Who’s That Girl: Hanne Gaby Odiele

By
Photography Gregory Harris

Published July 9, 2013

In Interview‘s June/July issue’s “Night Moves” fashion story, styled by Elin Svahn and shot by Gregory Harris, the hyper-masculine/feminine pairing of silky lingerie tap shorts with tough leather toppers offers a fresh take on effortless, streetwear-infused evening glamour. To embody the looks, Interview tapped Belgian model Hanne Gaby Odiele (IMG). The modeling vet and street style favorite, who has become a fixture on the runways and in campaigns for Balenciaga, Jil Sander, and Saint Laurent since her breakout in 2006, tells Interview about being discovered, growing up in rural Belgium, and how she preps her signature walk.

Age? 25

Where did you grow up?  In a small village called Kooigem in Belgium, by the borders of France.

Was it very fashionable?  My village had no shops, no magazines available back then. There were only 300 people. Other than a great farmer’s look, there wasn’t much style.

Did you grow up reading magazines?  Not fashion, again, there was just none around. But I loved history and was way obsessed [with] the way people used to dress.

Were you always tall? As a little girl, yes. In my early teens, not the tallest, but I kept growing ’till I was 21.

Did that set you apart from your peers? As a little girl I was the tallest in the class, but I don’t think it made me feel any different.

How were you discovered?  I got discovered on a music festival in Belgium by [stylist/editor] Tom van Dorpe,

What would be your dream campaign?  Hard question. Depending what the rate is 😉

Whose runway have you always wanted to walk?  I’ve walked most runways, walking Balenciaga, Prada, Calvin [Klein], McQueen, Valentino, Versace, Saint Laurent, Lanvin, just to name a few. . . was an amazing privilege, I still can’t believe sometimes I did.

Whose look are you obsessed with right now? Some old Chinese lady that is roaming my streets with a cane, her back is bend on an 86 degree angle.

What is your favorite city? NYC is the first one coming in my mind.

What is your favorite food? I love Mexican food.

Tell us about your first shoot. Casting legend Russell Marsh casted me for my first editorial, “Class of 2006,” in British Vogue by Paolo Roversi. I remember sitting in front of that old school camera very well.

How do you prepare to walk? It’s my job, I’m always prepared.

For more on Hanne Gaby Odiele, click here.