You like Ikea, possibly Basshunter, and maybe even some Marabou on occasion. Now to add to your list of favourite Swedish things is Johanna Jonsson. By clicking one of those sketchy "Want To Be A Model" pop-ups, Johanna unknowingly paved the way for her modeling career to begin. After entering Elite's International Model Look competition in 2005, Johanna unsurprisingly got to the finals. Though she did not win first place, the exposure provided the young Swede with invaluable opportunities to enter the modeling world. Debuting herself on the international stage in Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter '06, Johanna proved to be one of the best new faces of the runway season and eventually booked an esteemed campaign with Jil Sander. Eventually she became a fixture on the runway circuit, securing jobs for high profile designers like Prada, Calvin Klein, Dior, and Chanel. Just a few months short of turning sixteen years old, Johanna approaches her career in a very unorthodox way. Instead of taking advantage of the momentum of her almost "it" girl status the past SS08 season, the fifteen year old chose to stay home and catch her favourite concert and hang out with friends. For many other models this would be a possibly career ruining risk, but for Johanna, a return to modeling full time again would only bring relief and delight to the fashion world.
August 2007/October 2007 [Update]
Name: Johanna Jonsson
Agencies: Elite Milan/Paris/Barcelona, DNA New York, Model Management Hamburg, Munich Models, Modellink Goteborg
Birthday: 28 December 1991
From: Torsby, Sweden
What were you doing before modeling?
JJ: I was in school.
How did you get started in this business?
JJ: I was on a website and a popup thing came up "Wanna Be a Model?" [laughs], so I sent in some pictures and then they called me.
Now your career is doing extremely well. But when you look back to the beginning of your career when you placed 3rd in the Elite modeling competition you participated in, how does it feel?
JJ: I feel I was very young then and should have waited a little while actually.
Generally the modeling industry is surrounded with stereotypes, what were your first impressions of modeling before actually joining the industry?
JJ: I haven’t thought about it so much, I didn’t know anything really. Now I know a lot more about this business.
What do you consider to be your big break in your career so far?
JJ: I have no idea...
What's the best part of being a model so far in your experience?
JJ: The traveling, making money, meeting all these cool designers and all.
What's the worst part?
JJ: The traveling, to be alone a lot...missing home
You did your first Haute Couture fashion shows for major labels, such as Chanel, during your first season. In addition, you are a favourite pick for doing Haute Couture fashion shows every season. What is the best/worst thing about it?
JJ: I like couture, but its scary to wear such expensive clothes [smiles].
Doing a lot of shows, apart of your job is to wait around until the runway show is underway. What do you do to pass the waiting time?
JJ: I get my hair and make-up done, read a book, listen to my mp3, play cards [smiles]
Which would you say you prefer more? Runway shows or doing a photoshoot?
JJ: I like runways the best...dunno why. It’s faster and you have your friends there [smiles].
In comparison to photoshoots, the runway, like you said is a more fast paced environment and more interactive. Do you ever get nervous, especially doing those extremely high profile shows?
JJ: I only get nervous if the shoes are really high and I can’t walk in them....it’s not really a rush....just weird [smiles].
You have already done many high profile campaigns such as Jil Sander and your latest being the D&G FW07 ad. But what would you consider "the dream campaign"?
JJ: Maybe some perfume or make-up contract.
Your career so far is really impressive with all the great jobs you have gotten to do, but can you tell us about one of your most terrible modeling jobs so far?
JJ: I haven’t had a terrible experience yet...maybe in the future [smiles]
Then what has been your most favourite modeling experience thus far?
JJ: The Marc Jacobs perfume [shoot] in Hawaii. Aww it was so nice, so many wonderful people to work with and the location was great, and lots of free time [smiles]. It was so much fun.
For shoots like the Marc Jacobs Daisy campaign and regular photoshoots for editorials, what makes them something to look forward to?
JJ: It’s always interesting to see what theme the shoot has…….I like working with Swedish people, I like to talk Svenska [laughs].
It’s always good to work with people you’re comfortable with, and as a model you get to meet many interesting people and sometimes form friendships with them. Who would you consider to be you’re closest model friends?
JJ: Anna Ahnborg, she is a really good friend of mine, and Emma Ahlund. They are the ones I’m closest to. I’m really glad I met them [smiles].
Like you said earlier, one of the perks of modeling is the traveling. What’s your favourite city or cities you have visited?
JJ: New York, Oahu, Monte Carlo was really cool too. Oh and Paris [laughs].
On your travels, what are three essential things you can't leave without when you travel?
JJ: My mp3, phone, money [big smile].
So far this question has varied from model to model, but we’ll ask anyways in hope for an honest answer. There are a few models who have admitted to doing the job for the money and purely the money. Is modeling like that for you or is it something you truly enjoy?
JJ: I wouldn’t waste years of my life on something just to pass time. I have a lot of fun and learning a lot from this. It’s a great experience.
Good answer. The experience of being a model also comes with a fair amount of recognition. How do you feel when you see yourself in magazines, ad campaigns, and knowing that you have many fans out there supporting your career?
JJ: When I see pictures of myself I’m very critical. I’d rather not look at them. But when people tell me they really like my look and that I do a great job, it cheers me up [smiles].
How has modeling changed your life?
JJ: Yeah I’m away a lot more of course. I miss a lot of things back home, so its sad but it’s ok.
You are still quite young and possibly are still in school, so how do you balance your modeling career alongside your schooling?
JJ: I just quit school in June this year, and now I’m taking a sabbatical year. I’ll see how it goes with everything.
So you're quite dedicated to your modeling profession. But what do you expect to do once you decide to leave the modeling world?
JJ: I have no idea. I’ll figure something out [smiles].
We would hate to see you leave as well as all the people cheering your career on, so in general how does it feel to be so well received by an industry known for rejection?
JJ: [Laughs] I feel ok, but I get a lot of rejection too. Everyone does, you can’t get away from it, not everybody can like you.
With so many people cheering you, many were disappointed to not see you present in the New York, London, Paris, and Milan Spring/Summer 2008 fashion weeks. What was the reason for missing a possibly important season in your career?
JJ: Well I wanted to see a concert instead of NY Fashion Week so I missed it. And then I just didn’t do the rest. I want to wait awhile until I’m 16 so I can do shows on Sundays [smiles].
This leads into our next questions. You seem like an ordinary 15 year old, so how do you keep yourself so grounded and prevent yourself from getting a big head after gaining such success as a model?
JJ: I dunno...It’s just the way I am [laughs]. My friends make sure I don’t get to full of myself [laughs].
It's always good to have people keep you in your place, but are your friends and family supportive of your career and being away so often?
JJ: They are supportive most of the time.
On a lighter note, can you tell us of your most embarrassing “model” moment?
JJ: When I was doing Hugo Boss show in Germany, me and Roza [Kopczynska], a polish model, were a little lost, and they were calling us for rehearsal on the catwalk. It was really dark in there so you couldn’t see much, and we were standing up in the audience seats, and we saw everybody down on the catwalk. So we jumped down the stairs, and then splash, we fell in the water around the catwalk [laughs]. It was very embarrassing. The water was up to my waist.
Lastly, what are some of the things you are currently working on?
JJ: I have been on a break now for a while...but I have the Daisy perfume coming out [smiles]. But as I said I’m waiting until I’m 16. We’ll see how it goes from there.
ADOMM QUICK QUESTIONNAIRE:
Could you tell us more about where you're born?
JJ: It’s very, very small in the woods and there’s not so much to do.
When you are at home, what do you love to do?
JJ: I like to ride cross, go to the beach, or be with my friends.
What are your hobbies/interests?
JJ: I like to sing, write music, and I play piano [smiles].
Appearance wise, do you look more like your Dad or do you go after your Mum?
JJ: Some say mum, some say dad. I say both.
Of course a model has to be somewhat appealing, for you, what do you consider to be your most attractive feature?
JJ: My eyes.
The industry is basically about appearance and the way you look, are you a fashion conscious person?
JJ: Some days I am, some days I’m absolutely not. It’s very hard to dress nice [laughs].
Do you have any beauty secrets to share with other teen girls?
JJ: Always clean your face before you go to bed, don’t wear lots of make up, and use moisturizer [smiles].
What are three things about your “ideal” man?
JJ: Tall, very funny, and dark hair.
Favourite Designer: I cant decide...I like something in every designers’ work.
Favourite Female Model: I can’t choose, too weird.
Favourite Male Model: Don’t really know one.
Favourite Movie: I love the movie Forrest Gump [smiles].
Favourite Musical Band/Artist: Håkan Hellström!
*images courtesy of: www.firstview.com, www.thefashionspot.com, www.100malemodels.com
with photoshopping done by adomm