Lauren de Graaf has been heating up the runways since landing her first big job, when Miuccia Prada chose her as an exclusive for Prada’s fall 2015 show. Since then, the Dutch star has been a regular on the runways of Valentino, Chanel and Fendi and posed for issues of Vogue China, Self Service and Interview. Aside from her striking blue eyes and long, thick mane, it’s her down-to-earth attitude and sense of humor that shines — her Instagram account showcases a mix of funny selfies, including a video of herself channeling her “inner Beyoncé.”
Growing up, did you ever think about modeling?
A lot of girls from my class and my grandma kept telling me I should model. I was like, “Nah.” I wasn’t really the type. In high school, I was so hyper and crazy and weird…. I could never be serious in front of the camera. So I didn’t take it seriously. But then one day I was sitting on the couch with my mom and I was like, “I’m doing nothing on the weekend except field hockey games, and I’m so bored. But I don’t want a boring job in a supermarket.” I thought maybe I should try modeling. We looked up an agency that my friend recommended and I sent in some pictures. The agents were like, “We’re closed tomorrow, but please come in anyway!” I was so scared that they liked me in the pictures, but that they wouldn’t like me in real life.
Needless to say, they liked you. You kicked off your career before you graduated from high school as an exclusive on the Prada fall 2015 runway. Were you nervous?
Yes, because I had only walked in some small shows in Holland. I was so concentrated on not closing my eyes on the runway because I didn’t want my eyes closed in the pictures. So I was keeping my eyes open [really wide] the whole time. My eyes were so watery by the end. I was like, OK, I really need to blink next time.
You’ve walked for Chanel seven times. What are your favorite moments from working with the house?
I think my favorite show was [resort 2017] in Cuba. It was incredible. I arrived there two days before the show, so I had a full day off and my friend and I just walked around exploring. It was a little too hot, but all of the houses were so beautiful. The phone service shut off around 8 p.m. and we had Wi-Fi in the hotel, but in those three days, I only used about two hours of it….I was so addicted to Instagram and Snapchat before I went to Cuba, and in those three days I was like, “I don’t even need it!”
Are there any models you look up to?
I really like Julia Nobis — I think she’s really cool. I sprained my ankle at the Alexander McQueen show once when I tripped. Julia is studying physiotherapy so she saw my ankle and carried me up the stairs and I was like, “You’re so sweet!”