THE MAASMECHELEN VILLAGE – one of the nine Chic Outlet Shopping® Villages of Value Retail – celebrated its 10th anniversary with Belgian Top Model, who will also be the official Fashion Ambassador of the Village for the coming years.
Amsterdam based photographer Giusy De Ceglia had a chance to speak with this iconic model on behalf of Runway Passport
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE CITIES FOR DISCOVERING FASHION – ASIDE FROM THE BIG 4 OF COURSE (NY, LONDON, PARIS AND MILAN)?
I was born and raised in Antwerp. So this city feels like being home to me and it’s also one of my favorite fashion spots. I also really like compact and relaxed shopping villages and outlets exactly like the Maasmechelen Village. Here everything is within reach, so it’s great and fun shopping for people like me, who work so hard and never really have much time.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE DESIGNERS AT THE MOMENT?
Christian Wijnants (who has also designed the black dress I am wearing today), Haider Ackermann and some NYC designers like Zac Posen, Richard Chai and Erin Featherstone.
WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING THING ABOUT BEING A MODEL?
I’ve been working as a model for 10 years now and it has definitely opened up my vision of the world, allowed me to see so many places, meet so many people with different backgrounds and stories. I am very thankful for all the possibilities this work has given me. At the same time it’s such a fast paced type of work that it turns you very easily into a workaholic. You never know when you can relax and take a step back. The other great side of it is that it’s so touching to see the amazing results a group of people can reach when they are inspired and driven by a common goal – exactly like what I am now doing working on a project with KAGENO.
LOOKING BACK AT YOUR MODELING CAREER, IS THERE SOMETHING YOU HAVEN’T DONE AND YOU WISH YOU HAD? DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS?
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME A DESIGNER?
Sometimes it’s very difficult to use your own judgment and make decisions when you’re so young and have very little experience in the fashion world. People tend to misunderstand your words and decisions, even when you totally didn’t mean them that way. That’s how you end up stuck in difficult situations you really had not wished for. I do regret having said no to walking in a show of Dries van Noten many years ago, when I was really young and had started modeling not long before. At that time I underestimated my decision, but now I am actually sorry I did not say yes.
OUT OF ALL THE PHOTOGRAPHERS YOU HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH, WHO HAS IMPRESSED YOU THE MOST?
That would be all the VOGUE ITALIA photographers and especially Steven Meisel and Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. Right now I am really enjoying working with the Dutch photographer Dana Lixenberg. We are both working on the KAGEN project and also travelled to Africa together. I truly appreciate all the efforts she made. She was helping everybody out and also supported me personally.
WHEN YOU LOOK INTO THE MIRROR, WHO/WHAT DO YOU SEE? DO YOU REALIZE HOW BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE?
I just see myself. I see the person Anouck, not the model Anouck. Honestly I am still surprised I made it this far as a model, especially because I started quite late, when I was 21 already. It’s funny to realize how people look at you, while you’re totally not busy thinking about yourself in that way.