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Meet the New Girl: Jessica Clarke Is Just Your Average Broke 17-Year-Old

Even before newcomer Jessica Clarke hit a single runway, the industry was abuzz over the New Zealander’s undeniable beauty and infectious laugh. Now 17, Clarke is signed with DNA Models in New York, the home of Natalia Vodianova and Raquel Zimmermann. When the 5’11” beauty made the rounds during New York’s casting circuit, casting directors Maida Gregori Boina and Rami Fernandes placed Clarke on exclusive for Calvin Klein’s Spring 2011 show. That coveted exclusive paved the way for Clarke’s bookings overseas, modeling for Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Pucci, and Lanvin. Most recently, Clarke was shot by Mario Testino for D&G’s upcoming spring campaign.

How did you get discovered?
I first got discovered when I was at the movies with my family. Kim Larking, the director of Clyne Management in New Zealand, discovered me.

You walked for Calvin Klein’s spring 2011 show exclusively, tell us about how that came to be from casting, fittings, to walking the show.
The experience was amazing! There were tons of girls at the casting so by the time it was my turn two hours later I was super nervous for the whole two minutes that it actually took to meet everyone. The show’s casting directors Maida [Gregori Boina] and Rami [Fernandes] were super cool and supportive, so it made things way easier and calmed my nerves. Francisco [Costa] and Camilla [Nickerson] were with us at the fittings and at the castings and they were truly amazing people to be around, super creative and talented. Also when doing the fittings I made a really good friend, Theres Alexandersson.

What would you like to accomplish before the year ends?
I would love to do a campaign and to do some super creative editorials. I have a lot of growing to do in terms of modeling, so the more work I can do, the more experience which will help me become a better model.

What’s the first designer item you ever bought?
Unfortunately, I’m still a typical broke 17-year-old that lives off her parents, so no great designer buys to date, but I’m really looking forward to my first big splurge.

How do you maintain your physique?
I love to exercise with friends and go to the gym. But other than that I don’t have a extreme diet or anything. I just like to keep balanced and follow the food pyramid rules. My secret is plenty of water, it keeps my skin clear.

What scares you?
Regrets scare me. My motto in life is no regrets, which basically means to me to give everything a go and do it at 110%. So I do. I would hate to get near the end of my life and feel as if I missed out in some way or another. Life is a gift and I intend of exploring every part of this gift.

Favorite fashion icon?
My favorite fashion icon, I must admit, is the late Alexander McQueen, his mind was full of creativity and it showed on the runway season after season.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In ten years I would love to be on my private island swinging in a hammock. But no, I would love to be successful, of course, and maybe even become a top model. And have my health science and fashion design degree.

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Meet the New Girl: Jessica Clarke Is Just Your Average Broke 17-Year-Old