ARTICLE WILLIAM DEFEBAUGH
PHOTOGRAPHY MARIYA PEPELANOVA
STYLIST MARIA BARFOD
A STANDOUT STAR OF COPENHAGEN—AND PARIS—FASHION WEEK, DANISH MODEL CHARLIE BREDAL IS CAPTURING INDUSTRY ATTENTION ACROSS THE GLOBE WITH A LOOK AND AN ENERGY THAT IS ALL HER OWN. HERE, THE YOUNG MODEL SHOWS US WHAT SHE’S GOT—AND WHY COPENHAGEN HAS BECOME THE PLACE TO WATCH FOR NEW DESIGNERS AND COOL YOUNG TALENT
Where did you grow up?
CHARLIE BREDAL I grew up in the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, on a little island called Amager.
Have you always known you wanted to be a model?
CHARLIE BREDAL I think that every girl secretly dreams of being a model. I let my thoughts of modeling vanish pretty quickly, because I was teased a lot growing up. I was at least 15 centimeters taller than anyone else in my class, so I felt very awkward about myself. Therefore I never thought that I would have the opportunity to work with how I look. That made me believe that everything is possible, and I feel so extremely lucky to that I can work with my dream job.
Who first approached you about it?
CB My mom always told me, that I had something that would do me good later in life. She said stuff like, “Those long legs weren't created for nothing!” Then one day, when I was walking on the center square of Copenhagen, I was scouted by an agency.
Your first show was the Margiela S/S '13 Haute Couture show in Paris—quite the debut. What was that experience like?
CB It was so surreal! Just taking the plane for the first time by myself to Paris was such a crazy feeling! To be honest I had no idea what to expect, and to be a part of an haute couture show was mind-blowing. I remember that it was impossible for me to stop smiling, I felt like the luckiest person in the whole wide world.
What do you have that other models don't?
CB I think that as a model, it is important to have that something that makes people remember you. Over the years working with makeup artists, every single one has made a positive comment about my big green eyes. So that is my something.
What is your favorite show you've walked in?
CB That is without a doubt Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane. It was the most exciting week of my life, from the moment I went the casting, then to the fitting, and when I was told I was confirmed for the show I started crying. I just couldn't believe that a girl from Amager would ever get the chance to go to Paris, and walk a show among supermodels, just two months after I was signed with IMG.
There is quite a bit of buzz right now surrounding all of the new designers showing in Copenhagen. What do you think makes Copenhagen Fashion Week so unique?
CB Copenhagen Fashion Week's strength is that it is easy to see what designer created what, because each one of them has such a great talent to show their uniqueness. Besides that, there is a tendency for new designers in CPHFW to get established pretty quickly. For example, Anne Sofie Madsen, who had her debut show in 2011, has within two years accomplished winning the prestigious Danish Design Talent 2013 award.
How does it compare to walking shows in other cities?
For me there is something very special about being a part of Copenhagen Fashion Week because I grew up here. I never knew what happened during fashion week and what it even meant when I was younger. [Now] I've gotten to know a lot of people in the Danish fashion industry over the years, who are also great friends.
Which designers are you watching right now?
Speaking of Copenhagen Fashion Week, there is a brand new designer called Maikel Tawadros, who is the sweetest guy ever, and has such potential! The show this fashion week was so intense, black and trance-like. I loved it, and in the closing outfit, I wore the most amazing fur/leather jacket, so I'm very excited to see what he does next. Besides that, I have an endless love for Chanel. It's timeless, and I'll always keep an eye on what Karl creates.
Who are some of your favorite fashion figures you would love to work with?
As said, I believe that it is very important to stand out and have a uniqueness that makes people either remember you by something, or point out your work from the crowd. Personally, I think Karl Lagerfeld is the most amazing designer of all time, and he is my all time favorite fashion guru. My biggest accomplishment of my career would be if I ever got the chance to work with him.
My first editorial and cover job ever, was i-D The Alphabetical Issue, which was photographed by Richard Bush. I was very nervous during the shoot, and he was so good at making me feel comfortable and he really made a great impression on me. He is truly amazing at his job, and it was fantastic shooting with him... I think every model dreams of working with Mario Testino, being a part of his work would be such an honor... Steven Meisel is one of the most powerful photographers of all time, and in many cases he has been the reason for other people's success. He is just genius... I think that Terry Richardson is so freaking cool. He brings out the best in people, and I really love the way that the person in being photographed is so authentic and completely themselves. You never really know what kind of person it is before they been in front of Terry's camera.
What do you do when you are not modeling?
I love being active. My newest work-out obsession is boxing. Besides that I also love to dance, ice skate, run and take long walks. When I get inspired, I write. When I was younger I wrote poetry on a daily basis, and I have a dream of one day writing a novel. But if you knock on my door, you'll probably catch me cuddled up with my boyfriend watching Breaking Bad.
Why is fashion important to you?
I love fashion because it's a way of expressing yourself. I've always loved clothes, jewelry, shoes, you name it, and from an early age I've had my own way of putting things together. For me fashion is art, it's a way of expressing what goes on inside of your head, and making it real, which I think is very interesting.
What are you working towards in 2014?
I hope that 2014 will bring me more work abroad. I would love to do more campaigns and travel around the world - I must say I'm a sucker for traveling. I've never been to New York, and I'm very eager to go there, so I'm crossing my fingers that I'll go there for FW next season!
What else do you want the world to know about Charlie Bredal?
Everything... just kidding! I love my job, and I believe that the way to get successful is with positivity and an open mind. I always try to look on the bright side of things, and I think that's the reason why I'm a very happy person.
Make Up Gitte Guldhammer (tomorrow management) Hair Lasse Pedersen (agentur CPH) Model Charlie Bredal (UNIQUE MODELS) PhotogtaphY Assistent Kazuma Takigawa RetouchING Imagework