This Week's Model: Karmen Pedaru
Despite her sultry appearance, 19-year-old Karmen Pedaru (seen here backstage at Chloe) is actually a bit of a tomboy. The Estonian native and New York transplant played goalie on the Estonia national soccer team for a year before she quit to pursue modeling. (“I had the best times when I was with them,” she says.) Pedaru first hit the fashion scene after landing a 2006 Teen Vogue editorial and debuting at Christopher Kane during the spring 2007 season. But it wasn’t until the fall 2008 collections when she walked for Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan and Dries Van Noten that her career really went into overdrive. Pedaru may be fierce on the runway, but the poor girl’s greatest fear is the dentist; we spoke with her after her most recent appointment.
Above: Y-3 fall 2008 campaign.
Have you always had a dental phobia?
Yeah, I think it started when I was a child. With the needles and drilling, the experience was never pleasant.
And how was your appointment?
It was actually surprisingly painless. I needed two root canals and new crowns, but my dentist, Pia Lieb, explained everything to me to make sure I understood what she was doing. She made me really feel at ease.
From left: Valentino spring 2010; Viktor and Rolf spring 2010
Above: Jill Stuart fall 2009 campaign.
We’ve heard you have quite the sweet tooth.
Yes I do. I love all chocolate candies and cookies, but I hate sweets with nuts inside. My favorite cookies are Karlie Kloss’s — she makes the best chocolate cookies in the world.
Have you always been very athletic?
My grandfather was a professional basketball player, and my father used to do a lot of sports, so I started with basketball when I was six years old, then I did soccer and handball. I used to have, like, three trainings a day. I also danced for four years, but I wouldn’t go to most of the trainings because it was too boring for me.
From left: Proenza Schouler spring 2010; Alexander Wang spring 2010
From left: Gucci Eyewear campaign fall 2009; D&G cruise 2009
What do you miss most about Estonia?
My grandmother’s food! Everything she makes is just so good!
Does anything in New York come close?
My favorite restaurant is Lure — they have the best oysters there — but Patisserie des Ambassade is also really good.
From left: Derek Lam campaign fall 2010; M Missoni campaign spring 2009
Do you have any other hobbies?
I love to paint, but I suck, so I never show my paintings to anyone.
Aside from cookie-baking Karlie, who are your other model friends?
I love Abbey Lee [Kershaw] and Freja [Beha Ericksen]. They are just the coolest girls to hang out with.
Above: Jill Stuart Beauty campaign fall 2009
How do you balance modeling with your personal life?
I never mix my work with my personal life. When I’m with my boyfriend or [non-model] friends, we never talk about fashion. For them, I’m just a normal 19-year-old girl.
Check back next Tuesday for the next installment of “The Skinny.” Read all our previous model Q&As here.
Photos: WWD Staff