Alana Zimmer is Canadian. And successful. Now, I hate to say it, but it’s not very often that I can put those two things in the same sentence. Scouted at East Side Mario’s in Kitchener, Ontario (Can you believe it?!), this fellow northern babe caught the first flight to New York and hasn’t looked back since. She’s walked for more designers than I have fingers on my hands, (Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Missoni, Chanel etc.) and she’s closed the shows for just as many. She’s shot for Vogue Italia, Numéro, Vogue Nippon, Vogue Russia, and was recently in the Topshop ad campaign. Whew. Glad that’s over. Now on to the goods… See another interview at MDC here.
Trey Taylor: Can you please fill this out?
Name: Alana Zimmer
Currently Resides: NYC
Favourite Song: I really like everything by The Fray, it always relaxes me, especially on planes.
Trey Taylor: Alana, you must get super tired of answering all of these bloody questions, but I’ll try to make this as un-robo fashion as possible. Can you tell us about your childhood in Kitchener? And we want the painstaking details.
Alana Zimmer: Oh god, where to begin! Well I grew up in suburbia in a very average home with my hard-working father, home-maker mother, and my brother Corey. Corey is developmentally challenged. I believe that my experience as Corey’s big sister has played a pivotal role in shaping me as a person. As a kid I always did well in school and was kind of goofy (was even nicknamed “dork”). I had a very normal childhood, you know the usual.., grew up in the same house with the same neighbours, baby-sat all their bratty kids, had my first crush on the boy down the block, first kiss, you know. I also had many local part-time jobs from a movie theatre, to a grocery store and as you already know East Side Mario’s.
“My most memorable moment of this season was definitely walking the Sonia Rykiel show. It was great to be part of such an interactive show that had everyone laughing together. It was so refreshing to see some of the top editors and models laughing uncontrollably and just having fun together.”
TT: Fair enough. So not to harp on about how I’m going to ask meaningful, deep questions. But you were discovered at an East Side Mario’s. Somebody actually came up to you and was like, “Damn, you should be a model”?
AZ: Yes! Can you imagine how I felt? I thought the woman was totally crazy, seeing as I had a food covered uniform on and didn’t ever consider myself model material.
TT: Please tell us two things about you that people don’t already know.
AZ: 1. I am related to Ryan Laird. 2. I don’t smoke.
TT: It makes me pretty proud to see a successful Canadian model do work. Is your heart still in modelling? Do you have any plans for the future?
AZ: I actually find my heart more and more into modelling as I do it. I think this career is really about how comfortable you are in your own skin and I find it easier and more interesting each day.
TT: What made you decide to take up modelling? (I mean, you probably had a solid future at East Side Mario’s…)
AZ: Hahahaha. You know I think it was the comparison between an ESM employee’s bank account and a supermodel’s bank account that made up my mind quite quickly for me.
TT: What is one misconception about modelling or the fashion industry in general?
AZ: That it is glamorous. This job may be a lot of things but glamorous is not one of them. Also that models do a lot of drugs. Most of them are foreign teenagers whose mothers follow them around.
TT: Do you believe in the whole “inspire others with beauty” idea?
AZ: Yes. I think beauty means something different in everyone’s eyes but that it is inspiring in various ways to everyone.
TT: If you could change somebody’s life in any way, how would you go about it and what would you do? (How was that for deep?)
AZ: Wow, very deep. I think that happiness is the most important thing in anyone’s life. I think when people look back on their lives that the happy times will be the one’s that they remember as the best. I try to always do fun things with my family and friends, things they wouldn’t necessarily plan or do for themselves. I think that making fun memories is life changing.
TT: What is your favourite meal?
AZ: I really love all kinds of food. I grew up eating typical Canadian/American food but now I am super lucky as my boyfriend is a great cook and therefore knows a lot of the best restaurants in NYC. One of my favourites is The Blue Ribbon.
TT: Tell us what you know. (I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger type deal)
AZ: That the vast majority of things work out in the end. When I was younger I was constantly worrying, now I realize that a problem or issue is not the end of the world.
THANK you so much times a million. I feel sort of privileged that I get to tell the world a bit more about you. Thank you for being Canadian, successful, beautiful, and the works. It’s people like you who help people like me inspire people like us!