If Tiiu Kuik wasn’t one of the world’s top models, she’d be a veterinarian. Or a fashion designer. Or a writer. “But then I would have missed out on all my amazing travels,” says the 24-year-old, 6-foot-1 Estonian bombshell.
With a sophisticated beauty punctuated by a Cindy Crawford mole, Kuik was noticed at 13 years old, when she was scouted at a local supermarket. Runways in Japan and Italy followed, and she admits that for a while, it wasn’t easy.
“For me, 13 was too young,” Kuik says. “I have no regrets, but it seriously took me until I was about 18 to become comfortable with the job and to become somewhat decent at it.”
Since then, this former face of CoverGirl has walked for over fifty designers, including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada, and has been featured in campaigns for Dior, Valentino, and Moschino.
A darling in fashion circles, Kuik acknowledges that the nature of stardom in the industry has changed. “The most noticeable difference is the emergence of movie stars and celebrities as fashion and beauty ambassadors. They grace magazine covers more than models do nowadays.
The supermodels are pretty much extinct now—to become one you’d need to date a celebrity or film a movie. It’s not enough to just model anymore.”
Photography by Sara Silver
Styling by Justin Min