There are so many reasons why Freja is one of my favorite models. But perhaps the biggest reason I admire her is that she's attained extreme success all while seemingly staying true to herself. In an industry that pressures you to do and be a lot of things, maintaining a solid sense of self is a really difficult thing to do. I always get the sense that with Freja, it's no compromises. What you see is what you get. Any change that has taken place is the result of natural growth, progress and maturation. Nothing seems forced, and Freja doesn't seem like some modeling robot born and breed to walk catwalks. She's an individual and her uniqueness comes across so well, which is why I think her fanbase is so large and so devoted. For some reason, we all find something in her to connect and relate to. And that is what fosters loyalty and love.
Anyway, I was looking at some backstage pictures from Alberta Ferretti and those are what got me thinking along these lines. Take a look at what I mean. Here are pictures of all the other models coming off the catwalk:
And now here's Freja:
When I saw these pictures the contrast literally made me laugh out loud. But this is why I love her. She's so endearingly herself. Just because she's a model, arguably one of the most "feminine" careers one can undertake, doesn't mean that she'll act the way we all think models should act. She could care less if there's a camera around, and she doesn't need to wear a new outfit everyday in an attempt to fit our conventional notions of model style. Just a pair of black jeans, a soft tee and a black leather jacket and Freja's good to go. Whether she's on duty, off duty or caught off guard, you honestly get the sense that she is the way she appears to be, without pretense. It's this genuine quality that drew me in and served as my gateway into fashion in general. If you can believe it or not, before Freja I barely knew anything about fashion. Now it's a whole different story.
Even if I get frustrated with her work sometimes, and even if it seems like I'm a bad fan because I'm overly critical, Freja will always be special to me. She ignited my love of fashion and models, and she also anchors it closer to reality with her individuality and accessibility. I love discovering new models, but I think a part of that has to do with the hope that I'll find another Freja among all the newbies.....that I'll find another model who will get me excited and make me feel inspired for more than just a season. Impossible, I know. But I still hope for it nonetheless. I'm willing to bet that most of you out there have similar feelings and stories as well. :)
Image Credits: sonnyphotos.typepad.com