Aymeline Valade, Constance Jablonski... The mythic french flair has never looked so real than these last few seasons in high fashion modeling. Women, Silent and Elite, just to name a few of the biggest companies, have all their army of frenchies rocking the runways and getting more and more visibility in magazines. Beautiful outsider within this trend and on various fronts, Ophelie Rupp certainly deserves as much as her fellow-countrygirls to be listed among the most successful rising stars who were born and raised in France.
While many others could benefit of the extended network and connections of a modeling powerhouse, Ophelie didn't arrive on stage under the protecting wing of an agency that is well known for the amount of covers or coveted campaigns gathered by their top models. But, while it's considered rather new to see french models working well for the major players, smaller and more commercial agencies from Paris have always had some home-grown beauties in their rosters. None of them might have enjoyed the sweet success of a Constance Jablonski but several had or have decent careers at a smaller level. Ophelie seems to be right in time to break the mold (and the curse?) of the second-tier agencies' french ladies staying in the shadows of the international crew pushed and pulled by the leading networks such as Next, Women or IMG and prove an outsider still can emerge to build a career based on talent and hard work. Whether her case is a little revolution or one in a million, -- personally, I'd vote for the second option --, is a bit off the debate today but since she stepped into the highest spheres of modeling a few seasons ago, her rise has remained steady and quite unstoppable.
If she's considered now as a recurrent high fashion fixture, her career didn't start with Vogue options or A-list catwalk slots. On this side, it shares similarities with Aymeline Valade's and, during the first years, looked like a patchwork of artistic editorials published in rather unknown or experimental magazines and profitable commercial jobs. She had been on a steadily positive slope for some time (Amica, Thierry Mugler and a few more quality work) when she finally captured attention from a broader audience in fall 2011, walking for Prada in Milan. If the relevancy of exclusives at highly watched shows is heavily discussed, a little bit of exposure in Ophelie's case wasn't a bad thing provided she already proved to be a seriously talented and photogenic model, and just needed an extra kick to move up to a higher level. If a huge part of the best jobs are taken by the same agencies (and often the same models as well), Miss Rupp can claim some remarkable achievements while being represented internationally by less fancy companies like Trump Models in New York or Fashion in Milan. This hasn't stopped her from getting relevant exposure and her latest bookings can testify. Count on campaigns for Moschino or Etro, editorials in the likes of Vogue Italia (including the last main story by Steven Meisel), Interview (by Patrick Demarchelier), Dazed & Confused, Vogue China, 10 Magazine and she is gracing the pages of August issue of W Magazine. Her runway appearances since her first big season last year are following the same trend with a spectacular Fall 2012 showlist and a noteworthy presence at Resort collections. It seems the french outsider has found her own way to secure her place in fashion for some time.
CREDITS: Interview Magazine (Ph: Patrick Demarchelier), TUSH (Ph: Ralph Mecke), Self Service (Ph: Ezra Petronio), 10 Magazine