“My mum is the one who pushed me to do everything, supports me and wants me to do everything for myself.”
Meet Charlie Austin, a Brisbane native now modeling all over the world. She has modeled mostly in Milan and New York. Charlie can be seen in The Great Gatsby and as a contestant in Australia´s Next Top Model. Now let her stunning eyes and personality lure you in.
Interview, styling and Photography by Lauren Engel
Tell us about upbringing
I am from Brisbane, Australia. Growing up in Australia is good in general as there’s a lot of freedom, beaches and parks compared to America. Everyone is just really laid back and chilled. I grew up with my brother, sister and mom and I was a bit of a wild child growing up so I was often in some trouble with my mom. I was pretty much running around in backyards and all of us kids around there would go swimming in the pools and just be idiots. There were no iPhones back then so we spend a lot of time outside. I also did a lot of volley ball and rugby. When I hit 17, I decided to screw it (laughs) and did no exercise, no sports anymore. I was expelled in Grade 11 and after that I got into modelling and moved overseas.
Do you feel homesick, traveling all the time?
Yes, for the Australian lifestyle, my family and food.
Tell us about your modeling career
My mom encouraged me do it. When I was a kid she used to put me in modeling competitions. I was also a dancer for 15 years. I did ballet, jazz and tap dance. I hated it though. I am a huge tomboy but my mom always wanted me to be a pretty little girl so she put me into modeling. When I was 17 she took me to an agency and I thought, why not? I modelled for two years in Brisbane and when I was 19 I went to Milan. I only did Sydney Fashion Week but didn’t really stay and work there; Brisbane was the only place I modelled in before I went overseas. After Milan I modeled in Germany. For me, living overseas is now just one long big blur; I got used to the lifestyle.
What type of modeling jobs do you usually do?
I normally do catalogues and lookbooks. I get campaigns here and there. To me Milan and Germany is nowhere as good as New York and I have already been here for 4 months now.
Do you wish you were older when we started modeling overseas?
Well I was ‘old’ but I’m happy I started at 19. Normally there are these 16 year old girls from Russia. Even though I was not so young anymore to be thrown in a model house, living with all these girl, being in a foreign city where you don’t know where anything is and you don´t really know anyone and you don’t speak the language, is difficult. But, at the same time, it’s so different from living at home. Everywhere you meet really interesting people.
“Growing up in Australia is good in general. There’s a lot of freedom, beaches and parks and everyone’s just really laid back and chill.”
Do you have any goals for modeling?
I might be going to Barcelona – I just signed with an agency there. I’m probably going back to Milan for a bit but I would like to do Paris as well. Paris is my favourite city but I’ve never modelled there. I’ve been there a few times for fun. I also wouldn’t mind doing a few months in LA and Miami.
What are the meanings behind ur tattoos?
(Laughs) This one “Idi” is my mother and grandmother’s last name. I also have one that says “forgive”, because I went through a really bad period when I was very angry at the world. I couldn’t keep this attitude anymore so I forgave everyone and forgave myself and came to peace with everything. This one (points) is just a stupid one that I got- a spur of the moment thing. And the one on the back is from my ex-bf, yay!
Would you have done anything else other than modeling?
I want to be a vet and do anything related with animals. When I go back to Australia I would like to start an animal rescue place.
Do you think you will study veterinary science?
Well I was trying to study while modeling but I am super lazy so I’ll just wait until I go back to Australia. I recon I have 2 years left for modeling then I will go home.
Do you have a mentor throughout your life and modeling career?
Probably just my mom (laughs)
Did she have experience in modeling?
She wanted to be a model but she was told she was too skinny.
(Laughs) Is it even a thing?
Well, that was her excuse! But she’s the one who pushed me to do everything, supports me and wants me to do everything for myself.