As a Dutchman myself, I have often said that in terms of modelling, Holland is the next Brazil. But I have come to realise that there is no next Brazil. Brazil is Brazil and Holland is Holland. The Netherlands have been suppliers of succesful models for decades now. So the small country doesn’t need to be called the next Brazil.
The Dutch model market resides in Amsterdam where all of our finest are gathered in topnotch agencies with great contacts around the globe. And boy, has the globe been interested in the Dutch. During the supermodel era, Holland was represented by the legendary Karen Mulder, who graced an uncountable amount of covers.
She was among the first batch of Victoria’s Secret Angels. On into the new millennium, lots of Dutch faces have appeared on the greatest of runways, the most major of magazines and in the hautest of haute campaigns. So what is it that makes the Dutch models so succesful and wanted in the industry?
Karen Mulder at the peak of her career
The answer is quite simple: they are willing to work very hard.
Holland is a country built upon agriculture. That history makes the willingness to work hard flow through the blood of every Dutch person. Struggling with the sea and surviving many floods has given the Dutch people the lifemotto of Luctor et Emergo: I struggle and I emerge. Strict schoollaws and parents of morality make it hard to quit school before your 18th. So when the girls do hit the fashion scene, they are strong and wise enough to survive.
Working hard is awesome, but you cannot be a model if you are not pictureworthy. No problem at all for those Dutch girls. They are tall, they’re well formed and their beauty is an accesable and serene one. Proof in case: Doutzen Kroes. In the Forbes list of the world’s top-earning models she stands at number 5 with an estimated total of 6 million dollars, earned with her international L’Oreal and Victoria’s Secret contracts. Aside from those commercial contracts she is still doing the high fashion stuff also.
Doutzen Kroes for S/S 08 Calvin Klein White Label
And there are many more Dutch treats working their ways to the top. Runway favorite Kim Noorda scores all the shows season after season. Bette Franke shines in the Hugo Boss fragrance ads. Iekeliene Stange is this season’s face of Top Shop and works all the magazines. And the biggest contender right now has to be the inevitable Lara Stone, scoring Jil Sander and Givenchy for next season, 3 Paris Vogue covers in a year time and one for Italian Vogue. The list goes on.
Lara on the cover of March Paris Vogue
So the Netherlands has quite a prominent position in delivering topmodels. And the country of polders and windwills will remain a factory of beauty for a long time to come, with the next generation already lurking around the corner. Meet Cato van Ee, one of the recent Prada exclusives who is set to star in the upcoming cK Jeans ad by Steven Meisel. The factory keeps on producing.
Cato on the cover of April’s L’Officiel Paris
Want to learn more about Dutch models? Visit the Dutch Models thread here: