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For the spring 2012 collections, Milou van Groesen landed on some of the most sought-after runways in the biz: Thakoon, Jason Wu and Narciso Rodriguez, to name a few. And for that, she says she has Nicolas Ghesquière to thank. He gave the 23-year-old Dutch model her first big break when he cast her for his fall 2011 Balenciaga show. After that, the rest of the majors followed suit. Her most recent coup? The Giorgio Armani spring 2012 campaign, which just hit magazines last week. Here, a quick chat on how it all happened.

Was modeling something you had always wanted to do?
Not at all. I started three years ago, two weeks before my 20th birthday. I didn’t have school or a job when I got scouted, but I was still hesitant. I was like, yes, no, yes, no. But I needed a job, so I did it.

Where were you scouted?

My mother agency, A Models Amsterdam, found me in a tram station in Amsterdam. I was with a friend, and I saw this couple looking at me. I was like, “Why are they staring?” I was wearing red pants and I thought that was why. But then they came over and were so nice and gave me their card. They turned out to be awesome people, so I was like, “Let’s do it.”

You signed with DNA in New York last year. Did you start doing shows right away?

The first two seasons I was here, I didn’t really do the shows. Then last year, I was in Milan for a job and my agency called and said, ‘There’s a casting for Balenciaga and we think you’re perfect for it.’ I said, ‘I already tried doing the shows twice. It’s not really working.’ But I went and got the exclusive.

Did that change things?
Everything was different after that. Before, it was a fun thing to do — now it’s like a real job. I have choices now. I like that part.

How did you find out you landed Balenciaga?
I went to the casting, and it took like four or five hours because they had me try on everything. Then they asked, “Can we cut your hair off?” So I knew I had it.

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