Luma Grothe has been modelling for 4 years but hit her stride in 2013 at the S/S 2014 shows where she walked for The Row, Burberry, Dsquared2, and others.
The smoldering Brazillian of German, Japanese, and African descent spoke to WWD about her childhood in Brazil, learning English, and her post-modelling dreams.
Here are our highlights:
WWD: How did you start modeling?
Luma Grothe: My best friend was being really annoying about this modeling competition in the south of Brazil. He was like, ‘You’re superskinny, just go there. You’re gonna win it.’ I didn’t even wanna go. I was studying and doing well in school. I was 16 at the time. I guess he convinced me to go, and it was good. I didn’t win, but people saw me there and then somehow I got signed with this agency. I started modeling, and it was going so well that I had to stop school. So I still have one year to finish. I’ll go back and finish, definitely.
WWD: What was it like growing up in Brazil?
L.G.: I have a brother and sister who are older than me. Growing up with them was so much fun. Brazil is growing now, but before, we didn’t have a lot of technology so [all we had] were our jokes — we were always all outside, running around, getting dirty. It was really healthy and nice growing up there. I’m very close with my family. I miss them all the time.
WWD: But you moved to London for work when you were 16, right?
L.G.: I went to London when I was 16-and-a-half for work, and I didn’t speak any English. It was embarrassing. It was hard. My bookers, they said if I wanted to stay in London I had to learn. I had to watch a lot of [English] TV and ask my friends, “What does this mean? What does that mean?” I made so many friends in London and they were from Russia, Poland, everywhere in Europe — I got different accents from them.
WWD: You’ve been modeling for about four years now. Has there ever been a moment where you felt like you’d made it?
L.G.: I think that modeling is — you never know you’re ready. You just never know. You just go with the flow. My clients always called me back to work again with them, and I was very happy about that. I definitely take it seriously as a career. I’m a very creative person, though — I like to do other stuff as well. I want to keep studying. I like making videos. I would love to be behind the scenes of cinema in the future, as a director or producer or something like that. I just really love it.
WWD: What do you think you’ve gained the most from all of your modeling experience?
L.G.: It’s almost like a college of life. You learn how to live. You learn everything, how to be by yourself. You don’t have your parents doing things for you. You become an adult in one day. I remember the first time I went to the supermarket by myself to buy my food, and I remember I was crying. I was like, I don’t know what I’m supposed to buy! I had never done this before. You go from being taken care of to taking care of yourself.
WWD: What are some of your other goals?
L.G.: So many. I definitely dream about building my own house somewhere — like maybe Long Island or somewhere more near nature. Designing it the way I want it — this is one of my goals. And I want to travel places that I haven’t been yet. I had two passports full of stamps and I had to switch passports and get a new one. Before that I [hadn’t really traveled,] I was just in Brazil.
Read the full interview here.