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After being discovered at her high school less than two years ago, Latvian model Olga Cerpita has already walked twice in Paris and London fashion weeks and most recently was seen in Reed Krakoff’s pre-fall presentation. Now she’s about to take on New York for the first time. Her height (5’11”) and peaches-and-cream complexion aside, it’s Cerpita’s unusually levelheaded attitude that caught our attention.
Agency: ONE MANAGEMENT
Hair: Light Brown
Birth sign: Capricorn
Home country: Latvia
You’re gearing up for your first New York fashion week, but you’ve walked in London and Paris before. What do you think the main difference will be?
In Europe, it’s really hard. There’s a lot of competition. There are so many models. I think [designers and casting directors] in New York are going to consider the model’s personality in addition to how they look.
So do you think there’s more to being a good model than just the physical appearance?
Some girls maybe aren’t as good looking, but they have good personalities, and sometimes they’re working more than some beautiful girls. I think a model should do many things for her career, like swimming, or some sports. Some girls draw well, some play musical instruments. I have a hobby — knitting. It’s really important. The clients really like the girls who have some specialties.
Knitting? How did you get into that?
I started a long time ago when I was 12 or 13 years old. I would watch my grandma making socks and other stuff, so I asked her to teach me how to do it. It’s really relaxing.
What do you think your other assets are?
I think my big plus is my height. It’s really good for the shows. I think in modeling it’s very important to have clean, soft skin. And, for the fashion shows, it’s very important to be skinny. It’s not easy for some people.
Does it come naturally for you to be thin?
I’m skinny because all the weight went to my height! My lifestyle is healthier because I do sports and eat well.
Is there a difference in approach between New York and Europe when it comes to models being fit?
Here in New York the agencies are very different from Europe. Here, they’re more caring about the model’s health. In Europe, they tell you to be skinny and they don’t care how you become skinny. Here, they’re telling us to be skinny but healthy.
What do you do to stay healthy?
A lot of movement. No smoking. Trying not to drink. Taking vitamins. It’s important because you can see everything on the skin and on the body.
What type of exercise do you do?
My favorite is yoga. It’s so popular here. Usually I do it two to three times per week, one time minimum. It’s good to help you relax and not be stressed.
What sportswear brands do you like?
I like Adidas by Stella McCartney. I worked for their presentation in London — the room was constructed like a real gym, and we really had to work out! It was two hours of a free gym. Isn’t that perfect?
How do you keep your complexion so milky smooth?
I try not to pull my skin too much. I use a cream called Embryolisse. It’s a French brand. In Europe, all the makeup artists and models use it. It’s good for dry skin. Sometimes, you can use it to clean makeup off and it’s not too expensive.
So how do you describe your personal style?
Simple and classic. I don’t like very bright colors or shiny material. If I wear bright colors, you’ll just see the color not my face. For every person it’s different. You should see the person, not the clothes.
Do you have any clothing items that you can’t live with out?
As I start to earn some money, I’m trying to buy really good quality pieces that I can wear for a long time and that are good through every season and for every occasion. Some girls have too many clothes and they don’t have any idea what to wear. I have a small wardrobe, but I’m getting the maximum out of it, which is perfect for me.
What are you looking forward to for this next season?
It’s more about the whole of doing well. I want to see how I can do, how many shows I can get. In London, I’ve done fashion week twice. In New York, I don’t know a lot of designers. I’d like to see. I hope it’s going to be really, really good!