Skriver about her quick rise in the industry, opening Alberta Feretti's show, and her respect for Gandhi.

Tell us a little about your childhood.
I was born in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, so I have always been a city girl. I remember my school years as a really great time. I was probably what you would call a nerd. I always liked the scientific subjects the most. My mom is an IT analyst, and my dad works at Copenhagen University and is a trained Marine biologist.

How did you get discovered?
I was in New York during a soccer trip, where my coach got stopped and asked if he was my father, because they were interested in me becoming a model. But my coach told them we were from Denmark and just here on a soccer trip, so it wouldn't be possible. But when I came home, a friend of my aunt encouraged me to send in some Polaroids of myself to a Danish model agency called Unique. So I did, and today they are my mother agency.

What was your most memorable experience from the fall 2011 runway season?
Opening Alberta Ferretti, because just before I was about to go out on the catwalk, the designer herself came up to me and told me that it meant great luck to be the opening girl of her show, and that I could expect great things from now on. And she was right! Soon after, I got the closing spot at Prada, and ended up walking many important shows during the rest of the fashion weeks. So I feel like I owe the lovely Ms. Ferretti a lot.

What is your favorite:
Film? I love movies that leave an imprint and stick with you long after it’s finished. And the film Pay it Forward did so.
Musician? John Mayer because love his music. It always makes me feel calm.
Artist? Clint Eastwood, he is just a genius.
Food? I love almost any kind of food. But a great grilled steak is truly one of the best.

If you could meet anyone dead or alive, who would you meet?
I would like to meet Gandhi and have a talk about life, because he is such a wise man, and I really think I could learn a lot form him.

What scares you?
Clowns. I hate them and there is nothing funny about them! Also, weird-looking dolls and masks.

What was the last thing you bought?
A day cream from REN.

Life motto?
I have two. Nothing comes from nothing. Pay it forward.

Guilty pleasure?
Anything that includes the word "chocolate."

If not modeling, what would you be doing?
I would take a year off to travel the world. And after, I would go back to school and start studying medicine to become a doctor.

Model Profile: Josephine Skriver

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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