Kerstin . Tell us ABOUT yourself.
I was born and raised in a village called “Aggsbach Dorf”, which is located in Lower Austria and approximately one hour away from Vienna, the capital city.
I always knew that I wanted to become a fashion model and after competing with 30 girls at the “Supermodel of the World Contest “ hosted by Eileen Ford in Vienna, I was the second runner-up and signed a contact with the number one modelling agency “FASHION MODELS “ in Italy and moved to Milan.
I walked the runway for Miu Miu, Prada, Dolce Gabbana, Missoni, Alberta Ferretti, Gian Franco Ferre and much more.
Right after my time in Miland, I signed contacts with agencies in Paris, London and New York.
London was the city that made me fall in love with underground theatre and awoke a passion in me that I thought I never had.
Once I arrived in New York, the fashion capital of the world, I started booking regular clients and made “real money” as a fashion model. My clients were, Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Rock ‘n Republic, Juicy Couture and much more that I am very thankful for.
I always had a big passion for theatre and film until I decided to take it a step further and become an actress. I took acting classes for three years at the NYFA worked on my American accent, graduated from acting school and moved to Los Angeles, California.
Los Angeles is my second home and still to this day, I am dividing my time between Europe and California. I was fortunate enough to become the first Austrian ever that has presented the trophies at the 83. Annual Academy Awards. Shortly after that I booked a season 9 on Project Runway, filmed many short films, features and appeared on many Tv shows in the USA ( IMDB ).
One of my most recent projects includes my very own limited edition shoe collection for an Austrian company called “ SOFTHEELS.EU “ We launch it on September 30th, and I am very excited to see where this journey takes me.
Thank you for all the support
Would you like to complete our full Editorial interview or skip straight to uploading your photos? (12 more interview questions).
Our readers would love to get to know you more Kerstin. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
Who is Kerstin Lechner? That is probably one of the toughest questions to answer. I would say I am the most down to earth person you have every met / will meet. I believe in ONLY the positive in people, support them whenever I can and try to be a good example in this superficial world called " FASHION. "
Kerstin, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Model?
My passion is my dream to become successful and make something out of my life. It is soo important for me to stay focused and work hard. Once I make my mind up, I go for it. So far, I have reached everything that always imagined to achieve because I just simply focused enough to get there.
When I was 15 years old, I always wanted to become a model. Back in the days, newspapers would feature certain competition shows, and you would have to send pictures in, and they would call you back if they were interested. I kept trying every year until finally, I got the phone call ( 3 years later ) to compete in one of the biggest modelling competition shows in Austrian called " SUPERMODELS OF THE WORLD CONTEST ". I was the second runner-up, and that was my golden ticket to leave Austria.
Who is your inspiration in life Kerstin? How do you keep inspired?
I watch a lot of TVs, read old fashion books, create
" mood boards " and try to shop my ideas to a lot of clients and people that I worked for in the past.
My ideas vary from shooting editorials and self-submit them, record videos that include Fashion related stories, latest trends and upcoming trends. I shop the videos to magazines, and they feature them.
We all make mistakes Kerstin; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Model; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
Yes, we do. That's why we are human. I remember one situation, a makeup artist was trying to tweeze my eyebrows without asking me first, if that was ok with me. She had a terrible attitude when I confronted her about it. She said: " You are a model, and I have to tweeze your eyebrows for the show, you can't tell me I can't tweeze your brows, I was hired for that! "
I got up, took my bag, turned around and simply said: " Fuck you- it's my face and I decide who touches it and who not!"
Kerstin, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Model, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
I think the best way to avoid issues or complaints is to have an honest conversation with your client. Always check with them what they like and prefer. Some clients love smiley pictures; others prefer fierce looks or even an attitude. There is nothing wrong with asking that question it looks super professional.
Please tell us, Kerstin, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Model?
I think FOCUS is the most important thing in life. If you want to achieve something in life, you need to make " IT " a priority. That can include, a diet, working out on a regular basis, breaking out of a toxic relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend, fire your booker, move to another state/ country, change your hair colour etc. It's important to read fashion magazines, find out the latest trends, inform yourself about the business,... simple stay on top!
Kerstin, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
A good friend of mine and myself worked on a fashion show one day, which was simply underpaid. The budget was so low that after taxes you would walk out with 80$ in your pocket. My friend kept complaining about the pay all day long until I pulled her aside and said: " Why did you take the job if you keep complaining about the money all day long ?!" She looked at me and said: " You are right, I sound like a prima donna. I nodded.
Kerstin, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Model. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
It was the moment when I got chosen to be the first Austrian " Trophy Presenter " at the 83rd Annual Academy awards.
Kerstin, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
That just happened about a month ago in Austria. I singed a collaboration deal with a shoe company called
" SOFTHEELS.EU " The company asked me to design a " Limited edition collection " with them together.
The toughest part was to find out what colours women prefer and what should be a got heel height. It was a challenge until we agreed to manufacture three different height options.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Model?
Always believe in yourself and don't let others tell you that you CAN'T do it. Be ready to work hard and on yourself during that journey and stay focused.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes I am
Editorials, Look Books, Catalogue
Now for the best part Kerstin! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
*Cover: Chris Singer @chrissingerme
*1: Dondee Quincena @dondee_q
*2: Clemens Bednar @styleupyourlife_fashion
*3: Isabella Abel @isabellaabel_official
*4: Andreas Zopf @zopfphotography - makeup by @cramazing.visagistik
*5: Andreas Zopf @zopfphotography - makeup by @cramazing.visagistik
*6: Andreas Zopf @zopfphotography - makeup by @cramazing.visagistik
*7: Chris Singer @chrissingerme
*8: Phil Fernandez @philfernimagery
*9: Phil Fernandez @philfernimagery
*10: Isabella Abel for @softheels