Height: 5’11”
Hair: Light brown
Eyes: Blue/green
Agency: The Society Management
Hometown: Dedemsvaart, Overijssel, The Netherlands
Instagram: @birgitkos

Two different casting agents spotted Birgit Kos, the striking, laid-back Dutch beauty, while she was out shopping in Amsterdam at age 14. She began shooting with a local agency, but was told she had “too much hips.” Explained Kos: “They said I could come back when my hips were smaller. I was done with it after that.” Her father saw a newspaper ad for the Elite Model Look competition  and urged her to try again. Kos made it to the finals, landing a contract at 15. Besides booking editorials in Elle and Glamour, Kos, now 21, recently scored her biggest gig to date: Giorgio Armani’s spring 2016 campaign. “When I started modeling, [Armani] was really the king of fashion for me,” she said. “It was nice to get that [campaign] because after three years of working, you see that you’re going somewhere.”

This story first appeared in the June 8, 2016 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Growing up, did you ever think you could be a model?
When I was young, I had these really round glasses and really weird short hair. I looked like a boy, actually. Then my hairdresser started to tell me that I should be a model and that I had a pretty face, around 13 or 14. I guess then you start to see it.

But modeling in Holland is not really big. What I’m doing now is seen as a bit strange. We don’t really have a lot of fashion. We have G-Star…that’s a brand we can be proud of. But we don’t have many other big brands. For Dutch people, the fashion industry — they don’t really understand it. Sometimes they have a negative view of it; they think it’s just being pretty in pictures. With my friends, I never really speak about my work. I feel like I cannot complain to them. They’ll be like, “Oh please, but you’re traveling…”

You just touched down in New York. How are you enjoying it?
There’s so much to do here that it can be fun, but it’s not my favorite city. I really like nature. I like to do sporty stuff outdoors…hiking, walking, snowboarding. My life is based around modeling, so it is difficult to find a second hobby that I can really do 100 percent because I cannot plan anything. Fashion is a world that…I’m too Dutch for it. I’m too easygoing, but I like my work because you work everyday with different, artistic people.

If you weren’t modeling, what would you be doing?
I always wanted to be a travel agent, do outdoor sports or go into nature to teach people about survival. I would never live in Holland; it’s way too structured for me. Everything needs to be planned out from the moment you’re born. You need to go study; then after you study, you get a job; then around your 30s, you get married and have children. It’s really weird. I don’t want to live like this. I’m quite often stuck in studios or typical touristy beaches, which is not really my thing either. My boyfriend and I want to take a few months off next year to go volunteering in Namibia, helping with wildlife conservation and fighting against corruption….This is more the direction I’d be going in if I was not modeling.

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