News & Runway

Julie Ordon, Model: A tFS Exclusive Interview

Supermodel Julie Ordon has graced the pages of publications ranging from French Elle to American Glamour. Her stints as a Victoria’s Secret beauty model and continuing role for Bebe paved the way for her star turn in the 2007 Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick commercial. She’s broken into acting, playing parts in Inquietude, Point and Shoot, and Flashbacks of a Fool.  She also snagged a spot in the 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimwear Issue, a job most models would kill for. Julie took some time to meet with us at ARC PR’s lovely offices to talk about her life, and her new projects.

tFS:  You just had a baby! How are things going with that?

JO: Yeah! She’s 8 months now. It’s going very well, because she’s such an angel. She slept through the night since day one.  I have a lot of contact with her, and I make time to do that. It’s magical, that thing, that bond between you and your baby.

tFS:   Will you be doing any campaigns soon? Maybe joining up with Victoria’s Secret again?

JO: I would love to. My body is definitely better since I had the baby, so I hope I’ll work with them again.

tFS: You were discovered in Geneva, Switzerland?

JO: I started modeling when I was 4 years old. I used to do little catalogs in Switzerland. I had an agency in Zurich, and one of my friends from school saw an ad for an agency in Geneva. I went there, and I met with this woman, who sent me to Madison in Paris, and they sent me to do a bunch of castings and there was a really good response. They told me that in two months there was going to be a contest, and they thought that was a good way to introduce me to the industry. Then I won the contest.

tFS:  When you won the Madison Model Contest, did you see yourself becoming a supermodel?

JO:  I always wanted to be an actress, so I thought it was a good way to get into Paris and start knowing a little bit. My thing was, I really didn’t like school. I wasn’t good at it. So when this happened, this opportunity to go to Paris and start modeling, I was like, ‘I’m leaving town and I’m going’.  For me, it was definitely exciting to model. Even if it wasn’t really my dream, I worked with the best photographers, great clients, and good magazines and I was very happy with what I was doing.

tFS: But you still kept up with acting? You’re going to do both?

JO: Some people ask me what would I rather do, modeling or movies? They ask, ‘are you going to stop modeling?’  No. Even if my passion is acting, I still want to model because I have so much fun doing it. And I love fashion, I love working as a model. It’s not the same as being an actress, but every other shoot you’re a different character – even though getting into a role for a film is something deeper than getting into a role for a photo shoot.

tFS: I heard that you were doing a movie with Keanu Reeves? Is that true?

JO: I did that in January. It’s called Henry’s Crime, and it’s a romantic comedy. It also stars James Caan and Vera Farmiga. The whole cast is just one great actor after another. I play Anya, the daughter of Vera Farmiga. It was a small role, but I act in a play, The Cherry Orchard.

tFS:  So you’re playing an actress?

JO:  Yes. It was a great experience to be able to work with actors like that. So even if my role was small, it was so wonderful to be around them.

tFS:  Here’s a question from way back in the past: did you really date P. Diddy?

JO:  No! But he dated a close friend of mine a long time ago. Before he settled down.

tFS: Who would you say are your favorite photographers that you’ve worked with?

JO:  I love the energy on Paolo Roversi’s shoots. It’s extremely long hours. You get to the studio at 9 am and end at 5 o’clock in the afternoon if you’ve done a picture – but if you haven’t, to finish at 4 am is totally normal.  It’s very calm and intense at the same time. Patrick Demarchelier is so much fun to work with. We always have fun, we always have stories. His English is really broken, so I get to speak French with him. I’ve been working with him since I was 15, so it’s still fun to work with him because he’s a friend, too.  I love to work with Ellen von Unwerth because she has such energy. She used to be a model, so she knows what looks great. She loves the girls to look sexy. She doesn’t want the girls to pose and be “fashiony”.  She wants girls to be sexy and beautiful – so it’s fake eyelashes, red lips, smoky black eyes, corsets, and super high heels. She likes for you to play around and have fun. Oh! You know who I love also? Bruce Weber. He and his wife are so sweet. He shot me for German Vogue’s 30th anniversary issue when I was pregnant. On his shoot, there is a special energy. He does some very sexy stuff sometimes, but every time I imagine one of his shoots, it’s very romantic.

Julie Ordon

tFS: Who are your favorite designers?

JO:  Chanel. I love their clothes and handbags and shoes. I love designers who don’t go out of fashion, who are classic. So that in 10 years you can go in your closet and grab a jacket and it still looks amazing. I love Lanvin, Hermes, and YSL. But the old stuff, classic YSL from the 80’s. Very structured things.
And then of course my favorite shoe brand is Louboutin. I’m obsessed with them. I guess every girl is obsessed with them.

tFS:  What’s coming up for you? Do you have any big plans or goals to tell us about?

JO:  I want to open a flower shop.

tFS:  Are you serious?

JO:  Yes. I’m looking at spaces and things. I have a million things that I wanted to do, but I was really passionate about the flower shop. I grew up in Switzerland, and we moved a lot but we always had a garden.  My parents are divorced and when I would spend weekends with my dad we would hang out in the garden. He taught me how to trim rose bushes. I do flower arranging at home. It’s another one of my passions. I love flowers and cooking. But cooking is just for my husband, a special thing just for him.

Julie OrdonRyan Brown, co-founder of ARC PR, adds:  It’s a big deal with Richard Christiansen who is the owner of Chandelier Creative, the advertising agency. We’re very excited actually.  You’ll be the first person to break the news!

JO:  And since I love fashion, we’re trying to do something, like a line. Not a big huge thing…

RB:  We can’t discuss the brand yet, but it’s going to start off in Europe.

tFS: Sounds like you have a lot on your plate!

RB: She’s a busy girl.

JO: You know what? I have great help. I have a great nanny and a great housekeeper. They help me to be able to manage all that.  

tFS Exclusive photographs by Faith Bowman (www.faithbowmanphotography.com). Shot on location at ARC PR (www.arcnewyork.com ). Black jacket by Chelsea Sutrisno (www.chelseasutrisno.com ).  Modeling images courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.