Saturday 1 October 2016

Top model January Russell recalls her early days in Paris: 'They used to measure us every day'

Sean O'Grady

Published 19/05/2016 | 07:37

January Russell opening The House of Peroni Dublin which is open to the public from 19th- 28th May 2016.
January Russell opening The House of Peroni Dublin which is open to the public from 19th- 28th May 2016.
January Russell opening The House of Peroni Dublin which is open to the public from 19th- 28th May 2016.
Top Irish models Sarah Morrissey, Thalia Heffernan and January Russell for Marks & Spencer
January Russell for Brown Thomas
January Russell pictured at the Arnotts SS16 Season Launch Event. Picture: Anthony Woods

She's already walked the runways of Milan, Paris, Istanbul and Madrid, and now Dublin model January Russell Winters has her sights set on conquering Asia.

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The Ballybrack native (27), who is on the books of Nologo Management in Italy, hopes to expand her career this summer.

"I may have another trip to Thailand to work there this year. Possibly in June," she told the Diary.

"That would be amazing. It would be for three months. They have a big commercial market over there."

January Russell opening The House of Peroni Dublin which is open to the public from 19th- 28th May 2016.
January Russell opening The House of Peroni Dublin which is open to the public from 19th- 28th May 2016.

The model, who is based in Ireland, admitted the industry was a lot tougher abroad than it was at home.

"Generally, I get along with all the models. I wouldn't say [they are unfriendly]," she said.

"I met a lot of good friends when I was in Milan. You do run into trouble with people sometimes, but I wouldn't say that's just models. There is definitely a lot more pressure to stay skinny in Europe.

"It's really important for you to make your measurements. They are measuring you quite often.

January Russell pictured at the Arnotts SS16 Season Launch Event. Picture: Anthony Woods
January Russell pictured at the Arnotts SS16 Season Launch Event. Picture: Anthony Woods

"It's a lot tougher over there, but here is more relaxed."

Read more: A model friendship: Thalia Heffernan and January Russell on their unbreakable bond

January dreamed of becoming a model from a young age and in her late teens and sent several shots of herself to agencies around Dublin, but was rejected numerous times.

However, she was finally signed by Morgan The Agency, which specialises in high fashion models like Thalia Heffernan.

Top Irish models Sarah Morrissey, Thalia Heffernan and January Russell for Marks & Spencer
Top Irish models Sarah Morrissey, Thalia Heffernan and January Russell for Marks & Spencer

And while the market might be more relaxed here, she recalled her early days in Paris where she was measured every other day.

"When I was younger, working in Paris was really tough," she said.

"They wanted us to be really tiny. They were measuring us every second day. It's tough for younger girls.

"Over here, it's more about being fit and healthy - but in Europe, the measurements are very, very important."

Speaking at the launch of pop-up bar The House of Peroni in Dublin's 1 Dame Lane, she said the men she came across during her career in Europe were more confident than their Irish counterparts.

"Irish guys are less likely to approach you, but that's not always a good thing," she said.

"They're a bit more reserved. I think it's more of a shyness. I normally have a boyfriend, but I don't have one at the moment."

Herald

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