Photography Lobke Leijser Fashion Direction Katy Lassen Model Zen Wilson at The Hive
Also talks to Zen Wilson about modelling and motherhood whilst Lobke Leijser captures special moments with Zen and her new baby girl.
Tell us how you got into modelling, how did your career start?
I began modelling officially September 2016, but before that I had a very hard time being taken seriously. Right before I moved back to New Jersey/New York I lived in Atlanta, Georgia. There I had two photographer/stylist friends that were always down to do test shoots, and my mom who always styled my hair. Aside from them, every other photographer, agency, stylist in Atlanta told me no or ignored my persistence. Being that I’m not the average height of a model, I had to know exactly what type of work I wanted to do. Persistence, passion, and hard work is what got me so far, along with a great team behind me.
My career took off when I flew from Atlanta, Georgia to New York for a test shoot with a makeup artist I had one conversation with via Instagram. She was a phenomenal makeup artist who told me she wanted to really shoot with me the next day. Since I was fully prepared to do what I needed to do in order to jump-start my career, I took her up on her offer. My mom definitely hooked me up the night before. She curled my hair and pinned it so I could fly to NY and not have to touch it until I had to shoot. I arrived to the shoot and she decided to bleach my eye brows. Everyone was obsessed with my curls! One of the looks of the Day was bought by a client and placed in several stores around the world. Shortly after that, I met my current manager Timothy. He mentored and moulded me into the model I am today along with every person I’ve ever worked with. I signed to my first agency, State Management in New York City.
What is your career highlight so far?
My career highlight so far was my first job, Gucci’s 2017 Pre-Fall Campaign! I had a couple of single shots in the campaign. They ended up on billboards, in airports, malls, and magazines all around the world. I got the most attention for that job.
Congratulations on becoming a mother! Hows it going?
Thank you! Motherhood is amazing! I feel like I am living out my childhood dream. I have the husband of a lifetime and a healthy, happy, baby girl.
How much has your life changed since the birth of your daughter? Do you feel different?
My life hasn’t changed much since having my daughter. I don’t necessarily feel different. I look different. I do, however, have motherly instincts now so I’m loving that. When she’s hungry, I let down milk… how amazing!!
And how are you feeling about work? I know you have done a few jobs other than ours since you had her?
Yes, I have done a few jobs since having her. I’m open to getting back to work, I just want to be mentally and physically ready to jump back into it all. I also breastfeed so I want to be able to have my baby with me most of the time.
You are from Jersey City, New Jersey USA but have been in the UK for a couple of years now, how are you finding it? Do you miss home?
I enjoy the UK, especially in the summer. London reminds me so much of New York but the food is better back home. My husband and I live in Oxford with our new addition. So Oxford is our home. We miss our family and friends, of course, but we’ve taken our time to make the UK our home.
What are your interests outside of modelling/do you have a side hustle/passion/alternative career in mind?
My interests outside of modelling consist of cooking, motherhood, film, and inspiring young children through hands-on activities. Before modelling I worked in television and film for a couple of years. Specifically in the costume department and as a production assistant.