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Amanda Nørgaard
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Interview translation courtesy of LasseNord @ tFS, whom I believe is actually friends with Amanda in real life:

It Started with Prada

Interview by Stinne Kaasgaard

It's september 2009, and the international fashionweeks has started. Amanda Nørgaard just started her second year at her gymnasium in Denmark. She has already been away six days because of London fashion week. Now she's in a plane on her way to Milan. There's an option for Prada - the italian fashion brand are considering to use her for their S/S show 2010. Prada had already put an option on Amanda twice, but they didn't confirm. But that doesn't stop her, so she tries again. Even though she risks to be sent home again the very same day. The morning of the Prada-show-day, Amanda is backstage at Prada and still doesn't know if she's confirmed. at 10am her cell rings - it's the school administration. They want to know where she is. Modelling resulted in two warnings of getting expelled the previous year, and she know, that this is her last chance to make up for it. She need to decide between a flight directly to school, or she has got to quit. "I was incredibly shocked, because I risked getting expelled, if I didn't come home, and I wasn't even sure I was going to do the Prada-show or not. So it was time to choose. It ended with me asking them to call my mother, so she could sign me out." Amanda says.

That morning in Milan was a true crossroads. A year and six months had gone by, since Amanda got scouted by Scoop Models at the age of sixteen. That resulted in a tsunami of bookings in Denmark and also international designers.

"I could cry. It dawned on me that there was no turning back, and that my life would never get back to normal again."

After the call from the school, Amanda is still backstage at Prada and ten minutes has gone by, when her phone rings again. This time it's her booker. She just got confirmed. Half an hour later she's on the runway together with topmodels as Natasha Poly, Lara Stone and Freja Beha.

International Class

Amanda takes a zip of her coffee, and touches one of her big silver bangles. Short time ago she came through the door to her motheragency in the centre of Copenhagen, and said: "Sorry I'm late. I drove on my bike all the way from home and had to stop at red light at every single stop!!!" Smiling, with red cheeks and messy hair. In the nice way. Wearing patterned leggings ("Salvation Army"), white button-up and a pullover ("Thanks for letting me borrow, mom") and chunky 90's-platforms ("They're simply so ugly, that you gotta love 'em!"). Luckily, she's for once not in a hurry. Even though it's in the middle of the international fashionweeks. This autumn she's walked for Burberry, Erdem, Twenty8Twelve and DKNY. Earlier she has been used by Chanel, Missoni, Fendi, Marni, and danish Stine Goya have also used Amanda, who won "Model of the Year" at Danish Fashoin Awards 2010. Oh yeah, she also shot campaigns for Topshop, Burberry and Filippa K and editorials for magazines like Dazed & Confused and Harper's Bazaar. But right now Amanda is stuck in Denmark, due to some problems with her visa. Normally Amanda lives in New York, where she's closer to castings, jobs and the best photographers. A teenager in New York. I sound like some challenge - to be thousands of kilometers away from friends and family. "What I love about New York, is, that the city is so welcoming, and you get a network extremely fast. You can start a conversation with a person in a store one day, and be having coffee with the same person the day after. I live with two girls from Sweden and England, who's also models, so I never really feel alone. New York makes you feel like you're a part of one big heart," says Amanda.

Name dropping - no go

Eventhough Amandas life is filled with castings, photoshoots and travelling, she tries to see the modellife as a job, that she can take breaks from. That's why she doesn't talk about her job for hours, when she meets her old friends in Denmark. "Ofcourse it's a part of me, that I'm a model. But it's only a job, and I try to put it in perspective to any other job. When I worked in Emmery's (danish organic bakery) I didn't tell everyone when I sold another fullgrain bread," she says.

For most times, Amanda tries not to tell people she just met, that she's a model. "I know what I do is exciting and special, but people change their view on you when they hear you're a model. I've always had a very strong reaction to anything superficial, and I hate the branche-talk in that namedropper-like manor." And Amanda experienced alot of that in the first months of her carreer. "People, I didn't know that well, suddenly started to contact me. And when I came home after being away for a month or so, and met people in the city, all they asked about was which show I walked and what models I had met. I'm very private, so I got very tired of it. But it's alot better now, and luckily my nearest friends never reacted like that".

Loves to tell stories

You can't call Amanda an ordinary danish teenager. She also tries to remember that herself, when she feels like staying in bed and watch a movie.

"In the begining it was so overwhelming, that I couldn't deal with it. But now I've started to tell myself: 'You're eighteen, and you've got your own apartment in New York, IN YOUR NAME'. My name is on a ****ing buzzer in New York! How many my age can do that?" Amanda do know that she's lucky. That she, like she says herself: "Was in the right place on the right time." Yet, she's still sure that she wants an education at some point. It's always been like that in her family. "I've almost grown up with an education as something to strive for. And I didn't work the last year of junior year, because I wanted to focus on school. But at that time, I already liked modelling, and kinda missed it." She remembers a photoshoot in Sweden, for New York Times Magazine, in this Alice in wonderland-theme with couturedresses in a winterwonderland.

"I love to get into a story, and express it through pictures and movements," Amanda says. So right now she takes one day at a time, and the education can wait for now. "I don't think you need to do things the predictable way. I'm not going to do this forever. And I'm going to graduate someday!"

7 Questions for Amanda

Favoritedesigner: "Proenza Schouler. Beautiful in a kind of weird, nerdy and quirky way. I also love Rodarte, Miu Miu, Stine Goya and Gestuz."

Favorite spots in NYC: "I really like Tompkins Square Park in East Village. I can spend hours watching people. The Beans at 1st Ave and 3rd St is my favorite café. Cheap coffee, good muffins and free wifi."

Beauty Routine: "I have no rituals. I cleanse my skin, apply a rich creme from the french pharmacy daily, and an even richer creme from Avene, when I'm travelling. I drink alot of water, and make sure to get alot of sleep before a shoot. I rarely use make-up in everyday-life. Only some concealer, if something needs to get covered."

Fitness: "I do a bit of yoga, when I can get myself to do it. I'm considering taking some ballet classes in NYC. I've danced ballet for 11 years, and stopped when I became a model. Ballet has given me control of my body, that works for my advantage now. I know how to make my hands look elegant, and I'm used to express feelings and moods with my body."

Favorite Movie: "My father is a filmproducer, so I was watching A clockwork Orange and Hitchcock-movies at a very young age. My absolute favorite movie is The Dreamers by Bernado Bertolucci, and I've seen it about 55 times."

Favorite music: "Patti Smith. I turned down alot of jobs to see her at Roskilde Festival. The Doors, Velvet Underground, Lou Reed and Sex Pistols. Thanks for the inspiration, dad. I also like Tjajkovskij, Edvard Grieg and Bach, which I danced ballet to."

Amanda about... having an "skitzophrenic" style

"I had a period of three years where I only wore black. But after I moved to New York, I started to look around in vintageshops, and it opened my eyes to more colors and patterns. But I'm extremely skitzophrenic, when it comes to clothes. Some days I just feel like wearing a black dress and nothing else. It depends on my mood. I love vintageshopping in Brooklyn, around Driggs St and North 5th St, where you can find some more underground vintageshops. When I moved here I lived just by East Village vintage by 1st Ave and 14th St. It was dangerous! In Denmark I go by the salvation army-stores and Cos, Topshop and H&M. But it takes some of my enthusiasm, that it's not unique. I don't want those it-items, that everyone is blogging about. I think it's more fun to go on the neverending search for the perfect vintage-item."

Amanda on parties

"Eventhough it's a very tough job, ofcourse there's the glamour. Once I attended this party in New York, and the them was pyjamaparty. All the guests recieved looong robes. There was the biggest table with cakes, I've ever seen. It was just like in Marie Antoinette. There was a jazzband on one floor, classical on another and in the bottom a dancingspot. Right in the middle a giant champagne-fountain and a chocolate-fountain, and I was just thinking: 'What is this? What in the world am I doing here?' I can't even remember who threw the party. It's stuff like that, you in some kind of freaky way get access to when you're a model."

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