Jess Hart is following in the footsteps of Miranda Kerr as a model for Portmans and Victoria’s Secret. The gap-toothed beauty has graced the covers of magazines including Vogue Australia and Elle Italia. Hart has also made headlines for dating Greek shipping heir Stavros Niarchos III. While talk of her relationship was off-limits, the 27-year-old spoke with Kate Waterhouse about learning the language of love and how the self-titled “tomboy” can’t take herself seriously when it comes to being sexy.
What is your biggest career highlight so far?
I think when I did the Victoria’s Secret show last year and then the Louis Vuitton show three months later. As a model, I think that combination is quite satisfying because they are such different looks, so being able to break through was awesome. I think the fashion industry is really going that way – they are accepting the commercial girls a little bit more now in the campaigns.
What is the energy and vibe like when walking for Victoria’s Secret?
It was really crazy. Even if I hadn’t slept in a week I would have still been wired, it was just so energetic. We are doing run-throughs with Justin Bieber. It’s so out-of-this-world crazy that you just can’t comprehend it. I woke up the next morning and was like, ”That did not just happen.” It felt as if it was a dream bit when I was doing it; it was even better than what I thought it would be. It was really cool.
You have modelled for both Portmans and Victoria’s Secret; do you get labelled as the next Miranda Kerr?
No, I wouldn’t say that. I think in this industry every girl is each to her own and I think we are pretty different.
Did you imagine when you were a young girl that your life would be like this?
No – does anybody? It’s pretty crazy but on top of that I would have never imagined it because I was such a tomboy. The whole thing of being girlie and being social, it was even more far-fetched for me.
What is an average day for you?
When I’m working, it’s a lot of photo shoots. At the moment I’m out here shooting the campaign for Portmans as I have been appointed as ”the Girl on Top” for the next two years … When I’m not working, I like to work out and I’m learning French at the moment, so I have a private tutor.
Can you speak French fluently?
I can understand most things. I’ve been doing three years of private tutoring. Two weeks ago I did 14 hours in one day, so I’m ”doing it”. My boyfriend grew up in Paris and speaks French, so I hear it a lot. I was doing it before we even met but I was like, ”Awesome, now I can eavesdrop” [laughs]. But I made the mistake of acknowledging things he says so now he knows I can understand, where I should have just been really quiet!
Can you tell me more about your boyfriend?
No, I generally like to keep that private.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a model?
I love the creative outlet of designing and I love make-up and products and feel like I find so many great products around the world that I want to recreate, so I want to do that or design.
You have appeared on a few American TV shows. Do you plan to move into acting?
No. Even yesterday we were shooting a big [modelling] job and I looked up and I realised there were 45 people behind the camera and as soon as I pay attention to it I’m like, “Ah, this is awkward.” So I think the whole acting thing might not work out – I just like to have more of a closed set where I can be goofy or whatever because I can’t open up in front of a group of people.
What is next in the pipeline?
Work is going really well. I feel very lucky about that; I just turned 27 and feel so old in this industry [laughs] but I’m still doing young things. For instance, I’m doing the PINK [range] for Victoria’s Secret, which is their youngest label, and I’m one of their main spokesgirls, so I’m like, ”OK, I can’t be doing that badly if I’m still doing that!” It’s a perfect fit for me because I’m much more suited to PINK than their main line. I can never take myself too seriously, so it’s easier for me to do that than to be sexy … I can’t take myself seriously when I try to be sexy, I just start laughing.
WE WENT TO QT Sydney hotel, CBD.
WE ATE Calamari, olives and nuts.
WE DRANK Sancerre Terre de Maimbray 2010 sauvignon blanc.
JESS WORE Portmans from head to toe.
Photography: Danielle Smith
For video footage see smh.com.au