Thursday, August 14, 2008

Daria in Annabelle

Daria is on the cover of Annabelle, a German magazine, which features a photoshoot (shot by Derek Kettella - the picture from the last post is included) and an interview.

Daria on the cover of Annabelle October 2008
It seems like the picture I'm using below is quite a contradiction to what other people have gotten from the interview. Most people who have read it sensed some bitterness or hardness on Darias part - maybe they were more shocked to hear something of substance from a person they expect to be happy all the time because of her job.

Now, seeing as the only German I know is Auf Wiedersehen (thanks Heidi Klum!), I'm hoping someone can provide a translation. For now though, the article and photos can be seen here.

Update The rough translation and full interview is below. Thank you gina and carmelita for the translations!

The wind was blowing south-west heavily this morning and chasing the clouds over the skies of New York.
On that morning the wind is blowing heavily to south-west and hunts the clouds over the sky of New York. Through the window the sun is glaring into the studio - Daria Werbowy's eyes blink, she holds her hand in front of her face. A summerday that seems to be created just for this little something that makes him to this special day: heading over to the sailing boat in rubber boots and a warm fleece jacket, tacking the mouth of the Hudson River until it begins to dawn.

Other supermodels spend their free time in pilates classes or go shopping until all the boutiques have closed. Daria Werbowy does those things too, sometimes, but her passion is sailing - the only thing that gets her going time and time again is being on the boat.

Recently she was asked in Munich (by a journalist) if she was happy, in general. Whereupon she had no real answer to give: “What a tacky question” she complained.“Who asserts to be happy, lies. But people think because of a model's ability of being rich and beautiful she can`t have problems. Absolute bullshit. I am not more or less happy than other people [pause] Except for when I am sitting on my boat and hanging on my sail. Then the world is totally ok for me.”

Well instead of diversion on the Hudon River today a workday for Daria Werbowy: letting herself photograph. The capital of a model are her skin, teeth, hair and body. No doubt Daria Werbowy is one of the most successful models of the last six, seven years. She has stopped long ago to count her magazine covers. And she holds even two world records: In 2003 she ran on over 80 catwalks and 2003 she appeared 6 times on the cover of the Italian “Vogue” – the best-of-that-breed for eternity. Does this success mean that Daria Werbowy owns the straightest teeth and the most elegant back of the world?

From my place on the sofa in the corner of the studio I would claim: yes. On those teeth there´s nothing to criticize, and wanting to find somewhere a more appealing back than hers seems absolutely impossible. Indeed not too thin because she takes 3 full meals daily. Daria Werbowy looks very very healthy, her skin gleams in polish-ukranian pallor in the headlights.
And the observers glance speechless on this feat of a back that was formed by good nutrition and yachting.

Annabelle: Daria Werbowy are you happy?
Daria Werbowy: [Laughs] Please, let's not start with complicated questions. We'd better have a chat. But while I am thinking about it: What should it mean at all this "being happy"? Why is everyone striving for happiness nowadays? Its a dumb, unreachable aim. Isn't it enough that we aren't "unhappy" all the time?
That would be enough for me. And in all the years a few minutes of real happiness for change – no one minds that. If you have just fallen in love being happy can even last for one or two weeks. Arguably for one, two days. We want to stay realistic.

Daria Werbowy, who is turning 25 in November, started to gave regularly interviews aged 17, and therefore learned early what reporters expect from a supermodel: an egocentric, spoiled view on the environment, vain absence of humor and a constrictive fortune of expression. The clicheƩ that clouds over her profession goes like this: Since their puberty these girls don`t do anything other than looking pretty, so the conversations have to take place on a lowest level.

On the sofa, on the opposite of me, there is a young woman that works since she has been 14 full- time as a model; and would have every reason to talk lengthy about her existence. How she coiled through Europe, aged 17, and no one wanted to book her; how she was astonishingly discovered in New York with 19, meets well-known people and earns a vastly amount of money since then.
Though Daria Webowy, and this is not at all exaggerated possesses a brain of a chess grand master or at least of a distinguished poker player. You notice it by her gossamerly laughter at silly jokes- and how she tactical ably obviates operating uneducated. She is well versed in Ukrainian policy, geography and world economy, so she biases the conversation on the weak dollar and what consequences the recession has for her insets in the US- banks, or could emerge in her Ukrainian fatherland. “The evolutions are very joyless”, she determines.

How huge the quota of mind on the success of Daria Werbowy actually takes, is hard to snap. Here a theory: Without her cleverness and almost indifferent attitude towards the modelling business she wouldn`t have worked out a world career. Let`s ask the expert Jen, Daria Werbowy`s person in charge at her modelling agency IMG models. Jen smiles at us and says: “Looking beautiful isn`t enough in order to have a career like Daria`s. The girl has to trigger connotations on the observer. Intuitively he has to descry a personality. That works with Daria, because she really owns a personality. What does also help is if you are just liked by photographers and bookers. Everyone likes Daria, because there are just a few who are that uncomplicated like she is. “ Daria Werbowy herself can`t explain her success. Or she just has no delight for it: “ Why me of all people? No clearing reason overran me. I was lucky.”

Have you been happy today because you went to work?
I am a professional I go to work whether I want or not.

But it doesn`t necessarily count to your job to give an interview on the set.
Well today it`s about Lancome. We have created a series of cosmetics together that will also come on the Swiss market.

Please tell us something exciting about your cosmetics series.
My friend Vik Muniz is an artist in Rio de Janeiro and runs a project called “Centro Especial Vik Muniz”. He gives art lessons for the kids in the Favelas. It may sound queer, but with those courses he salvages the lives of many teenagers. Because he shows them a totally different, new perspective.

Laudable. In what way is that concerned with cosmetics?
The colors I have chosen are inspired by Brazil and the works of the children brown, green, blue- I have conceptualized the palettes together with Odile Roujol, the president of Lancome. She was zesty when she noticed that I have discovered a project my heart beats for. Discovering how the cosmetics industry works was fun.

What do the children get from it?
A part of the money goes in favor of the project. And I visit Vik regularly to help him with the lessons.

In 1983 Daria Werbowy was born in the Polish Krakow as a daughter of an Ukrainian engineer (father) and an Ukrainian teacher (mother). Four years later the family settled to Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto, where Daria Werbowy spent an “inconceivable happy childhood”, like she says. Whenever she talked English she earned a little cuff on her occiput: The engineer and the teacher consisted on table conversations in ukrainian or polish. Now the daughter possesses those two language nearly perfect- and two, three other languages also.

Daria Werbowy is one of those kind of girls that sooner rollicks on the sports ground with some boys than changes make up tipps. “ I play Basketball, Rugby, Beachvolleyball and Ice Hockey. As soon as there was snow I went Snowboarding, but most of the time I was sailing.” On the Ontario river Daria Werbowy drove sailing regattas a short while ago, where she even won some. At home in Toronto the goblets stand in the garage: “ I am proud of every victory.”

Daria Werbowy`s youth was determined aged 14, when a neighbour that worked at a Canadian Modelling agency discovered her at a gardenparty. In Toronto at first the business started well, but when she won a modelling competition and her agency sent her abroad, Daria Werbowy had to learn to handle with disappointments. The New York Fashion Week 2001 where her international debut was planed, sampled out because of the attacks on 11.September. After that she went a half year to Paris and 3 months a time in Hamburg, London and Milan: “ Probably that was the most important time of my career. I have manacled a fat fur. When someone deprecates me I don`t matter anymore.” Finally she head back to Toronto, gave up modelling and started her art study.

A year later Daria Werbowy visited a friend in New York, who argued her to participate in a casting. Two days later Marc Jacobs has booked her for his campaign and Prada for the shows in Milano. Until today she doesn`t really understand what has happened, but she is happy for every day she can spent as a supermodel. “ Because I know that millions of girls are dreaming of it, and chance is not going to help them like it did with me.” Until further notice she wants to practise her profession, but she feels that her euphoria slips, that photo shootings bore her more often.

What have you learned during the past ten years?
I have met a lot of people that showed me how I don`t want to become – and a few people that inspired me a lot. I have understood one, two things and even more about the modelling industry. The most important cognition: Everywhere in the world – and I have visited a lot of countries- the TV program is crummy. (those sentence above is printed huge under the main article)
I assert our world would be a more pleasant place if there were no TVs.

What did you not learn in that time?
Too much. We shouldn`t start with listing it. The biggest problem in my job: I am rarely more than 3 days at the same place. When I start something I can`t finish it. My study for example, or the pictures I am painting.

She can make up for it, she will make up for it- in the recent future. Long ago she has earned enough money to do with the rest of her life whatever she wants. Make the pilot`s licence? Salvage Orange- Utans from extinction ? When 19 she explained in an interview that she wants to save her money and build a company for interior design. Today she plans to open a gallery. Or maybe bandy to acting?

She got one advice from a woman that spent her years of youth similar her`s: Isabella Rossellini was a model on 36 “Vogue”- Covers and became very late in her life an actress and artist. About her first profession she said the following: “ I have never earned that much money as I did in my modelling career. You can sell nothing quite as expensive as beauty. As a model you have to stay in the business as you can stay the taradiddle. Afterwards the real life is even more fun.”

A credo that Daria Werbowy took seriously. She stands at the window of the photo studio and tries to spot the Hudson River, that you can nearly see from here. A last soundly look at her face. It`s almost mortifying to write that: she is indescribably beautiful. Daria Werbowy´s eyes shimmer turquoise like the Ocean in front of the Statue of Liberty; a wide awake face that is laughing most of the time and casing the surroundings like a detective. Her high cheekbones and the narrow eyes make you presume that Daria Werbowy`s forefathers had been Mongolian warriors.

On the other side of the river, in New Jersey, is a little marina where Daria's father is preparing the family's sailing boat. In summer their journey starts - father, daughter, brother and 3 friends will cross the Atlantic Sea. “There`s nothing I am looking more forward to than our trip” she says. “Of course, I am bit afraid of the open sea, but if I vanish then I'll live to see true beauty.”


  1. Annabelle August 2008, Interview with Daria Werbowy, translation: carmelita @ bellazon

    Daria Werbowy is one of the most successful models of the world. But not only that. She prefers her sailing boat to the catwalk and likes more to think about economics than fashion.

    (I don't translate the start, the authors rambling about the weather in NY and that Daria surely would like to be outside on her boat)

    The other day in Munich Daria was asked if she is generally a happy girl. At first she didn't know how to answer. „What an insolent question“, she complains, „who claims for himself to be happy is lying. But people assume, because a model is beautiful and rich she can't have any sorrows. That's absolutely nonsense. I'm not more or less happy than any other person.“ Short break. „Except for when I'm on my boat sailing. Then the world's completely alright for me“.

    (Then the interviewer rambles about how beautiful she is – but we all know that ;-))

    Annabelle: Daria Werbowy, are you happy?
    Daria: Haha. Please don't come up with those complicated questions this early in the interview. Let's talk a bit at first. But as I'm thinking of it now: what does it mean anyway, being happy? Why is it that everybody aspires to be happy these days? A silly, unachievable goal. Isn't it brilliant enough not to be unhappy the whole time?
    A: Would be enough for me.
    D: And every few years a real genuine feeling of being happy, just a few minutes - noone would hold anything against that.
    A: When you've just fallen in love this feeling can last for one, two weeks even.
    D: Rather for one, two days. We want to keep being realistic.

    (Now he's rembling about how smart she is – but we know this too ;-))

    A: Wer you looking forward to go to work this morning?
    D: I'm a pro, I'm going to work whether I want to or not.
    A: But it's not generally your job to give interviews on the set.
    D: Today it's all about Lancome. We formed a new cosmetic line together that shall be licensed for the Swiss too.
    A: Please tell us something exciting about your cosmetic line.
    D: My boyfriend Vik Muniz is an artist in Rio de Janeiro and has got a project called „centro especial Vik Muniz“. He's teaching arts to the kids of the Fevelas. This might sound strange but with his lessons he's saving many of the kids' lives because he's showing them a completely different point of view.
    A: Lovely. But how's that related to the cosmetic line?
    D: The colors I choose are inspired by Brazil and the works of the kids, brwon, green, blue – I formed the palette together with Odile Roujol, the president of Lancome. She was very enthusiastic when she found out I've been involved in a project I love. It was fun to get to know how the cosmetic business works.
    A: How do the kids profit from it?
    D: A part of the profit will be donated to the project.

    (Then he tells us about her childhood and moving to Canada and how her career started and stuff)

    She doesn't understand how this (her career) could happen to her, but she's glad for every day she's working as a model, „because I know many girls dream about it but there might never be a lucky coincindence to help them as it had been for me.“ She wants to keep her job for a while more although euphoria decreases and photo shootings are boring more often.

    A: What did you learn during the last 10 years?
    D: I met many people who showed me what I don't want to become – and a few people who really inspired me. You need knowledge of the human nature for my job. I learned one or two things about the fashion industry and beyond. The most important realisation: Everywhere around the world – and I've been in quite a lot countries – the TV programme is bad. I state, the world would be a nice place if there weren't any TV.
    A: What did you NOT learn during this time?
    D: Far too much. We don't want to start the listing here. The biggest problem in my job: I'm seldomely able to stay longer than three days at the same place. If I start something, I can't finish it. My studies for example. Or the pictures I paint.

    (Then he's rambling that she will have enough money and time once retiring and blah)

    On the other side of the Hudson River in New Jersey there's a little harbour where her father's fixing the family boat. The trip will start in summer: Father, daughter, brother and three friends want to cross the Atlantic ocean. „I'm so looking forward to this trip“, says Daria. „I am a bit afraid of the open sea. But when I get over it, I'll experience pure happiness.“


  2. thanks so much nestfraese!
    what an interesting interview - very good read!