Annemara Post is living proof that social networking has its vocational perks. “I was actually scouted on Hyves,” says the leggy, 5-foot, 10-inch blonde. “It’s like the Dutch Facebook.” What sounds a bit creepy actually turned out to be quite a career changer for the then 14-year-old. “If I wasn’t modeling, I would probably be studying right now,” Post says, laughing. “I was a massive math and science nerd.” We recently sat down with the DNA-repped model and chatted about everything from “retraining” her arms to swing evenly to all the swag she got for walking Marc Jacobs’ show.
You’re only 17. What does your family think of you entering this world so young?
Well, I’m from Friesland in north Holland. It’s completely different from New York. There are a lot of farmers, that kind of thing, so everyone is pretty down to earth. I don’t think my family fully understands what my world is like right now. So when I first started my mom wasn’t like, ‘Wow, this is so exciting.’
Was it a bit of a culture shock when you moved to New York?
Yeah, but I love it here. There is so much more creative freedom. You don’t get looked at when you have weird clothes on. Where I’m from, if I was wearing this leather vest, everyone would stare and be like, ‘What is wrong with you?’
It is a cute vest.
It’s vintage. I bought it for five dollars at a little shop around the corner from me. It’s one of those places that has like a rack of crap outside but you can find good stuff if you dig around. I love to mix expensive with cheap. Like these pants are H&M, but my bag is Yves Saint Laurent and my shoes are Burberry, but my top is Zara. I’d say my style is girly with an edginess to it.
What’s something you know now that you wish you had known when you first started modeling?
When you start modeling, you have no idea how it really works — you think you’re going to be the next Gisele. Every 14- or 15-year-old just starting out thinks, ‘I got this. I’m going to be the new face. I’m going to walk every show.’ Now I approach castings differently. I’m just like if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world.
Don’t set yourself up for disappointment.
Exactly. And it comes across to clients. It’s way better to come there and be like, ‘If you like me, book me. If you don’t, oh well.’ When I first started out, I was like, ‘Book me, book me, book me. Please book me!’ That comes across. But even for all those castings that I didn’t get, I’m glad I did them because you have to walk a thousand times so by the end you have your walk perfect.
Did your agency give you pointers?
Yeah, they, like, retrain your arms. If you really look, arms naturally don’t swing evenly. You always see that one arm swings more than the other so you have to be conscious of that and balance them. And your back has to be curved a bit to the back. Surprisingly, there are a lot of things to think about.
If you had to describe the modeling industry in one word, what would it be?
What has been the most difficult moment so far?
There are just a lot of little ones. Like when I arrived in Paris when I was 15 and I was all by myself with five massive suitcases and I had to get to the taxi stand without any help. I had just bought a new phone but it didn’t work overseas so I was stuck.…Most shoots are great but sometimes you just get treated like an object: People will touch you without any warning like to reapply your makeup or fiddle with your hair. There’s no sense of personal space. It’s also kind of gross when you’re working Monday to Friday, a different shoot everyday. It’s like, how many peoples fingers have been on my face this week? And keeping in shape is difficult too.
What do you do to keep in shape?
I was kind of chubby as a kid so I have to work at it, and I’ve never been the girl who has stick legs so I have to work out a lot. I run, ride my bike to castings. I try to get to the gym every day if I have time.
Are models competitive with each other in that sense?
No, not at all. I was scared that they would be like, ‘Oh, I ate an apple this morning.’ But we don’t really talk about it. If anything, it’s more encouraging to be healthy, like ‘Oh girl, you’re getting too skinny. You should eat a bigger breakfast.’
Any other misconceptions about the business?
When I started I thought everyone would be bitchy but I couldn’t have been more wrong. We’re all going through this really unique experience together so we bond. Our apartment has the coolest girls I’ve ever met. It’s not competitive at all. You know, we wish each other luck when we have big castings. We all deserve good jobs so we have each other’s back.
Your first runway season was for fall 2010. What was it like?
Very intense. It’s a bunch of ups and downs. You have your major happy moments, like when I found out I booked Marc Jacobs or like after fashion week when you wear your trade and feel so proud walking down the street. It’s like a trophy. Then you have your low moments when it just gets so hard and you’re so worn out.
How did you find out you got the Marc show?
I just got a call from DNA saying, ‘You have a fitting to confirm. And you have to go there now.’ So I ran. It was a crazy experience, seeing those big-name models there. But I was more starstruck when I saw Marc Jacobs himself. Then they cut our hair and we put on the clothes for the fitting.
How did they cut your hair?
They chopped off like three inches. Then I got to pick my trade.
What’d you get?
A blouse, a skirt, shorts, a sweater and a T-shirt. Everyone was allowed to pick five things.
Marc Jacobs was your first major show. Were you nervous about walking?
I wasn’t nervous but I was just so happy that I had trouble not smiling. If you watch the video of the show, it’s so funny. You see me walk and I was just thinking, ‘Focus, focus. Don’t smile!’ and I hold it until I go around the corner and then I just break out my smile. I remember thinking ‘Yeah, I did it!’ It’s really cute. I love watching it.