An International Career Begins with One Question

Have you ever had an experience where something so small, perhaps as simple as a single question, ended up sparking an idea that had a profound effect on your life?

I was 17 and hanging out in a coffee shop with some of my girlfriends in Munich Germany when I was approached by a woman who asked me simply, “Have you ever considered modeling?”

A single question that ended up changing the path of my life.

I honestly hadn’t. I wasn’t the kind of girl that dreams of being a model, and when this stranger approached me in public, I actually felt embarrassed in front of my friends.

But something in her question piqued my interest, and I was curious. She gave me her card and with my mom’s encouragement, I followed through and we arranged a meeting. Before I knew it, this woman set up my first photo shoot – called a “test shoot” – and I was off and running.

After That, I was Hooked

My first taste of modeling in that test shoot changed everything for me. Suddenly I did feel very interested in modeling, but also nervous that I wouldn’t have what it took. The experience of getting my makeup done and responding to a photographer’s requests was exciting, and I loved it.

I knew I wanted to be a model.

At this point in time during the 1990’s, Cindy Crawford was on the horizon – she was just a few years ahead of my time – and the era of supermodels was beginning. Certain faces were becoming very well-known globally.

Could I hope to become one of those faces?

It was in the spring that a talent scout from Paris came to Munich to visit my agency. They were always trying to discover new girls, look for new talent – and when he saw me, he asked if I would spend a summer in Paris. My parents said yes, and off I went, full of hopes and dreams and nerves.

A Summer in Paris that Changed My Life

My time in Paris was interesting and a little bit scary because things didn’t really start to happen right away. Of course, when you’re a young person with a big dream, you want things to happen quickly! But it took a little while.
The casting sessions in Paris were called “go sees” where you would do a test shoot with a photographer to build a portfolio that you could then present to potential clients and other photographers. This was at a time before cell phones and GPS, so I would pull out my map of Paris and navigate the old-fashioned way to get to my appointments every day. I made sure to always be on time, part of my German heritage I guess – very punctual!

And then, finally everything changed. I met Karl Lagerfeld, one of the most important and influential fashion designers in the world… but that story I’ll save for next week!

I started this blog to share a bit about my experience with you. My life has been wonderfully blessed with an incredible modeling career, and over the years I have learned much about beauty, self-expression and cultivating dreams.

My hope is to share these ideas with you and inspire you to pursue your dreams – whatever they may be!

So, when you look at your life, has anything as simple as a single question ever impacted you profoundly like it did mine? I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment in the area below, and be sure to connect with me on Instagram and Twitter.