It must be surreal for Sophie Van Den Akker to be confronted by her own face emblazoned large-scale across Melbourne. Especially since the official Face of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week (MSFW) has only recently celebrated a one year milestone in the modeling industry. With her self-described "athletic" frame, transformative face, and international appeal, we wonder what took the 21-year-old so long!
Graduating from the latest round of the juggenaut that is Australia’s Next Top Model; Sophie has since appeared for iconic swimwear label Speedo (alongside Miss Universe Australia Rachel Finch), graced the pages of the UK’s Faint Magazine, and walked runways up and down the east coast. Sophie's icy blonde looks betray the warmth exuded when she speaks of her affection for her hometown and the latest labels to catch her eye. We managed to steal the rising model away from her fashion week duties to answer a few questions.
The Fashion Spot: Which part of MSFW are you looking forward to the most?
Sophie Van Den Akker: I am truly honored to be the face of MSFW. I look forward to working with all the teams involved and appreciating all the time and effort that is put into the event. The exposure and experience will be something I will cherish. I am most looking forward to leading the runways each night; it will be such a thrill appearing in the Designer Series events — I cannot wait to walk!
tFS: What’s your own sense of style when you’re off-duty?
SVDA: I would like to describe my style as “polished and refined” but in the down time I like to be comfortable.
tFS: What will be your first purchase for the new season?
SVDA: Some new sunglasses, a summer dress, and some really high heels. Okay, that’s three purchases…
tFS: Is there a particular trend you can’t wait to wear this Spring?
tFS: Who are your favorite Melbourne designers at the moment?
SVDA: Yeojin Bae creates such beautiful feminine pieces; the dress that I wore in MSFW’s creative campaign is just divine! I cannot wait to wear more of Yeojin’s pieces on the runway. I also really love Thurley for so perfectly achieving that sense of femininity and glamour. Other Melbourne designers on my list for a shopping spree are Limedrop and Alpha60 for funky, urban attire and Dhini for that special occasion. Dhini is doing some amazing things with color this season.
tFS: What’s the best part about being the Face of MSFW?
SVDA: Being the face for such a significant consumer fashion event like MSFW means I get to represent Melbourne and represent fashion – two things which I love. I am a proud Melbourne girl and celebrating Melbourne fashion in this way is really exciting.
tFS: It can’t be glamorous all of the time; what’s one thing about modeling that might surprise people?
SVDA: Behind the scenes it’s all about Ugg boots and dressing gowns.
tFS: Would you rather create an editorial shoot or strut down a runway?
SVDA: I prefer runway for the adrenalin rush.
tFS: What’s up next for you after MSFW?
SVDA: I’m taking a holiday and planning a work trip to Europe.