Top model grounded in Palmy

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 12:25 12/10/2012
Jessica Clarke
MURRAY WILSON/Fairfax NZ
RELAXING IN PALMY: Model Jessica Clarke, 19, is enjoying a break in her home city of Palmerston North.
Jessica Clarke
Getty Images
ON STAGE: Jessica Clarke on the runway for Victoria’s Secret last year.

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In just a few years, model Jessica Clarke has gone from eating lunch at Palmerston North Girls' High School to hanging out on a superyacht in Ibiza.

The Palmerston North 19-year-old, back in the city while on a break, said she was still coming to grips with her elevation in the modelling world.

"It's gone fast, that's for sure."

In her first two years as a fulltime model, she has appeared on catwalks in Milan, Paris and London and last year became the first New Zealander to model for Victoria's Secret.

She has also worked with major fashion labels like Calvin Klein and Dolce and Gabbana.

As part of her recent break, she spent a bit of time relaxing in Europe.

"I went to Ibiza with some friends, hung out on a superyacht . . .

"Otherwise I've been in New Zealand, which is good. I like being home with everyone."

Hanging out with friends she made at high school had been a highlight.

"They keep you on your toes when you maybe get a little big-headed.

"They don't really give a s... about the industry either, so when I explain about something I did they just go ‘what?'

"My friends like me for me, not because I've hung out with Leonardo DiCaprio or whoever."

The break was about to come to an end though, with the northern hemisphere winter a busy time, she said.

"Now is when they're doing editorial for the new season coming out, so it's all the big-money jobs.

"It's an exciting time, but busy."

While living life as a model sounded like fun, Miss Clarke said it had its tough times as well.

"There's lots of down time, so it's trying to keep yourself occupied."

Living in a big city could also be hard, she said. "I've made friends [overseas], but being models they travel a lot and you can get a little bit homesick.

"Thank God for Skype and texting."

Learning how to make it in the modelling world had to be done by experiencing it, she said. "It's about being more streetwise. You can't learn that out of a textbook."

Despite being only 19, she was already starting to think about life after modelling.

She said she was about to start a business course through Massey University via distance learning, and had also bought property.

"I'm just trying to be responsible and [am] looking into my future. I have an expiry date, and it's ticking down fast."

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- Manawatu Standard

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