Greta Varlese On Life After Elite Model Look

Model Life Nov 17

Italian finalist Greta Varlese made it to the Top 15 of the Elite Model Look World Final in Shenzhen in 2014. Months later, she was walking for Givenchy, handpicked by Ricardo Tisci himself. We caught up with Greta in New York on how the contest helped her, the feeling of being on stage, and her favourite spots in Italian fashion capital Milan.

What was the best thing about the EML World Final 2014?

The best memory for me was the trip to China - it was my first big international trip, before that I had just been to Germany and to Switzerland. I remember the food - at the hotel, it was an international kitchen, so we got to try lots of things. It was a bit like a school trip! We spoke in English but people spoke in other languages too. It was fun being all together.

The first day, they gave us things to wear, new shoes - and we had catwalk training. Then we made a video and La Perla gave us clothes to wear for a photo shoot. 

In the evening, we went to events. One was in a shopping centre and there was a red carpet. We had dinner and people could see us. Everyone was taking pictures because the Elite Model Look competition is famous. For me, it just felt like a game. It was the first time a lot of us done anything like that, but it was really cool because we were all together.

What was it like to be part of the final show?

It was amazing. It was the first time I met Mariacarla [Boscono] - she was nice, and when I won my place in the Top 15, she was really happy. The designers who I was wearing for the Vogue Talent Asia competition won [RXP by Reta and PoReal], so that was really amazing. Then we had a photo shoot the next day, just the Top 15.

How important was Elite Model Look in launching your career?

It was a little bit surreal - it was like a dream. It’s an amazing experience, but if you are serious, it’s what you do after that counts. I learned about walking and photo shoots, but there’s so much more to learn.

What did you do after the final was over?

Straight after, I went back to school, and everyone was like, “what?!” But I felt like that was important. The thing about school is that if you aren’t there for a few weeks, you fall behind. Then, my agency sent me to to Paris because Riccardo Tisci wanted to see me - and I did the Givenchy show two days after. I started to do the shows, and now I feel really close to him because he started my career. Two weeks after the men’s show, there was haute couture  - Valentino, Dior - and that was really my start. 

What’s your favourite thing to do in the Milan?

I have lots of friends there, and I like to eat there. Pasta, pizza, cannelloni - you can find it all over the world, but it’s not the same. And I love being able to understand everything that’s being said in Italian - I feel like a tourist when I am in other places, like New York. Even though Milan is my hometown, when I’m there, I often have to work. 

I like to go shopping - to Zara, H&M. When I get something expensive, I like to research it first online, and then go straight to the store. The most expensive thing I ever bought was a black bag from Prada and sneakers from Valentino! You’ll see my bag in street style shots, I use it all the time.

What are you working on next?

I’m staying in New York for another 10 days and then I’m going to Milan for the Elite Model Look World Final. I have just come back from Africa, I shot a campaign there - I can’t say who, you’ll have to wait! Then I came back and did a campaign in New York, and some editorials. And I’m going shopping! I love Supreme. I shop there for my friends, and they like it a lot.

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