Paulina Lea Rose is a German-born model currently living in Miami, where she also calls home. She crossed our radar after we saw her modeling for the Australian brand Skye & Staghorn. There was something about her that made us want to learn more about her, which led us to meeting up with her in Miami.
The day was a typical Miami summer day – hot. The New Yorker in us walked to our coffee house meeting point. By the time we arrived, we were disheveled. Meanwhile, Paulina was cool, calm and collected.
“I live a couple of blocks away,” Paulina shared. “I took an Uber though – it’s too hot!”
That is the difference between a Miami local and a stubborn New Yorker.
Straight away, our conversation took off with Paulina offering insight into her modeling and fashion backgrounds.
“My dad was a model and before that he was an Olympic rower. He didn’t tell me [he had been a model] until I was 18, when he just tossed his modeling book at me. I said, ‘wait, you were a model?’,” Paulina shared. “He kind of kept the focus from him being a model and focused on him being an Olympian. So for me, where most girls in the industry had their moms to help them, and she is a fashion designer, it was my dad who accompanied me on my first flight to Milan for work. He became my mentor in the industry.”
“My mom said [to the modeling scouts], ‘she is not doing anything until she finishes school’.”
Paulina was scouted when she was 14-years-old, right in Miami Beach. Although, she did not officially sign with a modeling agency until she was 18, at the advice of her mother. And, she does not have any regrets about her mom putting the brakes on her modeling career until she finished school.
“My mom said [to the modeling scouts], ‘she is not doing anything until she finishes school’, which is good,” Paulina said. “Thank god she did that because a lot of girls drop out. Everyone has their own dreams, but it is not something I recommend.”
Speaking of modeling, Paulina considers herself a fashion model. She has worked for Mango, Bobbi Brown, Gooseberry Intimates, Asara Swim, Indah Clothing, Arthur Apparel, Abrand Jeans, Faithfull the Brand and of course Skye & Staghorn, among others, and has walked the runway for BCBG Max Azaria, Nina Ricci and others. She favors work that tells a story and that has an editorial feel to it – whether it is a campaign or a magazine feature.
The fashion focus Paulina has on her modeling portfolio, extends to her own style where she mixes luxury with high street with vintage and considers her style as edgy and cool. She likes to wear faux fur and leather and favors raw materials. As she put it, think the “cool girl next door”.
She draws inspiration from Europe to the US. She is specifically drawn to Berlin and admits she may have a slight appreciation for the German city due to her heritage, as she is originally from Munich, Germany. As for New York City, she speaks of the city fondly, and she references it often when speaking about modeling or in regards to fashion.
All of this background into Paulina’s own sense of style and inspiration leads us into her newest venture, which we were eager to learn from her directly.
“I’ve started a new clothing line, Igne Metalli, with my fiancé Carlos Nevarez,” Paulina commented. “My fiancé thought of the brand name, which means ignite metal and yes, jewelry is coming. I’m the creative director, and I’m excited to be on the other side for once and have more say.”
“I cannot wait to wear [my designs] to New York Fashion Week, and when they ask who I’m wearing, I can tell them ‘I’m wearing my own brand’.”
“I sketched all of the designs, sewed the samples myself, picked out the fabrics and they are all items I want to have,” Paulina shared. “I cannot wait to wear [my designs] to New York Fashion Week, and when they ask who I’m wearing, I can tell them ‘I’m wearing my own brand’.”
For Igne Metalli, the duo is planning to go direct-to-consumers by selling online through the brand’s website. Paulina has a group of model friends she has enlisted to help her debut the brand, along with photographer Cameron Mackie who has photographed the brand’s first campaign and shot Paulina when she posed for Playboy.
Paulina’s enthusiasm for fashion and designing is evident. She emphasized how she wanted to ensure the brand reflected her and her style, and they were not producing pieces just to make money. This authenticity is a rare trait to find, especially in the modeling and fashion industries. This trait extends to her relationship with social media as well, and of which, she has mixed feelings on.
“If I’m wearing something cute, I may take a quick picture,” Paulina commented. “I try not to go out of the way to post, and I try not to think too deep into it. I do need to go on everyday [to at least look] for work. It’s a highlight reel. I don’t share every photoshoot I do, I don’t share every meal I have or I don’t share every time I step outside of the house.”
“I try not to go out of the way to post [on Instagram], and I try not to think too deep into it. It’s a highlight reel.”
As for her brand and social media, Paulina is set to leverage social media differently.
“I will do it different. I have my group of girls where we will do events. I do not plan on paying Influencers – it doesn’t get you anywhere and everyone knows it’s paid. Now, there are some Influencers who do it very tastefully and are very selective with who they work with, and I do believe what they promote because I can see they would truly wear it.”
With a definitive sense of her own style and own self, Paulina is certain to make continual waves in the modeling and fashion industries.