Girl on Top She may be the supe du jour, but Canada’s own Daria Werbowy is living la vida low key Photography by Max Abadian
The concept of a supermodel may sound so early ’90s, but Ukraine-born, Mississauga, Ont.-raised Daria Werbowy has resurrected it—sans the naughty reputation. This purely modern girl doesn’t need a stint in rehab, an MTV reality show or weekly headlines in the gossip rags to create buzz. She’s all about keeping it real.
“I haven’t really had much trouble with tabloids and stuff,” she says. “I don’t see why they’d want to take pictures of me. I’m really just a boring girl. There’s nothing exciting about me.” Uh, we think not. The new ambassador for Lancôme and “the girl of the moment,” as crowned by Karl Lagerfeld, is not persuading us.
In fact, it was paparazzi photos exposing a nasty cold sore on Daria’s face (models aren’t immune either) that spurred her to take a two-month hiatus from the catwalks last year. “I got really sick and I got a cold sore on my face and it was in the papers everywhere. I was, like, wow, maybe my body is trying to tell me something.” We talk while one of her best friends from home—someone who knew Daria during her previous life as a kid skateboarding in shopping-mall parking lots—hangs back and looks on.
Prior to that time off, Daria, 22, worked almost every day for two and a half years. When she finally did take a break, she opted for art classes in New York to help her decompress and left fellow Canucks Heather Marks and Jessica Stam to work the Spring ’06 show circuit without her. Now back in the game, Daria, who’s modeled since she was 14, gives us a sense that her break wasn’t long enough—she often mentions her struggle to feel normal amid the whirl of being fashion’s “it” girl. “I think it’s important to balance your life and that’s such a hard thing to do. I wish you could find balance at the convenience store for $5.99 in a can.”
By the end of FLARE’s exclusive sitting with the statuesque beauty, we discovered her penchant for alt-rock, lattes with soy milk, snowboarding and designers Stella McCartney and (the recently resigned) Phoebe Philo for Chloé. Daria was relaxed and happy after our fashion shoot (see it on page 142), describing herself in the pictures as a “classy grunge girl.” That said with her million-dollar (literally) smile, wearing faded grey jeans and a just-so distressed leather jacket.
The New Gig: Spokesmodel for Lancôme In the press kit for Lancôme’s next blockbuster fragrance, Hypnôse, is a picture of Daria flanked with the words “Sensuality, thy name is woman.” “Hear me roar,” she says, laughing, when she sees it. Daria’s signed on to be more than just a face for Lancôme (which normally consists of pose, smile, go home, get paid). She’s a full-on spokesmodel who speaks for the brand, provides her opinions and works off-camera testing samples. “They’re absolutely 150 percent behind getting my input. I expressed my interest to them in the whole process [of creating products] and they’ve really gotten me involved.”
She’s quick and even giddy to say: “I can tell you everything you want to know about the fragrance. It’s really a unique, beautiful scent. It doesn’t smell like anything I’ve ever worn.” A mix of passion flower, vanilla and vetiver, it taps into her womanly side and her tomboy roots. “I think it’s incredible because it’s got this masculine feeling to it.”
Daria adores:Lancôme Hypnôse, 50 mL, $75. The bottle’s design is a retro revival of Lancôme’s 1950s fragrance success Magie.
Our opinion? The scent’s comfortable, sexy and edgy, just like Daria.