Though I love America's Next Top Model as much as the next fashion reality show junkie, it's fair to say that winners and contestants of the show haven't always done too well afterwards. Eva Pigford, Yaya De Costa and Toccara Jones are amongst the few exceptions to the rule and now you can add Fatima Siad to the list.
Despite leaving the show in third place, Siad was quickly signed by New York Models and after three years focusing on commercial work, this season saw her move into fashion. As well as walking for Dries Van Noten and Hermès, the model also confirms that she's just finished shooting Hervé Léger's spring 2012 campaign with Camilla Akrans. 'I didn't really work well my first year. My agency wanted to strip the whole Top Model off me and basically sell me as a model, and not a reality TV model,' she told The Cut when asked about life after the show. 'I did jobs here and there, but I think what was going on was that my agency wanted to build me from scratch. I was learning through it all.'
On being selected by top casting director, Russell Marsh, to walk the Dries Van Noten show:
First of all, I work in fashion, but I still don't know much about it. I don't know names, but I'm working on it. I remember I walked in and he's just looking at me and I thought, "Who's this guy just staring at me?" I had no idea who he was, but maybe it was good that I didn't, because I would have been nervous. It was a really great experience, especially because I didn't expect it at all.
On working with Christophe Lemaire at Hermès?
He has to be one of the nicest people I met. He's genuinely interested in the world and other people. He's very global. I heard he lived in Africa when he was young. At the show, people were giving us massages; they really take care of their girls. Normal fashion shows are chaotic, but he has a very interesting energy; he's very subtle and very calm, which carried over to backstage. I could not believe how nice they all are, which was a completely different experience for me.