Kiwi model Jordan Daniels says New Zealand's modelling diversity is 'far ahead' of US, Europe

She's the Kiwi model strutting her stuff from London to Milan, regularly shooting for Marc Jacobs, Prada, McQueen, Dior - featuring in Fashion Quarterly, Vogue and even the Wall Street Journal.

Jordan Daniels has hit the big time, her 'Diary of a Model' YouTube video with Vogue and her Calvin Klein campaign seeing her hailed as the industry's breakout star. 

Hot off the heels of New York Fashion Week, Daniels joined The Project on Wednesday night. Despite her regular jet setting to the fashion capitals of the world, Daniels still calls Auckland "home".

"It's always good to be back with my family and see my friends... it's where I love to be," she smiled.

She may have a prized portfolio now, but the 21-year-old wasn't always so passionate about the world of haute couture.


"I didn't want to model for a long time... I only really started modelling when I was 19 - which is ancient in modelling years," she said. 

"I finished high school and did six months at university, so I think I got the best of both worlds. I had a full-time, normal job... some models don't even finish high school."

Daniels, who remains signed to Auckland-based agency 62 Management, said being a model from New Zealand "carries a lot of weight" in the industry.

"I think you have to bring more to the table than just being a pretty girl... there's so many girls that are taller than me, prettier than me, skinnier than me, that's just how it is... me being from New Zealand is a huge thing," she told The Project.

And while Auckland isn't up there with the prestige of New York and London, Daniels said the country's cultural diversity is something to be admired in an industry still catching up on inclusivity.

"We have such a culturally diverse country in general. When you grow up in school, you see every colour, every race, so many different languages - you're so exposed to it, you take it for granted," she explained.

"When I went to America [and] to Europe, I was like 'wow'... New Zealand is so far ahead in that we have so many cultures. 

"When I was walking the ramps [in] my one New Zealand Fashion Week, I saw every race and it was normal to me. When I went overseas, it wasn't as present - I don't think we do it on purpose, we just are [diverse]."

To the Kiwi girls who dream of one day donning designer duds across the world, Daniels had one piece of advice.

"There has to be personality - keep where you come from."


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