Star Style: falls for the charms (Part 1)

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With Paris, London, Milan and New York tucked neatly under her belt, Katryn Kruger is fashion’s newest favourite face. Sarah Koopman falls for the charms of the fresh-faced and friendly 17 year old from cape town with the rapidly rising star

Description: Katryn Kruger

Katryn Kruger

In less than two years after being scouted in Canal Walk after church on a Sunday afternoon, Katryn Kruger has become the girl everyone is clamouring to work with. Her bold eye-brows and big bright eyes, strong, fine features and porcelain skin initially got her signed with Y Models in Cape Town. Just two stock image shoots for photo libraries later, IMG Models International took her on board and before she knew it she was on the runways at London and Paris Fashion Weeks. Her third job? The Prada spring/summer 2012 lookbook ad campaign shot by renowned fashion photographer steven Meisel – a job she booked without a casting. But even with this whirlwind introduction to the fashion world that has pegged her as a face to watch, there isn’t a diva tendency in sight. Petched in the make-up chair furiously typing away on her iPhone, she is unfazed by the hustle and bustle of the studio warming up for shoot day. The industry secrets pop up as soon as make-up artist Sylvie Hurford gets to work. Nipple cream as lip balm? ‘they use it at all the shows,’ Katryn says. ‘You can only get this one in Paris, you have to try it,’ she insists, pulling a well-worn tube out of her bag.

She is clearly an old hand at this. ‘Backstage is all about waiting,’ she says. ‘We have to arrive up to four hours before a show, for hair and make-up and final fittings.’ So it’s not all glamour then? She giggles before saying, ‘Not at all! We work really hard and people don’t realise just how difficult this job can be. The hours are inhuman and it is emotionally and physically tiring. A lot of people think we walk around in heels all day and are pampered. It’s really nothing like that. We have to look after ourselves most of the time.’

What about backstage backstabbing? ‘Being backstage is fun. It’s not bitchy or competitive, as I would have expected. We spend hours backstage before a show, so we all end up laughing and joking, and become friends.’

From castings to fittings, rehearsals and finally the shows, the fashion week experience is exhausting. ‘I spent two hours after [walking for] Valentino getting me eyebrows dyed back after they were bleached. It was quite emotional – I love my eyebrows!’ It helps, Katryn says, to be surrounded by people who understand what she is going through, and finding familiar faces, regardless of where in the world she finds herself. ‘the industry is relatively small,’ she says, ‘and you see the same models, the same make-up artists and the same producers wherever you’re working. We’re like a pack of nomads traveling around for two months.’

Description: There were times when I didn’t know which city I was in

There were times when I didn’t know which city I was in

Finding and forging bonds has suites this homebody well and helped her adjust. ‘I have friends now!’ she says laughing. ‘People don’t believe it, but I’m actually quite shy. I only have two best friends, De-Vene and Stephanie. They are the only ones who try to understand and who know how crazy my work gets, because I’m able to tell them. No one else really gets it. ‘Preferring a night in and time spent with family over being out and about, the travelling can be taxing on the young model. ‘There were times when I didn’t know which city I was in. You get off the plane, into a building, do the job and then move on to the next one.’

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