The new beginnings special

The best new female models in Belgian fashion

We've selected eight models we feel strongly about: that's four boys and four girls, with eight distinct looks, personalities and features. These newcomers have charisma, wit and plenty of charm, as we discovered when we sat them down for a few questions. Here's our cream of the crop for new season girls.

Cilou Annys (21), from Brugge, Dominique Models

How were you discovered? 

My hairdresser, William Deridder, asked me to model for him when I was 15. Thanks to him, I started working as a model for Nicky Vankets, a Belgian designer and after that I joined Dominique Models.

What do you enjoy most about modelling? 

The variety of jobs and the many things you see and experience while doing them. The type of work doesn’t matter, as long as I can learn!

Do you have any rituals before a shoot? 

I always like to be prepared and informed. That’s why I always have too much with me, but clients like that. I mostly look up the brand or product I will work for and try to adjust myself a little.

Has modelling made you more self-conscious? 

Yes, it has! I would be totally different if I weren’t a model. Don’t know where I would be now, but it did change my life and I am very aware of that!

Is there anything you won’t eat? 

Everybody has things they don’t like to eat, but if there’s one thing in particular, it would be Choco.

Do you read or listen to music while waiting to be photographed? 

Listening to music would be a little asocial, but reading is something that almost anyone can accept. And you can put it away directly if they need you. In general, you don’t really have time to read during a job.

What’s your take on fashion? 

For me, it’s a way to express oneself. You can follow the newest trends and give it your personal twist. Fashion changes a lot and if you work in that world, you know what’s going to work the following season. It’s fun, you can play with it and have your own perspective on fashion.

Have you had any career highlights so far?

One of the highlights was to take part in Milan Fashion Week. Every time it’s very exciting to be there and I enjoy the ambiance that surrounds the city.

What has been your most embarrassing moment? 

My first time on the catwalk! It was a very big moment for me. I was a young girl in front of all these people. I got nervous, but was glad I did it afterwards.

Modelling can be lonely at times. Have you met some nice people and made interesting connections? 

Yes, I have. Everywhere you go you meet new people, discover new places, etc… And yes, sometimes you are lonely, but I think that it depends on yourself and whether you like to be alone or not. Some people like quiet time, others want to party. I like the combination of both. There are always things to do when you go to another city and you gradually start to build your own network of friends. That’s the fun thing about modelling!

Marine Deleeuw (17), from Aulnoy-lez-Valenciennes, Dominique Models

How were you discovered? 

I was discovered in 2010 through FTM, a modelling competition.

What do you enjoy the most about modelling? 

I like it all, especially being in front of the camera. I also enjoy wearing gorgeous clothes, travelling around the world and doing fashion shows.

Do you have any rituals before a shoot? 

I always listen to music before a shoot. That’s my ritual.

Has modelling made you more self-conscious? 

I guess it has a little bit, but not that much in the end. There are so many beautiful girls out there.

Is there anything you won’t eat? 

Yes. I stay away from French fries.

Do you read or listen to music while being photographed? 

Music is great for me. I do listen to it before a shoot as it puts me into the right mood and helps motivate myself.

What’s your take on fashion?

I’ve loved fashion since I was a child. I honestly never thought I’d be one of these girls you see in magazines. I feel really good modelling. The more shows I do, the more I enjoy them. I like being photographed, too.

Have you had any career highlights so far? 

The highlight of my career was to find out an agency in Milan and one in New York were both interested in me. That was the best day of my life.

What has been your most embarrassing moment?

It was definitely my first shoot, as I had no clue what I was doing.

Modelling can be lonely at times. Have you met some nice people and made interesting connections? 

Yes, it can be lonely. Modelling can be hard and there’s plenty of waiting, but I’ve been lucky to meet new people who eventually became friends. You also meet models you saw in magazines before and that’s really fun!

Amelie Arts (19), from Antwerp, IMM Brussels

How were you discovered?

I joined my first agency in Belgium when I was 14.

What do you enjoy the most about modelling? 

My favourite thing is meeting new photographers and designers.

Do you have any rituals before a shoot?

I usually drink coffee and listen to my favourite piece of music that day.

Has modelling made you more self-conscious? 

No, it hasn’t.

Is there anything you won’t eat?

I eat everything.

Do you read or listen to music while waiting to be photographed?

No, I don’t.

What’s your take on fashion?

Actually, I’m very interested in it. I love the idea of makeovers and have always been keen on design, too.

Have you had any career highlights so far?

No. The best is yet to come.

What has been your most embarrassing moment?

I’m lucky I haven’t experienced any of these yet…

Modelling can be lonely at times. Have you met some nice people and made interesting connections?

Yes, I have met a few friendly girls.

Jenna Peij (14), from Merchtem, Dominique Models

How were you discovered? 

My mum and sister had modelled before, and it inspired me to do the same. After bugging my mum for a while, I got into a kids agency. The jobs came quickly after that.

What do you enjoy the most about modelling?

The nicest thing is the atmosphere that reigns on a shoot. Every person on the set is an artist with his or her own creative flow. I really like it when all these energies come together and the result is a great picture. Doing castings is something else I love doing. You see other models and get to know people. It’s a great aspect of my job.

Do you have any rituals before a shoot?

No, I don’t, but I often repeat certain things to myself before it starts. I want to give the best of me and not disappoint anyone. Then I take a deep breath and let myself go completely.

Has modelling made you more self-conscious?

I believe it has. I’m more aware of taking good care of myself, too, going to bed early and eating well. I’ve also decided to join an athletics club. Although my friends like to go to parties, I avoid them, because I think I’m too young and I shouldn’t waste my time on them.

Is there anything you won’t eat?

I try to stay healthy. I won’t stuff myself with chips and chocolates, you know. I don’t eat junk food at home, but sometimes the temptation is here. My parents are healthy and they cook great meals for us.

Do you read or listen to music while waiting to be photographed?

Most of the time, I take my school bag with me and study a bit on a shoot or do my homework. I also talk to people around me, as I think listening to music on your own is a bit selfish. I enjoy watching what others are doing and learn from them. You can see how other models pose or how photographers deal with light, which I find fascinating.

What’s your take on fashion?

I do follow trends, but try to create my own style. I’m not the kind of girl you’ll see wearing jeans and a sweater on the street, I love combining things to create a nice outfit. At home, Fashion TV is on and I follow what’s happening.

Have you had any career highlights so far?

I’ve had several. My first 3 shoots were for VOGUE Bambini and I was 8 years old. I didn’t even realize how lucky I was to be in Vogue! Recently, I was on the cover of Knack Weekend Black, which felt like a real honour. I have to say I completely lost it when I  saw my face in Elle Belgium for the Cameleon campaign. I recently did a test shoot for Delvaux‘s next campaign. Fingers crossed!

What has been your most embarrassing moment?

Until now, I haven’t experienced anything annoying, even though it might happen one day.

Modelling can be lonely at times. Have you met some nice people and made interesting connections? 

I haven’t felt lonely yet. The people I’ve worked with have been lovely and they’ve had good intentions as well. Everyone in the agency has your interests at heart and protects you completely. The others girls I’ve worked with were always nice and I’m happy whenever I see them again.