On May 22nd, 2015 we obliviously got a pretty big ball rolling. It was the day we met with Emma Reipert in Berlin for what would have then shortly become the very first feature of Models in the Raw. It all began with a little thought, asking ourselves what if we did things differently for a change? What if we took time and engage with the people we usually just work with on a more personal level? Would they join in? Would they even want to talk with us? One year later, our life has changed in many ways and with it our work, too. We have travelled to new places, met a lot of professionals (models, bookers and scouts alike), and even learned a new language (that would be French, merci Paris pour nous avoir fait tomber amoureux de toi!). We have taken a look to the other side, beyond the gloss, and took you with us all the way. Because if we are never to say something in the first place, we may never end up with a conversation. And a conversation is actually what we have been looking for all along. This project really feels like a baby to us, so sorry for the rant! But here is one to celebrate this one year properly! Meet Louisa Jaeger, a lovely Viennese we met in Paris!
It was great to meet you in Paris, Louisa! On that day, you had been walking 22 km, which makes a half-marathon of castings… how are your feet? Have they developed so much endurance by now?
My feet actually didn’t hurt that much when I came home that day, thanks to my well worn boots, but, oh man, I fell asleep straight away and I can tell you getting up the next morning was not fun. I felt like I turned 80 overnight. I’m really not a sporty person and my endurance is really low. However, after 2 weeks in Paris and an apartment on the fifth floor (no elevator, haha) I noticed that I got much fitter.
You got discovered at 16 on the Next Generation casting by Wiener Models and from there it went fast, straight to a Givenchy exclusive. What goes through one’s mind, when all of a sudden you find yourself on the international catwalk with a full-on bejeweled face?
Givenchy was actually one year after I started modeling so I had some time to gain experience and get to know the business a little bit. Still, nothing can really prepare you for doing Givenchy as your first big show. I flew to Paris, did the casting, waited for hours, thought that I was going to fly back home, got told that I was going to do Givenchy as an exclusive, cried and found myself one week later in line, dressed and ready to walk this really big show so many girls dream of doing. I was standing there with all these top models and I was fangirling so much when I saw Joan Smalls and Taylor Hill. When it comes to the actual show, apparently I was so full of adrenalin that I just remember stepping onto the runway and then everything is somehow blurred and feels like a dream. When I watch the video of the show it’s like a different person is walking there. I see this girl walking, her face full of jewelry (I had glue on my face for the whole next week, not so glamorous) and she looks exactly like me but I can’t remember doing it.
Since you have been working mostly in Paris, which did not stop you from getting your high-school degree in Vienna in the meantime. How much will and discipline does it take to get it all done?
I had a really relaxed schoolmaster who allowed me to spend a whole month in Paris during my final year. Almost all my teachers where also very cool with the situation and allowed me to write exams earlier or after I came back. That helped a lot, but of course you need to be very disciplined and, most importantly, really organized. I was always a good student and I knew that I wanted to finish school with the best grades possible so I did everything I could to do so. Nevertheless, it was really stressful sometimes. So again big thanks to my schoolmaster, teachers and my friends who always supported me during this time!
Do you find any time left to just be a teenager?
You are always among adults when you work in this business. The photographers, stylists, make-up artists are all older than you, so you somehow grow up quicker than the rest of your peers. That said, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I still remember the day when I first came into my agency or when I did my first shooting. I was a real baby when I think about it now. I was so shy and didn’t talk at all. Since then I experienced so many things, I went through good and bad times (never thought that I would ever be homesick) and learned a lot about myself. I am really lucky to gain all this experience and wouldn’t say that I missed out on anything.
Well, we also had the pleasure to meet your teddy-bear. What’s his name, where does he come from, and what does he actually do all day?
My teddy has been my buddy since Christmas. I got him from my dad to have a little friend by my side when traveling alone. Is it bad that he doesn’t have a name yet? I will think about one, I promise. And what he does the whole day? Good question! When I was little I always imagined my toys having a party while I was at school, so maybe he is dancing and twerking while I run marathons in Paris? Who knows.
You said you could see yourself studying nutrition in the future. That involves actually far more than just planning some fancy healthy meals. What makes it so interesting to you and how would you like to use this knowledge one day?
Alternative medicine is something that I’ve been really interested in for quite some time now. I read about so many people who managed to heal their illnesses by changing the way they ate, and that was when I got stuck and wanted to know more and more about the effects food has on our bodies. I don’t know exactly what I want to do later but I want to help other people with their diet in some kind of way.
But you could also imagine to run your own café! Do you actually get a chance to test the local bistro scene while you are in Paris? Coffee is a kind of must both in Vienna and in Paris, although very different. Do you have any tips for us?
I’m a real foodie. Trying out new cafes and restaurants is one of my favorite things to do, so I always find time for that. I don’t drink coffee, so I’m afraid I can’t say who does the best ones and if there are differences. However when it comes to hot chocolate I can really recommend Le Pain Quotidien in Paris and Jonas Reindl in Vienna.
So your all time favorite places to eat in Vienna and Paris would be…
In Vienna: Jonas Reindl for cakes and tea (try the ginger tea or the vegan apple cake), Lilette’s for smoothies and sandwiches, Motto am Fluss for their vegan burger, and NENI (try the french fries with chutney, falafel or their cheese cake) In Paris: Le Pain Quotidien for soups and salads and my recent discovery, a small health cafe called Wild and the Moon, for croissants I went to a little bakery (134, rue de Turenne) this time which apparently has the best croissants in the whole city. Did you know that there is actually a competition for the best croissant?
And what would not be missing on the menu of your own café?
I’m torn between smoothies and juices and every single cake from my grandmother. Hard decisions!
If you could send out a message to the world today, what would you say?
I am a big believer in Karma. I believe that if you do good, good will happen to you in some kind of way. So if I could put one message out there, then it would be to treat every other creature on earth the way you would like to be treated.