"At first I was shy telling people that my roots are not from Switzerland"

At the sidelines of our FW19 'The Swirl' photoshooting we talked with one of our models, Christine, about her feelings of 'Heimat'. Christine is a 24 year old student who is regularly modelling for Option Model Agency. She was born and raised in Zurich, Switzerland. Her parents are from Cambodia.


Nina: What does "Heimat" mean for you, Christine?


Christine: I don’t think or believe that ‘Heimat’ is a place. I would say it depends on the people I care about, but also the feeling I have for a place, a relationship with others. At times I am confused what means “Heimat”. I think it has always and will always be a place where I feel comfortable.


Funny moments during the interview. Christine (on the left) in conversation with Nina (on the right). Photo by Janette Gloor.

Are there things that make you feel home?


When I am vacation or when I am outside, I actually think of my room at home and its specific smell. But also, quite funnily, it’s the smell of rice. Whenever I come home I can smell rice, that’s home, or in other words ‘Heimat’.


That’s why your skin is so glowing. :)


Christine is wearing our asymmetric zip neck shirt (FW19) with our butterfly pants (SS19). Photo by Janette Gloor.

Have you experienced stereotyping or discrimination based on your looks or your nationality?


In the beginning when I started school, I didn’t speak German well. I was wondering why I am ‘different’. So back then, I didn’t appreciate ‘grooming’ my ‘background’, my parent’s heritage and so on. I was called Chinese. But I was born in Switzerland, so I didn’t know anything different. I only started to appreciate and groom my roots when I started modelling. At first I was shy telling people that my roots are not from Switzerland. However I got great feedback when I started modelling, because being different was appreciated.


Tencel dress from our FW19 The Swirl collection. Photo by Janette Gloor.

Thank you for your time and sharing this with us, Christine. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors!

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