EILIKA MECKBACH/WOMEN MANAGEMENT NEW YORK AT DUNE STUDIOS IN NEW YORK, JULY 2015. PHOTOS: MICHAEL SCHWARTZ/DE FACTO INC. STYLING: MAHER JRIDI. MAKEUP: ERIN PARSONS/ERIN PARSONS USING MAC COSMETICS. HAIR: KAYLA MICHELE AT STREETERS USING ORIBE. MANICURE: NATALIE PAVLOSKI/LMC WORLDWIDE USING ZOYA. PHOTO ASSISTANTS: ANDY HARRINGTON, GREGORY GRANAGHAN, AND AMANDA YANEZ.
Although she’s been modeling for a decade in her native Germany, Eilika Meckbach first stepped onto the international scene in 2014, walking for the likes of Diesel Black Gold, Christopher Kane, and Louis Vuitton. A year later, and she’s a posing in fashion editorials for Steven Meisel and Mikael Jansson. But Eilika is more than just a model; she’s a true fashion lover with an impressive vintage collection (see the above slideshow).
HOMETOWN: I grew up in Kassel, which is a small city in the middle of Germany. It’s definitely not very fashionable—more practical I would say.
DID YOU GROW UP READING MAGAZINES? Yes, my mum always had the current Vogue and Elle—she is very fashionable. When she finished reading them she would choose certain pages from editorials or ads and make personalized envelopes with them. When she was done with them I could have them. Obviously I copied her in making envelopes and then slowly started decorating my room with pages from editorials and ads instead of posters. Both are things I still do with a great passion.
WERE YOU ALWAYS TALL? DID THAT SET YOU APART FROM YOUR PEERS? Yes, I was always tall and lanky. In primary school I was the tallest, but in high school my best friend was taller—she still is. But what usually set me apart were my outfit and hair and make-up choices… The Fat Jewish has this very interesting hairdo that I also had for a couple of days in primary school because I thought it looked cool. Or, for example, in high school I would one day rock a head-to-toe goth look and the next I might come in heels and a tiny handbag with blow-dried hair or with an oversized parka, big boots, old jumper, and no make-up. It always changed and was very depending on my moods.
I wasn’t very popular in school but I have always believed that if you like something and it makes you happy you should wear it and that the others are just mean because they don’t dare to wear what they want.
HOW WERE YOU DISCOVERED? At 14 in H&M in Edinburgh. I was there on a Berlitz language vacation with my dad and sister. I got scouted by an agency from London but my parents didn’t want me to miss school to fly over there to do tests and castings, so we let it be. When I was 15 I signed with Viva Berlin and we kept it local as school was my first priority.
FIRST SHOOT: I had always done little shoots with friends that where interested in photography where I would do my own hair and make-up and styling. But the first ever official job that I got booked for was an editorial for Chica magazine and I was stoked!
DREAM CAMPAIGN: I think my dream campaign is, for personal reasons, H&M. Growing up, H&M was pretty much all there was shopping-wise for a teenager in my hometown. When I was 14, I walked into our local store and went to one of the staff—the boy wouldn’t have been older than 19 and probably still in school himself—and asked him, “Who can I speak to to be on the posters in the store?” As you can imagine, he wasn’t very helpful and I left with the mission to one day make it happen, even though I had no idea how this would work.
STYLE ICON: I can’t point to one person in particular. I admire the style of the women in my family, of personalities like Iris Apfel or Anna Dello Russo, but then I also love the classics from Audrey Hepburn to Patti Smith.
PERSONAL STYLE: My style is very mixed. It always depends on my mood and who I am meeting that day. Personally, it’s much louder than when I have to go on castings or to events. I like to wear things that make me happy. I have a bit of a gypsy soul, but mixed with glitter, colors, and crazy things. I also love to make myself look very expensive and chic sometimes or be a super tough rock or hip-hop chick but all with a personal twist. I just really enjoy playing with fashion and mixing styles. On my days off, I have no problem getting my groceries in my crocs and my oldest trackies or a onesie.
WHEN DID YOU START COLLECTING VINTAGE CLOTHING? Since forever. I’m very lucky that all women in my family are collectors and I have a couple of older cousins, so I got things handed down from an early age. Second hand clothing is what I grew up with.
FAVORITE VINTAGE PIECE: It’s tough to just pick one but, I think if I have to I would say my black suede Marc Jacobs blazer with the turquoise sequin collar and pockets. It used to belong to my fiancés mum and is both a bit crazy and classy at the same time.
EILIKA MECKBACH IS REPRESENTED BY WOMEN MANAGEMENT IN NEW YORK.