Sunday, October 31, 2010

Did I Miss Something?

Since when did Freja's sexuality become officially confirmed news? Did I miss the memo? The press release? Something? Because to the best of my knowledge Freja has never officially said anything about her sexuality one way or another. (Yes, yes we all assume but that's a different story and that's not what is at dispute here.) I've always taken her silence on the topic to mean that it's none of our business and I try to respect that. After all, this blog is mainly focused on her work. But when supposedly credible sites (with credible being a relative word) start taking liberties with labels, I get irked:
1. From AfterEllen and an article about Evan Rachel Wood in Nylon: "While looking at fashion magazines, she describes herself as a “tomboy in heels,” and comments that photos of the lesbian model Freja Beha Erichsen in the French Vogue are 'hot s--t.'"

2. This old post at Jezebel, "Is British Vogue Afraid of Lesbians?"
Given that there has never been any official confirmation from either Freja or her agencies regarding the subject of her sexuality, I think it's wrong for these sites to write what they did. They're being assumptive when they should be fact checking. Most of us are assumptive too, but most of us aren't news sources either. Sites like these reduce her down to being the lesbian model, and this ignores the entirety of her talent and the work she does. This ignores the fact that she got to where she is based on grit, determination and hard work, not on the basis of her sexuality. Moreover, this makes it seem like her sexuality is the only thing she's notable for and the only thing she's identifiable by. Like it will be her lasting legacy, even though throughout her career it's been more of a non-issue. Just something curious fans pondered about. But now it's like Freja has become the token lesbian model despite the fact that she hasn't officially made her sexuality public knowledge. Instead she has always focused on the work, preferring to live the rest of her life well outside the public view. I feel like these sites are being disrespectful of that. And I cringe from the thought that in 10-20 years time, Freja will just be a footnote that reads "lesbian model" when she is so, so much more.

I really hope no one takes this post the wrong way. I don't think being deemed a lesbian model is a bad thing, but when you're dealing with a model of Freja's status, I feel like it's kind of dismissive. It would be like sites writing the "big breasted model" in regards to Lara Stone, or the "model with the mole" in regards to Cindy Crawford, if that makes sense. I'm just irritated by this and it's hard for me to explain why. It's not out of disbelief. (Lord knows the world would be a better place if people were more open and proud of their sexuality...normalcy helps to temper the violence that's bred by ignorant hate.) It's not out of aversion. (The world could definitely use more lesbian and gay prefaces to names.) It's more out of a respect for Freja's privacy and a desire to see her given her due credit. I already know some of you will think I'm being ridiculous or overly sensitive (there sure seem to be a lot more of you out there nowadays); but I just think this is all uncouth and invasive, especially since we all know how private of a person Freja is.

Besides, why is there such a need to know who she is off the runway? Isn't it enough that she's a tremendously talented model who gets a ton of work? Shouldn't that satisfy us as fans? Or does all of this stem from a desire to set Freja up as a role model of sorts? (Top of her industry, well known, not exactly open about her sexuality but not dismissive or afraid of it either....these qualities don't come around all that often in the modeling industry.) If this is the case, I completely understand the impetus behind it. But I also think that if you're going to herald a person for being a specific way, that person should be able to openly embrace that aspect of themselves that you're heralding. There shouldn't be any hesitation or question about it. Confirming something and not saying anything about something are not the same thing. I'm not going to call Freja out for being a vegetarian if she's never said that she's a vegetarian. Even if I only ever see her eat veggies, it's just not my place to say unless she says so herself, because for all I know she eats meat too. Even if the possibility is small, it's still a possibility until it's been refuted. Hmmm, maybe that wasn't the best analogy since you choose vegetarianism while you're born with sexuality, but it's all I could come up with.

Call me old-fashion, but I still place value in privacy and I still think that personal matters should remain personal, not spread around without consent. Sadly in this day and age, there seem to be less and less people who feel this way as things like facebook and twitter allow us all to indulge the stalker within. I shudder to think what things will be like in 5-10 years. Anyway, your thoughts on the matter? Do you think it's ok for sites like AE and Jezebel to out Freja? Or do you think her sexuality should be left out of the discussion completely? Keep in mind that Freja is a model and not a celebrity. She didn't implicitly sign away her rights to privacy when she started to model 5 years ago. Model-as-cult-celebrity is a very recent phenomenon spurred on by the proliferation of the internet's role within the fashion industry. And it's an entirely different phenomenon from the era of the Supers. So I don't believe it's fair to cop-out and say that this is just part of the job, because it isn't and it shouldn't be.

(And yes, I'm fully aware that this post is kind of hypocritical seeing as I'm talking about the very thing I'm essentially denouncing, but this is the first and last time I will address this topic. Sometimes you have to participate in the very thing you're speaking out against in order to make your point. It's the classic complicit vs. subversive dilemma. All you humanities majors should be very familiar with this.)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Magazine Mentions

Freja definitely gets more work in European magazines, but that doesn't mean you can't find her in the American mags. I gotta say, it was definitely surreal to flip through the November issue of Harper's Bazaar and see this in person.......surreal, but nice:

With a smile like that, it's a wonder how Freja ever got so entwined with tough androgyny in the first place. Anyway, I'm glad the Harry Winston campaign is turning out to have a bigger roll out than I initially thought. Silly me, thinking it was only for Asian markets. Now it seems like all markets will have the opportunity to see the bright and bubbly side of Freja. My fingers are crossed that this leads to some more similar work because I think seeing Freja in a totally commercial, mass-market kind of way is just the change of pace I need right now. She's a high fashion model no doubt, but I want to see her out of her comfort zone more often.

So with Harper's Bazaar covered, let's now move on to US Vogue. It's clear Anna isn't much of a fan, but at least we know that she and the other editors know who Freja is:

It's nice to see Freja get some sort of shout out, however minuscule. I guess it's better than nothing? Although now that Meisel has warmed to Freja, is it just a matter of time before Anna and US Vogue do? Seriously though, it is a bit ludicrous that Freja has only been in US Vogue once (in a multi-girl editorial) considering her status within the industry and her popularity among fans and industry insiders alike. Sasha, Raquel, Daria, Lara and other models who occupy/ied the top positions on's list have all been featured many times, some even on the cover. So what gives? Maybe we'll just have to live with the fact that Freja and US Vogue weren't meant to be. But if that's the only publication that chooses to ignore her, than I think we're ok. We'll just take our five consecutive appearances in Vogue Paris, and covers of VI and UK and go elsewhere! Anna's loss for sure.

Image Credits: My scans

Monday, October 25, 2010

Freja by Hedi

It's no secret that a lot of Freja's recent work seems lackluster to me. This editorial is really no different. I don't love, I don't hate it, I just.....see it. One thing I am thrilled about is that Freja finally got the chance to work with Hedi Slimane. But maybe finding out that he shot this before I actually saw the final product was setting me up for disappointment. I was hoping the editorial would turn out to be something more like Hedi's Girls, but instead we got Freja half naked in a weird looking, blond wig.

Temps libre
Vogue Paris November 2010
Ph: Hedi Slimane
Styling: Carine Roitfeld

If you haven't noticed by now, I have a tendency to let very small, aesthetic features on the surface determine my like or dislike for an editorial. For all the analysis and serious thought I profess to do on this blog, I can be quite shallow. One of the main reasons I hate "Think Punk"? The hair. One of the main reasons I don't really like this editorial? The hair. (Though I will say that Freja's posing here is pretty exquisite and beautiful.) This shallowness is not something I'm proud of, but at least I recognize it and I'm not afraid to admit it. After all (and maybe we don't like to admit it) shallowness is a characteristic pervasive throughout all of fashion....and perhaps it's also a characteristic that largely defines it.

It's probably not very fair of me to compare this to Hedi's Girls, because that editorial signifies so much for me. It was one of the earlier ones that really affected me and made me see the beauty of the human body and made me take fashion photography seriously. It basically sealed the deal in regards to my love for fashion and models like Daria and Raquel. I was following fashion before it, but after it I was really following fashion.

Anyway, I was talking with a friend about my recent apathy and she made some really good points that I'm going to sum up here. Let me make this clear: I don't like that I feel so apathetic and I don't want to feel this way. Freja is my favorite model and I've been running this blog for two years now. Apathy is not a good thing to feel if you're in my position. After expressing these worries, this is what my friend had to say, in a nutshell. Back when Freja wasn't working so much, each editorial that she had felt so special and amazing because they were so few and far between. I loved and appreciated them so much because I was just happy to see new work from her. But this year Freja has been working a ton, and it's hard to keep up that level of excitement and wonder when she's putting out new work practically every week. To be honest, it gets downright exhausting, and everything starts to blend into each other because there's just so much of it.

I feel like such a little punk complaining about all the work Freja It's like the so-called plight of the rich; complaining about problems only rich people have, while the majority of the population is just getting by. I'm sure Snejana fans would love it if she had even 1/8 of the amount of work Freja is getting right now....hehehe. Any model would be lucky to have the career that Freja has, and any fan would be over the moon if their favorite model was as successful as Freja is. But perhaps it's just human nature to never be satisfied, even if things are going your way 100%. Or maybe it's just my nature? I don't know. If anyone else has similar feelings please do speak up.


Also, in case you didn't know Freja has another editorial in this issue of Vogue Paris. But in lieu of posting the ed and promoting the photographer, I'm going to leave you with this instead. (Be sure to click and enlarge the image so you can read the text.)

If this controversy is enough of a cultural zeitgeist that people who draw comics recognize and incorporate it, that's definitely saying something. The fashion industry should be utterly ashamed. People completely unrelated to and outside the industry feel the need to address this issue, while everyone within continues to ignore it. Yeah, that's bullshit. This is just one of the many things I hate about fashion, in addition to it's failure to deal with questions of racism on the runway, eating disorders in it's models, and the legal age limits of its newfaces. I also hate that despite all of this, I still follow fashion and can't seem to stop. Makes me feel so guilty and complicit to horrible things I would not put up with in other arenas of life. :( If you want to see the editorial, you can find it on tFS.

Image Credits: scans by tFS member Valentine27, ontd via

Friday, October 22, 2010

Repeat Performances

Just some quick thoughts for a Friday morning. As of today, Freja has appeared in five consecutive issues of Vogue Paris. After a dry spell dating back to April of 2008 (when she appeared in the top models supplement) that was only finally broken this past February, Freja has suddenly become Carine's new Daria with two editorials in the just released November issue.

So that's nearly two years without an appearance in the pages of the magazine, and now we're at five issues in a row, seven editorials and a cover to boot? Wow, talk about the tides changing. As fans I know that we're all thrilled, but I think this is just more proof of fashion's fickle tendencies. We tend to forget about that when we're caught up in the excitement of the moment. It's like, "Yay, Freja has a whole bunch of eds. Yay, Carine loves her!" Well, Carine loves her now but how long can this last? Nearly two years (from April 2008 to February 2010) without an editorial. Where was the love then? Do we all have goldfish memories?

Sorry to be such a stick in the mud, but I think it's important to exercise caution and have realistic expectations, especially when we're dealing with an industry built upon a foundation of changing seasons, trends, moments and models. If we get another five consecutive issues, then I'll be very happy to eat my own words. :) On an unrelated note, who else is thrilled that Freja's finally working with Hedi Slimane!? More on that to come later.....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Changing Tides

I know I seem to be stuck on this subject (considering I just wrote something in the same vein two posts ago), but I think it's a pretty huge deal. Especially to all the longtime Freja fans out there. So what's the big deal? Freja is officially a modeling icon, or about as close as one can get to becoming a modeling icon these days under modern circumstances. She's no longer obscure, fringe or merely a cult hit. The tide has changed and she's mainstream, well known and recognizable now. I know, I know, we'll never return to the era of the supermodels. But at the same time, we shouldn't use that as the barometer against which we measure all subsequent modeling successes by. For the past is past, and we are firmly in the present. That past can never be replicated so long as the world evolves and things change. And if there is one certainty in life it's that things do change. The fact that a heavily tattooed, spotlight avoiding, tomboyish model sits at the top of a modeling industry predicated on long held feminine ideals of beauty should tell you as much. It's hard to imagine such a thing happening 10 years ago or even 5 years ago. But it's happening now.

We do get modeling waves: the Brazilians, the Russians, and (currently) the Dutchies. But the remarkable thing about Freja is that she doesn't belong to any of those waves. She didn't ride on the coat tails of an industry wide modeling trend. She started out when doll-like, blond models were all the rage. And so she got to where she is based on her uniqueness, personality, likability, authenticity and genuine appeal. That's what makes her an icon in today's fashion climate. That, and the fact that her career is stronger than ever five (almost six) years in.

Most of us had the fortune of witnessing the turnaround Freja's career has gone through this past year. She was a big name within the industry before, but now she's an even bigger name who has begun to transcend the boundaries that usually limit models like her to the high fashion sphere. So along with her high fashion cred, Freja has slowly earned commercial viability and mainstream appeal. She isn't a household name, but everyone seems to know her. And the work she's getting is beginning to reflect that.

Even Vogue Italia's editor in chief Franca Sozzani recognizes and write about it in her editor's blog on
"On July, 2010, three fashion magazines used the same Miu Miu dress, Vogue Uk, Elle Uk and W in America. Vogue UK had a model on the cover, Elle UK a singer - Lily Allen - and W Eva Mendes. In England sales were higher. Freja is the new icon for models. Eva Mendes didn't have an impact on W."
Freja can sell magazines! In a time where all American publications (cough, US Vogue, cough) tell us that celebrities are the only people who matter or who can move units off the newsstands, Freja is proving otherwise. Imagine that....a fresh, appealing face who isn't so completely overexposed that you're actually intrigued enough to see what she might have to say. Wow....I'm shocked (insert sarcastic smiley here). Anna Wintour take note; the general public might actually want to see someone besides a typical Hollywood starlet a la Blake Lively on the cover of Vogue. And to hit home on the idea of Freja's broader appeal, she'll be selling jewelry now as well.

Harry Winston Jewelry
Ph: Patrick Demarchelier

It's a bold move for Harry Winston, but a great coup for Freja. If I were her, I'd be going around to everyone I know saying "whatnowbitches...booyah!" But that's just me. I think that to a certain extent we've all underestimated Freja. Whether we think she can't pull off femininity or that she can't ever reach a high level of popularity, this campaign proves us all wrong. This is the type of campaign I've been waiting for. It gives her a completely new image, but one I always knew she was capable of. The irony of the images will not be lost on ardent fans, and the absence of tattoos might disappoint others; but the significance of this campaign is what's important here. And if all goes well, I think we could see Freja transcending even more boundaries in the future. So congrats to her. As she turns 23 and enters into a new stage of life, it's only fitting that her career should grow and mature as she has so beautifully done before our eyes.

Image Credits:,, via tFS member candlebougie

Monday, October 18, 2010


As all good Freja fans know, today is Freja's 23rd birthday! Happy Birthday Freja! I'm going to make this short because there isn't much to say that hasn't already been said in one way or another.

It's been an absolute pleasure to share in the great moments with you all, as we've come together in our small community created out of a shared respect and admiration for Freja and her work. Some of you may or may not know, but today also marks the second year anniversary of this blog. A lot has happened in these two years: I've changed, this blog has changed, Freja has changed and her career has most definitely changed. But through it all it's been an honor and pleasure to have this creative outlet and the freedom of expression that you all grant to me.

So thank you for reading, commenting, e-mailing, sharing your thoughts, and sending me news bits and tips. I appreciate hearing from other fans out there, more than you will ever know. And thank you to Freja for her continued dedication to her work, and for being who she is. I know she inspires many of you out there, so here's to another two wonderful years, and hopefully more! May they be full of success, good friends, love, health and happiness!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Moving into the Mainstream

I was flipping through the latest issue of Vanity Fair and a picture of Karl and Freja caught my eye. It was taken at the Chanel Soho party back during New York Fashion Week, and I was totally surprised to see Freja referred to by name in the caption. Usually in "society" pictures like these in magazines like VF, the so-called plebeians surrounding the main (famous) focus of the pic are left unnamed and unnoticed. "They know who she is? Really?" Maybe I'm underestimating Freja's popularity, but throughout all her career she's shied away from public events and lived her life firmly outside the public spotlight despite all her successes as a model. She only (finally) moved to NY about a year ago, and she's only been in American Vogue once earlier this year. So yes, I find it strange to read Freja's name in the pages of VF.

First, Rolling Stone; now Vanity Fair. I know it's not a huge deal, but to me it signals a shift. From fringe to mainstream. Up until a year ago, Freja wasn't the type of model who was referenced in these types of magazines. Up until a year ago, it was the likes of Kate and Giselle, and maybe even Lara. And sure, maybe I'm making this more of a big deal then it actually is; but Freja is known enough to be referred to by name in Vanity Fair? She's known enough to be featured in Rolling Stone? WTF? Talk about Twilight Zone. If you had asked me back when I started this blog if Freja would ever work with Meisel, I would have undoubtedly said no. If you had asked me back then if Freja would ever "break into" the mainstream, I would have emphatically said no. Skinny girl, boyish figure, multiple visible tattoos, short hair, hard stare, reluctance to show up at public functions....those things aren't exactly exalted for women in mainstream American media.

But despite all that, Freja seems to be moving into that very mainstream, and it's leaving me a bit dumbfounded. I guess sticking to your guns and being yourself pays off in the end. Maybe that honestly and authenticity she carries so naturally with her is too enticing a thing to resist. I just hope this new visibility doesn't cause Freja to become more self-conscious or contrived, thereby ruining the very thing that got her to this level in the first place. (Isn't that always a risk though? A plight that will always come with notoriety?)

All I can say is that these next few months will be very interesting in terms of the direction Freja's career takes. So much has already happened this past year that I can't even begin to fathom the new possibilities. Can we expect even more exposure and more mentions of Freja in unexpected publications? Or is this it? 2010 has really been a banner year that's it difficult (and even selfish) to imagine or hope for anything more. But right now the possibilities do seem kind of endless.....

Image Credits: My scans

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Final Tally - SS11

I guess this has kind of become a tradition for me, although I don't know how many of you actually care at this point after the shows are already over. Regardless, I do this because it helps me digest a month's worth of information and it's kind of fun. Yeah, I might be a little OCD in that I find compiling statistics and data "fun." Anyway, my old recaps for FW1011 and SS10 can be found here and here.

SS11 TOTAL: 37

London: No shows walked

Alberta Ferretti (C)
Bottega Veneta (O) (C)
Dolce & Gabbana
Emilio Pucci (O)
Jil Sander
Marni (O)
MaxMara (C)

New York:
Alexander Wang (C)
Anna Sui
Carolina Herrera
Derek Lam
Diesel Black Gold
Marc Jacobs (C)
Michael Kors
Narciso Rodriguez (C)
Oscar de la Renta
Ports 1961 (O)
Rag & Bone (O)
Tom Ford
Vera Wang

Chanel (O)
Isabel Marant
Louis Vuitton
Miu Miu
Stella McCartney
Yves Saint Laurent


Number of.....
  • Cities walked: 3
  • Shows walked: 37
  • Shows opened: 6
  • Shows closed: 6
  • Outfits in New York: 24
  • Outfits in Milan: 29
  • Outfits in Paris: 21
  • Outfits total: 74
  • Show walked for the first time ever: 2 (Ports 1961, Tom Ford)
  • Cities walked last season that were not walked this season: 1 (Poor London)
  • Shows repeated from last season: 30
  • Shows walked last season that were not walked this season: 16
  • Shows walked this season that were not walked last season: 7
  • Skirts/Dresses vs. Shorts/Pants: 41 vs. 33
  • Bags/Clutches carried: 15
  • Sunglasses worn: 2
  • Headpieces/Hats/Headbands worn: 5
  • Overly floppy hats obscuring the face: 1
  • Tummies bared: 1
  • Journalists simultaneously scared and thrilled: 1
  • Runway requests left unfulfilled: 1
  • Publications who fell in love with Freja: 1 (that has publicly admitted it)
  • Working fountains: 3
  • Animals harmed in the making of the LV show: Unknown
  • All white looks: 11 (white is the new black apparently)
  • All black looks: 8 (white really is the new black)
  • Belts worn: 26
  • Necklaces worn: 7
  • Citrus jackets: 1
  • Times I mentioned femininity: too many to count...
In order of appearance:

Et voila! The past month signed, sealed and delivered in one tiny post. How many hours did we all spend pouring over information that could be summed up so easily? Don't remind me. :/ Another successful season under Freja's belt, and her twelfth overall. She really shows no signs of slowing down, and that's amazing for any model, much less a model nearly six years into her career. I don't know how Freja manages to do it season after season, but she commands attention from all the right people, walks in all the right shows, and changes up her look ever so slightly enough to remain fresh, new and desirable. There's both a stability and unpredictability with Freja that makes her exciting yet reliable at the same time, and that probably explains why she's always in high demand. Now we only have 5 months to wait and see if she can keep it up for FW11/12!

Image Credits:,