Born September 12th 1987, Anna Jagodzinska signed with Next Model Management in 2003, moving to New York that same year to pursue a career in modelling.
The Polish model had her breakthrough season in February 2004 with appearances for Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Chanel, Derek Lam, Louis Vuitton, Marni, Miu Miu, Nina Ricci, Prada, Sonia Rykiel and Zac Posen.
Editorials with W, i-D and Italian Vogue followed, and in 2005 Anna landed her first fragrance campaign with Moschino. Signing with the Italian brand gave Anna’s budding career a boost, with a highly successful runway season in February, including appearances for Celine, Marc Jacobs and Diane Von Furstenberg and an editorial for British Vogue, shot by legend Patrick Demarchelier. Her notability rose further still in August when she got her first Vogue cover, appearing for Australian Vogue.
As the fashion industry began to get a handle on Anna’s unique blend of quirky appeal and old-school beauty, her bookings started to match her strengths. Her runway season in February 2006 was a mixture of quirky talent such as Betsey Johnson with cutting-edge designers Lanvin, Jonathan Saunders and Preen, plus ultra-girly labels Temperley and Isabel Marant.
In March, Anna got the cover of German Vogue, photographed again by Demarchelier. The year ended with an editorial for Italian Vogue, and Anna then took a 2-year break to finish her education. Just like her modelling peer Iselin Steiro, Anna returned in 2008 to find the fashion world had moved on, but it had not left her behind.
Anna’s return to the runway featured appearances for some of the most in-demand labels of the moment, including Balenciaga, Chanel, Balmain, Stella McCartney, Givenchy and Viktor & Rolf. She shot an editorial with French Vogue in June, walked the couture runways for Chanel and Givenchy in July and landed two major campaigns with one major photographer. Anna got contracts for Alberta Ferretti and Calvin Klein Jeans, both of which were photographed by Steven Meisel.
Anna’s absence had made the fashion world’s heart grow fonder. In September, she appeared in editorials for Harper’s Bazaar, British, Italian, American and Japanese Vogue. Anna’s revival neatly coincided with fashion’s love affair with models from Eastern Europe. Sasha Pivovarova was already making a name for herself, and new model Natasha Poly had just received accolades from French Vogue, with her native Russian Vogue devoting a whole issue to the Poly phenomenon. Anna’s Slavic glamour slotted in perfectly and made her one of the most requested runway models of the season, walking for 58 shows in total.
In October, Anna received the ultimate nod of approval when she appeared on the cover of Italian Vogue. In January 2009, she got her second Italian Vogue cover, this time appearing with models Viktoriya Sasonkina and Anna Selezneva.
However, in terms of modelling success, it is campaign work that moves a great fashion model onto the next level, and Anna was destined to become more than just a familiar face on the runway: in 2009 she became the most requested model for campaign work, landing contracts with Balenciaga, Calvin Klein Jeans, Calvin Klein cosmetics, Chloe, Donna Karan and Prada.
February saw Anna perform editorial duty twice in one issue for American Vogue, and open the Autumn / Winter shows for Derek Lam, Dolce & Gabbana and Zac Posen. Also appearing for Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Lanvin, Rag & Bone, Ralph Lauren, Valentino and Versace, Anna’s moment had finally arrived.
The months that followed saw Anna rack up editorial and cover credits, including editorial work for American, British and French Vogue, plus the May cover of American Vogue, shot by Steven Meisel.
In late 2009, Anna took her campaign career one stage further, with heritage brands Oscar de la Renta and Bottega Veneta vying for her attention. She signed with both, and in September, got her 3rd cover of Italian Vogue.
But her year ended on a high note with three incredible campaign signings. She was asked to take part in the new ad for the Prada fragrance, L’Eau Ambree, with models Toni Garrn and Viktoriya Sasonkina, and was signed on to be the face of Tom Ford’s newest launch, Black Orchid and Stella McCartney’s latest addition to her stable of perfumes, Stella Nude.
All three fragrances were high-stakes signings, and Anna delivered every time. Her shoot for Prada was groomed and stylishly off-beat. The Stella fragrance shoot was simplicity itself; with Anna shot in profile. For Black Orchid, Anna became the quintessential Film Noir heroine, and her siren-with-a-secret angle was pitch-perfect, making the perfume one of the early success stories of 2010.
With campaigns of this standard, clothes, body language and camera angle all play their part, but it’s the face doing the lion’s share of the selling, and fragrance is notoriously hard to sell.
With a handbag, we see it in the advert, and if we want it, we buy it. But with fragrance you have to take the campaign at its word. If the feel of the shoot is light and airy, you will only be disappointed if you are met at the fragrance counter with a brooding musky perfume. That’s why so much effort goes into casting these campaigns: like the fragrance itself, the campaign has to linger in the mind if we’re to go out and buy it. Without that lure, it doesn’t matter if you’ve created the most beautiful perfume in the world. If the campaign isn’t spot on, no-one’s buying it.
Why Anna is in such high-demand is because she understands that for one-dimensional ads for cosmetics or fragrance, you need to build an image that appeals to all the senses. Despite what’s happening elsewhere in the fashion industry, fragrance remains one of the most financially buoyant areas because certain scents can trigger long-forgotten memories. If a floral note in a perfume reminds you of a particularly memorable holiday, the chances are you’ll stay loyal to that brand for a very long time.
A model that can turn out a great beauty shot is not hard to find, but a model that can turn a beauty shot into an image that has depth and meaning remains a rarity. It’s why Anna’s CV features so much beauty work: she gets that to make an image truly beautiful, it’s got to be more than skin-deep.
With seven Vogue covers to date, Anna’s strength is undeniably the close-up. Beauty shots and campaign work are often underestimated, with people assuming that a high-fashion editorial is the tougher call. But with beauty campaigns, there’s nowhere to hide. The model’s job isn’t just to evoke the notes of a perfume’s personality, but to create a connection with the person looking at the advert. Perfume ads should provoke a response in you – whether that is ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ – but if it leaves you cold, something has gone very wrong.
Anna’s career has been the success it has because she brings a tailored approach to every assignment. Her shots for Prada, Tom Ford and Stella McCartney are indicative of a model that looks at the bigger picture, and then gives the client what they want, by paying attention to the detail. Models are fashion’s sales-girls, but what makes their job even harder is that the best campaigns only work when they apply the soft-sell; look at any successful perfume campaign and it’s all about what isn’t being said. As with acting, the best modelling happens when it’s made to look deceptively easy.
Anna’s return to the industry was about more than good timing or a lucky break: whatever fashion asks of its models, the beauty industry’s requirements remain the same. A made-for-beauty face helps, but knowing what to do with it is a whole other story. Knowing what to do with it whilst maintaining your credibility? That’s the calling card of a truly great model.