Happy New York Fashion Week! We are all buzzing back here at the Premiere office with the NYFW official LIVE runway streaming constantly in the background and all of us waiting in anticipation to ogle the latest street style shots from the Big Apple as they hit the blogosphere.
To kick off Day 1 of the Fall 2012 show season and celebrate the onslaught of fashion coming our way, we share an exclusive interview with one of Australia’s most exciting fresh faces, Melissa Johannsen. Originally plucked from her home town of Alice Springs by mother agent Finesse Models, MJ has quickly risen to high fashion heights walking for red carpet favourites, Rodarte (where she also met idol Kristen Stewart backstage), British brand Mulberry, Jeremy Scott, Peter Pilotto and Mark Fast, to name a few. She is now signed to Vivien’s Sydney, Wilhelmina New York, Marilyn’s Paris, Union London and Why Not Milan.
MJ has already hit the NYFW runway this morning walking for Nicholas K. She tweeted these pics backstage getting ready and of her final look;
Since your discovery in Alice Springs, you have quickly risen to become hot property in fashion circles, walking the top catwalk shows – do you ever pinch yourself?
It has been such a quick and crazy rise for me, so yes definitely every so often I find myself in some amazingly wonderful situations, maybe at a show in NYFW or on the set of an Aussie Vogue shoot, and it really does feel unreal so that it just makes me appreciate it so much more.
Can you share an anecdotal story with us or any funny/extraordinary moments from a show or at fashion week?
I was at the Mulberry show in London SS12, and I was sitting having some lunch and having my hair finished and next thing I knew I looked up and just casually on a lounge about 10 meters away was Kristen Stewart! So I went over and asked if she’d mind if I got a pic because there was no way I wasn’t going to ask, and she was so lovely about it, I was so excited!
Rodarte chose you to walk in their show last year, you looked like a perfect match for their aesthetic, what was the experience like for you?
I love Rodarte! and I have walked their show the past two seasons now which has just been the most amazing experience, the amount of work and effort that goes into putting this show on is out of this world! I feel like the Mulleavy sister are not just designers, they are artists.
Show season is just around the corner, how do you feel at this time of year? And who are some of the designers you hope to be cast to walk for?
I am feeling pretty relaxed at this time of year coming up to FW it is definitely just the calm before the storm though, but it is great to just get as much rest as I can now before I head over. I would really love to walk for Marc Jacobs and Burberry and I think Alexander McQueen is amazing.
Do you have a secret ritual before you hit the catwalk at a show?
No, I just make sure that those shoes are pretty much glued to my feet!
2012 is set to be a huge breakthrough year for you – what are some of your new year aspirations?
I would love to shoot some amazing international editorials, I think Dazed & Confused and I.D are amazing and of course Vogue!!
Where would you like to see yourself in 2012?
I guess I don’t really know what is going to happen next for me which is I think one of the most exciting aspects of this career, so I’m just taking it all as it comes.
What are you doing when you’re not modelling?
I love swimming, while I’m home I pretty much live in the pool or ocean if I’m near one! Not exactly close in Alice Springs.
Do you have any quirky habits?
I am quite fidgety and so if I have to sit still for ages like in hair or make-up, I start dancing with my toes! It’s the only way I can keep myself still for long enough.
What’s your favourite food?
Fresh Fruits! Although for something less healthy I do love ice-cream, you can pretty much have any desert or sweet as a flavour, it’s amazing!
What is the key to de-stressing after a long day on set?
Undoing my hair, taking all my make-up off and usually passing out on the couch.
Describe your M-O-D style?
I guess my styles a bit grungy, a cool T or vintage shirt with prints or an awesome band, my Rag&Bone skinny jeans, and I have to have a great shoe. I love my Rachel Comey’s and Docs. I’m kind of obsessed with vintage lately, I have scored some amazing shoes and also this great Gucci Denim jacket for $80!
If you didn’t become a model, what would you be?
Marine Biologist. I also think it would be great to be a stylist, I love putting outfits together.
What celebrity have you been told you look like?
Uma Thurman, Scarlett Johansson, Drew Barrymore, Keira Knightly, Sophia Lauren. There are so many I feel like someone comes up with someone new every time I do a shoot!
Watch Melissa in action in this gorgeous Rodarte Casting video for their SS 2012 show: