Martinican beauty ascends ranks of global fashion industry
A career in law was the future Aurelie Giraud had strategically mapped out for herself and she had been diligently working towards a Master of Law in her native Martinique before fate interrupted.
Statuesque and head-turningly gorgeous, Giraud’s model potential so captivated Martinican designer Kevin O’Brian when the two crossed paths five years ago, that he immediately contacted his friend, Saint International CEO Deiwght Peters. Soon, Giraud was on a plane to Jamaica to meet Peters, who signed her on spot.
Fast forward to the present-day, and the would-be legal eagle (who has long since fulfilled her tertiary degree goal) now sits comfortably in the major leagues of the global fashion industry. She can be seen gliding down the runway for Dolce and Gabbana in Milan, making the cover of global fashion journal WWD, appearing in Nivea advertising campaign, and starring in editorials for Vogue, all within just the last year. She’s living a model’s dream.
“D & G was always my dream show,” Giraud told The Gleaner on the phone from Germany, where she’s on assignment. “Every fashion season I was so excited to watch their show because I love how chic, romantic and flowery their collections are, and I always wanted to walk for them one day. The surprising thing was that I didn’t do the casting but I had a fitting and then I was confirmed for the show. I still can’t believe it,” she shared of walking the storied Italian fashion house’s Spring/Summer 2021 show in September.
“Aurelie is an exquisite model for the ages,” Peters, her model manager, assessed. “She’s poised, beautiful and blessed with great lines that designers and photographers alike appreciate, and she’s also multi-lingual, so she can communicate more easily when interacting in different countries,” he explained.
Notwithstanding the global pandemic and all the pivoting that has taken place in the international fashion industry, the Caribbean beauty’s work life is on an upward trajectory. Within the past year, Giraud racked up frequent-flier miles to Europe where she shot English designer Margaret Howell’s Spring/Summer 2021 lookbook in London, landed in Germany on model duty to be lensed for fashion retailer Zalando’s recently launched sustainable collection, and jetted to Italy for Jil Sander’s digital show for the label’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection.
A breakthrough moment came entirely unexpectedly while on set doing a regular e-commerce for Jil Sander in Milan last October. “The photographer and art director for WWD arrived and announced that they were going to shoot the digital cover for the magazine. It felt so surreal. I was so grateful to have been chosen by Jil Sander’s creative directors Luke and Lucie Meier to do the cover,” Giraud said.
She is eager to welcome what promises to be an even more rewarding year ahead and credits the Black Lives Matter movements for clients being interested in hiring black models. “I worked for some clients who previously barely had a black model on their website,” Giraud disclosed.