model kiki willems on getting into photography and working at a grocery store
You may recognize her from such spring/summer 17 shows as... all of them.
Photography Colin Dodgson, Styling Fran Burns. Dress Viktor and Rolf haute couture. The Game-Changing Issue. No. 345. Fall 2016.
Kiki Diede Hanneloek Willems is the flame-haired model taking the industry by storm. Since making her sensational debut when she opened Saint Laurent's spring/summer 15 show, the Maastricht-born beauty has stalked the catwalks of everyone from Dior to Diesel, Gucci to Givenchy, Miu Miu to Moschino, and Lanvin to Louis Vuitton — all the while bagging campaigns for Marc Jacobs, MSGM, Prada, and Simone Rocha, to name but a few. On top of that she's cool as hell — the kind of effortless cool reserved for front women of the greatest rock bands of all time who look great first thing in the morning with messy hair, last night's makeup, and their boyfriend's vintage t-shirt. Speaking of boyfriends, hers is the equally beautiful Jonas Glöer, who she's currently living with in New York. But enough rambling, here are 10 things you need to know about her.
1. Growing up, modeling was never in the cards for Kiki: "As a young girl I always wanted to act in the theatre. I had years of classes and made several productions. When I finished high school I auditioned at the Toneel Academie Maastricht — one of the best theatre schools in the Netherlands. But I got rejected. Maybe for the better, because I wouldn't be here otherwise. I ended up working in a supermarket for a year full-time to earn money to go on a backpacking trip trough Asia. However, this never happened as I got scouted. I still really want to do that trip."
2. Now that she is a model, it's all about creating a story: "For me modeling means getting into character and working with very talented people who are sometimes very inspiring, which can mean a lot to me. Of course not all jobs are as open and creative, but the ones which are I find the most fun. For me it also means meeting some of my closest friends and being able to travel and live around the world."
3. At just 20 years old, she's had some pretty mega modeling moments. Her favorite so far have been: "My first Saint Laurent show, opening Marc Jacobs, my Vogue Italia cover, and Prada campaign with Steven Meisel. Another very special and intimate story was one that Willy Vanderperre and Olivier Rizzo did with me and my boyfriend."
4. She's been given some pretty sage advice in the past: "'Never do anything out of fear.' Someone told me this recently, and I think its something we should keep in mind and not forget."
5. Aside from modeling, her favorite thing in the world to do is: "Be at home and spending time with my family."
6. She's also been spending working on her camera skills: "I've collaborated with Is in Town Magazine run by Martin Zahringer. In the last couple months I've been taking photos for his magazine and it will be published in his next issue, which is coming out pretty soon. It's gonna be good!"
7. Despite having worked with every major designer out there, her number one is still: "Miuccia Prada. She makes women look and feel sexy without being slutty."
8. If she was the lead singer of a girl band, she'd be joined by: "Patti Smith, Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone."
9. If she could change one thing about the world, it would be: "Trump, full stop!"
10. She's got some big dreams for the future: "I hope to study in the future and ultimately just want to be happy."
Text Tish Weinstock
Kiki Willems is with IMG Models