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Porter
Art of Style

Meet the model: Birgit Kos

Fashion

AGE: 23

NATIONALITY: Dutch

RÉSUMÉ: Since getting through as a finalist in the prestigious Elite Model Look competition in 2010, Birgit Kos has fronted campaigns for Versace, Chloé, Miu Miu and Stella McCartney. This year, she graduated to modeling power player when she became the face of Hugo Boss’ BOSS The Scent.

THE COUNTRYSIDE CALMS ME. When I’m not working, I live with my boyfriend Sven, just outside Zurich. I don’t like big cities; I find them too chaotic, plus they make me feel like I’m constantly working. We live 40 minutes away from the mountains – I love to be surrounded by nature, it really helps me unwind between jobs. I love being able to step away from the industry and have a real break; when I’m at home, I just turn off my phone and enjoy normal life, like taking my dog for walks through the forest.

YOU CAN BE TOO YOUNG TO GET INVOLVED IN THE MODELING INDUSTRY. I was scouted in Amsterdam when I was 14 years old. When I had grown up a little more, I decided to enter Elite’s model competition, but I didn’t start working full time until I had finished school. Taking that extra few years meant that by the time I was booking big jobs, I was more mature and felt really comfortable and confident in myself.

THE DUTCH SEE FASHION VERY DIFFERENTLY to people from Paris or London. We look at it as a functional thing – of course we want to look nice, but I think sometimes we don’t understand all the hype around it. We’re a bit more relaxed when it comes to style. I prioritize comfort; I don’t want my clothes to limit me and what I can do. When I’m in Switzerland, I basically live in track pants and a sweater. It’s nice not having to care about how I look. That being said, I do have an amazing pair of red thigh-high Fendi boots in my closet that I like to dust off from time to time…

INSTAGRAM IS TOUGH. As a model, if you decide to step away from social media, you run the risk of hurting your career, as a lot of clients look for that extra promotion. Sometimes I do find it tricky trying to figure out what and how often I should post. Trying to find the balance between retaining your privacy and showing people your world can be hard.

Trying to find the balance between retaining your privacy and showing people your world can be hard

I LIKE BEING PART OF A TEAM. The best thing about my job is getting the opportunity to work with so many talented people. We are creating art – it’s a real collaboration. I can’t do my job without the hairdressers, the makeup artist and entire crew. I have probably learned the most from the photographers I’ve worked with; they each have their own process. I always make sure to be positive and engaged on set – the energy you project is a really important. I think that’s the mark of a great model.

STARRING ALONGSIDE JAMIE DORNAN in Hugo Boss’ BOSS The Scent campaign is definitely my biggest career highlight so far. Everyone from my hometown saw it; when it came out, I got so many messages asking me, “Was that you I saw on the TV?” Acting alongside a professional was a lot of pressure, but an amazing experience.

I’M PLANNING A BIG ADVENTURE. This summer, my boyfriend and I went to Saint Lucia, which was amazing, but honestly, because I travel so much, I just love getting the chance to spend quality time with him in Switzerland. It’s a new country to me, so I love discovering new areas and doing winter sports like snowboarding. One continent that I’d really love to take some proper time out to explore is Asia. I’m just waiting for the right time as I don’t want to go for only a week – I want to spend a few months getting really immersed in the culture. My grandad spent some time traveling in Nepal, so I’d love to go trekking through the Himalayas, following in his footsteps.

Follow Birgit on Instagram: @birgitkos

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