Heather Marks (2006)
She has walked in hundreds of designer shows, Style.com has amassed a collection of close to 850 photos of her, and you're almost guaranteed to see her on the cover of a current fashion magazine somewhere in the world.
Heather Marks, one of the top models in the world, was in Toronto last week showing why clients love her. Direct booked to open the Pink Tartan show, the graceful young Calgarian flew in, did a quick photo shoot, made her runway appearance, attended the after party in support of Pink Tartan, then flew out early the next day.
Such is the life of an in-demand model that learned the ropes at a very young age and quickly ascended to heights very, very few will ever see. And she isn't even 18 yet.
What might be most impressive however, is how despite having everything at her fingertips at such a young age, she has managed to keep everything together.
I interviewed her last year too, following her direct-booking for Paul Hardy. That Heather Marks was also charming and forthcoming with her answers, but maybe a bit excitable. This Heather Marks though, was polished. Less bubbly, more engaging. This is a young woman that is comfortable with herself, and doesn't feel the need to always be 'on.' And she's that much more interesting because of it.
Modelresource (MR): After doing the Paul Hardy show last year you mentioned it was important to support Canadian designers. Why is it so important to you?
Heather Marks (HM): I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for Toronto fashion. The first place I came to, to start my career was Toronto. You have to think back to that... they supported me, I support them.
MR: How have things changed for you in the last year?
HM: Things are still super busy. It's gotten to the point where I can pull back a bit, which is I think where every model wants to get. But things are good. I go back and forth between New York and Calgary, Toronto and Calgary, Europe and Calgary...
MR: What have you learned in the last year?
HM: I've learned so much that it's overwhelming. I've learned so much about other cultures, about people, about fashion...
MR: Is this a busy time for you right now?
HM: I was just on for a month and a half, and it's been a week now since that's been over. I got to go home for a week before coming here. Now I'll go home tomorrow for a few days, and then the end of March is going to be campaigns and editorials. It's going to be busy.
MR: You started when you were quite young? How would your experience be different from models that started later?
HM: I think I definitely matured in a way that I wouldn't have, if I wasn't in this. It's a little intimidating for a girl that's 14 to be there with 20-year-olds that have done this for a while. I learned to lean back and learn from them. I definitely looked up to those girls that were older than me because they had been doing it for longer than I had.
MR: You've done everything from Baby Phat to Marc Jacobs to couture. How are you able to adapt to so many styles?
HM: I learned from other models to treat it like a job. You're there to sell the clothes, not to show yourself off. As much as people think that's what you're doing, you're selling the clothes. You have to learn how to sell everybody's clothes. You can't say "I'm only doing Baby Phat." You have to do everything.
MR: Do you take a different mentality into a show like Baby Phat than one for Elie Saab?
HM: Yeah, of course. The theme of the show and clothes is going to change the way you're going to walk on the runway. If you're in Baby Phat and wearing hoochie mama shorts, you're going to walk like you're hot. But when it's more calm, boyish, you're going to walk more like a boy. It depends on your clothing and how you feel in them. Your confidence level also rises on how you feel.