Grace Simmons is the latest name on every fashion addict’s lips. Recognized for her flaming red hair, lanky limbs and stunning porcelain skin, she’s appeared in campaigns for Valentino and Marc Jacobs, and walked for the likes of Christian Dior, Givenchy and 3.1 Phillip Lim – which is not bad for a Brisbane-born babe yet to hit her twenties.
Her modeling career kicked off in 2012 when she entered and won the annual Girlfriend Magazine Model Search, “I was so lucky to have been given the opportunity and winning the competition really launched my career.”
The title also earned her a contract with Chic Management in Sydney and an introduction to Next Model Management in New York, which Grace values as the turning point, “It opened so many doors for me and I don’t know where I would be without it.”
Grace made her mark in the international industry walking for Christian Dior’s Haute Couture show in Paris at the tender age of 17, and a long list of high fashion houses and luxury labels followed.
Most recently, Grace featured as one of the faces of the Valentino Spring/Summer 2015 Campaign, and rather than boasting about it, she’s gently modest about the experience and grateful for the exposure, “I just expected to do a little bit of modeling in Sydney and Brisbane, but I never really thought this would all be possible. I’m really lucky!”
The household names of Saint Laurent, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy and Balenciaga are on her recent campaigns list, and she’s also appeared in spreads for Vogue (US, Australia, China and Italy), Harpers Bazaar (UK, US) and Self Service Magazine, but it’s not all fun and games. Grace recently moved in to her own place in New York City to get away from the stress of living in a model house, “It’s so nice to enjoy my own space and take a break from being around girls 24/7, but it’s really hard being away from home and I miss my family and friends a lot. It’s difficult to uproot your whole life at such a young age and be expected to fit in straight away in a new country with language barriers and culture differences. I miss my ‘normal’ life and get pretty down sometimes, but my mum always puts everything into perspective for me.”
Contrary to popular belief, modeling is a pretty a tough gig, and Grace is open about the fact that there are no shortcuts or secrets to succeeding in the industry, “Work hard! It may seem simple but its not, you have to work, work, work and eventually it will pay off. There are plenty of ups and downs in this industry but you just need to be prepared for anything and be able to adapt to any situation.”
And when she isn’t gracing the catwalks or posing in the latest designer shoot, Grace is happy staying in her pajamas all day for the down time, or hanging out with friends exploring New York, “It really is the greatest city in the world, there is always something happening and I love it. The vibe is amazing and there are so many interesting people here too, it’s a melting pot of cultures with people from all walks of life.”
Whilst she’s trying to build an empire like her idol, Karlie Kloss, Grace is also preparing herself for study next year, taking on a dual degree in Economics and Commerce via correspondence to fit it in with her busy modeling schedule, “I want to travel, model and study so that I can create a brand for myself and ensure some longevity in the industry.”
Brains, brawn and the body; we hardly think that Grace’s success will flail anytime soon, but if it does, she’s content with a casual life, “As long as I’m happy doing something that I love, I’ll be satisfied – even if life isn’t how I has expected it to turn out!”
Follow Grace Simmons on Instagram: @gracesimmons
Guest Submission Interview: Brienna Wapple
Editor: Claire Goldsworthy
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