When Noam Frost enters the Tel Aviv cafe, the other patrons don’t look at her immediately. In a loose dress, rugged work boots and socks pulled up with a certain negligence almost to her knees, she looks like a typical black-garbed adolescent, if taller and prettier than average. It is only when she removes the big headphones and sits down across from me that her beauty becomes evident. “What happened?” she asks, but she’s actually interested in the timing of the interview request. After all, she’s been a model for four years, since she was 16. I mention her intensive runway presence during Tel Aviv Fashion Week last month. She nods and says she enjoyed it greatly. “You know, it was the first time I invited my parents to see me at work. Until now I was afraid that knowing they were in the audience would make me shake with excitement.”
Over the past two years, Frost has walked the runways at the shows of top designers, including Christopher Kane, Calvin Klein, Victoria Beckham, Mulberry, Veronique Branquinho and Junya Watanabe. “Today my walk is direct and loud, which fits me well. I just get on the runway and put on the hard expression of a murderer,” she says, getting serious. Her eyes radiate a certain distance, her nose is straight and sharp above full lips, framed by thick eyebrows and a strong jaw and cheekbones. These strong lines give her a chilly toughness, and it is all this together that gives her her unique appearance. Now that look is her trademark, though when she started out it was problematic and her agent had to court stylists and photographers to get them to cast her for photo shoots.
That began to change about two years ago, when Frost began working abroad. A successful meeting with Russell Marsh, a top model casting director, jump-started her career and put her on the runways of major shows in fashion capitals, and later in top magazines and modeling agencies in New York, Paris, Milan and London. This month, she was chosen for a fashion spread in the Italian edition of Vanity Fair. Also, the editors of Italy’s Amica chose her as their new face for their recent season and devoted a fashion spread to her. Over the next few months, a new series of photographs is scheduled for the German edition of Interview, and her face will be on the cover of French revue de modes.
Total life routine
The look of models seems to have become more diverse over the past decades. Kate Moss and Gisele Bundchen have each become an institutio. Then there are supermodels such as Lindsey Wixson and Hanne Gaby Odiele, who have an odd look, and society girl Kara Devlin, who started on the Internet and became one of the most successful models in the world.
Frost seems to be in the category of models with an unusual look.
“I worked with Kara about a year ago,” she says. “She’s very lively. I remember that back then, I didn’t understand why she was photographing herself and why everybody was looking at her. Now I understand that with the help of Instagram and Facebook, everybody can brand themselves, and that’s exactly what it does.”
Photographer Dudi Hasson, who did Frost’s first modeling test and remembers her as young and a bit frightened, mentions one of the things that led to her success.
“Noam has a different kind of presence,” he says. “When you look at her, she is very beautiful, and then you notice something else that’s hard to describe in words.”
Stylist Simon Almalem, who recently chose Frost for the opening and the finale of a Factory 54 show, along with Bar Refaeli, adds that Frost is “impressive in the way she stands, serious and professional. People see that she enjoys her work. Her approach to the profession is different: she doesn’t starve herself, focuses with ambition and enjoys it.”
For Frost, modeling is not a quick route to riches or a life of leisure. Rather, it is a character-building experience, a way to mature.
“Today, most female models are girls who work very hard and manage a total life routine,” she says.
“It means always being available for work and journeying into the unknown. It’s already happened that I‘m was sitting in New York with friends and get a call telling me I had two hours to pack and leave for Milan.”
Frost says she particularly enjoys the creative aspect of high fashion. “When they make me into some weird, bizarre character, and when there is a special movement or special lighting at the photo shoot, I enjoy it even if I don’t necessarily think I came out great or that I can identify myself in the character,” she says.
She adds that she realizes modeling is a temporary profession — and that makes her happy. “It’s right for me for now, and it puts things into perspective. I owe a lot to this profession. I got a lot of my self-confidence from it — like permission to be myself.”
She recognizes that a modeling career has ups and downs and that it takes a long time to gain professional stability. Frost recently reached an advanced stage of negotiations with Jil Sander to lead a campaign.
“It almost happened. They thought maybe I was the right face, and then they decided that another kind of face was the right one. This is a profession where the unexpected can happen, and you have to be patient. Sometimes it’s easy to reach a peak in your career, but the main thing is to keep protecting it, and that’s up to you. There are lots of girls, and these girls work very hard and want to do the work as professionally as possible.”
It sounds like you grew up early.
“My father always tells me that. He believes I’m going to rebel sometime in the near future. He’s convinced that it’s going to happen to me soon.”