kati nescher - the top model talks age, kate moss and california

Tall, dark and mostly cheekbones, Kati Nescher is the Russian-born, German-raised megababe, who set the fashion world alight when she walked for 63 shows in only her second season, at an age when most models are out of the game.

by Tish Weinstock
15 April 2014, 4:00pm

Top T by Alexander Wang. Diamond 'Arpeggia' necklace De Beers. Sterling silver scissor necklace Mateo Bijoux. Platinum and diamond mesh bracelet Lucie Campbell. White gold diamond 'Love' bracelets Cartier. Silver zip bracelet Eddie Borgo.

Rather than working against her, her age - now 30 (hardly Senior Citizen material) - is what makes her so attractive and ultimately, so unique. It's also what makes her a great mum to Theo, her tall, skinny (no surprises there…) and adorably cute little four year old, who according to his model mama, could actually pass as being six. Since signing to DNA Models in 2011, Kati has graced countless covers of Vogue, walked for everybody from Marni to Marc Jacobs and has shot campaigns for Louis Vuitton, Nina Ricci and Valentino. When she's not stomping down the catwalk, snowboarding in the Austrian mountains or drinking tall cappuccinos with her dreamy model pals, she's soaking up the scenes of nature, the place where she feels most free. We want to run free with you, Kati!

What are your plans for 2014?
I want to move my son to New York. I want to start a new project, maybe, and not just work as a model. So I've been thinking about a few things. I want to do more ballet and more snowboarding.

Two very different things, snowboarding and ballet.
I know, but that's what I am; I like doing the ballet and the snowboarding, I like lots of different things.

Any other plans?
Just being more around nature really. I love to work as well. I don't really know what else. Actually, I want to do some writing, but unfortunately I'm writing only in Russian!

You studied ballet and acting when you were younger, do you think these practices have helped your performance as a model?
Well, I used to be a ballet dancer when I was a little girl. I want to do it more now for stretching and as a sport. For modelling it's good to know how to move, but for me it's just a hobby. I see myself as a model: someone who has to be in the role of somebody else. I really enjoy that.

Does it bother you that people are always going on about your age, that you're older than most model, and that you started when most models 'retire'?
Well, I just turned 30. 30 is the best age, because the 20's are done. In your 20's, you think you're grownup, but you're not, you're still figuring it all out. Now I feel like I have more experience than before. But no, I don't get annoyed when they ask me about age. I just had that as my story and I'm totally happy about that. I think it's more interesting when you see how old all the top models are and they're still at the top.

Kate Moss is 40.
Exactly! The only thing I wish is that the 90s could actually be now with all the top models. Because what we have now, is just actresses and celebrities. 

I read that you said modelling isn't about age; it's about personality. Do you think there's such a thing as having too much personality in so much as it gets in the way of the actual clothes?
Hmm. That's a good question. Too much personality for models… Well Kate Moss became an icon because she was a great personality, and it wasn't just about the clothes. It was about matching her with the clothes like in those first Calvin Klein campaigns. I don't know, I also think that when you do a story, whether it's an editorial or a campaign, there's so many people working together anyway that it becomes more about team work. But yes, I think it's important for a model to have a personality, and then you can change her, and put her in a role. Of course it's not only about personality. Anyway, personality is something that can change. I remember when I started - it's been two years and a bit - I was quite different.  Since then, I've discovered more of myself, tried new looks; I still love to wear black, but now I'm trying to wear less and go in another direction. And I'm thankful to fashion for helping me discover who I am, and letting me play with my personality more and more. Which is what I wish for all the other girls.

How was it going from getting signed in 2011 with DNA to opening and closing the Marni show in Milan and then walking for practically everyone in Paris, that same year?
Yeah, that was crazy. That was just a lot, a lot of work. But I needed to know how it worked, I needed to see everyone and meet them. I'm happy now I've done it, I know how it feels, and I also learnt a lot from that. When you start whatever you do you have to work hard, and you should probably get to know both sides of success; to see how it happens and what happens after.

What's been your favourite modelling moment?
I really like to travel, so I love to go to all the different places and see their different characters. I've had so many beautiful moments; one of them was a thing I did in the Hampton's, that was something special. I've also loved working with Hedi Slimane and, of course, Sarah Richardson. 

What do you do when you're not working?
On my days off, I just fly to California to see the ocean or just be around nature, something like that; all those things to just feel free, to meet interesting people, and to never know what's going to happen next. 


Text Tish Weinstock
Photography Richard Bush
Fashion Director Sarah Richardson
Hair Martin Cullen at Streeters
Make-up Mathias van Hooff at Julian Watson Agency
Nail technician Sophy Robson at Streeters
Photography assistance Peter Carter, Edd Horder, James Donovan
Styling assistance Alice Lefons, Cristina Firpo
Customising Jeanette Reza, Sarah Richardson
Retouching Andy Greig at Love Retouch
Model Kati Nescher at Viva London

Tish Weinstock
Richard Bush
kati nescher
sarah richardson