Introducing South African stunner, Alexandra Binaris, hotly tipped to become one of the most notable names in fashion – and quite rightly so. Within a day of signing with Boss Models, Alex was introduced to the head scout of Elite Paris, who immediately snapped her up for their prestigious Europe modelling group.
Despite only having modelled for a short time, Alex has walked the runways for some of the finest fashion houses in the world, from Louis Vuitton and Chanel to Jean Paul Gaultier. And as if that wasn’t enough, she’s also been featured in top style magazines like GLAMOUR magazine. Here, SA’s biggest breakout model talks to us about being scouted, what she loves most about being a model, and how she copes with the bitterly cold conditions overseas.
You’re quite new to the industry, yet you’ve already been named as one of the faces to watch on the international modelling scene. How do you feel about being ranked with the likes of Bella Hadid and Jourdan Dunn?
The first thought that comes to mind is ‘surreal’ and then ‘pure excitement’! It’s great to be doing something you love and to be recognised for it.
You completed your degree in Dramatic Arts, Film Production, Media and Writing. Do any of these subjects help your modelling career in any way?
Studying drama really taught me how to be confident on the ramp, and how to act in front of the camera to give clients want they want. To me, modelling isn’t just about being pretty, but also about being an actress and being able to tell a story with every photograph.
What made you turn to modelling?
I’ve been scouted several times in my life, although in hindsight the most valuable of these times was during my first trip to Cape Town when I was 18 years old. Hans, an ex-Boss Models employee, scouted me on the top of Table Mountain – however, having always placed huge importance on my education, I decided to pursue my dreams of studying at the University of Cape Town instead. After I graduated, I decided to knock on Boss Models’ door (quite literally). I can’t pinpoint what exactly made me do this, other than an extremely strong gut feeling that Boss Models was exactly where I needed to be. Boy, was I right! Within 24 hours, Iris – a scout working with Elite Worldwide – scouted me in the office and within a month, I was jet-setting off to Paris!
What tips would you give to aspiring models?
My greatest advice is to be who you are because the right people will love you for it. Confidence is key! Every girl or boy walking into a room with a casting director or designer is beautiful so you have to think about what makes you you, and celebrate your individuality.
What does a typical day look like for you?
One thing I love about my job is that every day is different. My career is so versatile that every day I’m able to experience new things, meet new people and be presented with new challenges. I couldn’t even describe a typical day because nothing about my job is typical!
What’s the best part about being a model?
Going all Beyoncé, because nothing makes you feel as powerful as strutting down that runway!
And the worst part?
Realising you aren’t, and never will be Beyoncé.
What’s the one thing you wish people knew about modelling?
People often ask me what shows I’m doing in Fashion Week before it even begins. The reality is that we NEVER know ahead of time, and are usually only told the night before, or sometimes even only a few hours in advance. Often we don’t even know until we’re on the runway – because this is showbiz and anything can change at any given moment!
You’ve been spending some time in Europe. How do you cope with the cold weather?
Truthfully, I don’t! My European friends are always laughing at me because wearing 10 layers isn’t enough. Arriving at castings looking like I’ve had some of the blueberry bubblegum Violet eats in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has become my trademark.
Do you ever see yourself settling overseas?
Every place I’ve been to holds its own beauty! I’m young and exploring the world is what I want to do for now, but South Africa will always be my home.
What are your travel essentials?
A good book, The xx’s latest album on repeat and Band-Aids for the inevitable foot blisters.
Which show has been your favourite so far?
Louis Vuitton SS17. Walking for such a remarkable designer and a team that I love is the most amazing feeling.
Which designer would you love to walk for in the future?
Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang.
In terms of fashion, what are you loving at the moment?
How everything is moving away from pretty to edgy. It’s so much more fun!
Lastly, what would you like your fans to know about you?
I have the most irrational fear of fish, so don’t expect me to go scuba diving with you anytime soon!