Now Casting: Querelle Jansen

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As far as model scouting stories go, Querelle Jansen’s was pretty standard: when she was vacationing in Paris with her mom, aunt, and sister, a City Models scout approached her in the crowd. Two weeks later, the Holland native boarded a London-bound plane for a photoshoot. “I was actually just giving it a go because I didn’t really plan it,” Jansen tells CR. “I was like, ‘Why not? Let’s give it a try.’”

And just like that, the 17-year-old went from her quaint Netherland’s town, Leeuwarden, into a fully fledged runway career that took her all over the world. Shortly after her first shoot, she flew to Italy to walk for Prada during Milan Fashion Week, then Los Angeles for a Miu Miu campaign shot by Mario Testino.

Now 32-years-old, the model has served as a frequent muse to renowned photographers and designers alike, most recently as the face of the Spring/Summer Marni and Nina Ricci campaigns. Along the way, she has made genuine friendships both on the runway and behind the camera lens. She still considers photographer Peter Lindbergh a fond friend and considers her first shoot with him to be one of her favorites. “It was by his house in the South of France,” she says. “And we were spending the night at his house, and he has the big barn with the rooms for us to sleep in, with his family, and it was just really relaxed and cool.”

Yet with each surreal experience, she still cherishes Leeuwarden as her home, where she now raises her 15-month-old daughter. “I have one life with my daughter at home, and once in a while, I’m traveling to an amazing place, where I meet amazing people. That’s a really cool balance.“

What is your favorite city you have visited?
Every city has its own feel to it. I like New York; I like London. London really inspires me, and it’s close to home. I like Paris; I kind of started there, so it feels a little bit like home sometimes.

What is the craziest thing that you have ever worn for a show or an editorial?
Those really tight bustiers, like really Victorian—your ribs, you almost cannot breathe— and the high shoes. I walked on a catwalk show for John Paul Gaultier with a really big dog. He was getting everywhere! I had a really nice, long dress on, and I was trying not to trip and trying to keep the dog in control. That was really fun.

What is your favorite movie?
Anything from Quentin Tarantino. I like independent movies, also, smaller movies.

Do you have a favorite song or a favorite type of music?
Right now, I really like to listen to old blues; I really like Justin Townes Earle; it is not old, but it’s new. He is from Texas, I think, but he’s a little bit rock n’roll, blues, yeah; I like it.

Are there any interesting books that you’re reading?
I’m reading about mindfulness. Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, really deep. I like to do yoga; I started in 2014, and then I did teacher training in Holland, and I taught for more than a year, and then I got pregnant and stopped. So now, I’m picking it up myself, my own practice, again, but I’m not teaching right now so I like to read about mindfulness.

What made you start getting into mindfulness?
I was in my head a lot. I think a lot of people are and it can be really exhausting, so a friend told me that she really liked it and I like movement, I like moving my body, so I tried it. It made me so peaceful and calm and together, more centered.

If you weren’t modeling, is there anything else that you would really want to do?
I wanted to be a social worker. I really wanted to work with people and my family is all psychologists so that’s what I wanted to do. I don’t know if I would do it right now. I find it really interesting how the human mind works and the behavior and where it comes from. For me, yoga is close to that a little bit, about how everything works.

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