Fashion » This Week's Model: Jacquelyn Jablonski
This Week's Model: Jacquelyn Jablonski
18-year-old — soon to be 19-year-old — Jacquelyn Jablonski (left) is an all-American face in a field currently dominated by Dutch and Brazilian models: She grew up in New Jersey, played soccer in high school, and her first name came in part from her mother’s love of Jacqueline Kennedy. Fittingly, she’s the current face of all-American brand Tommy Hilfiger and walked in American-as-can-be Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show last November; but: she’s also the solo face for storied French house Hermes, a testament to her versatility. Her 55-strong runway show count for the Fall 2011 season, too, proves that more than just the American designers have fallen for Jablonski. W checked in with her, post-shows, as she was headed back to work.
Where are you right now?
I’m on my way to the airport, heading to London to shoot an editorial for Industrie. I just found out [about the job] less than two hours ago.
Does that happen all the time?
Yeah, sometimes, but I think this is the most last-minute one yet. I found out about the option this morning and then heard about the confirmation just a little after lunch.
Are you excited?
Yeah. Normally, when it’s a lot of traveling it can get a little tiring, but I was well-rested from the shows and everything, and I took some time off, so I was ready to hop on a plane again.
So what have you been up to since the shows ended, besides getting some rest?
Well, right after the shows, I had to take the Eurostar to London early the next morning for a job two hours outside of London on a farm in the freezing cold, shooting Spring/Summer  for Twin magazine. But then I had a break, and I was home in New Jersey just resting and seeing my family.
From Left: Chanel Pre-Fall 2011; Gucci Fall 2011
You did 55 shows this past season, and a couple of seasons ago you did 74 shows. How do you keep your hair and skin from getting ravaged?
I was lucky because some hairstylists from Eugene [Souleiman]’s team gave me a leave-in conditioner from Wella, so I tried to use that as often as possible. Your hair is just getting teased and loads of hairspray and then they brush it on top of totally teasing your hair, so it’s kind of a nightmare. And sometimes your skin gets completely raw because you’re scrubbing on your eyes after every show, so I try to moisturize every night. I bought Avene [moisturizer] in Paris at the pharmacy, and I used that every morning and night, which saved my skin. A makeup artist recommended it to me, and I saw some [makeup artists] using it during the shows.
How was walking for Viktor & Rolf, with all that red makeup covering your face?
I’m not going to lie, I was worried that it wasn’t going to come off, and it did take a little bit of time — I think my face was still tinted red for the next show. But it was cool because it kind of made all the girls’ eyes really pop out.
Supposedly someone had to go home after an allergic reaction to it.
Yeah, Lindsey Wixson had an allergic reaction to it. She had to go home, I think. That’s rough.
What was your favorite memory from this season?
All my friends, we try to stay in the same hotel in Milan and Paris, so probably one of my favorite memories is in Paris: no matter how late we got back, we would all meet downstairs at the restaurant and grab something before we went to bed or just hang out and talk about the day. The day’s so stressful, it’s nice just to relax and finally get a proper meal in, talk to everyone and not have to be running around.
Who did you usually see?
At my hotel, it was Julia Nobis, Hanne-Gaby [Odiele], Kasia [Struss], Siri [Tollerod], and Alana [Zimmer], and sometimes my friend Mirte [Maas] would come.
Valentino Spring 2011
Who’s your favorite designer to do a fitting with?
Chanel’s the only one they do the actual [show] hair and makeup on you for the fitting, so that’s kind of cool to see the whole look with the hair and makeup as well. And it’s always fast, so that’s a plus.
Do you ever chat with Karl Lagerfeld during your fitting?
Sometimes, briefly. He’s very friendly and always asks, “How are you?” Some people might find him intimidating, but he’s very friendly.
Do you prefer doing shows over editorials?
I do love editorials — you’re free to do whatever you want and portray a different character. And the shows … after a long break in the shows, I don’t mind starting them again, and I kind of enjoy it, but then towards the end, of course you get exhausted and you’re ready for them to be over.
Have you ever had any runway mishaps?
I’ve had a few. Sometimes they’ll change your shoes last minute and they’re too big. Or, actually — I think it might have been my second season — at the Miu Miu show, the runway was all mirrors, so everything kind of blended together. I totally didn’t see a step, so I cut a corner too fast and did a little trip. It wasn’t bad, but it was just an obvious trip. I didn’t fall, thank God. That’s probably one of my biggest fears.
Do you still get nervous before taking the runway?
I used to my first season. Sometimes when I’m stuck with shoes that are too big or a dress that’s really long, I’ll get a little nervous, but otherwise I feel alright.
Do you have any traditions you do before a show?
Before one show — what was it, maybe Lanvin last season? One runway was really long, and me and a couple of my friends were like, “Oh my God, that is a workout.” So we stretched before, as a joke.
Victoria’s Secret 2010
What’s your favorite thing about being a model?
Before I started modeling, I had never been out of the country, and now I feel like I’m out of the country at least a few times a month, if not once a week.
Where have you been that you really loved?
I always love going to Paris, and now I feel like I know it really well. Recently, I went to the Caribbean for the first time, to Turks & Caicos, for an editorial in German Vogue. That was really amazing, especially because we stayed at this great place. We kind of had our own little villa. And luckily we finished shooting early, so I actually got to enjoy where I was and go to the beach.
Any place you’d like to go that you haven’t been to yet?
I’d like to go to Australia at one point, all I hear is good things about it, and one of my friends [Julia Nobis] is from there. It just looks and sounds amazing.
What’s the worst thing about being a model?
You can’t really plan things, you have to be ready to just jump up and go at any time. Like today, I had to just drop everything I was doing and pack and head to the airport. So that can be a pain sometimes, but I’ve gotten used to it. As long as I’m not living out of a suitcase, I’m happy.
Any guilty pleasures?
I love carrot cake — that’s probably my favorite — and I’m obsessed with peanut butter. I eat anything with peanut butter — maybe not carrot cake with peanut butter — but, I think I got this from The Parent Trap: Oreos and peanut butter, I like that. And peanut butter and apples, peanut butter and chocolate.
You have a birthday coming up on April 4. Any plans to celebrate?
I don’t know. I think I’m going to be in New York. I don’t have any plans yet, but I think I’m going to try to get my friends together and do something — maybe a nice dinner.
Lanvin Pre-Fall 2011
Where would you ideally go for dinner?
Well, I love Mexican food, and there’s a really good restaurant called El Parador that I love. I found it because when I was first starting [as a model], I would always take this ferry service [from New Jersey] into the city right after school, and I always passed by this restaurant. My mom and I went in one day, and it was really amazing. It’s still is the best Mexican I’ve had.
What’s your favorite thing to order?
What are you scared of?
Bugs. When I was in Turks & Caicos, a bug jumped out of my room service menu. That kind of freaked me out.
Any long term dreams?
I definitely want to continue doing this for a while. But at some point maybe [I’ll] take some classes at school in the city, I would like to at some point do modeling and college. I also want to try acting — give it a shot — maybe take some lessons, I think that could be fun. I feel like that could even help me with modeling, because in a way you have to act. I was talking about it with my friends, so we’ll see.
Photo: all courtesy Condé Nast archive