Photography Fleur Bult Fashion Jordy Huinder Model Stef at Paparazzi Models
Scarf by Archive Stylist
Five minutes with Stef van der Laan
How long have you been modelling and how did you start?
I started modelling when I was 14. My sister sent in photos of me to an agency in Holland. I was still in high school and finished that first, before starting to work full time aged 17.
What do you love about your job and what are the challenges?
I love the diversity in every job you do, you get to explore a lot of different places and you get to meet a lot of different people. But this can also be difficult at times. If I have an off day, the new people I work with don’t know that I am not normally tired and/or cranky! When you have an office job you get to know your colleagues and they understand your moods better.
What has been a career highlight for you?
My first big campaign for Givenchy shot by Mert and Marcus was a huge moment of course! But I think the Chanel show in a Scottish Harry Potter castle was almost like a teenage dream come true.
What do you do to relax and what are your interests outside of modelling?
With having a child there isn’t much relaxing really! He is quite an active little runner. But I go to Pilates twice a week and I always do some cardio after. That is more of a necessary evil though.
You became a mother in 2015, has this affected your attitude towards your work as a model? How do you balance the long hours and international travel with parenting?
My son Fos is one and a half now. When we found out that I was pregnant we were living in New York and were like; we’re outta here! We moved back to Holland in December 2014 and bought a house in Utrecht in the center of Holland. It’s so nice after traveling so much and renting apartments in countries that did not feel like home, to finally build a home of my own.
Having a child has changed my view of the job in a positive way. I do not take rejection as personally anymore and I am a lot more at ease with myself at castings and in conversations at work. I have the feeling that I see things in a more relative way. Like, is this really that important right now? There is also just not enough time anymore for me to dwell on insecurities.
I have not been traveling that much, at most I have been gone for 5 days. That was a little difficult to be honest! But I am very lucky to have a mother who adores Fos and where he can always sleep over. Also, my boyfriend is a very sweet and loving father (who always follows the lists I leave!) so I can go away feeling good about that.
What are your aspirations for the future/where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
In 5 years, I would like to have a second baby, but I don’t want to rush that. Like I said Fos is a handful! I think he needs a bit of alone time for a while.
Workwise, I would like to be able to still do some modeling but also maybe have explored some other sides of fashion. I have always loved clothing. Maybe a boutique? I don’t know! 5 years seems far away, but probably will be gone in a snap.