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I was born in the late 60s in Groningen, a lovely town in the Netherlands. I was fortunate enough to have a very talented and intelligent family; my parents were both artists – my father taught at the Minerva Art Academy in Groningen – and my two older brothers both became doctors.
Groningen was a great place to grow up – a beautiful student town with wonderful terraces, the Martini Tower and the Thorbecke College – and it was there that I suppose my modelling career began, with photo-shoots for teen magazines.
During the summer I was asked to walk the runway shows on the RAI in Amsterdam and it was while I was there I was first ‘discovered’. This led to me going to Belgium to learn how to walk the couture shows for the likes of Valentino and Ferré. I was 16 at the time. Can you imagine how excited I was?… and how terrified?!
As beautiful as Groningen was, at an early age, I longed to travel and, aged 18, I left home. I joined and Agency – Fashion Models Milan – and began work with Italian Vogue. And that was when it all really started for me!
25 shows per season, modelling prêt a porter and couture, working campaigns and editorial photo shoots. It can sound pretty glamorous and there’s no doubt, at times it was; but it was also hard work – rushing from show to show, from shoot to shoot – always needing to be there on time.
I got to work with some fabulous photographers – including Arthur Elgort , Hans Feurer , David Seidner, Andrew MacPherson , Antoine Verglas , and Kurt Markus – and for some wonderful designers – Azzedine Alaia, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Issey Myake, Claude Montana, Nina Ricci, Vivienne Westwood, Sonja Rykiel and many more – and appear in the most prestigious magazines – I’ve already mentioned Vogue but there was Elle, Marie Claire, Bazaar, and others – as well as visit some of the world’s most incredible locations.