Celebrating her 30th birthday next month, Saskia de Braw is not your average model. With cropped hair, chiseled jaw and strong athletic physique, Saskia’s beauty marks a refreshing change from the ever-fresher faced beanpoles that dominate the catwalks. Saskia first began modeling at the tender age of 15, but after a year she gave up to focus on her studies. After graduating with a degree in textile design from the prestigious Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, Saskia made a brave decision to return to the modelling world. Despite her unconventional age, Saskia’s natural beauty and striking features inevitably caught the industry’s attention, and in 2010, nearly a decade and half since she was first discovered, Saskia replaced fellow Dutch-woman Lara Stone as the face of Eres swimwear. Her catwalk debut swiftly followed in September 2010, walking for such heavy weights as Balenciaga and Matthew Williamson. However, it was Riccardo Tisci, creative director of Givenchy, who made it his mission to promote this exciting new face, placing Saskia in both his womenswear and menswear shows and campaigns. It was also Tisci who introduced Saskia to fashion tour de force and now ex-Vogue Paris editor, Carine Roitfeld. Roitfeld, known for launching the careers of Lara Stone and other talent, was so taken with Saskia she made her the cover girl of her eagerly anticipated final issue. With brains, beauty and balls, this Dutch wonder-woman is an inspiration to aspiring models everywhere.
Text Rose Poole. For i-D Magazine