With her exquisite china-doll complexion, commanding bone structure and strong but feminine stature, American supermodel Guinevere Van Seenus has an enchanting and distinctive beauty. Now 36 years old, she has enjoyed almost two decades in the spotlight, notching up global advertising campaigns for fashion powerhouses, including Prada, Kenzo and Miu Miu, as well as countless magazine covers. She is a long-term muse and confidante to the pioneering Italian photographer Paolo Roversi. And, with even her name evoking long-ago legends of the Queen of Camelot, she is the perfect ethereal yet modern muse for our exclusive fairy-tale shoot.
What was life like growing-up?
"Alternative. My parents are Dutch, but moved to Massachusetts in the US before I was born. They owned a health-food business and were passionate about a homeopathic lifestyle, which in the '80s was an unknown concept there."
Did you always want to be a model?
"No, I had never considered myself
to be model material. It was
actually my mother who suggested that I give it a try and enrolled me
in a runway school in Santa
Barbara when I was 15. I didn't take
it seriously at first and considered modeling to be a fun hobby, like basketball or volleyball."
When did you get your big break?
"I was sent to Los Angeles on a casting for David LaChapelle in
1995. It was extremely rare to get in front of a photographer of that magnitude. At the time, I was used to getting rejected, because my
own look was so far removed from
the typical blonde, Californian girl that was the trend. But he liked me and we ended up doing the most beautiful, fairy-tale-inspired story
for The Face magazine."
Who has been the strongest
influence on your career?
"My agent in Paris was the catalyst. She really understood my look and made sure I saw the right people.
My early relationships
As red as a ruby
Coat by Bottega Veneta; skirt by Chloé; earrings by Oscar de la Renta