Heather Marks’ doll-like beauty has charmed the fashion world, but it’s her down-to-earth Canadian attitude that has helped her go the distance. Discovered at the age of 11 in her native Calgary, Marks made her runway debut four years later at Givenchy’s spring couture show in 2003. Since then, she has walked the catwalks for Burberry, Christian Lacroix, Zac Posen and Chanel. Now based in Greenwich Village, the model took a break from her peripatetic schedule (we caught her in between an American Eagle store opening in Times Square and a fashion shoot in Texas) to give ELLE her take on fashion, beauty and the other essentials of “supermodeldom.”
FASHION & STYLE
What is your constant companion?
“I always carry my navy-blue Balenciaga bag. I’ve just destroyed it, but it’s my number one and I carry it everywhere.”
What’s in it?
“You’ll always find my BlackBerry—horrible, I know! Usually I have a digital camera because you never know when you’ll need one. Also, I always carry NARS Duo Concealer in Vanilla/Honey, and I’m a huge ChapStick person.”
How would your friends describe your style?
“I dress pretty comfortably—normally in leggings or jeans. There will be days when my friends are like ‘Oh, my God, Heather, what are you wearing?’ but I always wear what I like, not what other people like.”
Who are your favourite designers?
“I really love Alex Wang—what girl doesn’t? He has fun, young designs that are easy to wear and lots of leather, which I love. Azzaro also has great half-denim, half-leather jackets that are really cool.”
What are your favourite spring trends?
“I like the
military look—it’s masculine yet sexy—and I love the green and khaki combination. I also noticed a lot of lingerie over fashion at Marc Jacobs and Dolce & Gabbana, which I thought was really cute.”
Do you have any fashion don’ts?
“I’m not a huge fan of neon. And I don’t like pointy stilettos: If you get the right point they’re okay, but people go out and get these witchy, pointy, awful shoes thinking that they’re fashionable and it’s like ‘No, no no!’”
Who are your friends in the modelling world?
“I don’t normally hang out with the other girls. We hung out when we were younger, but when you’re working all day and you’re finally done, you want to go somewhere else. When we’re working, we get along really well, which is great because we can be friends at work. And I definitely don’t have frenemies!”
Who was your favourite model when you were growing up?
Linda Evangelista, mainly because she’s Canadian and she was the one person I knew of at the time. Growing up, I didn’t know a lot about fashion or models.”
Have you had any fashion casualties?
“I’ve definitely had a zipper break or a stiletto snap just before I walked onto the runway. I’m lucky, though: I always walk on my toes, even in flats, so when the heel snaps I don’t fall!”
Who are your style icons?
“Daphne Guinness and Madonna—two people who aren’t afraid to take it there. I admire their risk-taking.”
What’s your favourite spring beauty trend?
“The natural beachy look, with bright cheeks and a lot of mascara. The vibe is less ’80s, more late ’70s.”
How do you stay in shape?
“Kick-boxing is my favourite workout, and I do a lot of resistance training—I use a lot of elastics in the gym!”
Do you have any tips for eating well?
“I have a juicer, and I make a lot of my own juices. I throw everything and anything in them: celery, spinach, romaine lettuce, carrots, apples and oranges. They sound like they would taste awful, but they don’t—the apples sweeten them up. Plus, you don’t get sick as often and you feel totally energized.”
What is your beauty routine?
“I love to go to the Russian Baths. The saunas and steam rooms clear my skin and make it glow. I have a friend who makes an organic face wash for me. I also use Maybelline mascara, and I love NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna—it’s the best thing I’ve ever found.”
TRAVEL & ADVENTURE
What is your favourite travel destination?
“Zanzibar is so beautiful and a totally different way of life. I realize how lucky I am and that life could be a lot more difficult.”
Where would you like to go next?
“Backpacking across Thailand with my older sister, Tracey. I wouldn’t want to go for work; I’d prefer to be like my friends who went backpacking after university.”
What was your most exciting trip so far?
“My sister bought me a Vegas skydiving trip for my 21st birthday. She knew it would be the best present ever because I never in a million years thought she would do it with me! I’d already tried it, so I wasn’t scared. But in Vegas, we were on this tiny two-person plane and the floor was literally duct-taped together. I was way more nervous the second time around!”
What was your most adventurous shoot?
“I once had to ride a horse on the middle of a highway in Brooklyn. I’ve had a surprising number of experiences with horses on shoots and I’m not totally comfortable around them. I’ve also had a lot of shoots in the water—I grew up on lakes, so being among waves in the ocean makes me so nervous.”
HEATHER’S BLACK BOOK
“For working out, I like ‘Empire State of Mind,’ the Alicia Keys and Jay-Z song, and, of course, Lady Gaga. Being from Calgary, I also love country music—Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift—and I’m in love with Brad Paisley and John Mayer’s song, ‘Why Georgia.’”
Song you know by heart
“‘Mr. Jones’ by the Counting Crows. I grew up with it, and I still know every word.”
“I watch a lot of
Cold Case, and I’m a huge fan of
“I love sushi. A spicy tuna roll with extra-spicy mayo on the side and a lot of sashimi is my favourite.”
“My English bulldog, Otis!”
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