INTRODUCING: Zoe Cañada
Born in Madrid, Spain in 2001, she moved to New York five years ago. She now lives in Brooklyn with her parents and little sister Olivia. Zoe grew up in a creative environment with a father who is a Visual Interface Designer as well in a musician and her mother being a painter. We caught up with the Spanish model to find out more about her biggest influences and what sort of challenges young models face today in the industry...
How did you start your career as a model?
I was scouted by my mother agent, at the end of Fischerspooner’s concert and that’s how it all started. What I love about modelling is that sometimes fashion editorials are not only pictures, they are a whole creation of a scenario, and there is a story. I love when I feel like I am contributing to a piece of theatre, and feeling like I am a movie character and a lot of the time, modelling does that for me.
What has being a model taught you so far?
There is a lot of expectation in fashion and modelling, and those expectations are usually very far from who you really are, or what you are passionate about. So, I think it is important not to lose yourself in a fantasy world that someone else has created. I am glad that my generation is stepping into fashion with the authenticity in mind. So, what I have learned so far is that I have to create space for myself to do what I am really passionate about, and do what brings me joy and inner peace. I am learning not to be too impatient, and have faith in myself. I am also learning to face my fears and enter into the great unknown, where there are no limits to what I can achieve.
Has working in the industry impacted your personal style?
Yes, and it made me remember about this very far away afternoon, when I was around twelve having a walk with my mother back in Spain. I told her (with a real worry of a 12-year old) that I did not know what my style was. Now I can say, that my style is being shaped by everything around me: movies, books, music, art, conversation with interesting people, moments of inspiration and, of course, fashion and modelling. I am growing and evolving and so is my style, and I am having fun with this evolution.
What challenges in your opinion do young models face today in the industry?
I have to say, the biggest challenge is growing up too fast. Young girls facing adult situations with little to no skills and no experience how to handle those situations. I think it is important to have support – your own “tribe” that will be there for you to help you navigate the reality around you. It is important to have a good team at your modelling agency that can guide you and protect you.
Also, dealing with disappointment is hard. There are a lot of models and thus there is a lot of competition, and after months of preparation and giving your all in a casting, you walk away with nothing. That hurts, and you have to find your motivation to keep going. You have to love and want it enough, I guess you have to try again and again and keep going.
Navigating the “social media jungle” is hard for young women regardless of what they do, and modelling is no exception. Social media helped create a platform to express our ideas and get our voices heard but it also created a lot of pressure to always be “on” because you only get to see the success, not the failure and that is not real life. I realized that it shouldn’t harm you because you have your own unique path and everything that will come is what is meant for you. There won’t be a right or wrong path if you are driven by your passion and not your ego. It’s already very courageous to have a dream, so you should be content and keep with the flow of your life with an independent and free will.
"Navigating the “social media jungle” is hard for young women regardless of what they do"
Is there anything you miss about living in Europe? What’s your favourite thing about living in New York?
I miss the quality of life you get to have there. You get time to live life, not to just rush through it. There is also a unique sensation that European cities provoke within me, when I walk through its streets. There is so much history there! What I like about NYC is that you always get to discover new places – that’s always fun.
How does it feel to be part of ‘House of Holland life’?
It made me feel the coolest! I was very happy to rock these fun and special clothes around the city.