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Exclusive interview with fashion model MYF SHEPHERD

Posted on: 2009/01/29

PONY RYDER presents EXCLUSIVE interview with MYF SHEPHERD.

Who needs intro, when you all know: IT'S MYF!!!
Fashion model Myf Shepherd is with Chic (Australia) and Next (worldwide).

PONY RYDER: Myf, tell us something about your beginning in modeling.
MYF SHEPHERD: I tried out for Australia's Next Top Model, just for fun and I never gave it another thought afterwards. Then one day about six months later I was shopping at some markets in Brisbane when an agent from Chic came over and asked me to go down to Sydney. But I've told that story a zillion times and it's boring. So actually, my modeling contract was first prize in a cutlery-free-jelly-eating contest.

PONY RYDER: So you didn't get selected for Australia's top model. What do you think, what was the reason for it?
MYF SHEPHERD: Well a tall, pale, vegetarian (Alice) had just won the cycle, so they probably didn't want to reveal that there was more than one such specimen in the country – it's not exactly the Australian ideal of beauty.

PONY RYDER: You dint get selected by ANTM, but you did by and as one of the top ten newcomer. What do you think, why?
MYF SHEPHERD: I guess they're just more appreciative of tallness and paleness. Maybe vegetarianism as well.

PONY RYDER: NEXT is a powerbrand right now! Over the last two seasons they have been moving in the best direction, both with commercial and editorial faces. How do you think you benefit from working with such a great network?
MYF SHEPHERD: I think it can only lead to more work. They're constantly expanding and pleasing people, so I'm very proud to have my name is attached to that.

PONY RYDER: You shot MIU MIU campaign. Did you meet Katie Holmes? And the rumor is that you are the face of Levis? At least tell us... do you wear Levi's jeans? :)
MYF SHEPHERD: Yes, I met her and Suri (but not Tom). They were both very sweet, just regular people. And I don't actually have any Levi's jeans. I need some new jeans though, so that's what I'll be getting. I was given some Miu Miu shoes though!
PONY RYDER: Shoes for Tom. Good. :)

PONY RYDER: You walked for everyone, but can you still name your favorite runway job? 51 shows in one SS! You have lots of names to choose from.
MYF SHEPHERD: I was the most excited for Marc Jacobs, because that was my first big show. It was more than just a runway show too – it was a spectacle.

PONY RYDER: So Marc Jacobs show! What do you think Marc Jacobs is looking for in model? What were you instructed to present during the show?
MYF SHEPHERD: I've never known what anyone is looking for. I think it changes every second. It's probably better not to know or you'll confuse yourself trying to be someone else. I don't remember any instructions or criticism at shows, there's usually just an unspoken understanding of what is expected.

PONY RYDER: O.K. Myf, tell us more on that „shoe incident“ a.k.a. Prada show.
MYF SHEPHERD: One of my good friends fell and took off her shoes. It's got a lot of hits on youtube, it was kind of a moment for feminism.
PONY RYDER: I know, I saw it myself... ups... twice. Where you scared you would fall? Did you see other girls falling?
MYF SHEPHERD: I didn't know that anyone fell until after the show, so for me it wasn't an option. I was more concerned about them realizing I was there and sending me home.

PONY RYDER: And who taught you how to walk and perform on the runway?
MYF SHEPHERD: I've been walking since I was very young, so it comes pretty naturally.
PONY RYDER: Does it? :) Do you have your own signature walk or are you trying to be more versatile?
MYF SHEPHERD: I'd like to think I'm versatile but my walk probably only ever changes due to the varying comfortability of the shoes.

PONY RYDER: Looking at your backstage pictures you are always jumping and smiling, etc. Even when we saw backstage pictures at the Prada show. How did you manage to do that?
MYF SHEPHERD: I'm just myself...and most of the time that means being silly. I find that there's always a certain energy backstage, even if it's a nervous energy, that makes me want to play.

PONY RYDER: How do you pose, what is your style in posing? You seem to be „free“ while posing. Where do you find that energy? Where do you hide your shyness?
MYF SHEPHERD: A few photographers have told me that my «strength» is that I'm not a model-like model. I'll do something (usually something weird or stupid) and if they like it, they get a shot, if they don't I move on. The energy comes from being vegan. Truly, I always have energy.
PONY RYDER: I should try it myself then. But what does it exactly mean to be vegan? I mean, how do you get your proteins? Where you always vegan, or did you become one during your beginning as a model?
MYF SHEPHERD: Vegans don't eat anything coming from and animal. But it is about more than just food, and every vegan will have a different definition of it based on what they are comfortable with.

I eat honey, for example, and I only buy leather if it is second hand. I try my hardest to avoid animal products in everything I buy.

I've been vegetarian since I was five, and became vegan about three years ago, so long before I started modelling.

In terms of protein I think vegetable sources are much more varied than animals. Virtually anything made with milk can be made from things like soy, rice, almond and hemp milk. There's also tofu, tempeh, natto, seitan, TVP as well as plain old nuts, grains and legumes. I definitely don't have a problem with protein. I think that's one of the biggest misconceptions about veganism. I could rant about this all day...

PONY RYDER: Please do. And while you are abroad, how do you manage to stay vegan? Do you have time to prepare vegan meals in model apartments?
MYF SHEPHERD: Sometimes I take things like muesli bars, soy chips, vegan jerky, cereal and biscuits from New York overseas for emergencies. But it's pretty easy to find vegan food at supermarkets everywhere in the world. Paris has the best soy yogurt I've ever tasted. And I generally don't stay in model apartments. I prefer to live on my own.

PONY RYDER: Let's go back at photoshots. What is your favorite photo of yourself?
MYF SHEPHERD: I like all the photos where I can see a bit of who I am. Most of those are from test shoots, with photographers that I am friends with...

PONY RYDER: Where you ever told to change something about yourself?
MYF SHEPHERD: I've been given advice, but I'm very stubborn...I think that most of the time it's not worth changing something about yourself because the next person will just want you to change back.

PONY RYDER: Myf, how do you feel about the use of photoshop in fashion photography? Do you feel offended when someone tries to bring down the models' looks by claiming it's all photoshop?
MYF SHEPHERD: Yes! But I'm more offended on the behalf of the photographers. I'm not so naive that I think they aren't photoshopping my face and body, but I think when people claim that photographic effects and techniques are all done in post, they are belittling the photographers' work.

PONY RYDER: Do You have an interesting anecdote from a photo shoot, or a casting, or a show?
MYF SHEPHERD: Too many! I was thrown from the back of an angry, charging donkey in a shoot once. Perhaps it wasn't quite so dramatic...
PONY RYDER: It sure sounds dramatic. Angry donkey? No thank you :)

PONY RYDER: When models first appear on the scene, they are sometimes compared to other, already established models. Are you compared to anyone?
MYF SHEPHERD: Hilary Rhoda...

PONY RYDER: Models have to have beauty secrets or at least beauty tips. Can you tell us some of that?
MYF SHEPHERD: I exfoliate with crushed up aspirin pills in water, and I wear zinc cream (sunscreen) to bed. It's strange but it's what works for me.

PONY RYDER: How do you stay in shape?
MYF SHEPHERD: Walk EVERYWHERE. Also if there's a free gym in my hotel or apartment building I use that. And in Summer I love swimming.

PONY RYDER: What would you advise to new models.
MYF SHEPHERD: Don't listen to advice from other new models!

PONY RYDER: Do you have any model friend that you would like to see presented on Pony Ryder blog?
MYF SHEPHERD: All of them.


Exclusive interview with fashion model Myf Shepherd is original work and courtesy of Pony Ryder blog.

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