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Porter
Art of Style

Meet the model: Birgit Kos

Fashion

AGE: 24

NATIONALITY: Dutch

RÉSUMÉ: Since taking part in the prestigious Elite Model Look competition in 2010, Birgit Kos has fronted campaigns for Versace, Chloé, Miu Miu and Stella McCartney – and this year became the face of Tom Ford Beauty.

MY BOYFRIEND IS MY ROCK. I’ve been with Sven for five years now. He’s also a model; we actually met on a job. It’s really nice as he understands the industry and what this job demands of you. I feel like my world is constantly changing, with people coming in and out, but it’s really nice to have him by my side throughout it all.

I LOVE THE COUNTRYSIDE. I grew up in the Netherlands but now I live in Switzerland, in the countryside just outside Zurich, with Sven. Zurich is a really vibrant, beautiful old city with a nice relaxed pace of life. When I’m not away for work, I love taking our dog for walks in the open fields and forest. My Dutch home town will always have a special place in my heart, but I knew from a young age that I wanted to travel the world.

I’M GLAD MY CAREER DIDN’T TAKE OFF RIGHT AWAY. I first got scouted by two different agents on a family trip to Amsterdam, but I was only 14 years old so I didn’t pursue it. A few years later, in 2010, my dad was reading the newspaper and spotted an advert for the Elite Model look competition, which is how I ended up trying out for it. I didn’t win in the end, but I did secure a modeling contract. For my first two years, I was mostly doing commercial work in Milan. I didn’t do much editorial or walk in any shows, but I am really thankful for that slow start, as it gave me time to really hone my craft.

I HAVE A LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH SOCIAL MEDIA. I have always found it really tricky to get the balance right. I love using it as a space where I can let people see my work, but I know that’s not the content people are really interested in. They want an insight into your private life; I find that quite difficult, as I am naturally a very private person. However, I do think it’s incredible that modeling gives you a platform and the reach to create change. It’s really beautiful to see models like Doutzen Kroes setting up charities and fighting for the things they care about.

It’s impossible to pick a single career highlight. Honestly, I am just really grateful for every job I get

I REALLY ADMIRE LINDA EVANGELISTA. In my opinion, one of the most challenging but also exciting aspects of modeling is becoming a different character for every shoot. That’s what Linda really excelled at. She is so versatile. Obviously, I am just at the start of my career but, from working with Peter Lindburgh to starring in the Hugo Boss BOSS the scent campaign and becoming the face of Tom Ford Beauty, it’s impossible to pick a single career highlight. Honestly, I am just really grateful for every job I get.

SPENDING SO MUCH TIME AWAY FROM HOME CAN BE A STRUGGLE. This week alone, I’ve been on six flights. The constant traveling can be tough, but it’s just part of the job. Thankfully, I don’t suffer too badly from jet lag. I think the key is just trying to power through and get on board with whatever time zone you’re traveling to. The upshot is that all the flying has made me a really efficient packer. I always try to stick to just hand luggage, so I have to plan all my looks in advance.

I’D LOVE TO TAKE A YEAR OFF AND GO TRAVELING. I’ve always wanted to explore Africa, particularly Namibia, and my boyfriend loves Asia, so we’d also like to go traveling around that part of the world. I love sports – I’m not the type of person who can lie on the beach all day – so there would be loads of canoeing and snowboarding and other activities on the agenda. However, I think that will have to wait for a few years. Everyone working as a model knows that there is a time and an age limit in this job, so it’s important to take all the amazing opportunities that come your way while you can.

I’M CONSTANTLY LEARNING. I wouldn’t say I am the most stylish person, but working in fashion has shown me what an art form it can be. When I was starting out, I’d arrive on set wearing old jogging bottoms and sweaters, but now I take more pride in my appearance. My style changes a lot from one day to the next. Usually, it’s quite simple but, once in a while, I love getting dressed up. It depends on my mood. For a night out, I might try a beauty trick I’ve picked up on-set. Having your face made up all the time, if you pay attention to the brushstrokes, you really get a sense of what should go where. Now, I’m really good at doing my own eye makeup.

Follow Birgit on Instagram: @birgitkos

The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown