Verina Marcel began her modeling career in Europe at a young age when she was discovered by an agency in Germany. Soon after, she signed with the industry’s top agencies—Fashion in Milan and IMG Models in NYC.
Verina has wasted no time in becoming a household name in the fashion industry. She has graced numerous covers and editorials for magazines like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, L’ Officiel de la mode, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle. Verina was one of—legendary photographer—Helmut Newton’s favorite models. His portfolio includes fellow supermodels and A-list celebrities Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Madonna, Leonardo DiCaprio, David Bowie, and many more.
Verina has been the face of numerous fashion brand ad campaigns. She has taken on the heroine role in many commercials like Nikon with Ashton Kutcher, Mercedes, Cadillac, and the list continues. She has been the spokesmodel and walked the runway for major fashion brands like Chanel, Valentino, La Perla, Armani, Fendi, Guess, and YSL.
In addition, she has appeared on the hit TV show “Veronica Mars” next to Kristen Bell and several films.
Now, Verina will be launching her own brand in collaboration with celebrity fashion designer Lloyd Klein. Verina met Lloyd early in her career and became his muse, in-house model, and his consultant.
You have had a long, distinguished career in modeling. How do you stay ahead of the industry and continue working for top companies like Guess, Mercedes, and Chanel?
I have been fortunate enough to work with influential and prestigious brands and fashion designers. I have not only enjoyed working with these brands, but we have kept a positive and long-standing relationship over the years.
You are about to launch your very own fashion line, VERINA. What inspired you to release your own line of clothing?
Fashion has always been a big part of my life. It’s a beautiful way to be creative and express myself. My mom used to sketch and design her own dresses when she was a teenager, and my grandmother would sew them for her. She was the sweetest, most elegant lady. I miss her very much. So, being fashionable is in my DNA. Also, as a model, I am around fashion all the time, and I think it’s a natural process at this point.
VERINA will contain a compact collection of dresses that are sure to become everyday must-haves for all women.
Her line can be described as feminine, strong, and empowering—features Verina herself clearly embodies and encompasses in all of her work. She is targeting the market with female celebrities that also demonstrate these qualities. Her passion for fashion inspired her to start working on her own clothing line, VERINA. She is sure to find success in this project, as she has found in all her other work.
The clothing line will be a collaboration between yourself and designer Lloyd Klein. How did you meet Klein?
Lloyd and I have known each other for a long time. We met in Paris, at the beginning of my career, I got booked to walk in his runway show. We hit it off and became friends. We both became very busy, working in different parts of the world, and lost touch for a while. I was in LA when my agent asked me to meet this amazing fashion designer from Paris for his couture fashion show. We were so happy when we reconnected. He is incredibly talented.
Were the designs created by yourself, Klein, or a combination of the two? How are ideas created and fleshed out?
We collaborate on our ideas and inspirations into the collection. Our visions for the designs are very in sync with each other, which creates a great dynamic between us and a long-standing friendship and work relationship.
You are donating a percentage of profits to Wild Aid, an Animal Rights charity. What inspired you to donate a portion of profits to this charity?
It is important to give back and to make a positive change in any way we can. I have a deep passion for animals. They are beautiful and pure and need to be protected. We need to use our voice for those who don’t have one. I became a vegan when I was in my early 20s. I’ve refused to do fashion shoots, and runway shows when I was asked to wear fur. Every fashion brand should go fur-free.
I can’t stand the thought of people hurting animals. The punishment for animal cruelty should be the same as it is for humans! Growing up, we always had pets in our family. I grew up in the countryside in Germany around farms and animals. I would love to have a ranch at some point, with lots of rescue animals. An animal sanctuary, surrounded by nature.
I have been taking care of my own dogs since I was a teenager. I just lost my beloved Shiba Inu, Moony. He was by my side for almost 17 years. He was my everything. I was so heartbroken when I lost him. I do have two little Pomeranian siblings, Lili Marlene, who I named after the icon Marlene Dietrich and Lili’s little brother Billi. I love them very much. They make me so happy and shower me with unconditional love.
How does working as a fashion designer impact your modeling? Will you take a break from modeling and focus on designing or do them together?
It works well together. It is easy to manage both when you love what you do. I like to empower women to embrace their timeless beauty.
Verina is known throughout the fashion industry for modeling iconic designers’ lines – but soon, Verina Marcel will be seen on the runway rocking her own brand.
Verina, what are some of the challenges you have faced as a model during your career? How difficult is it to get into the industry and have the success you have enjoyed?
The industry is built on beauty and looks and can be shallow at times, but the true artists create and see beyond the surface. It is important not to take things too personally, and I believe that we are all beautiful in our own unique ways.
As a model, I have had to travel the world, which sounds amazing, and it is, but it also comes with its own challenges. Leaving my loved ones behind for long periods of time and keeping disciplined without the stability of the same day-to-day schedule. The key to a successful modeling career is to be authentic, disciplined, and have a positive attitude.
I’ve learned a lot about myself and people on this journey. I like to stay positive and surround myself with people who have good creative intentions. I appreciate the opportunities I have been given, and I am grateful for all the good things in my life. I was fortunate to be able to work with one of the most iconic fashion photographers, Helmut Newton, from the early start of my career. He continues to inspire me to this day, and his very talented wife June who was the art director on every shoot we did. The first time I shot for French Vogue was with
Helmut Newton, he has always believed in me and was my biggest supporter from the very beginning. Having one of the greatest photographers shooting me as many times he did was a dream come true. It opened a lot of doors in my career that gave me opportunities to get to work with many of the greatest fashion brands, magazines, and creative and talented people.
What does the future hold for you?
I am looking forward to creating my own brand and setting up my podcast, which talks about fashion, beauty, and real life. I just purchased a house in Bel-Air, where I will be moving this fall after my return from Europe. I have been spending the summer with my family and loved ones in Europe. I find the downtime has given me a lot of inspiration for my future brand and projects. It was a much-needed break to spend so much time with my family, especially after this year of COVID.
I feel lucky to have a very close relationship with my beautiful family-my mom, two sisters, a brother, and my three nieces and four nephews. I love them very much.
Mostly, I wish to always have health, family and true friends, love, and happiness in my life. These are things that matter most to me and inspire me.
Verina, what is a day in your life like?
I like to schedule out my day. If I have a shoot, working on a fashion line or other projects, even in the pandemic, I keep myself on a schedule. I love the early mornings, waking up at 5 am. I am a big believer in your body being a temple. Taking care of my body, mind, and soul is key. I start with a 20-minute transcendental meditation and journaling followed by a one hour and thirty-minute workout. I like to switch it up between Pilates, yoga, EMS, and kickboxing. Then a hot/cold shower which is invigorating. I have a healthy organic vegan diet.
I start with my light breakfast/protein shake, then check my emails. I tend to any calls I need to make to Europe before their evening approaches and start working on my projects. I speak to my mom and family daily. If I have a photoshoot, my day starts earlier to get into hair and make-up. Those days can be long. Depending if we shoot in a studio or on location and how many outfit changes. I enjoy those days because I like to stay busy. I try to explore nature as often as I can. It keeps me grounded and makes me happy taking my fur-babies Lili and Billi on a hike. In my free time, I like lunches or dinners with friends. I enjoy art, music, movies, and events. I like to take classes to learn something new. I’m also taking private piano vocal and dance lessons, just for myself. It’s great therapy. Finally, before I end my day with sleep, I read or listen to an audiobook. One book I turn to again and again is “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. It transformed my life in the most profound way. I recommend this book to everyone and long 7-8 hours of beauty sleep to rejuvenate for a new day.
I believe that true beauty comes from within.
I make it my priority to try every day to become a better version of myself. There are no shortcuts, and it takes time and effort, but it is very fulfilling and rewarding for me.
I also like to be a great role model for my nieces and nephews, who I adore very much.
Can you share two of your favorite quotes with us?
“Elegance is when the inside is as beautiful as the outside.” -Coco Chanel
“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” -Paulo Coelho
If you had the power to change just one thing in the world, what would it be?
I would make everyone treat each other with kindness and respect, especially toward animals.
Near and dear to her heart is protecting animal rights. And Verina will be honoring this passion by donating a percentage of her profit to animal rights charity WildAid. www.wildaid.org
While Verina has greatly enjoyed the work she has done for other brands, she knows it’s time to take her talents to the next level with the creation of her own brand. As an entrepreneur, her vision is to empower women by giving them a specific and unique opportunity to express themselves through her clothing.
Verina has already made her mark on the fashion industry in more ways than one. However, there is so much more to come for this fashion icon, and it all starts with VERINA.
Images credit: Lisa Boyle
Journalist and author. Contributor