She may be a newcomer to the coaching side of The Face, but with ten years worth of Sports Illustrated swimsuits to claim, a notable fashion week runway career, (she just worked the catwalk for Phillip Lim!) and a name of great industry influence, Anne V should start calling herself a legend. We caught up with the modeling mentor and got the scoop on the new season of The Face, the “it” girls to look out for, and much more.
OK!: What do we have to look forward to this season?
Anne V: It’s going to be a great season. Lydia and I have joined the cast, so that brings a lot of new energy and a lot of different styles of mentoring. We are all very different in the way we coach, so our energy together is truly fun to watch. Plus, we’re all very strong women! I think we will do anything for our girls. We’re very competitive, so there is a lot of competition in the show.
OK!: How would you describe your coaching method?
AV: I am a very fair coach. I like to give every single girl the best opportunity in the competition as long as they can. I would never eliminate a stronger girl, because it’s just not fair to them.
OK!: I read that there was some drama between you and Naomi Campbell. How do you separate the show and your coaching methods from your personal life or friendship with Naomi?
AV: We all understand where we are all coming from. We never go and pinch each other’s personal life ever. Naomi may not agree how I coach my girls, but they are not her girls. They are my girls, so whatever I think the best thing is to do, I will do. Naomi may not agree with that, but that’s why she has her team—to do whatever she thinks is best. We never take it personally. We completely understand where we are all coming from. It is a competition. We are really good friends, and we really love each other.
OK!: Outside of the show, have you learned anything about modeling or furthering your modeling career from Naomi or Lydia Hearst?
AV: Oh, absolutely. I’ve known Lydia for a really long time. We’ve been friends for over 12 years. With Naomi, I actually met her for the first time right before we started shooting the show. I felt like I was coaching my girls and getting coached by Naomi because she’s got so much more experience then I do. She’s so incredible at what she does. It was quite an amazing experience. I felt like I was learning so much from her.
OK!: Nigel Barker is a known heartthrob. Do any of the models swoon over him or are they more intimidated by his success in the industry?
AV: Nigel acts like a father figure. He’s very handsome and very charming, but he’s such a good guy. He’s got such a great family. His wife is so lovely and his two kids are so adorable. He’s such a family man. He’s always there for the girls to advise them on anything they need. We are really lucky to have him in such an expanded role this season because he keeps an eye on our girls when we’re not able to see them. They are lucky to have Nigel to be there for them and to help them out with anything they need.
OK!: What’s the most emotional modeling situation you’ve ever been in?
AV: The most emotional experience was when I was in London for the first time by myself for a month and a half. I remember I was just 15-years-old. I didn’t speak the language. I had never been away from my mom. I just remember that I sat down on my bed and started crying because I didn’t know what was happening. It was the scariest thing ever. I wanted to be there so badly, but you’re a kid and you don’t speak the language and don’t really know where you are. That was in the beginning of my career. It was the most heartbreaking experience ever. I couldn’t call my mom because there was no phone. It was really tough in the beginning because you don’t know what to expect, you don’t know anyone, and you don’t know anything. But hey, I survived! It was one of those experiences that make you stronger.
OK!: So you have had a long history with shooting with Sports Illustrated. What brought you back each time you did it?
AV: Sports Illustrated is like a family to me. It’s always such a great honor to be in a magazine. After you’re there for five years, you’re like ‘Wow! I feel like I’m really part of the family.’ After I shot for eight years I was like, ‘I’m going to go for ten! Let’s see if I can last.’ To be in Sports Illustrated ten years in a row, you just feel like such a superstar. It’s one of the few general times in fashion where the shoot is always about you. It’s not about the bathing suits or shoes you need to style. It’s about you. It’s never really been about us. It’s always been about the product that we’re selling. It’s such a liberating experience to be a part of a company that’s really interested in what you’re doing and who you are. Plus, it took me to so many great places. They let me see the world.
OK!: Do you ever get to keep the suits?
AV: I do have a lot of bathing suits. I’ve been going through them, and I need a closet for all of them.
OK!: On The Face, you’re judging models and critiquing them. One model we’ve been seeing everywhere right now is Kendall Jenner. She walked in Marc Jacobs and Chanel. What do you think of her as a model?
AV: I think she’s so beautiful. I am very happy that fashion is giving her such a big opportunity. I think overall, she’s a girl who works hard. I think she can go really far. I am really happy that people are giving her such a great season. It’s really awesome.
What do you think of The Face so far this season? Did you know that Anne V modeled for Sports Illustrated for ten years? Tweet @OKMagazine and leave a comment below.
Make sure to catch new episodes of The Face on Wednesdays at 10 PM ET/PT on Oxygen!