I arrived to my interview with Victoria Secret Angel Erin Heatherton early. As always, the journalists, photographers and other media representatives mingled. I focused on the products around me, and met new, interesting people.
Fans know the basics about Erin Heatherton. The model, 24, was discovered while vacationing in Miami. This young girl from Skokie who attended Jewish day school became an overnight, international sensation, and briefly dated Leonardo DiCaprio.
I marveled at how Erin looks even better in real life. She seems charmingly vulnerable until you actually talk to her. Behind the angelic, feminine face, I felt the tremendous strength of a person who loves her career and is simply passionate about life.
This is what we talked about:
Where do you like to travel? Which country do you return to and why?
France. It’s a very mysterious country. It makes you want to understand their history, their people, their language. Walking down the quiet, winding streets there makes me feel like there are so many things untapped there.
What did you dream about when you were a kid?
To become a model.
Other than becoming a model?
When I was growing up, every night, when going to bed, I was thinking of a house in my neighborhood. It was a rich area with a golf course. I was imagining what it looked like inside. Quite often, I was envisioning how my place would look like. I was always into interior design. Now, I am renovating my apartment, and I realize that all those things I was thinking about are coming true.
What personality traits are essential to becoming a successful model?
There are so many beautiful women out there. When you work as a model, you realize that there are many women more beautiful than you are…. All my successful model friends are very different personality-wise, but they are all have some traits in common — they are secure about who they are and confident. Surrounding, external factors don’t affect their confidence. Their confidence comes from within. They are strong. It takes lots of strength to work in the fashion industry, which is full of rejection. There are certain moments when you question yourself: “Do I feel pretty today?” But you have to feel pretty no matter what. That comes with experience. When you feel great about yourself it shows on the camera. Being a model requires a tremendous amount of strength.
Are there any particular designers you stay loyal to?
I love Michael Kors, Isabel Marant, and Celine. There are so many designers out there, so my preferences always changing.
So, you think that the style doesn’t need to be permanent?
No-ooo. Absolutely not. It should be permanent at the same place; it doesn’t have to be the same in different places. It can be always be changing. As long as it is honest. If I go to France, I always like to be dressed as a little French girl, but I have all those skirts and dresses I don’t wear anymore. My taste is always changing.
Are you following a particular diet to stay in a great shape?
I’ve learned the lesson that the less I focus on diet and the less I stress about it, the better I look. I eat when I am hungry. I like to try different things. I just eat in moderation and listen to my body. When its full, I just don’t keep eating. And I just have fun. When I am happy, my body always look better.