This Week's Model: Barbara Palvin
Hungarian Barbara Palvin (left, backstage at Prada) was a tender 13 years old when she was discovered on the streets of Budapest. Three years later, she remains blessedly wide-eyed and youthful, still engaged in sports and close with her teenage friends back home. But that doesn’t mean this pouty-lipped and lusciously-tressed 16-year-old—who was on the Fall 2010 runways of Nina Ricci, Louis Vuitton and Prada and looked smoldering on the cover of Jalouse in April and in a W spread in June—sees modeling as just a hobby. She’s serious about her newfound career, however spontaneously it ignited, and intends to be a fixture in the industry for years to come.
From left: Louis Vuitton fall 2010; Prada fall 2010.
Where did you grow up?
In an average family in Budapest. I was born there and we still live there. We often went out of town to a small village in the countryside to visit my grandmother and great-grandmother.
How were you discovered?
It happened three-and-a-half years ago. I was walking on the street with my mother in Budapest, near where I live, when Balazs, who’s now my manager (Icon Model Management), saw me. He asked me if I could go to their office and took some test photos. Then I started modeling.
What do you remember about your debut at the fall Prada show in Milan?
I was very excited—more excited than nervous. To be on a catwalk was one of my biggest dreams. I met famous models, and it was a pleasure to work with Miuccia.
From left: Nina Ricci fall 2010; Jalouse cover April 2010
How are you keeping up with your schooling?
It’s hard. I have exams at the end of the year. My friends help me to keep up with the others.
But despite that, you still enjoy your new career?
Yes—I’ve learned so much about life. Working was a new thing; waking up early in the morning and going to bed late at night… But I’ve met a lot of nice people, I’ve been to New York, London, Paris. I like traveling. Now I cannot imagine my life without modeling.
Palvin in June’s “Sweater Girl,” shot by Claudia Knoepfel & Stefan Indlekofer.
You have amazing hair. How do you take care of it?
I only wash the top of my hair, near to the skin, and I just rinse the rest, so that shampoo doesn’t make it dry. I use conditioners as well, and I let my hair air dry.
Any other beauty secrets?
Personality affects appearance, so I always think positively. I don’t use make-up if it’s not necessary, and I wash my face with cold water twice a day. I don’t like creams on my face.
Tell us three things about yourself that would surprise us.
I play soccer (and I also like watching it on TV)—I usually play striker position on the field. I like singing; traditional Hungarian folk songs are my favorites. And I like Japanese animation films (animes) and mangas.
What is one thing you can’t live without?
What scares you?
Palvin as a child.
Check back next week for the latest installment of The Skinny. And see all our previous model Q&As here.