Photographer Mikael Jansson’s position within the world of fashion means that there is hardly a single top model around who he hasn’t already worked with. And yet, Daria Werbowy is in a level of her own. She is counted among the very few models whose style and looks have cleared the path for an entirely new ideal of beauty. This kind of thing happens maybe once a decade. Her trademark attitude, which is simultaneously confident and restrained, along with her fearless personality, and her passion for sailing and adventure, made her the perfect collaboration partner for Mikael Jansson to work with for his archipelago series, which is named after her, of course: Daria, The Archipelago Series (2014).
“She’s ’transgressive’ – that is, she’s kind of a link between Kate Moss and Gisele Bündchen, as in edgy, but approachable – in other words, perfect!”, states fashion expert and fashion editor Agnes Grefberg Braunerhielm.
Comparisons with Kate Moss, who revolutionized the heavy makeup look, and transformed ideals practically overnight when she ushered in the natural beauty look, without visible makeup. Her natural, exciting features made hers a durable appeal, which has stood the test of time long past the usual retirement date for a model.
What makes Daria so special is the way she can be so radiant, a total bombshell, but also blend into the crowd. The fashion world was literally breathless when she modelled in Juergen Teller’s shoot for Céline in 2011. After years of maximalism and makeup, here was a girl in comfortable clothes, with her hair barely done, says Agnes Grefberg Braunerhielm.
Daria Werbowy was born in the Ukraine in 1984, her career showed few signs of going supernova early on. She was a rather unwilling model, and her career wasn’t headed anywhere too exciting. And things could have ended up a lot worse, too.