IN CONVERSATION WITH JESSICA STAM
interview by JANA LETONJA
Canadian model Jessica Stam is considered to be part of the crop of models described as ‘doll faces’. It was Steven Meisel who gave Jessica her big break when he shot her for two Italian Vogue covers cast her in every advertisement campaign of his. Jessica also inspired Marc Jacobs, who created The Marc Jacobs Stam, a bag inspired by and named after her.
Jessica, tell us how did your career as a model begin.
I went to Canada’s Wonderland, an amusement park, with my family in Toronto and we stopped at Tim Hortons coffee shop on the drive back and I was discovered by a model scout there. I had never considered modeling before that moment, but that was the day my entire life direction changed. I suddenly knew that was what I was supposed to be doing.
Photographer Steven Meisel was actually the one that gave you your bib break. He even cast you in all of his ad campaigns. How do you look back onto your relationship and what it meant for your career?
I became Steven Meisel’s muse when I was 17 years old and that was what skyrocketed my career and gave me a name in the fashion industry. I love every single thing we’ve shot together, but it was those Italian vogue editorials that I cherish the most. He is truly an artist and I got to be a part of making a lot of really cool art with him. I had the best time working with everyone in his crew, from Pat McGrath, Edward Enninful, Guido, Patti Wilson, Garren and Brana Wolf, to name a few. It was so much fun being on set with them.
In 2006, you walked a total of 64 shows combined during the New York, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks. What was the biggest challenge of doing so many runway shows?
Yes, that was a lot of shows. The hardest part was not having any time to sleep. I would be running from show to show all day long and then doing fittings all night long. Sometimes I would only get to go back to my hotel to shower before my first call time in the morning. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep in the hair and makeup chair more than a few times.
full look PRADA
You also inspired Marc Jacobs himself so much that he created The Marc Jacobs Stam, a bag named after you. What does such an honor mean to you?
It’s such an honor to have the Marc Jacobs Stam bag named after me. I really look up to Marc, he’s such a talented designer and truly creative person. And I love that he just relaunched the Stam bag and cast me in the campaign for it.
To you, what is the most exciting part of the life of a model?
I love traveling around the world, seeing new places, getting to spend time in cities that I love and working with amazingly creative people, but I think the most exciting part of being a model is confirming that next job.
dress GIORGIO ARMANI
boots GIANVITO ROSSI
bracelets/ cuffs TIFFANY&CO.
jumpsuit, boots ALEXANDER MCQUEEN
You are also a mom of two. How has you life and career changed since becoming a mother?
I’ve always wanted to be a mother and I love my two kids, and my husband, more than anything in the entire world. They come first when I’m making decisions about traveling or what types of jobs I do. The most important thing is getting to spend time with them while they’re growing up and being a good mom.
In the past, you have partnered with Many Hopes, Adopt Together and Peace Jam to help foster kids and street kids in the US and costal Kenya. Why is this something so dear to you. Are you still partnering with any of these organizations?
Although I don’t have as much time to dedicate to my philanthropy with two young children, I stay in touch with Many Hopes, Peace Jam and Adopt Together and still help out randomly. They are really special causes and I hold them dear to my heart.
What can you share with us about your upcoming ventures?
Lots of exciting things to come. You’ll have to wait and see.
bra, underwear MARC JACOBS
shoes GIANVITO ROSSI
total look BURBERRY
bracelets, ring TIFFANY&CO.
boots CHRISTIAN DIOR
top, bottom COMMANDO
talent JESSICA STAM @Jessicastamofficial
director MAX BARTICK @Maxbartick
creative director RYAN LUCCA @Ryanlucca
director of photography FRANK APOLLONIO @Frankapollonio
production designer BETTE ADAMS @Betteradams at MHS ARTISTS @Mhs_artists
production design assistants KAETEN BONLI @Bareback_contessa & CULLEN O’GRADY @ccuulleenn
stylist NATASHA BOCHA @Iamnatabocha
makeup JEZZ HILL @Jezzhill CLM at @Clmagency
hair HIRO & MARI @Hiromarihair 87ARTISTS at @87artists
manicurist MAMIE ONISHI @Nailsbymamie at SEE MANAGEMENT @Seemanagement
production assistant AIDAN BURNS @Aidangburns
editor LUCAS LOBE @Lobedobe
colorist JARED ROSENTHAL @Jaredrosenthal
sound design DOUSON YUAN @Ayodouson
special thanks MHS ARTISTS & HOOK PROPS @Mhs_artists & @Hookpropsbk
shot at UNTITLED NYC @Un_nyc
editor-in-chief TIMOTEJ LETONJA
cover design ARTHUR ROELOFFZEN @arthurroeloffzen