News & Runway

21 Questions with… Frederique van der Wal

Frederique van der Wal

Image: Courtesy of Frederique van der Wal

It didn’t take Dutch beauty Frederique van der Wal long to establish herself as one of the world’s top models when she came to the U.S. at 18. While most of us know her from Vogue covers and Victoria’s Secret, Revlon and Guess shoots, Frederique’s real passion, she says, has long been flowers. In an interesting twist (à la Taylor Tomasi Hill and Alina Baikova), the supermodel recently launched her own flower brand, Frederique’s Choice, in the U.S. after a successful run in Europe. We caught up with the supermodel-entrepreneur to ask her our quickfire questions.

  1. I usually wake up around… 7:30 during the week (on the weekends, when I can, I like to sleep until 9:30 or 10:00!).
  2. My morning routine entails… hopefully, a kiss from my daughter before she goes to school, feed the cats, make coffee, jump in the shower, have my cereal and coffee, scan the newspaper and then jump on my bike.
  3. On a typical day my meals consist of… breakfast when I have a whole-wheat cereal, which I put together with chia seeds and granola (it must have some crunch); for lunch, an arugula salad or a sandwich and for dinner, it varies — and I love that because I live in New York, I can go from Thai or Japanese or Italian every night.
  4. When I’m stressed I… do a yoga class, but often I’ll go out for a walk, get some fresh air and nature.
  5. If you looked at my desk you’d find… my laptop, lots of lists, water and flowers.
  6. My favorite healthy snack is… fruits and dark chocolate (my favorite is Lindt dark chocolate with orange — I love it).
  7. The best beauty tip I picked up over the years… is really a couple basics: change your moisturizers, wash your face at night, drink water.
  8. If my days had one extra hour I’d… have a list of what to do with the extra time each day and it would include learn to meditate on a regular basis, do the yoga class I should’ve done when I was stressed, go to the Whitney Museum or the new Picasso show at MoMA and do something fun with my daughter.
  9. When it comes to exercise… I love yoga and Pilates; I love to be in nature, hike and play tennis.
  10. My favorite place to shop is… the Nolita/NoHo section — I love the vibe of little shops that have such character; Oak is a great store and Scoop is always a good one to have a look.
  11. Most memorable modeling moment… was the first time I saw a magazine at the newsstand and it was me staring back — there’s nothing like it. It was French Vogue and I was 18 years old and it was just a funny feeling. I felt the same thing seeing myself on a billboard in Times Square.
  12. My biggest fashion pet peeve is… not really any since I truly believe fashion is all about embracing one’s own style, so there should be no judgment. Though the other day I wore two different black boots and noticed while walking into a premiere — that’s an oops!
  13. What attracted me to the flower business… was being born in Holland; the seed was planted from birth. I’ve always loved flowers, not only as a wonderful memory of my home country, but also as inspiration and to brighten up my space. Then when a flower was named after me in 2005, it set everything in motion to combine my love for flowers, my Dutch heritage and my knowledge in the fashion industry into my own flower brand.
  14. My guilty pleasure is… nonexistent; even if you needed a block of chocolate or wanted to buy certain shoes, we shouldn’t feel guilty. And in any case, I’m not an extreme personality — I’m Dutch, we don’t go crazy; we’re too grounded!
  15. My biggest style regret is… I wish I’d learned earlier to embrace my own style — it is such a wonderful way of expressing ourselves.
  16. You’d never catch me wearing… a lot of patterns and bright colors; that’s not me.
  17. The most treasured items in my closet are… a fantastic Ferragamo jacket from my mom and a great leather jacket that Azzedine Alaïa gave me; they’re just both full of memories.
  18. The best gift I ever received… is my daughter.
  19. The words of wisdom I try to remember… are in a quote from Margaret Mead that I love, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
  20. You’d probably be surprised to learn this about modeling… that there is a lot more going on behind the scenes than you’d ever imagine; it takes an army to create the looks and photos and images you see.
  21. On a typical Saturday night… I don’t have a typical Saturday night, but I love being upstate, so I can put the fireplace on and have a glass of red wine with a bunch of friends, hanging out.