In just three short months, Ashleigh Good went from waiting tables in Auckland to landing an exclusive with Givenchy for their fall 2012 runway show (she’s since walked in Acne’s resort 2013 show and was just shot for Dazed & Confused). But perhaps the biggest shocker for the 20-year-old was what came next: a new look. “Three weeks ago, [my booker at Ford Models] called me to the office and was like, ‘Now don’t bug out but we’re going to cut your hair,” remembers the England-born, New Zealand–raised model. Though Good admits that it’s taken some time to get used to the style — think blunt bangs, lightened dip-dyed tips, and bleached eyebrows — the transformation has begun to pay dividends. “I mean, every model has long, light-brown hair, so it sets me apart from the rest. It’s completely changed everything for me,” she says with a knowing nod. While we wait to see just how many shows she books come September, Good stopped by our offices to share her thoughts on model apartments and messing with makeup artists.
Tell us a little about your childhood.
I grew up in England and moved to New Zealand when I was 10 — which I hated at the time, but it was the best thing. There’s a very laid-back lifestyle in New Zealand, so it was nice. I’m about a two-minute walk from the beach!
How did you get discovered?
I was working in a coffee shop in November and one day I took the bus, which I never, ever do — I’m real lazy, and my mum would take me or I’d drive myself. I was waiting at the bus stop, and this lady is driving around the block and she’s staring at me. She comes around again, and I’m like, What is she looking at? And five minutes later, she runs around the corner and comes up to me and I’m like, “Ohhh, stranger danger!” But she asks, “Are you a model?” I’m reply, “No …” And she says, “Come over to my house, we’ll take some photos.” So we took some photos, and I didn’t really do anything [after that]. But in February, she was like, “Let’s take some more photos!” So she took some photos and put them on her Facebook page. Two hours later, my now-booker from Ford contacted saying, “We want Ashleigh in New York.” And the week after that, she said, “Ashleigh’s booked the Givenchy show in Paris as an exclusive.” The next week, I went to Paris. Paris for two weeks, home for a week, and then I’ve been [in New York] ever since.
What was it like having your very first show be Givenchy?
Scary. I cried afterwards. Not happy tears, not sad tears, just relieved tears. Like, I did it, and I didn’t fall! It was a really good experience for me.
Have there been any big surprises about the modeling world?
One thing is my model apartment is great — you hear horror stories about girls stealing your stuff, girls vomiting in the toilet, stuff like that. I was expecting horror and wanted to stay on my own, but it’s actually really nice. We’re quite a family.
Anything else you’ve learned?
The number one thing is, when you’re at a photo shoot, to be totally comfortable. I always try to joke around. Appropriate jokes. There are times when the crew is very uptight and maybe a little bit awkward. So my trick is, when the makeup artist is curling my lashes, I say, “Ow!” And she’ll be like, “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry,” and I’m like, “Just joking!” And then everything relaxes after that.
What are your obsessions?
I like fishing, because we live so close to the sea. I [went] fishing almost every day just before I came here. It’s funny because when I go to some castings they’re like, “What do you like to do for fun?” I’m answer, “Fishing!” And they say, “What? Most girls are like, ‘Shopping.’”
Can you also gut a fish?
Yup. Actually, the best thing to do is to take some lemon with you and when you catch the fish, just cut it open and put lemon on it and eat it, because it’s fresh.
If you weren’t modeling — or fishing — what would you be doing?
I had actually just gotten a job one week before I moved here, at a call center for an insurance company. I feel like I have a good phone manner — it was fun, and I was really excited about working there. I said, actually, to my friend when I went to the interview, “I hope I get this job because it’s going to change me … it’ll be a really good, full-time job.” Little did I know things would change in this way!
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Test shot number two.
Walking the fall 2012 Givenchy show in Paris as an exclusive.
In the May issue of Black Magazine, shot by Charles Howells.