Posted by models.com | October 9th, 2015

Being an in-demand model and staying that way requires a certain je ne sais quoi, to use such a timeworn phrase, but an appropriate one when speaking of the French-born Ophelie Guillermand. Since her breakout season in 2013, she swiftly secured a spot in the heart of the fashion industry and in our Top 50 rankings. The sophistication of her look, her aplomb and graceful carriage, paired with that innate embodiment of French style, are all part of the seductive crop of elements that need only be summoned by a photograph to see her immense appeal. Exclusively for Models.com, Stas Komarovski does just that, photographing a poised Ophélie snug in perfectly chic autumn wares – meaning plenty of oversized knits just in time for the weather changeover. Models.com also had the chance to sit down with the extremely intelligent beauty to chat about her career.

Photographer: Stas Komarovski
Model: Ophelie GuillermandWomen Management
Stylist Jessica dos Remedios
Hair Stylist Andre Gunn
Makeup Cyndle Komarovski
Text and interview by Steven Yatsko

Above photo: top MM6, ring is stylist’s own



How did you get your start as a model?

I was discovered in high school when I was seventeen and a half and was asked to model. I was focused on my studies, especially mathematics and science, so I was not so into the idea. I then moved to Lyon which is the second biggest city in France and I started at a university. It’s a small town with a lot of tourists because of the skiing resorts and lakes and rock climbing and hikes. There’s a lot of good chemistry factories. All the French pharmacies are there so that’s what I wanted to study. Then I got discovered by my mother agent and I had an offer to come to New York – so of course I said yes! I jumped on a flight..

If you weren’t modeling you still have been there working?

That’s the thing, I moved to New York because I was getting a little bored. I love to travel, meet new people, discover new things, so being stuck in a laboratory…it would not have worked out. So it was a good thing!

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Sweater and pants The Row, necklace Maison Martin Margiela (worn as bracelet)

When did you start to feel like you really were modeling full-time?

I think it was when I did my first big fashion week. I did like 40 shows in a season. It was Chanel , Alexander Wang, Versace. All these big shows. On the catwalk you feel so powerful, which really made me like it. Then I shot with Meisel. It was one of my first big shoots, and definitely the most important one. Working with such talented and passionate people gave me also the passion for modeling. I wanted to shoot again and again. The mood on set was so special.

“You have to know yourself, who you are and what your core values are. I think it’s not only an important thing to learn as a model, but in life in general.”

So what was the first thing you learned as a model?

The value of confidence. That’s the first thing I learned by being a model. You have to know yourself, who you are and what your core values are. I think it’s not only an important thing to learn as a model, but in life in general. You have to be confident meeting new people and feeling great about yourself because it will help you go further. Being confident is probably one of the keys to success.

Have any of your notions of the industry changed since you’ve started out?

Of course! Everything. I didn’t know anything about the business and had everything to learn. Photographers, art directors, stylists, model agents…they worked hard and started their journey a long time ago to reach the high fashion circle and achieve the position they hold today. Most models have been brought straight into the industry at a young age. Being a model wasn’t my life plan at all, and I got to discover it all first hand.

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Knit wrap sweater All Saints, pants The Row, pin Acne

Would you say you are passionate about modeling?

More and more, because I started working with really good photographers and really good clients and that made me passionate about it. Models – they start because they look like models. But photographers do it because they have passion and when you work with them you see they’re passionate about their work and it makes me passionate. That’s the thing, you see all the stylists and they work really hard to be where they are and they are creative people too. So it’s really interesting to talk to all these people and meet new people every day who are interesting.

​”Success is a luxury, in any job or life choice. So I can consider myself lucky to work with the biggest photographers and stylists.”

When do you feel most glamorous?

On the catwalk! Designers & stylists work so hard to create the narrative of their collections – what can be more magical than when you have a show and you’re all made up and you have this brand new outfit no one has ever worn before? I feel best when I’m relaxing at home in Levi’s jeans and a t-shirt having a day off. But for me glamour is something different. At home I don’t really like to be glamorous. I prefer the luxury of time, relaxing on my own.

With that in mind, do you think modeling is a luxury?

Success is a luxury, in any job or life choice. So I can consider myself lucky to work with the biggest photographers and stylists. I admire their work a lot.

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Top MM6, briefs and shoes Maryam Nassir Zadeh

What’s something that you think that all models have in common – aside from looking a certain way?

Something we have in common is probably that we all have to go to big cities by ourselves and grow up. Models who are the same age as others, we are much more grown up because we have to do everything by ourselves in a new city. We have to be very responsible and very confident and that’s what makes us different. You have to make it happen. Everyone has this experience–you learn how to be a stranger and also how to meet so many new people. You have to carry yourself.

What is a shoots that sticks in your memory?

When we shot Harper’s Bazaar U.S. with Nathaniel Goldberg and Tom Van Dorpe. It was for 2 days during a snow storm. It was really intense but it was a really good team and really fun–BUT in a snow storm. The story had me with these wolf dogs–and I was on the sled. But it was just so much snow in my face, so we didn’t end up choosing a picture. So for 2 hours I was driving that sled by myself and it was really intense. I learned something so that was cool. I can do it now, I know how to break, how to go left to right. I’m from the Alps so I know how to ski very well, so I’m not afraid of the snow, but, well, for shooting…

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Sweater Acne, ring is stylist’s own

What’s the most quintessentially French thing you do? What about your style?

Taking good care of my skin and my health. I always put lots of natural French pharmacy cream on, drink lots of water and eat healthy. And drink wine lol. A glass of good wine always make me happy. About style and make up: Less is more! Natural hair, very light make up and the right jeans and shirt is always the good way to look fresh and beautiful.

French beauty is very appealing in parts of the U.S. because it’s very different from an American beauty standard which is very…done-up.

And French is about being very natural.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re back home in France?

Seeing my family! I don’t have much free time so if I’m in France it’s a must do. I definitely enjoy shopping in Paris, the good food in my hometown and in the south of France, going skiing or having a glass of wine. Always.

Do you find a work-life balance easy to maintain?

I work a lot, but I love my job so it’s totally fine. When I have free time I usually try to go on holidays and discover new places. So I think I’m really good at this balance. I don’t really take vacation, I just have days off and I go!

Then what essentials do you pack for a quick two day trip?

Phone charger, camera, face cream, my favorite shorts and T-shirt and a pair of sneakers.

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Cardigan Acne, pin Acne, ring is stylist’s own

Have you gotten used to the fact that you don’t really know what you’re going to be doing in the next three days?

I am very organized, so at first it was annoying, but now it’s getting much more exciting because now maybe I have nothing to do those days, but if you get a great job it’s a good thing. I’m used to it now.

No other industry works that way where they would make these big decisions so close to the production.

In fashion, people like difficulty, they like to make life a little difficult. So in that way it’s always last minute and it’s more stressful.

Sometimes that produces great results.

That’s how fashion works I feel. It’s always last minute!

Lastly, what are the first five emojis in your “most recent” tab?
😉😘💝💃🍷

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Sweater Stella McCartney, pants The Row, pin Acne

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3 Comments to “Ophelie Guillermand”

  1. Onin Lorente says:

    Beautiful Ophelie and photos!

  2. JKAY says:

    I absolutely love her. She reminds me of the beautiful Super models from the late 80’s, early 90’s (when models were REAL models and they did ALL the magazines-French Elle, French Marie Claire etc and none of this ‘too selective-only doing Vogue’s BS’) -classic beauty, sophistication and oh so French. I smell a cosmetic contract coming soon and hope that Ophelie leads the revolution back to sophistication, style and beauty.

  3. She’s got such an amazing look – her face communicates more mood than the clothes or the photography.

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