R E C E N T U P D A T E S
THIS IS M E ,NICE TO MEET YOU
E R I N O 'C O N N O R
In 1995, a chance encounter at The Clothes Show Live meant that the course of my life changed forever. I was taller than tall, timid and with a mouth full of braces. After a whirlwind trip to London where I signed with Models1, I said goodbye to the place I called home and ventured off in the direction of my destiny. Borrowed suitcase in hand, I was weighed down with enough tinned food to preserve me for life.
I learnt how to make sense of all things foreign, just because people spoke the same language in London didn’t necessarily mean I felt understood. I had entered a world that felt both seductive and powerful and at times, I had to work hard at overcoming my own limitations. I made a decision to work towards achieving three important goals: self-sufficiency, independence and education. The latter is an on-going process and my job has afforded me the opportunity to immerse myself in rich, historical culture as well as travelling the world and exploring endless new and diverse environments.
In 2014, I announced my pregnancy and released a collection of images taken by Nick Knight called “Expecting” for ShowStudio.com. My aim was to epitomize the essence of motherhood in all its natural beauty. I gave birth to my beautiful boy, Albert that summer. True to form, the accompaning interview was carried out whilst I was in the early stages of labour!
I may not have been representative of women traditionally but I created my own version and modelling has allowed me to explore this. Back in the late nineties and early noughties, fashion was performance led; there was no such thing as merely walking the runway. I danced through flames, walked on water and flew through the air just in the name of "putting on a show". Modelling for designers such as Alexander McQueen, Galliano and Christian Dior has filled me with a sense of pride and liberation over the years. It was an exhaustingly satisfying period of spectacle, desire and escapism that will never be repeated.
My first furore into the industry proved to be a tumultuous one. I was frequently told that I wasn’t quite right and that I did not fit in. It was only after encountering my now close friend and maverick hair stylist, Guido Palau that led to an iconic haircut that was to become my signature look. I was reborn an accidental anarchist - untouchable and fierce looking with half a shaved head. In reality my new suit of armour helped to conceal the still ‘shy girl’ within, something I was keen to protect.
My background as a classically trained ballet dancer has enabled me to fully immerse myself into the many varied characters I have portrayed, from appearing on my very first front cover of i-D magazine by Juergen Teller to shooting the Versace campaign photographed by Richard Avedon.
It was an incredible honour when Karl Lagerfeld described me as “one of the best models in the world” With that I became his muse and worked with him on various Chanel advertising campaigns and collaborations over the years.
Fashion illustrator and co-conspirator, David Downton held an exhibition solely devoted to his line drawings of me, which took me away from the normal realms of fashion and ignited my passion for all things art and design.
My great British claim to fame is being the only non-royal face to appear on a first class stamp shot by legendary British photographer Nick Knight.
I am very proud to have launched my first range with friend and stylist, Kate Halfpenny. "She Died of Beauty" is a fair-trade cotton t-shirt and bag range, which I hope, provides a signature style that is witty, purposeful and un-apologetic. Kate and I believe that there is no reason why style and conscience cannot co-exist!
Throughout my career I have observed and been observed and I have also discovered the power of developing my own individual voice. It has been important to me over the years to respectfully communicate my viewpoints and opinions and I have written for The Times, i-D magazine, The Guardian, The Evening Standard and Stylist Magazine. In addition to this I have written my own blog for Vogue online and I appeared alongside British supermodel Naomi Campbell in the TV programme ‘The Face UK.’
In conjunction with the Alexander McQueen 'Savage Beauty' exhibition in London, I gave a talk about the relationship between designer and muse and our shared history together. I also composed a series of questions for the 2015 Vogue Festival where I interviewed my dear friend Jean Paul Gaultier about his life and iconic fashion label.
“She isn’t only a model. She is quite like art. She is like theatre. She is an extraordinary inspiration” – Jean Paul Gaultier, 1998.
In February, I made an exciting return to the runway and opened the Marc Jacobs A/W 2015 show. From there, I reunited with my close friend Giles Deacon and walked in his show during London Fashion Week and most recently, I have appeared on the cover of Italian Vogue photographed by Steven Meisel and Love Magazine photographed by Sølve Sundsbø.
I feel very privileged to be part of an ephemeral fast paced world. My job has offered me liberation and a sense of solidarity in equal measure. Working within a medium where all eyes are on you has served as a form of therapy. It’s like continuously confronting what you’re most scared of and saying “what the hell, I’ll give it a go anyway”.
Enjoy looking through my past and watch out for the future. You’ll find me in the present…
Welcome to my world!
W A L L O F F A M E
PEOPLE I WORK WITH, PEOPLE I LOVE
EDITOR IN CHIEF OF LOVE
EDITOR IN CHIEF OF VOGUE ITALIA
CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF DAZED & CONFUSED
FOUNDER OF GLOBAL CREATIVE AGENCY, CLM
FASHION & STYLE DIRECTOR OF W MAGAZINE
MAKE UP ARTIST