At 5’11 with big doe eyes, Anri Pretorius has the look that just screams model. She’s currently on a mission to break London, after having successfully become part of the modelling industry in her native South Africa.
Danusia Francis met with the blonde beauty to find out what her plans are for the future and way she made the leap to London.
Danusia: You’re here in London and you’re continuing to pursue your modelling career. So far you’ve modelled a lot in South Africa, what’s the best thing you’ve done so far- what are you most proud of?
Anri: In South Africa that would be all of the fashion weeks. Mercedes Benz fashion week, SA fashion week. Here in London definitely the competition that I won and also the fashion international show that I did in September last year. I walked for the spring summer, that was really nice.
D: What do you prefer – photo shoots or do you prefer the catwalk and walking in front of a crowd?
A: I absolutely love catwalk, runway, that’s my thing. I’ve been here now a month and I’ve done a lot of shoots so I’m loving shoots just as much now.
D: What actually inspired you to come to London for a year to continue to pursue your modelling career?
A: So my modelling kicked off last year with the competition and everything, and I finished school last year so I thought why not take a gap year because I have no idea what I want to study. And just focus on modelling and seeing how it goes. If it goes well then I’ll do maybe another year, if not I can go back and study but I doubt that. So it all came rolling into a plan.
D: Do you feel like London is a place that can catapult your career?
A: Of course it’s a fashion capital in the industry. It’s high fashion, what I like runway and stuff. So definitely.
D: It has just been fashion week do you have aspirations to be in the next London Fashion Week?
A: Yes I love fashion weeks it’s so exhilarating. So the September one is spring summer 2018- so I would really love to do shows there every day if I can. A show a day.
D: Is there a specific brand or campaign that would be your dream brand to work for?
A: I really like Ralph Lauren
D: I can see you in the Gigi Hadid collection
A: Some people say I look a bit Guess. So Ralph Lauren, Guess, everything is nice. Because I have a doll face and if they do makeup they usually go back to the 60s with me. High hair a Twiggy vibe with big eyes and I really like that.
D: Modelling isn’t easy, have their been many hurdles you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today?
A: Definitely eating healthy so naturally I am slim but to keep healthy skin, glowing skin, not dull, I have to eat a lot of vegetables, protein but cut a bit back on the red meat. I love red meat, though- bacon! And also carbs is necessary especially because I like running. So carbs when I run and practise but mostly afternoons and mornings. In the evening I’ll eat a chicken breast and a lot of veggies so that’s a hurdle saying no to all the doughnuts and stuff because I’m a sweet tooth. And getting a thick skin because there’s a lot of rejection but the plus point is there’s a lot of brands and a lot of agencies. I got said no to by a lot of agencies and then there’s one agency that really liked me. So that’s a positive thing. This one that you need to find and you fit in. And it’s nice.
D: Here in London who’s representing you?
A: Bookings models, there in Shoreditch and there really nice. I’ve been here now and month and with them, I’ve done shoots more test shoots then I think I’ve ever done. It’s lovely because my portfolio is building up so nice. In South Africa I was juggling school so I didn’t do a lot of shoots, I had opportunities but I had to focus on my school work, so I did two a year. Now I’m doing two a week. So it’s a big step up I love it.
D: You mentioned a couple of times that you’ve taken a break from your studies to focus on your modelling. So what were you studying and do you think you’ll go back to it if your modelling career takes off.
A: In South Africa, you finish school at 18, so not 16 and then you do A-levels. So I was just doing High School in those terms, my subjects were biology, science, geography, maths, English and Afrikaans. I’m thinking of food science in the hospitals. Dietician or Dietetics and it compliments the modelling. I like eating healthy and I knowing all the facts, like all the antioxidants in green tea. I just like saying the facts, telling other people the benefits.
D: I would trust you to be my dietician. Hearing about what you eat it sounds like a nice varied diet. What has been the hardest thing adjusting to life here in London?
A: The weather. The cold, I’m sitting here – it’s better now. But I actually do like it, I like it when it’s cold when the wind goes blowing my hair. If there is sleet or anything snow I take my phone and I say mum check the video it’s snowing! In South Africa it’s warm you get blue skies 90% of the year, not a cloud. So if I see the clouds I feel like it’s so nice. I love the weather maybe in a month I’ll miss the sun but for now I’m like “yes it’s raining”- it’s weird but it’s true.