Soon after being discovered aged 15, Dutch model Nimue Smit was picked as an exclusive for Prada. Then, from the following season onwards, she became a regular for Calvin Klein, Dolce and Gabbana, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. As well as signing lucrative deals with Anna Sui, Topshop and Massimo Dutti; and appearing on multiple magazine covers, globally.
Funnily, it wasn’t until she was seen in high street campaigns that her friends thought what she was doing was cool. "For them, it was only when I was in H&M and Dutch Vogue or Elle, or something that they would see. But a Prada show, or McQueen they were like…whatever. So, the contrast is very funny, when I was in a local thing it was like, 'Oh my God I saw you in…'"
VIDEO: Watch Nimue on her HELLO! Fashion cover shoot
Before being scouted, Nimue planned to become a doctor and did a pre-med BA at Amsterdam University. She is now studying for an MA in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Fitzrovia. "I'm focusing on Health Promotion, how to get the population to be healthier and I’m loving it. It’s an intensive full-time program."
Invariably looking to give something back Nimue is a founding member of Model Mafia, which is a game changing initiative that is not only campaigning for a more sustainable fashion industry but striving to bring models together into a community.
"I ran into Cameron Russell three years ago," she says of the founder. "She told me about a modelling and activism event she was hosting and did I want to be one of the speakers.
"We had a meeting where about 60 models came together in Europe. We talked about our careers and activism and people really liked having a place where they can talk about these things to people that understood."
That first evening they came up with the name, "because it had a good ring."
Other members include Toni Garrn, Britt Bergmeister, Grace Macary and Danielle Copperman. They communicate through a Doodle group, she says laughing out loud. "It’s like a forum and it's free, it’s great."
The full interview appears in the April/May issue of Hello! Fashion, which is out now…