Stef van der Laan is a Fashion Model from the Netherlands, born in a town east of Holland called Wageningen, June 28, 1990. Though her career started in 2005, her breakthrough came in 2012 when she walked as an exclusive for Givenchy F/W. She also booked the campaign. “I think I wouldn't have appreciated the work I'm getting now when I would have been a sixteen year old just getting out of school and never really had to struggle for anything”.
She’s worked with some of the greats of the fashion industry including Tom Ford, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, and has a strong editorial resume including stops at Harpers Bazaar, CR Fashion Book, V, and Pop.
Her sister secretly sent some photos to a modeling agency, but never told Stef because “she was afraid I would possibly be rejected and didn't want me to get hurt”. The agency responded a few weeks later with an invitation to do a test shoot. Though she doesn't have many regrets at starting at such a young age, “…if I was able to do it all over again with the knowledge I have now, I would start at a later age”.
Stef van der Laan is currently signed with Paparazzie Models in Amsterdam, and with IMG Models in Paris, London, Milan, and New York City. She’s done editorials for Elle Netherlands, Pill, Interview, Vogue Netherlands, and appeared on the cover of V Magazine and Ell Netherlands.
Stef van der Laan says one of her favorite parts of the job is travelling to exotic locations. “I’ve seen so many places already and have met so many inspiring and great people in my short life. It's something most people from my hometown will never experience…”
The Industry The debate rages as to whether the Supermodel phenomenon of the 1990’s will ever live again. Stef van der Laan says probably not. “With the internet everything now becomes very replaceable…That doesn't mean girls can't have a long career, it's just not as glamorous or pop star like anymore”.
As a model who started her career at a young age, she has a particular insight on the CFDA’s ban on models under 16 on fashion runways. “I think the CFDA ban was a very good choice because I see a lot of girls who are evidently not ready to be out on their own, a half world away from their homes and are just really unhappy”. The life of a fashion model seems rather independent, considering the amount of travel time, but she’s quick to remind that appearances can be deceiving, “everywhere you go everything is arranged for you and you don't really have to think about a lot.”
Though her career takes her around the world, Stef van de Laan remains close to family. “Usually I go back to the Netherlands for two weeks around Christmas…I expect from my mother that she has a Christmas tree ready for when I'm there”. Though she admits that she isn't the best cook, she can whip up a delicious pumpkin soup, “… especially with cold December weather”.