Scroll through 21-year-old Sofie's low-key Instagram and she looks like any other young student enjoying life in bustling east London. She almost never posts catwalk or editorial shots, and has fewer than 1,000 followers. She's a rising face to know but she's also discreet, and her look is equally as quiet and subtle. Agents describe her face as 'ethereal and classy', an aesthetic that appeals to romantics (Chloé) and minimalists (Jil Sander) alike.
Sofie didn't dream of being a model, but fell into it after being scouted at a music festival before going on to walk for Céline, Dior, Alexander McQueen, Burberry and more. And although she's quiet, she becomes enthusiastic when talking about her psychology degree and her boyfriend who works as a pharmaceutical salesman. She says her work towards her Open University degree is what keeps her sane while travelling the world and walking runways. To her, the industry provides something of a case study. 'The people are the best part. I find it inspiring how hardworking people are. There's no job at age 21 I'd enjoy more than this.'
She's conscious of the difficulties as well as the rewards, in particular the current focus on models being personalities and celebrities. 'I get the impression that the clients like me because I'm interested in something else. They seem to really respect that.' Sofie sees potential to marry her studies with her work. 'This industry could use some psychology,' she muses. 'There isn't any. And it should be in every workplace. This is the most stressful environment I've ever known and people aren't offered any sup- port. It's important, especially for models who start very young – the agencies can be great, but there needs to be somewhere bigger to go to talk things through.'
Tellingly, Sofie has a passion for young people. She moved to London from her native Denmark originally to be an au pair with the aim of eventually returning home to be a social worker focusing on youths. 'I enjoy the feeling of being responsible for someone else, which often you're not as a model. You're not responsible for anything and it can be hard to find the opportunity as a model to think: you often don't have much say.' She's pondering an eventual move back to Copenhagen to continue her education, but her plans are always evolving. 'I like the idea of not knowing where I'll be. Maybe I'll stay in fashion and connect with agencies through my interest in psychology.'
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