AS a teenager, Alexandra Binaris was approached several times by talent scouts trying to sign her for modelling.
But she had little interest and wanted to focus on getting an education.
After graduating in arts and media from the University of Cape Town last year, Binaris decided to try her luck and popped in at Boss Models.
The response was dramatic.
She was signed immediately and within 24 hours was signed to international modelling agency Elite, which represents supermodels Gisele Bündchen, Alessandra Ambrosio and Naomi Campbell.
Less than a month later she was on a plane to Paris, where she has since walked the runway for some of the world’s top design houses including Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Carolina Herrera.
Her leap into the big league is impressive for someone her age, 21.
Many international fashion houses reportedly prefer to sign models aged between 13 and 17.
“I was only working for three weeks before getting confirmed for Louis Vuitton Worldwide Exclusive [spring/summer 2017 collection]. I was so excited,” Binaris told Sunday Times this week.
“My most special moment was when I first met the designer of Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière, at a function.
“[Later] when I came for the casting, he asked if I remembered him. Initially I said no as I couldn’t remember where I had met him until he answered: ‘I saw you at the Koche [label] show. You didn’t think I would forget you that easily, did you?’ This was the highlight of my career up to date,” said Binaris, who hails from Richards Bay but now calls New York her home.
“Fashion week in New York is the most exciting journey I have ever been on. Sure, you have the late-night fittings, early call times and the stress of it all. But I love my job and find that the perks outweigh these greatly. Luckily for me I have the best agencies in New York, Europe and South Africa supporting me.”
Boss Models director Linda Bruchhausen said: “When Alex walked into our office for the first time, she lit the entire room up with her incredible energy.
“She has so much positivity, is funny and clumsy and completely lovable. Then you see the magnificent face, unique and special, and the perfect physique for a high fashion model.
“It’s extraordinary and very difficult to find all of this in one person — and a reminder of what it takes to reach the top.”
Locally, Binaris has worked on several editorial shoots including Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Glamour, and has graced the cover of Wanted and Pudeur magazines. Internationally she has shot a Louis Vuitton fashion spread for Elle Japan, worked with French photographer Vincent Fournier for a shoot published in Harper’s Bazaar US and featured in Teen Vogue.
Elite Model World’s Brune Troude, booking agent for Binaris in Paris, said her “cool vibe and smiling face” drew people to her.
“She has these special mixed features, strong and glamorous at the same time; a beautiful, versatile girl, who can fit with anyone, anywhere. You feel attracted right away by her communicative joy of living.” - article was published in Sunday Times