If someone is ‘the new Dutch topmodel’, it’s Nimue Smit: the 19-year old from Bussum has an elfin beauty, but also a smart, down to earth approacher. Nimuë shines in all fashion stories from this Glamour and gave us an honest interview.

Nimue Smit: The cover of Vogue, that’s what I want to accomplish.

It is pleasantly crowded when Nimue, wide before the arranged time and with a blackberry clutched to her ear, walks on the Amsterdam Rembrantplein. The other terrace lovers don’t notice that there is a top model in their middle. Nimuë, who just landed an hour before on schiphol from her hometown New York, barely wears make-up and looks casual in her vintage gilet, Levi’s jeans and sturdy boots. She orders a glass of water and looks at the menu. A few minutes later, with a charming dialect that betrays the frequent residency across the ocean: “I’m so bad at this. My roommate is also a model and she can never choose either, so we always share everything. All things with fish seem good to me, that’s it. You can wake me up in the middle of the night for a grilled fish, freshly caught in the ocean.” The final decision is salmon. With extra vegetables. And a coffee. With her travel schedule from just this week ( from New York to Amsterdam through Paris, back to the Big Apple and in between a quick visit to Hong Kong), it is no wonder she is a bit tired. “Ah,” she laughs “I just decided that jet-lags don’t exist.”

How does it feel to be the face from Glamour’s fashion number?
“I feel very honored. There are so many Dutch models, and than they choose me. I barely worked in the Netherlands and I found it great to work with all the photographers and teams now. Just nicely from Dutch soil. ”

It is now four years ago that Nimuë, fifteen at that time, was scouted by Code Management through hyves. “She send me a message. Whether I had ever thought of becoming a model. Well no. A year later I walked my first show. From Prada in Milan.” Shortly after that Nimuë opened the Miu Miu show in Paris, whereupon models.com the gymnasium-student in the top 10 newcomers puts. Campaigns for Prada, TopShop and See by Chloé follow and in the meantime, full-time modelling and living in New York since her graduation, style.com calls Nimuë the ‘doll-faced Dutch cutie’.

How do you look back at the past four years?
“I had zero expectations, I thought I might appear in a Dutch magazines a few times. But it has been an explosion of experiences. Sometimes very difficult, with school and missing social occasions. But it has been worth it in the end. Yes, definitely. ”

In between you finished your Gymnasium. Did you have to say no to jobs because of that?
“I was supposed to shoot a campaign with Steven Meisel, but that was on the same day as my oral examination Dutch. Annoying, but school had priority for me. And if not for me, it had priority for my parents.”

How do they look upon your carreer?
“They weren’t happy in the first place that I wanted to do this full-time for a year. Because they are afraid I won’t go to university. They really want me to go studying. That is something I can do which I will enjoy for the rest of my life. But they are also proud. My mom shows my pictures to everybody. Really everybody.”

What do you think about modelling?
“I like the creativity of the fashionworld and photography, how other people can make you look different. And of course I have amazing photos from myself. I can show these pictures later to my grandchilderen. Like: look what grandma did!”

How was it to work with Miucca Prada as a new face?
“Scary. For me, she was the first big person in fashion world I came in tough with. But I always found her very nice.”

She isn’t known as the most warm person
“I worked very close together with her. I did the looks for Prada and Miu Miu, I was like a dress form for those collections. They basically made the clothes on me. Because of that, I stood in front of her from early morning until late night. That way you get a bit of a bonding with someone, especially when you do that for several seasons. I always thought she was a very symphatetic and strong women.”

How would you describe your bond?
Giggles: “O no, not really a bond. She smiles at me now and then, and I like that. That is quite something.”

How did the fashionworld chance you?
“I became much, much more independent. I grew up faster too. Suddenly, I had to fill out my tax papers, something other sixteen year old’s don’t do. You spent a lot of time with yourself, which gives you insights about yourself. And 90 percent of the time you work with people who are twice your age, than you talk about complete other things. When I am back home in Bussum with friends, I always have to switch. To the subjects they talk about, their way of talking. I remember very well when I came back from fashion week for the first time and thought: huh? I have been gone for four weeks and nothing has changed.”

How big was the transition from living at home with your parents to a model apartment in New York?
“It feels like a different life. When I’m the Netherlands, I just switch back to my old life. It is a bit like model Nimuë on the one side and Nimuë home on the other side. These are two different persons. Especially when I was still going to school. There I just wanted to be Nimuë and not think about modelling.”

Did your classmates think your ‘part time job’ was interesting?
“They looked at the Fashion Spot, but never really understood it. The general picture often shows the glamour side. The travelling, staying in expensive hotels, meeting nice people, parties. But it is mostly hard working. Sleepless nights, plane in, plane out, sometimes days from 20 hours. It is difficult to explain when you haven’t experienced it yourself.”

In which extend do you get satisfaction from modelling?
“I love travelling and I found it very interesting to meet people from all kinds of cultures. But besides that I want to exploit the fact that I am a model. I’m a face, I know certain people and I hope to do something with that fact. For example help other girls in the industry with a trade union for models, or stand up for animal welfare. I’m still trying to figure out what I want.”

What is the secret of your success?
“I am professional and always friendly. At least, I hope that’s why I get booked. I also have friends who go out a lot and miss jobs because of that. I take my job seriously, I don’t live the glamorous side. For me this is business. I see myself as an sole proprietorship. Going out is fun, but if you show up at jobs with bags under your eyes, it will end soon. Personality and professionalism determine your endurance in the industry. I am also with a very business agency. It is not about parties and smiling, it is work. In this respect, my agency suits me. ”

How do you explain the success of Dutch Models?
“We are professional, work hard and we’d rather fall over than complain. And we are very sociable backstage and speak our English well.”

To which extend do you feel at home in New York and the model scene?
“I have met a few very cozy girls. And I like New York for a certain period in my life, but I feel more comfortable in Europe. That is a lot more calm, I always get a bit stressed by the amount of things there are to do in New York. Than I go watch a movie in my apartment. I just love the Netherlands. I will definitely come back here.”

How do you stay down to earth?
“It is not in my nature to walk next to my shoes. I am a real Dutchie: act normal, that way you act crazy enough. Besides, I don’t take things personally. People talk about me like a clothing hanger. If they don’t think I fit a job, they don’t book me. I let it slip of easily. To me, it is also easy to know I can always go to university. And my parents. Modelling is not my livelihood. Or something my parents depend on. I come from a different situation than girls for whom this is their only shot at a good life.”

Nimuë grew up in a real doctorsfamily in the Gooi and sees her future - like her mom, dad, granddad, grandma and aunt - somewere in the health care sector. “I don’t exactly know what yet. Because of my job I meet a lot of interesting people with different stories and ideas. There is actually so much information that I don’t know were to start. I think psychology and psychiatry are very interesting and I am very analytical and inquisitive. I am now thinking about an education medicines.” Social involvement is a high priority for Nimuë. In stead of going out until mid night in New York, she likes to help others in her free time. “I’m travelling a lot, but I also have a lot of spare time. And than I like to do something use full. Cooking soup and distribute it to the homeless at the Salvation Army in New York. Or support people for Pet Pass with taking care of their pets, so they can keep living at home. Of course I also like to go to the cinema or a museum, but I don’t want to think about myself only.”

You come from a family were it is about content, now you live in a world were it is all about looks.
“Yes and no. Personality is also important in the modelling world. People are engaged in more than just looks. But sometimes it is exhausting. Than I think: o guys, can’t we talk about the situation in Iraq rather than who is going to shoot the next Gucci Campaign?”

What makes you happy?
“Seeing my family at home, my granddad and grandmom, home made food whether it is successfull, walking around on secondhand markets in Paris, seeing friends.”

Are you ever lonely in New York?
“When my roommates are gone and my friends aren’t there. That way you are in a big city were you don’t know anybody. But it is in your own hands. American people are very easy in making casual contact. It is easier now for me to talk to a stranger.”

What is the first thing you do when you are at home in The Netherlands?
“Go to my parents, hug my brother. Visit my grandparents. Buy syrupwaffles. And call my friends: You háve to come now, I don’t care what you’re doing.”

You’ve got more money to spend than a studying friend. Is that an issue?
“I treat them every now and then. But it is absolutely no issue. They don’t know how much money I make. Besides, I have got two friends who have been broke their whole life. Well, than we’ll just do something fun at home. I’m not going to pay everything all of the sudden. I save money to buy a house.”

Describe yourself. What is typical Nimuë?
“Cocky. And other: yeah, who am I? I like being with friends, discover a new city on my own, try new restaurants. I can be very lazy too, walk around in my house in the same outfit for three days. I like to learn new things. I’m very serious too, not really a party person. I love to watch arthouse movies.”

No romantic comedies?
“I prefer independent movies were you have to think a little more.”

Is it because your work is mainly about looks?
“I guess so, yes. I prefer watching something were I have to use my brain.”
Do you feel like you have to leave things for your career?
“A steady life. I am a person a lists, I like planning, I prefer knowing what I’m going to do within a month. With this job, that’s impossible. Luckily, I get better and better with packing within an hour.”

Kate Moss once said she had never walked a catwalk sober.
“Champagne is often accepted very enthusiastic by models, yes”

Also by you?
“When it’s at the end of the day? Yes. When I’m very tired? Yes, sometimes. One glass, that is. As exhaust valve, to relax. But the times that there was a lot of champagne, are over. The recession also came backstage. O yes.”

How do you notify that?
“To the catering. Especially in Paris and Milan. They only have croissants or cookies there. And than they expect models to stay thin in a healthy way, too. That really pissed me off. You are running the whole day, don’t have time to go to the supermarket, so you depend on the food they give you backstage. That way it isn’t strange that girls start to do crazy things.”

Like what?
“These showsizes are minuscule. I always bring my own food, but some models don’t eat or only eat one croissant on the whole day. That just isn’t right. It should be regulated. If you have budget, fine, but put a bowl of soup backstage. Costs nothing but is very nutritious.”

How do you handle the pressure they put on being thin...
Interrupts “I can get so frustrated about that! A friend of mine told me once: the first thing I look at when a girl walks down the street, are her thighs. To see if they are fatter than mine are. I find it awful when young girls have such a view of their selves. You get such a weird idea of food because people always talk about it. About juice cleanses and that kind of crap. Someone who is sixteen is not supposed to be concerned with food.”

You were fifteen when you started. Why weren’t you sensitive to that pressure?
“Because of my parents? And because this isn’t my life. I’ve never romanticized this, it is not my goal to be the best in the industry. Of course I watch what I eat, I have to. I am nineteen now and in constant competition with fifteen year old girls with a complete different figure, still a girls figure. But I am the way I am and I just eat healthy. If that isn’t enough, it might be over. I’m not going to put my health a risk. Not for nothing.”

How do stay in shape?
“Yoga. Group lessons. And after my graduation I’ve worked with a personal trainer for a while. I hadn’t done anything for a long time. Too much partying. Too much... everything. I wasn’t thinking about my figure at all. I thought: I’m doing this now, I will see what happens next. But than the shows came and I had to be in shape. Two weeks before Fashion Weeks I always have to exercise more often and watch the carbohydrates.”

Were you the prettiest girl in class?
“I didn’t think so. I always found myself weirdly tall. And I didn’t have breasts. As a girl, you look at that differently. I wouldn’t not mind having a bra size more at all, like for daily life. Not that I would consider plastic surgery.” Laughing: “It is possible that it will come naturally when I stop modelling and gain weight.”

Have you always been into fashion?
“You could draw me in jeans and a fleece sweater. My agency really had to teach me that. I would easily go to go-sees in a five year old jeans and a faded shirt.”

Nimuë describes her style as comfortable. “I have to feel easy in what I wear.” Her most expensive purchase ever? “A pair of Louboutins worth a 1000 dollars to wear to castings. My biggest bad buy, because I can barely walk on them. I wore them to my graduation with an Alberta Ferretti dress. I did a campaign for them. A lot of brands pay in clothing. It is nice to have an occasion were you can really wear such a piece of clothing.” Her favorite designers? Isabel Marant and the line T from Alexander Wang. “And from the unpayable brands Céline is beautiful. And Valentino. I would love to have a Valentino dress someday. One I could wear the rest of my life.”

What do you want to accomplish as a model?
“The cover of Vogue.”

American Vogue?
“Well, any vogue. The American one only does celebs, I prefer the Italian. I don’t know if it’s coming soon. Maybe. You never know with Meisel.”

What will your life look like when you are 27?
“If I’m going to do medicines, I will still be studying. Or I will be a doctor in education. It depens on how long I will continue to do modelling. I don’t look forward to switching. Now I’m here one day, the other day I’m somewhere else. I can imagine myself being a student and thinking: I have to get out of here! Luckily, I’ve got so many airmiles now that I can book a ticket myself every now and then.”

And what if your career stays this way? Will you continue for ten more years?
“I don’t know if I would still go studying then. And I really really want to. Starting to study on my 30th, that’s too late for me. Maybe that I’ll take off a few years and than come back? If that were possible! You always have a certain type of girl at a certain moment. It’s you or it isn’t you. You can be that girl in five years from now. I’ll see what the future brings me.”

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Thank you!
I will look at your blog soon.
Milou et Milou