While most 15-year-old girls are getting their braces off and studying for a learner’s permit, Emilie Evander is in Milan closing out Alessandro Michele’s debut Gucci womenswear collection as an exclusive. The fresh-faced, 5’11” Washington-bred teen’s first runway appearance was for the designer’s Fall/Winter ’15 Gucci menswear show in January, and she also made an appearance on Alexander Wang’s catwalk this season. Evander’s look is equally as striking and androgynous as Michele’s inaugural efforts, but it’s what her New York agent describes as her “incredible ability to connect with people at a very young age” that’s gotten her to this stage so quickly in her career. We spoke with the budding catwalker as she exited the runway in Milan about what’s ahead.
How were you scouted?
I was seen at a mall on vacation in Hawaii [at 11] and referred to TCM Models in Seattle. I had never really thought about modeling before, honestly, but when it was presented to me, I wanted to explore the route and see if it was my passion. Now I’m with Wilhelmina in New York.
How was your first New York fashion week?
Exciting beyond my wildest dreams…I met so many amazing people at my first ready-to-wear show for Alexander Wang.
What was the biggest challenge you faced?
So far, it’s [been] staying on top of my homework!
How do you stay fresh and energetic while traveling and juggling your busy school and modeling schedule?
I get a good night’s rest, get up early, and listen to either Rihanna or Beyoncé to ready myself for my day.
Is there one thing you can’t do without when you’re on the road?
That’s simple. My mom!
What was it like being a Gucci exclusive for the second time in a row?
I’m so happy for Alessandro Michele. He is so nice and talented. I love the collections and was so honored to be chosen to close out his first—we both had new life experiences and we experienced it together.
What do you see in the future for you?
The sky’s the limit. I’m about to head to Paris for fashion week, and then I come back home to school for a while. I’d love to do a Chanel campaign, but then again, there are so many great designers, it’s hard to pick just one.