Stefanie Nazoyan is a Canadian supermodel who has made a name for herself in the international fashion industry. Born in Montreal to a mixed heritage of Armenian, French Canadian and Scottish roots, Stefanie was discovered at the age of 17 by renowned fashion show producer Hans Koechling. She quickly signed with a top modeling agency in her hometown and booked her first fashion magazine editorial with renowned photographer Max Abadian for Flare magazine.
Stefanie’s initial success in Montreal led to contracts with top international modeling agencies in Tokyo, Milan, Paris and Germany, where she quickly became a sought-after model. Her first big money contract was with La Senza lingerie, where she impressed the brand with her professionalism, energy and image on set. Stefanie’s contributions helped to boost the brand’s bottom-line revenue and cemented her status as a top model.
Stefanie has since worked with some of the world’s most prestigious brands, designers and fashion publications, including Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, L’Oréal, Elle, Carolina Herrera, Michael Kors and Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam. She has appeared on numerous magazine covers, including Harper’s Bazaar Argentina, PUMP magazine and Worth Avenue magazine.
Stefanie’s success in the fashion industry has also led her to explore other forms of media. In 2009, she played her first film role as a runway model for Zac Posen in the TV Series The Beautiful Life, created by Ashton Kutcher and Adam Giaudrone. She has also starred in the TV movie Dead Lines alongside notable actors Jeri Ryan, Bruno Verdoni and Anthony Lemke.
Although Stefanie has worked with many agencies around the world, she has a special place in her heart for Miami, where she is placed with Select Model Management and considers it her “second home”. She has also recently signed with Wilhelmina Models in New York, further expanding her reach and influence in the industry.
Stefanie’s professionalism, ability to pose with ease and rapidity, quintessential and timeless look, and impressive resume of prominent clients have earned her distinction among her peers in the modeling field. She continues to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the field of modeling based on her work product and agency representation, securing her place as one of the world’s top supermodels.
What inspired you to pursue a career in modeling, and how did you get started in the industry?
I’ve always had an attraction for the world of fashion. I would often watch the designer runway shows on television and imitate the way the fashion models would pose at the end of the catwalk. I was amazed by all the beautiful models, their hair styles, their makeup looks and of course their head-to-toe attires. When I was only six years of age, I would often grab my mother’s high heels and parade around the house as if it was a runway. I told my parents ‘You will see, I will be on the catwalk one day and I won’t take no for an answer!’, I don’t think they even believed that I was serious at first about a career in fashion! When I was seventeen, I got scouted by Hans Koechling, the biggest show producer in Canada. He suggested that I schedule a few meetings with agencies in Montreal and was convinced that I had what it took to pursue a serious career as a fashion model. At that time, I had already started college and figured now would be a good time to meet a few agents and see what the feedback would be. I always dreamt of being a fashion model, but I absolutely wanted to finish high school and start college before making any decisions. Shortly after, I met a few agencies with my father and signed with one that I most resonated with and that I felt was the best fit for me. Days later, I was doing test shoots to build my portfolio in order to send my images out
You’ve worked in numerous major markets around the world. How do you prepare for and adapt to the different cultural and professional environments?
Today I’m familiar with the different cultural environments, but it hasn’t always been the case. At first, I was a little nervous since I had never traveled alone, and when I did travel out of the country, I was vacationing with my family. My first big modeling trip was on the other side of the globe. At the time, I would use paper maps to get around and get familiar with the city. Today, we have Google Maps, it’s much easier and faster. Back then, the biggest challenge was to get around in a foreign country where they don’t speak much English or French. When I worked in Japan for example, most people in the industry spoke English but everything around me was written in Japanese and a small portion of the population was English speaking. The agency would prepare a printout map and highlight a trajectory that helped me get to the location of the photo studio. They would also tell me exactly what time to get on the subway or train and which stop to get off. Without their help,
it would be very difficult to know my way around the city and get to my appointments or jobs on time. Another thing I would do before I left for work in a foreign city is read about the culture. My mother agency would also give me professional and safety advice in order to prepare me prior to any trip.
Can you tell us about your experience shooting the FLARE Magazine editorial with Max Abadian and how it impacted your career?
I did my first big fashion editorial for the iconic Canadian magazine with Max Abadian and I would say he is part of the reason why my career as a fashion model skyrocketed so rapidly at the beginning. He shot many top models and celebrities such as Cindy Crawford, Coco Rocha, Doutzen Kroes and Milla Jovovich. Once the editorial spread came out, it gave me a lot of exposure in the fashion industry, and I started to confirm jobs with prestigious brands. I also signed with a few international agencies shortly after the publication came out.
La Senza Lingerie is a well-known brand. How did it feel to secure a big money contract with them, and what did you enjoy most about working with the brand?
I was extremely grateful to have been able to work with such a renowned brand for many years. The La Senza team was fun, kind and energetic, I will forever cherish those joyful memories on set! Shooting with them for many years gave me a lot of exposure as well since La Senza was the leading lingerie brand in Canada.
Of all the notable jobs you’ve done, which ones stand out as particularly meaningful or memorable to you, and why?
There is one shoot that was particularly special to me, and I will never forget how happy I felt when I received the good news, when I shot the cover and editorial spread of Harper’s Bazaar Argentina with the famous photographer Chino Moro. It was always a dream of mine to be photographed for the iconic magazine. I have the issue framed in my bedroom, that’s how emotionally special it is to me! The images were shot in beautiful Los Cabos in Mexico, I will never forget that day.
I relived that happy moment a second time when I shot for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam in Miami Beach. I was so grateful and happy that I got the opportunity to be photographed for the notable publication twice!
You’ve been featured in a number of high-profile fashion publications such as Harper’s Bazaar and PUMP Magazine. How do you approach your editorial work, and what do you enjoy most about it?
What I love the most about fashion editorials is the vision board the team shows you prior to the photoshoot and the level of excitement everyone has. I love being part of a creative vision and it’s amazing to be able to help make that vision come to life. I also enjoy working with all these talented individuals with creative minds, it makes my job exciting!
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your modeling career, and how did you overcome it?
What I found difficult at the time was being away from my family and friends. I knew I had to travel in
different cities across the world in order to gain experience and succeed in this industry, especially at the beginning. I was so grateful for Skype! I would make video calls from my computer when I had access to the internet, or I would go to a call center in between castings to call my loved ones.
I wish the iPhone existed then, it would be much easier to contact everyone. Back then, I had an international cell phone with a limited amount of pre-paid minutes to communicate with my agency. Thankfully with time, technology has advanced making things simple. Nowadays, if I miss someone, I grab my phone and FaceTime them!
How do you stay in shape and maintain your appearance for modeling work?
There is a combination of things that I already do that help me stay in shape and help with my overall
appearance. Since my physical and mental wellness are my utmost priority, I start by consuming a low inflammatory nutrient-dense diet and supplement essentials such as collagen, astaxanthin, glutathione, vitamin C, multi-vitamins and probiotics. I also meditate every day, I practice restorative yoga and I do Pilates with the reformer machine. In addition, I use my near infrared sauna which helps decrease anxiety, improve circulation and helps my body detoxify. I make sure I get at least eight hours of sleep, this allows my body to rejuvenate cells and collagen. And of course, I
take care of my skin by using a variety of quality topical creams and serums some containing vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. I’m also a big fan of facial scrubs, body brushing, and I practice smart sun care.
Can you walk us through a typical day on set for a fashion show or photoshoot?
Each job I do, I’m 100 % committed and I take seriously. I always arrive on time with my nails done in a nude color, my hair is washed and blow-dried straight, my face has no makeup and is freshly moisturised. If it’s a fashion show, I usually examine my clothing rack to make sure I don’t have any wardrobe changes and I usually proceed to the runway to get further instructions for the rehearsal. Once rehearsal is completed, I immediately go backstage, put on my robe and go straight to hair and makeup which can take an hour for each.
Once it’s show time, I change into my first outfit and take pictures with all the photographers that are
backstage. Same thing happens after the show, I usually take pictures with the designers in my finale look. A typical day at the photo studio is similar. The client usually shows me their vision board with multiple images to help me understand the mood of the photo shoot. I get ready with the hair and makeup team which can take up to two hours and we start shooting once I’m ready. Editorial shoots usually take longer in the hair and makeup chair since the looks are usually a bit more elaborated and require more preparation time.
What are your future aspirations in the modeling industry, and how do you plan to continue growing
and evolving as a model?
At this stage in my career, my future aspirations would be to have the opportunity to shoot a fashion editorial for Vogue magazine with Steven Meisel. I would love to walk the runway for Tom Ford, Dior, Balmain, Lanvin, Saint Laurent, Valentino, Thierry Mugler and shoot for Victoria’s Secret.
Also, I would love to mentor the models starting this career and teach them how to prepare themselves in order to succeed. Most importantly, my main goal would be to teach them to take care of their mental wellness as a career in modeling is extremely demanding and dealing with rejection can take a toll on one’s mental state.
Lastly, my personal goal is to continue to grow, learn, improve myself, help serve the greater good as much as I can and to discover my individual purpose.
Keep Up With Stefanie On Instagram @_stefanie_