Originally published in L’Officiel Malaysia March 2016.
Whenever a model gets the chance to make the opening walk for a designer at New York Fashion Week, it’s certainly a time for celebration; even more so for Astrid Holler, whose opportunity to open for Alexander Wang’s Fall/Winter 2015 collection coincided with her international debut – an extraordinary feat for the then 18-year-old girl from Australia.
Now 19, she’s living up to her name, which in Norse means, “divine strength.” Standing tall at an impressive six-foot-two, the Sydney-born cover star of our March issue may appear to have been born for greatness, but her work over the past three years says she’s packed and ready to take the fashion world by storm.
How would you describe your life as a model?
Very busy, exciting and exhilarating. It’s fun! I get to meet all of these people and see all of these cool designers.
Is it ever really stressful?
Sometimes it is – during the shows, of course.
When did you start modelling?
I started three years ago when I was around 16. I was scouted at my local shopping centre by someone at Vogue Australia. They said I should try modelling. I was like, I don’t know – but then I tried it out and I really liked it! And it all just went from there.
And since then you have walked the runway at several major shows, including Alexander Wang, Chanel and Giambattista Valli. How does that feel?
Yeah, it’s been great. I feel really privileged. I mean I love it, so it’s great.
Was there any particular moment that it hit you? Sort of like, “Wow, I’m actually here now.”
Well, my first show was opening for Alexander Wang in New York.
That was your very first?
No, I’ve done other shows in Australia previously, but internationally Alexander Wang was my first show. And that was really cool. Everyone was like, “Oh my gosh, you’re opening!” And I hadn’t realized how big of a deal it was until after the show. I remember being like, “Oh my gosh, wow, this is great!”
So what goes through your mind when you’re on the runway?
I just try to clear my head, relax and focus on my walk.
And not tripping, right?
You mentioned working with other designers in Australia. Who did you work for there?
Well, I did Ellery. And I actually really love Kym [Ellery]. She’s so funny.
And were you still in school at the time?
Yeah, I was. So I finished in 2014 because I wanted to graduate before I travelled overseas. They wanted to send me earlier, but I wanted to finish. And yeah, then they sent me over after, and it just went really well.
How was it balancing school with work?
I was really busy during school because it was HSC (Australia’s Higher School Certificate) with a big workload, but they also wanted me to work. So I was trying to balance it, and it seemed to work out well in the end I think. [Laughs.]
What’s next on your calendar?
I might be doing Haute Couture Week and Fashion Week, but I’m not sure yet. It’s too early to know for sure.
And who might you like to work with next?
I don’t know. That’s a tough one. Well, I’d really like to work with Louis Vuitton. My mum loves Louis Vuitton so much, and she was telling me, “Astrid, work with them – get me a bag!” [Laughs.] And I told her, “Okay, I will one day.” I love them too, so that would be great.
Speaking of your mum, how do your parents feel about your career?
They’re really happy and really supportive.
At least you get to see them when you go home.
Yeah, but I don’t really stay in Sydney a lot. Last year, I was probably in Sydney for two months. Right now, I kind of live in my suitcase.
Wow, that must be a big suitcase.
Yeah, it’s pretty big. I started off with a tiny one, but I’ve had to go up since then.
Yeah, I can only imagine. Now in that suitcase, which of your bags might we see at the top?
I have this really cool Alexander Wang backpack and it’s full of fur. It’s actually pretty cool, so that one for sure.
What about the shoes? What are the first to go in?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I mean, I really like heels, but they’re really uncomfortable. They look really good though. But sports shoes, those are the first ones I pack. It’s just really hard to find shoes in my size.
Why? What size do you wear?
Well, I can fit into a 42, except it’s not comfortable. So I’m probably a 44.
Wow, that is impressive! Is that something you think people notice about you?
No, that’s probably my height. I’m six-foot-two. My friends are always telling me how tall I am. And I’m like, I know, calm down. [Laughs.]
How would you describe your personal style?
Casual. Really, I just try to keep it as casual as possible, but sometimes I do get to dress up.
You dress up for work, why dress up on your free time.
Exactly, that’s so true! [Laughs.]
And when you’re not working, how do you unwind?
Hmm, I read, and I do sports and a little exercise. I like going to the gym.
What books are you currently reading?
I’m reading Game of Thrones.
Really? Have you been reading them for a while, or did you just start?
Oh no, I just finished watching the TV series, and everyone said the books were better. So I’m reading the first book now, and it’s really good. There are a lot of books, but it’s really worth it so far.