For anyone wondering why Olivia O’Driscoll did not turn up in New York this week, there’s a good explanation. The 17 year-old Kiwi who frockwriter profiled in July, could be about to do a Gemma Ward and walk for Prada and Miu Miu.
According to The Dominion Post, O’Driscoll flies to Paris today and “could” be booked for a Prada/Miu Miu exclusive – which means she’ll miss next week’s New Zealand Fashion Week, which kicks off on Tuesday.
However as O'Driscoll's agent, Caroline Barron of Auckland’s Nova Models, told the paper:
“Financially, it was a no-brainer. It is really frustrating because everyone here wants to use her and I feel really embarrassed as NZ Fashion Week is really important to us, but it is important that Olivia is in Paris.”
Prada is headquartered in Milan and the company’s casting director Russell Marsh is reportedly London-based.
Dubbed ‘the model maker’, Marsh is credited with launching the careers of, among others, erstwhile world number one ranked models Gemma Ward and Daria Werbowy and the current world number two, Sasha Pivovarova.
Ward’s international career was launched in September 2003, when she flew to Milan for a Prada and Miu Miu exclusive for the SS04 season.
Earlier this year Marsh was embroiled in a bribery brouhaha, when he was accused of accepting sweeteners from the IMG and Women agencies to place those agencies’ models in Prada’s shows – prompting a rebuttal from IMG.
O’Driscoll is represented internationally by IMG.
But there are of course no guarantees. According to the well-placed modelling sources at The Fashion Spot web forum, O’Driscoll is merely “on hold” for Prada.
Rumours that Australia’s Myf Shepherd is also a Prada possibility might have been quelled by Shepherd’s omnipresence at New York Fashion Week. According to Shepherd’s Australian agent Kathy Ward, Shepherd walked in at least 12 New York shows. Prada tends to like to unearth new talent.
But Shepherd is tipped to do very well in Europe notwithstanding.