It’s easy to see why Mia Rosing has been a muse to so many designers as a fit model, a job she’s held for the past several years. Not only does the Danish beauty have the right measurements — she stands six feet tall — she also has a gentle, easygoing demeanor.
Rosing got her start after she won Elite Model Look’s Copenhagen contest at age 15, placing second in the international finals a year later. She made her debut in the Gianfranco Ferré show in Milan during the spring season in 1999, and in the following years landed the covers of both Elle Germany and Vogue Germany, as well as campaigns for La Perla, Giorgio Armani, Escada, Wolford, Seven For All Mankind and Miss Sixty. “I felt really mature, but I’m not sure if I was,” she said, looking back on her earlier years. “I felt super adult and independent. You do gain a certain independence.”
Now 31, Rosing spends her time out of the spotlight with clients such as Zac Posen, The Row and Alexander Wang. “If I had done [this] when I was 16, I probably would have hated it,” she admitted. “It’s a bit more behind the scenes, which is something I like now.” Repped by Trump, Rosing stopped by WWD’s offices on a recent afternoon to reflect on her lengthy career, touching upon her funniest memories, her regrets and her thoughts on Instagram’s impact on the modeling business.
WWD: How did you start modeling?
Mia Rosing: I started way back. I met my agency when I was 15, while I was still in school, and I won the Danish Elite Model Look contest. I didn’t do a lot of traveling growing up, so it was my first time flying somewhere on my own. It was a bunch of girls my age hanging out; it was overwhelming, but it was also fun.
WWD: Growing up, had you ever been interested in modeling?
M.R.: Not really. I wasn’t really aware of what [women] looked like as models…I just felt tall and skinny and awkward. There was one girl that would encourage me a little bit. But I was too young to even think about it, I think.
WWD: What was it like growing up in Denmark?
M.R.: When I lived there, I think I found it really boring. I wanted to travel a lot. I was born in Copenhagen, but when I was quite young, my parents moved to the countryside and I always wanted to go back to the city. But then, as I traveled and saw other countries, I saw the good sides of Denmark.
WWD: Do you ever miss anything from back home?
M.R.: It’s getting more and more easy to get Danish food here in New York. They’ve also got a good Swedish candy store in the West Village. I do miss Copenhagen at times. It’s a beautiful city. I used to visit a lot because I was traveling more with work. But now I can’t take as much time off; I have a more regular schedule.
WWD: When did you transition into fit modeling?
M.R.: I came to New York 12 years ago; it was always my base. As a model, you can spend a lot of time traveling, and when you do it long enough, it can get a little lonely. I was a little tired of it. I wanted to settle down more. [Fit modeling] is a more everyday job; it was something I needed at that point. It was a mix between me not wanting to travel anymore, and also, in 2008 after the crash of the economy, there just wasn’t much work. Through a friend of a friend, I started fitting with Zac Posen, and that’s how I got eased into it.
WWD: What’s your life like in New York now?
M.R.: I live in Brooklyn, near Prospect Park. I feel like I live a pretty average life for a 30-year-old in New York…I see my friends, go to dinner, museums and concerts. I have my dog and my cat. I try to get away upstate once in a while.
WWD: Has working as a model influenced your sense of style?
M.R.: You definitely get inspired depending on what clients you work with…you can’t help but pick up some of the things they do and find what you like. When I was younger, I liked dressing up but I also quickly got tired of it. I appreciate it more now, when I see behind the scenes. I like seeing the making of the collection and seeing how it all works.
WWD: Funniest memory from a photo shoot?
M.R.: I’ve had a lot of weird video castings. There was one where I had to pretend that I was a mermaid underwater and it was really awkward.
WWD: Any regrets?
M.R.: Sometimes I wish I had been better at taking advantage of the places I went. When you’re younger, you don’t realize you’re lucky. I spent like, three weeks in Tokyo on two different occasions…and if I had been in Tokyo now, there are so many things I would go see. But when I was there, I was busy complaining about the food.
WWD: Do you still have goals in the business?
M.R.: I just take it as it comes. When I started modeling, I had no idea I would still be doing it at this age. Over the years the type of work I do has changed, but it also became more of a career.
WWD: What are your thoughts on Instagram? Having visibility on social media seems integral to a model’s career these days.
M.R.: I didn’t have any of that [when I started modeling]. For me, personally, I don’t think I would have been very good at it. But it does give the girls more of a voice, more of a personality. Often, when I look at pictures of myself or old photo shoots, I don’t necessarily see it as me. They dress me up and make me up as they see me. So I think it’s good and I think it’s important that you see the personality behind the girl.
WWD: When do you feel the most beautiful?
M.R.: If I’ve just come back from a long weekend, where I’ve been out in nature and relaxed and when I’m in a good place mentally — that’s when. Also, after modeling for so long, I actually hate it when I have too much makeup on. I feel it’s too much.