It must be in the air, or in the water, for what we know. In Innsbruck they both happen to be crystal clear. And nature just outside the door. It is a fairy-tale scenery, just like the modeling story of Viktoria sounds. It started right here, out of the blue, for a regular teen girl in her final high-school term. That was back in 2013 – she was scouted and won the Elite Model Look in Austria. Since then she has been traveling the world, walked international runways and recently had appearances in Elle and Vogue Italia, yet she still can balance her life between the mountains and the fashion world. Although she admitted she is not really a Winter person, we were lucky she could cut us some time back in December to climb up the roofs for some shots in front of the symbols of the city. Enjoy a very laid back home-coming feature!
Viktoria, we are glad you found the time to meet us in Innsbruck! How much time do you still manage to spend here since working full-time as a model?
In total I spend around half a year away from home, but I try to come back every 1 or 2 months.
Is there something special you are happy to come back to every time after having been away for longer?
First of all meeting my family, my boyfriend, and my friends again. But with time I’m starting to be happy about things I never thought of, e.g. the quality of tap water in Innsbruck, going to bed without setting an alarm clock, not being afraid of an agency call in the middle of the night for a late night fitting or simply not having to think about what to cook later, since I still live with my parents.
And what gets you most excited at the prospect of leaving again?
Leaving means a journey into the unknown, I don’t know which jobs I’m going to get or how long I’m going to stay in which city. This spontaneous, incalculable business is so different from all others but that’s what makes it so interesting for me.
Your way into modeling started right here, where you were scouted and then sent straight to the Elite Model Look contest ending up in the top 15 at the world final. What was the most surprising thing you have learned from this experience?
I’ve learned so much since the beginning. I was a shy, 17-year-old high-school student close to my final exams. The model industry was so far away from everything in my life, I didn’t even think there was an agency in Innsbruck. Because of Andreas from SP Models I took part in the EML contest. At the first casting I could hardly walk in high heels and couldn’t quite see the point why I was there. In the end I won the contest in Austria, so I went to the world final. In China I learned how to walk in high heels properly and I had one of my first shootings. I have now agencies all over the world and people who believe in me as a model. I also learned how the whole business is structured, if you can talk about structure at all. All in all there was not just one outstanding experience, the process was the most interesting part.
Beside the more traditional fashion destinations, you have already been to China for the contest and twice to Dubai for the Vogue Italia Dubai experience. How much of a perk is traveling to such exotic locations in your job?
Traveling is without a doubt one of the main reasons why I am keeping my job as a model. As mentioned I was in China, two times in Dubai, I lived several months in Milan, London, Paris and also Barcelona and my plan for 2016 is to finally go to New York. Most people my age attend university now and I have this big advantage to earn so much experience for my further life. I’m so grateful about it and I’m aware that others would do much to be able to travel as much as models do.
How much has your job influenced you as a person?
Everyone changes with time. That’s good and natural. So it wasn’t only because of my job, except maybe for the fact that it made me more self-confident. I also learned to be grateful for the ones I love and how important it is to tell people how you feel. This business isn’t really all fame and glory in the beginning, quite the contrary in fact, but these times teach you the most. For example, when I was alone in a model apartment in a foreign country, no friends and no family around, I can’t even describe that feeling of loneliness and I think every model can relate to that. On the other hand I had the most joyful days on my job but I have already talked about it above.
Within the hustle of the fashion world what keeps you grounded?
The most important thing for me is to come back to “real life” as often as possible and to stay grounded. I call being back home “real life” because in this industry you get to know a lot of fake and crazy people who just want to be famous. When you are working full time and mostly surrounded by such people, it’s hardly surprising that you may become the same.
“Better safe than sorry” or “no risk no fun”?
I’d go for “no risk no fun”. I kind of jumped into this new adventure when I took part in the EML contest and went on my first journeys so I think this motto is probably the most matching.