With her shaved head revealing a dragon tattoo and her generally androgynous look, Eve Salvail didn't exactly meet the classic beauty standards of fashion runways in the 1990s.
But that didn't stop her treading the runway and posing in shoots for some of the industry's biggest names, from Jean-Paul Gaultier to Versace to Karl Lagerfeld.
Now, the former model looks back on her career in a memoir entitled Sois Toi Et T'es Belle – or "Be Yourself And You're Beautiful" – remembering the highs and lows of her singular professional and personal journey. – AFP Relaxnews
I think that I managed to get rid of these numerous masks. Maybe I am a bit spiritual and a bit (like) the little Eve? Sometimes we carry on using masks, or characters, as a defense mechanism, even when we no longer need them. Today, I try to just be ME.
This look I had in 1992 was pretty "normal" for me. That's how I was, and I didn't see myself at all as being different from others. Today, I can see that I was the black sheep. It was a different time. I was young and a "punkette" and it is, in fact, to my great surprise that I found myself walking (the runway) for some of the biggest names in fashion.
Not really. In fact, right after getting the tattoo and before my first Jean-Paul Gaultier show, my agencies dropped me. Nothing else negative, I was lucky!
Not really either. As I often say, fate maybe have given me a big helping hand, but my difference probably came at the right time. They took me as I was, head shaved and tattooed.
I would say about 80% of the time, yes. There are obviously some exceptions, like Jean-Paul Gaultier and Christian Lacroix, but very often, to last in this job – which is essentially quite short-lived – it is very important to keep your emotions to yourself.
Without Jean-Paul, there wouldn't even be a career! He determined its starting point and its course. I owe him a lot and I have immeasurable respect for that man.
Yes, because I would never have "survived" my modeling career without those drugs. But also because this substance abuse took me to rock bottom. The addiction won and I was able to stand down and learn once again to love, to laugh, to live in a healthy way. The words "inclusivity," "diversity," and "self-empowerment" are everywhere today.
I didn't keep up with the fashion world after my career, so I can't really be a judge of its changes. The little that I see going by on my Instagram feed seems to show curvier women, women from all around the world, and men in high heels. But, in the end, that's just my Instagram feed!
It's much too difficult to choose! You know, when I was at the height of my career, I was incapable of appreciating the scale of what was happening. It was only afterwards, when remembering these moments, that I was able to start to see the impact that these years and this world had on me. Today, I am very grateful, and even a little melancholic for these magical years.
The barriers that I imposed on myself, that I created. The worst wasn't what people said to me, but my own internal discourse. The worst never came from the outside.
No. As turbulent as it was, my career made me the person I am today, happy and fulfilled. With hindsight, I can tell you that I wouldn't change a thing.
Precisely that they should stop trying!