Style Icon: Sara Ziff

Last night I watched this movie Picture Me: A Models Diary which is a documentary of Sara Ziff’s rise from a fresh face, girl next door teen to an international model.

Over the course of five years, Sara Ziff snuck her then-boyfriend & filmmaker – Ole Schell into castings, shoots, catwalks and parties so that he could film “without other people realizing it.”  Along the way, chronicling her modeling journey and collecting hundreds of hours of footage, which they edited down to produce the film that reveals the unseen side of modeling.

Ziff, who started modeling at 14, surpassed her father’s income by the time she was 20, by adorning billboards & catwalks for some of the biggest campaigns in fashion: Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.

‘Picture Me’  features interviews with fellow models Sena CechCaitriona Balfe, Cameron Russel (who also presents an honest Ted Talk on the industry), Irina Lazareanu, photographer Gilles Bensimon and fashion designer Nicole Miller. The most shocking truth to come to light were the stories of sexual assault that would happen on the job to many teenage models. 

I love Sara’s rawness in the film – you see her at some very intimate moments that she has the courage to expose internationally.

Ziff has been quoted as saying ‘I’m quite private, so I had mixed feelings about putting so much of my life on display. I even had fears that I wouldn’t work again once it came out. Models’ careers are so carefully managed, and Ole and I really did this on our own without telling anyone…. This industry is totally unregulated and the models – particularly the young girls – need protection. There are so many smart, powerful women in fashion, yet the business has turned a blind eye to its own for way too long. We can do better’

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