Daria Werbowy: "I can't analyse my appeal. If I did I'd be in a straitjacket"
Daria Werbowy, someone we are so familiar with seeing in fashion but whom we know very little, recently sat down to chat with the Telegraph.
With an estimated earnings of £2.3million last year, ranking her at ninth on Forbes's annual list, Daria seems at a lost to explain why.
"I can't analyse my appeal. If I did I'd be in a straitjacket," she said. "I sometimes find myself staring at it [gesturing at a picture of herself] because I don't really know who that girl is. I guess a lot of people don't realise, but I'm always playing a character when I'm working. When you're always having people's images projected on you, who "Daria" is as a person sort of disappears."
On the realities of the working in fashion... "I am very lucid in relation to the reality of this industry, the ephemeral nature of beauty and fame and that gives me a certain distance and quite a bit of humour."
On being destined to become a model... "Modelling was kind of like a shadow that followed me everywhere since I was eight. I'd have people stop me in the street or the supermarket and say, 'You should try it.'"
On her close bond with her family... "I've never had to rebel against my parents; I never had that sort of teen-angst thing where you didn't get along with them. My dad's always been my buddy. We hang out."
On those early days of being a model and facing constant rejection... "I was crying, saying, 'Dad, I don't want to do this anymore, it's not for me.' He said, 'You wanted it. Get back out there!' I said, 'Noooo!"' I returned to New York, met my agent and the next day I had an exclusive deal with Prada. From then on it was all a bit of a blur."
On working with Helmut Newton on his last shoot before he died... "I was actually really sick so he kept me at a 10ft distance. He made me wear rubber nipples and had me lying on a bed of nails and eating grass with a fork. It was all really... grrr!"
On scaling back her catwalk schedule... "I really enjoyed them in the beginning. It was really empowering to stride out there, but eventually you start walking and on the way you're, like, "What am I going to eat tonight?" But I'm lucky now; I can come in and do a couple instead of the whole three-countries-and-six-shows-a-day thing, when you just get exhausted."
On being able to have her say... "The great thing about my Lancôme deal is I get to be not just a model, I get a voice. Sometimes I wish I didn't have one because I get really insecure about what I say. But at the end of the day, it is what it is, and I always try to speak the truth."
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