[By: Janelle Okwodu] [Vogue] [Read More]
Though she’s best known for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue appearances and lingerie campaigns, Rose Bertram is more than a “sexy” model. Like Gigi Hadidand Hailey Baldwin, Bertram is social media savvy, with innate crossover appeal. And with her recent move to powerhouse agency IMG Models, she aims to broaden her reach by following in the footsteps of her fellow Instagram luminaries turned fashion stars. Already, the Belgian beauty is heading into fresh territory, with spots in the front row during Paris Fashion Week, and work with beauty giant L’Oréal Paris—but she’s just getting started. Sharing her thoughts on runway diversity, modeling beyond a sample size, and making the most of a style moment, Bertram proves she’s got the personality to be fashion’s new It girl.
She didn’t let her petite stature stand in the way of her modeling dreams.
“I remember when I started people always told me that it would never work out. They told me that I’d never get to do big jobs because I wasn’t tall enough, didn’t have a very skinny high-fashion body type. Right now we’re in 2016, and it’s so important to give chances to girls who aren’t tall, who have curves, and are different. That way you can tell that fashion is changing, now it’s all about who you are.”
She’d love to change the way the runways look.
“Most of the time I do photo shoots, I’ve had the honor of working with Patrick Demarchelier, Juergen Teller, Peter Lindbergh, and all these amazing people within the fashion industry. I would love to do more runway [shows] though; it’s cool to have that variety and it’s also important for [a model’s] career. Not getting to have those opportunities can have a negative impact. Plus it’s nice to have a girl on the runway who looks different.”
Social Media gave her a boost—but it isn’t everything.
“In my first year I did Sports Illustrated and people started to know who I was; in my second year I saw my social media grow and I began working more on branding myself. I’m really happy because I’m getting to doing things that are harder, especially for a girl my size and height. I’m seeing changes in my career right now and that’s one of the things I’m so excited about, but it isn’t just about having the most followers. At a certain point in your career you have to have the right management and people behind you; that is what takes you to the next level. ”
It’s all about entertainment.
“It’s really important to have good styling, to have people go, ‘Wow, she did it again,’ each time that they see you. It’s all about entertainment and we’re all entertaining each other; that is cool for me. When you go to an event you have to be conscious about what you’re wearing and how you present yourself. My style is more tomboyish; I’m not a dress girl. I like ripped T-shirts and jeans, thigh-high boots, and a loose shirt. I’ve learned a lot these past months working with my stylist. It’s about showing your character with the clothes you wear and the look that you choose. I have curly hair and sometimes it’s hard when I put on something very classic because curls are so playful, but I feel curls are a part of my identity. ”
She lives in Istanbul.
“Before I got here I wasn’t sure—I thought it might be weird because I had my own vision about it but when we got to the city it’s so big and cool. There are so many shops, cinemas, restaurants. I have everything here right in our building so I always have something to do. It reminds me of the States a bit because everything is very new and modern.“
Her next goal? Taking Hollywood by storm.
“I would love to play a role onscreen. I recently started acting and I’m doing self-tapes. A couple of months ago I went to Los Angeles and did a lot of auditions in front of casting directors. Now whenever there is a big role they send the script and I do a self-tape and send it back to them, so I’d love to be in a movie eventually. Fingers crossed!”