Gloves Off

Forget pole dancing and Soul Cycle; boxing is the sport du jour. Just ask Next models Mathilde Franchon, Charissa du Plessis, Daniela Braga, and Charlbi Dean Kriek.

Mathilde Frachon
AGE: 23

HOMETOWN: Paris, France.

WAS IT FASHIONABLE: Paris = fashion.

DID YOU GROW UP READING MAGAZINES? Yes, I was stealing all of my mum’s magazines—Elle and Glamour.

WERE YOU ALWAYS TALL? DID THAT SET YOU APART FROM YOUR PEERS? Always one of the tallest. It did, but in a good way. I was playing handball from 13 to 17 so being tall was a plus!

HOW WERE YOU DISCOVERED? Scouted on the street in Paris.

DREAM CAMPAIGN: A cosmetics campaign or a Miu Miu campaign.

DREAM RUNWAY: Givenchy, Prada, or Victoria’s Secret.

CURRENT ICON: Isabel Marant.

FIRST SHOOT: My first shoot was a test shoot in Paris. I didn’t really know what to do, but I had fun and the pictures came out great.

STARTED BOXING: Two months ago. It’s a very good workout, and when you’re an energetic crazy pill like me it’s a very good way to use your energy.

ARE YOU ANY GOOD? I’m the new Mike Tyson.

Charissa du Plessis
AGE: 19

HOMETOWN: A small town in the middle of South Africa.

DID YOU GROW UP READING MAGAZINES? Rarely reading, but always looking at all the pictures—the beautiful girls in different clothes, smiling.

WERE YOU ALWAYS TALL? DID THAT SET YOU APART FROM YOUR PEERS? Yes, always taller than all the boys. [But] my mom is very tall and she always reminded me that being tall is not bad, but a beautiful thing, and you always should be thankful for what you are given. I also played a lot of sports growing up where everyone was either as tall as me or even taller.

HOW WERE YOU DISCOVERED? I was not discovered, I went out looking for an agency. Modeling was something my dad insisted I try, and here I am. (Thank you, Daddy.)

DREAM CAMPAIGN: Victoria’s Secret.

CURRENT ICON: Daria Werbowy, she is just so effortlessly beautiful.

FIRST SHOOT: It was for a German client. I was so excited I showed up an hour early for the shoot, and the icing on the cake was I could not understand a word of German and my English wasn’t very good. A lost in translation moment.

STARTED BOXING: Last year. I thought it was a great way of letting out extra stress… turns out I was right!

ARE YOU ANY GOOD? You have to come and see for yourself. I have a lot of steam to let out—don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Daniela Braga
AGE: 21

HOMETOWN: Taboão da Serra, a city in São Paulo, Brazil.

WAS IT FASHIONABLE? São Paulo in general is super fashionable.


WERE YOU ALWAYS TALL? Always above my age’s standard.

HOW WERE YOU DISCOVERED? A region scouter found me at a pharmacy I used to work at in São Paulo.

DREAM CAMPAIGN: Shooting for Givenchy was surreal and a dream come true. There are just so many creative brands, it’s hard picking one or two. I’m grateful for what I’ve already accomplished.

CURRENT ICON: Arizona Muse!

STARTED BOXING: Recently—two months ago. It’s very good for your health, balance, body, and, besides that, it’s a beautiful fight.

ARE YOU ANY GOOD? I’m getting better—looking forward to it.

Charlbi Dean Kriek
AGE: 23

HOMETOWN: Cape Town, South Africa.

WAS IT FASHIONABLE? Yes, in its own, laid-back kind of way, which means I stuck out like a sore thumb with my odd dress sense.

DID YOU GROW UP READING MAGAZINES? Not really. I read a lot of books.

WERE YOU ALWAYS TALL? DID THAT SET YOU APART FROM YOUR PEERS? I went to school early, so was always the youngest and never the tallest. I was named “walking, talking toothpick.” Being very skinny was something I hated at school.

HOW WERE YOU DISCOVERED? My mom was a model but very shy. I wanted to be an actress and in South Africa modeling was the closest thing to it. Doing TV commercials was where I started.

DREAM CAMPAIGN: Cosmetics company.

DREAM RUNWAY: Victoria’s Secret is something I think most models would love to walk for.

FIRST SHOOT: A TV commercial for BMW, I believe. I loved every moment of it.

STARTED BOXING: After my film Death Race Inferno (2012). I had to use weapons and trained for the fight scenes—I realized it was a fun way to keep fit.

ARE YOU ANY GOOD: I’ve been told I’ve got a good roundhouse kick. Practice makes perfect.