Spur Magazine February 2011 Interview: Nimue Smit and Wayne Sterling

Wayne Sterling of Models.Com and TheImagist.com interviewed Nimue Smit for Spur Magazine on November 24, 2010.

Nimue Smit was that instant sensation two years ago when she debuted in fashion as a Prada/Miu-Miu runway exclusive. Her wide eyed child brand of beauty certainly put her in the advance wave of the gorgeous new Dutch models like Patrica can der Vliet and Mirte Maas who were beginning to flood the runways and the editorials. But what set Nimue apart and certainly what ushered her straight from the runway to the Prada SS09 campaign as well as the Alberta Ferretti (FW09) and Armani Collection (SS10) campaigns was an extra polish of sophisticated grace. Extremely well educated, articulate and witty (with a talent for mimicking a wide variety of accents in a wide range of languages) Nimue is a distinct sign of fashion's current need to highlight girls who bring an intelligent understanding and a wider cultural value to the act of modeling. Fashion has always been about the fantasy of high style as a life style. Beyond just beauty and a sleek slim body (all of which Nimue boasts) the myth of fashion is also about the ideal of perfect diction, perfect manners and cultivating a polished exterior that reflects the elusive ambiance of chic. It is exactly that aura that this 18 year old Dutch beauty exudes in person . Freshly re-located to New York Nimue sat down with Spur of the eve of the American Thanksgiving holidays and gave us a great insight to her upbringing, her ambitions in life and her passions outside of modeling. This was what she had to share. - Wayne Sterling

Wayne Sterling: Why is it that Dutch girls speak such flawless English Nimue?

Nimue Smit: Maybe because they start us in school at a very young age. It's funny you think the english of Dutch girls is so good though. I can always pick up on a Dutch accent speaking English. There's always something a little off. In fact there was a book out that collected all the phrases with the slight mistakes the Dutch make with English.

WS: How many languages do you speak?

NS: I speak Dutch...English ...I understand some French but I wouldn't say I speak it well. The same for German. But those basic four languages. In school they taught us to read ancient Greek as well as some Latin. I think if you're going learn the Romance languages like French, German English or Spanish or Italian it's good to know the roots of your language.

WS: Wow. That's seriously impressive Nimue. Switching to pop culture, I just got an email asking what I thought of the Harry Potter movie Pt 6. I know you just saw it.

NS: I'm a big Harry Potter fan. I grew up with the books from the first one so it is very interesting for me to see the way they developed the story throughout the years.

WS: The last movie frustrated me over the point at which they chose to split the book in two parts.

NS: But at least they didn't have to cut out sections of the book like they had to in the previous films. This way they can let the story develop and be really true to the full plot.

WS: You said you grew up with the Harry Potter books...How old are you now ?

NS: I'm 18. I started modeling when I was 15 in Holland and I did the Prada-Miu Miu exclusive for my first show season when I was 16. Then right after that I did the shoots for Burberry...British Vogue...Italian Vogue with Meisel.

WS: Your parents are both doctors, yes?

NS: Yes. And I have grandparents who were also doctors so growing up I was fascinated by the whole idea of going into medicine.

WS: You're not tempted to break the tradition for fashion?

NS: At one point I might go to medical school. I'm not sure yet. I just finished high school this June so this is my first time modeling full time. I'm enjoying the modeling right now and as long as I enjoy it I want to keep pursuing it. I just moved to New York on my own and I'm enjoying discovering the city. It's so different from a place like Amsterdam or Paris. Paris is so organic as a city . You can see where it started on the Seine and just spread and spread. But in New York it feels so planned out. There's nothing old here. It is hard to believe that hundreds of years ago Manhattan was like one big forest when the Dutch first came here to trade. They could take boats right up the Hudson river. But you'd never believe any of that now looking at Manhattan. I was born in Amsterdam and grew up just outside of the city, sort of between the suburbs and the countryside.It' s the green heart as they call it...sort of where the houses give way to the forest.

WS: In your country, would you like to be extremely famous as a model...on the level of...the biggest Dutch girl now?

NS: That would be Doutzen. I'd say she's the most known of all the Dutch models. She's a celebrity everywhere she goes because her L"Oreal ads are everywhere but I'm not sure that I'd want that for myself. Modeling was never really seen as a big deal in Holland before, not until Holland's Next Top Model became popular. That changed it a bit...but no I wouldn't want to be known everywhere I go in Holland. I have friends who tell me that Doutzen copes with it well though . She's always polite. If she's having dinner and someone wants an autograph, she's always obliging. I have to say I enjoy going back home to Holland to visit after working. I would love to live for a little while in a houseboat in Amsterdam . That would be so quaint.

WS: How would you summarize your personal style Nimue?

NS: Well I love wearing a great sweater, probably a baggy one or maybe a jacket with very fitted pants and great shoes. I find that I'm always looking for classics and basics, That's basically the essence of my style. For that I love Alexander Wang of course.

WS: As all the models do.

NS: As all models do (laughs) Rodarte is just so beautiful to look at. I would love to have something of theirs'. I love all the luxury French brands. I love my Celine bag. It' s perfect to fit everything I need into it.

WS: You got it as a post show gift?

NS: Yes. It was the most amazing surprise.

WS: Great marketing move on Celine's part !

NS: Oh yes. I think it's great when designers offer trade for doing the shows and they offer you a quality piece because when the models really like something... a bag, a shoe...a dress...a coat...we will wear it constantly from city to city. It's a great form of advertising I think.

WS: I love the concept of the off-duty model . She sometimes makes you notice the bag or shoe even more than when it' s in an ad.

NS: I love the classics. Chanel. Yves Saint Laurent. Givenchy. Vuitton...you know the quality is always going to be fantastic. My style is try to mix all these things together with my basics to create something timeless.

WS: You're not very heavily into accessories like jewelry it seems.

NS: Not a lot and not unless it really means something to me. I wear a ring that I got from my grandparents. This watch was from my grandmother who passed away. So I like that the few pieces of jewelry I have are very special to me.

WS: And what's your current listening Nimue? Models always have the best musical tastes.

NS: I just saw Le Roux in concert. She's really good live. I also like a lot of the old music like George Harrison and Bob Dylan...The Beatles.

WS: Who are freshly out at iTunes!

NS: Yes I'm so excited!

WS: Thank you so much for our conversation Nimue. It was very nice to meet the girl behind the beautiful images.

NS: Thank you for thinking of me for this Wayne.

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