Model, Celebrity & Activist
Q: You once aspired to be a dentist. How did your life change the day you were scouted by a modeling agent?
A: It was a total 180 — everything changed. I went from living on my family farm in Kincardine, Canada, to living in New York City within a year.
Q: Do you remember what it felt like to shoot your first magazine cover or walk your first runway?
A: As a teenager, I don’t think I realized how cool it was to be on the cover of Italian Vogue six different times, and it’s probably better I didn’t! I just loved my job, NYC and the places I got to travel to.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about modeling?
A: The fashion industry is fun and artistic, but it’s also a business, and it’s hard for a lot of young girls to keep their heads above water. People forget most models they see in magazines and on runways are teens living far from home — maybe even supporting their families. There are good people in this business, but there are people who will take advantage. I try to look out for younger girls.
Q: When traveling, what are your top three essential items to pack?
A: Melatonin for jet lag, a good book (I’m reading Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises”) and a scented candle.
Q: What are you most proud of in your modeling career?
A: The best part about my job is that I get to give back.
Q: You have supported a number of charities including Many Hopes, Adopt Together and Peace Jam to help foster kids and street kids. Why it is so important to give back and how did you get started?
A: I grew up in a big family, and I’ve always loved kids. I knew I wanted to help at-risk kids, but I didn’t know how. I talked to my friend Scott Harrison, who runs this amazing charity called Charity: Water. He told me about some great groups and introduced me to their founders.
I focus on helping three awesome charities. Many Hopes rescues abused and abandoned girls in Kenya, puts them in a home and through school to the end of college. We now have four girls’ homes and are constructing our first school for 900 boys and girls.
Peace Jam brings Nobel Peace laureates and children together to create positive change in the children’s lives, their communities and the world. Collectively, the laureates have launched a Global Call to Action campaign to tackle what they believe to be the 10 biggest issues our planet faces today.
Adopt Together is dedicated to helping more families adopt. The average cost to bring home a child is $35,000. So once you have been approved to adopt, you create an online adoption profile and your friends, family and even complete strangers can donate. The end result is a child gets a loving family.
Q: How would you encourage others to get involved?
A: Find what you are passionate about, do your research on the Internet and ask friends and family for help finding a cause. Or start by volunteering an hour of your time. If everybody does a little bit then nobody has to do it all.
Q: What is your shopping obsession?
A: Alaia, Saint Laurent, Mui Mui, Acne
Q: Who is your favorite fashion designer?
A: Azzedine Alaia because his clothes and shoes are timeless.
Q: Do you prefer staying in or a night out on the town?
A: Mostly I like to stay in and read or watch movies with friends. But I do love a fun girls night out!