Born in Martinique on April 24th 1991, Sigrid Agren is the model who became the Chanel girl for a whole new generation.
Agren started her career in 2004 when she won the local Elite Model Look contest. Winning the semi-finals in 2005, she subsequently signed with the Elite agency. An early-starter even by modelling standards, Sigrid took the decision to put her career on the back-burner in 2007 to concentrate on school, and returned to modelling in 2008, signing with New York Model Management.
In June 2008, she appeared in her first major editorial, for Teen Vogue. Just days later, http://www.models.com/ named Agren a future industry star. In September, she made her debut at Fashion Week. Despite having only a clutch of editorials behind her, Agren’s runway booking sheet was filled with the best of international design talent. Walking for Calvin Klein, Rodarte, Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren, she also opened shows for Alexander McQueen, Karl Lagerfeld, Sonia Rykiel and YSL. Closing shows for Prada and Louis Vuitton, Sigrid’s look had struck a chord with the industry. With such an incredible start to her international career, it was no surprise when http://www.style.com/ named Agren one of their Top 10 Newcomers.
Her career as one of fashion’s favourite runway girls gave way to editorial and campaign work. In early 2009 she became one of the faces of Prada, appearing alongside Anna Jagodzinska and Katrin Thormann.
January saw Sigrid walk her first couture runway season, appearing for Chanel, Dior and Givenchy and opening the show for Valentino. Sigrid continued to rack up opening and closing spots as Fashion Week arrived a month later. She opened shows in New York, Paris and Milan, walking for designers such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Alberta Ferretti, Valentino and Chloe. In addition to also closing the Chloe show, she also scooped closing honours for Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan, Nina Ricci and Roland Mouret.
After appearing on the Autumn / Winter couture runways, Agren’s delicate looks made her a select choice for campaign work. She signed a contract with YSL Cosmetics, replaced Kate Moss as the face of Stella McCartney and became the face for powerhouse-brands Calvin Klein and Chloe. Sigrid’s easy-to-market look made her a fail-safe when it came to securing campaign work, but her next editorial booking made sure that the fashion world knew she wasn’t a one-note wonder.
Shooting for Italian Vogue, Agren appeared in a couture layout with models Heidi Mount, Rose Cordero, Toni Garrn, Imogen Morris-Clarke, Jourdan Dunn and Constance Jablonski. Named ‘A Dream of a Dress’ and photographed by Paolo Roversi, the high-fashion shoot was dark, atmospheric and dripping with glamour. It was absolute proof that Sigrid could master fashion’s dark arts, not just the campaigns and covers.
In October, she undertook editorials for Numero and Russian Vogue, choosing to sit out the S/S 2010 runway season. It did her career no harm whatsoever, as she renewed her contract with YSL Cosmetics in early 2010, returning to the runway in January for the Prada Menswear show.
Sigrid also appeared in Italian Vogue again, this time photographed by the legendary Steven Meisel. Named ‘Runway’, the shoot was a massive project that included the best of new and established catwalk talent. Sigrid was joined by Lara Stone, Frida Gustavsson, Natasha Poly, Kendra Spears, Kasia Struss, Mirte Maas and Iselin Steiro to name just a few. The documentary-style, behind-the-scenes shoot was a huge success and real-life imitated art when Sigrid found herself undertaking the biggest runway season of her career.
Walking in 71 shows, Agren appeared for Jaegar, Matthew Williamson, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Prada, Lanvin and Gareth Pugh. Closing shows for Thakoon, Derek Lam and Calvin Klein, Agren’s fashion moment had finally arrived. Appearing in some of the biggest shows of the season, her profile soared.
In March, she undertook an editorial for W; April saw her being cited as a top model by Teen Vogue and May and June saw back-to-back fashion spreads for Numero and Japanese Vogue.
But her biggest moment was still yet to come. Already a fixture on beauty billboards for YSL, Sigrid landed the booking of a lifetime when she was chosen to represent Chanel’s new fragrance Chance. Launched back in 2002, Sigrid was to be the face of the fragrance’s latest incarnation, Eau Tendre. A soft, summery companion to the main perfume, it was a huge coup for Agren.
Shot by Jean Paul Goude, the campaign featured Sigrid sat clutching a huge bottle of the perfume and accessorised only with a garland of pink flowers. Pitched as sweetly romantic, the advert is deceptively simple in concept, but ultra-sophisticated in its execution. Aimed at younger consumers, Agren (still in her teens herself) was the perfect choice as the Chanel girl for a generation who have grown-up worshipping the brand.
After her seal of approval from Chanel, Agren became the go-to girl for this coming season’s campaigns. She will appear in the Prada Menswear ad with Angela Lindvall and the campaign for Celine with model Emma Balfour. Sigrid can also be seen in the new campaign for Italian designer Alberta Ferretti, appearing alongside top-model Jac. Shot in sepia tones, the campaign is a yin & yang concept with Jac dressed in black and Sigrid in white. Dreamy and sensuous, the calling-card of all Ferretti campaigns, Sigrid’s career has come full circle.
Agren is making a name for herself as a model that doesn’t have to choose between campaign and editorial work: she is someone who is equally at home on a beauty shoot as she is working on an editorial for Italian Vogue. For a model who doesn’t even reach her 20th birthday until 2011, Sigrid’s body of work already outranks the majority of her contemporaries.
Sigrid’s success is owed much to her ability to be adaptable, a quality that in today’s industry is as in-demand as being photogenic. Much has already been written about the impact of the economic recession on the modelling industry. For blonde models, however, it has been nothing but good news.
In times of crisis, clients tend to go with the familiar, and modern beauty (especially when its best face forward for covers and campaigns), is often equated with blonde models. Seen as approachable and sunny, blonde models like Agren have seen their workload increase significantly over the past year, because of their wide-ranging appeal.
Sigrid’s high-profile campaigns with YSL and Chanel have both utilised her ability to take a great beauty shot. She may be a natural at scooping cosmetic and fragrance campaigns, but Sigrid has smartly balanced this with high-fashion editorial and runway work. Appearing for designers such as Gareth Pugh, Thakoon and Lanvin has lifted Agren’s stock from safe-as-houses blonde to a model whose career is well-rounded and without a doubt, on the rise.
Even the briefest glance through this month’s fashion magazines will tell you that the tide is beginning to change. Gone are the disco shoes, the extravagance and glamour for glamour’s sake. Here to stay is a new mood: pared-back but not dumbed-down. With even Marc Jacobs revisiting and remodelling the camel coat, fashion’s new direction is about shape, texture and finish.
The good news for blue-chip models like Agren is that this is fashion with substance, and her appearance this February in some of the most talked-about show of the season (Burberry and Prada), is raising her value on the modelling market to make her one of the most coveted girls working today.
First hired as the winsome, delicate blonde, Sigrid is rapidly winning herself a reputation as a model of endurance. Far from being fashion’s soft option, girls like Agren are the true backbone of this industry. With a 71-show season under her belt already this year, only three more words are needed: watch and learn.