INTERVIEW by GARY GOLDMAN | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of KATRYN KRUGER
Sometime in the past decade, mainstream pop culture has introduced all of us to the world of capital ‘F’ FASHION. (We think it might have something to do with the phrase, “You wanna be on top?”) Particularly, we’ve come to know the women who bring the clothes to life. But beneath the sensationalist, dramatic reality television about the lives of aspiring models, there are hardworking, beautiful individuals with the passion and work ethic to impress even the least fashion-inclined. Today, we wanted to bring you a newcomer whose face is already making a splash in the elite world of fashion advertising. Katryn Kruger has already worked with Prada, Ralph Lauren, and Marc Jacobs, among many others. She’s also South African, exceedingly sweet, and absolutely striking.
Where are you right now?
At the moment I am in New York for the New York Fashion Week!
What does your schedule look like for Fashion Week, and what are you looking forward to the most?
My schedule is quite busy: we start with castings and request castings, then closer to Fashion Week you do fittings for the shows that you are on option for. Then, when you are confirmed, you do some more fittings, and in between you see more clients and photographers, et cetera. I am looking forward to all the shows — it is a great reward for all the hard work and loss of sleep that goes with castings and fittings. Doing a show just gives me such an adrenaline rush — it’s very exciting!
How has growing up in South Africa affected your life so far? How does it make you different?
Growing up in South Africa has made the biggest difference! South Africa is such an amazing country. People in the States are so interested and curious about South Africa, which is very exciting for me, because I am proudly South African and I am an ambassador for our country. Growing up in South Africa and still being based there gives me a sense of freedom that people from anywhere else in the world don’t have. South Africa is growing and becoming bigger on the world map, and I am so proud to be a part of it!
Congratulations on booking the Prada ad campaign! The pictures are gorgeous. What was it like working with Steven Meisel, and can you share any behind-the-scenes stories?
Thank you so much! Working with Meisel was absolutely amazing, and he is such a nice person, too! A funny behind-the-scenes-story… Well, on the last day of shooting, we dressed Pat McGarth (the biggest make-up artist in the industry) up in Prada clothes, and she and Meisel had a shoot, too. She was dramatically singing along to Grease songs while she acted like a Prada model. We had such a laugh! The whole week of shooting was just so much fun.
What exactly was going through your mind when you opened the Valentino show just a few weeks ago?
“Don’t smile or laugh, even though you are so happy and excited!” [laughs] Obviously, we can’t smile, so I had to concentrate not to smile. It was a great show with an amazing collection; we had loads of fun!
What is the best advice anyone has given you, both for modeling and in general?
“Always be true to yourself.”
The one piece of clothing you can’t live without is…
A pair of nice jeans! You can dress it up or down and still feel comfy and beautiful.
What are your hopes and aspirations for the future, both short-term and long-term?
I would like to give modeling my best shot and hope for the best. I also would love to study and get a degree. [Laughs] I am not sure yet in what, but at least I know I want it!
You were discovered while at a shopping mall. Did it take you a long time to decide that you wanted to do modeling, or was it an immediate decision?
Before I was discovered, people always asked, “Do you do modeling?” or they would say, ” You should do modeling.” But I never took them seriously until I was discovered, and I thought, “This must be a good sign…” So I decided to give it a try. I mean, you never know! And good thing I did give it a try!
Did it feel symbolic to have your first magazine cover be for a publication in South Africa? (Elle)
Oh yes, definitely! It was such an honor to shoot it, and I think it is amazing that it was in South Africa. It just made it even more special.
Teach us a word in Afrikaans!
“Braai!” It is a great Afrikaans word which sort of means “barbeque,” but it’s just nicer!
How can Daily BR!NK readers contribute to your success?
Oh, wow… I think by just being proud South Africans we all contribute to each other’s success. I hope that through modelling I can inspire people to follow their dreams.