Style Q&A: Jenna Earle

In less than a year, the fresh-faced model has struck poses in Toronto, Paris and Tokyo. And that was just Grade 10.

Photography by venturi + karpa; styled by Jared Tabler; hair by Katrina Molson; makeup by Nicola Gavins

It’s doubtful any Edmonton teen knows the meaning of sweet 16 better than Jenna Earle. Since winning the inaugural Next Face of Edmonton model contest last July, just days after her 16th birthday, she has modelled in Toronto, Paris and Tokyo, and is featured in two consecutive issues of Japan’s Elle magazine.

When Brenda Rains, a scout for Next Models Canada, first checked out the 5-foot-11 teen in West Edmonton Mall, she noticed Earle’s long legs, healthy skin and natural beauty. “She’s mature beyond her years,” says Rains, one of her Canadian agents, who credits additional attributes – from her wide-set eyes and high cheekbones to her full lips and outgoing personality – for the teen’s subsequent success in fashion.

When the 10th grader is not walking the world’s runways, she’s likely with her parents at their west end home, lounging in her self-described comfy clothes and trying to balance an early career with yoga, schoolwork and friends. Though she’s developed a love for heels over the past year, Earle says her day-to-day beauty routines haven’t changed much.

She also knows that at her young age she can’t do it alone. “Everyone – my family and grandparents and cousins and uncles and aunts and friends – has been very supportive and encouraging,” Earle says. “They’re all just so excited.” But no one is more excited about where her modelling career is headed than Earle herself, and with good reason.

You just returned from Japan in March. What was that like?

I was fashion modelling there for 65 days. I did a lot of magazine editorial work, some for Elle Japan, some for other Japanese magazines, but also a cosmetics campaign for shu uemura. It was all lots of fun. My dad came with me and he was there for the first 50 days. I was asked to stay longer so I spent two weeks by myself. I was in Toyko and then did some location shooting, including small towns around Toyko. Some of them were really neat because they were (American) 1950s-type towns, where everything was a total flashback, like old diners and cars and everything.

How did you start modelling?

Brenda Rains scouted me at West Edmonton Mall, right outside of Victoria’s Secret. The first thing that came to my mind was, “It’s a scam.” But I was still excited about it, although cautious. I thought it might be too good to be true. I was doing some local test shooting, just trying to get some practice, get to know my angles and become more comfortable in front of the camera. Then I was invited by Brenda to enter the Next Face contest in July, which I entered and won.

Where else have you travelled to model?
I first went to Toronto to do my test shooting last August, right after I won the Next Face contest. I was very nervous at first, but everyone was warm and welcoming.Then I was in Paris in November for three weeks. I went there with my mom and did more modelling and test shooting, to get more development in international areas.

Did you ever think you’d become a model?
Never. I never really thought about it. I was always into lots of sports, doing basketball or volleyball or running or just something sporty. Of course, when Canada’s Next Top Model and America’s Next Top Model were on, I thought, “Oh, that’s cool,” but I never seriously considered it.

How would you describe your personal style? 

This is going to sound bad, but before I started modelling, I’d wear sweatpants every day, and that’s what I’m still like at home. I’ll throw on a pair of lululemon pants because, I’ll go to yoga and then come back and do homework, so I’m not really trying to dress to impress. When I go out I’ll throw on a blazer, a pair of heels and skinny jeans – still comfy but dressed up a bit.

What is your favourite item in your closet? 
I’m a total shoe fanatic now. I found this little store in Edmonton, called Katwalk Shoes, and I’ve become obsessed. I’m a heels girl, ever since I started modeling.

What about your favourite clothes?
My favourite items are probably my skinny jeans. No, wait – I want to change that answer – it’s my Zara high-low skirt that I just bought. I couldn’t find it in Edmonton, but I found it in Japan, only they didn’t have my size. I went to every other Zara in Tokyo within walking distance and I finally found one at a Zara store that was hidden, sort of tucked away in the corner of the city. And they still had my size.

Because you travel a lot, do you have a favourite look on airplanes?
I’ve made sure that I’m watching what I wear, because you never know who you might meet on an airplane. Most of the time I just wear leggings with a nice “flowy” shirt, a scarf and a jacket.

How do you typically wear your hair and do your makeup?
I had front bangs for about three years. And as for makeup, I didn’t really wear any. I’ve grown out my hair and I still don’t wear a lot of makeup.

What about accessories?
I’m not an accessories girl. I have my Pandora charm bracelet and my earrings, that’s it. They’re my mom’s earrings. They’re Swarovskis. My mom gave them to me when I went to Japan and she also brought them to Paris. It just seemed like whenever I wore them to a casting I’d get that job, so we started calling them my good-luck earrings.

When you’re not modelling or travelling, what do you like to do?

I do quite a bit of yoga, at Prana Yoga Studio. I also like to read, listen to music and just hang out. And I have school, too. I was doing Grade 10 at Jasper Place High School, but I’ve had to switch over to home schooling this past semester, when I went to Japan.

What are your goals for modelling?

Right now, I’m loving every day as it comes. I’m really hoping to go to London soon. My biggest goal though is to be on the cover of Vogue Paris. When I went to Paris it was just so glamorous, and that’s where I bought my very first French Vogue. I was going through the pages of the magazine and thinking to myself, “I want to be on the cover one day.”


Comfort food  Homemade mac and cheese (with extra cheese on top)

Sweets  Chocolate

Hangout spot  High Street

Movie  The Devil Wears Prada

Book  Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard

Place to shop Katwalk Shoes

TV show The Big Bang Theory

Fashion mag Vogue

Model  Karlie Kloss

Local restaurant Famoso

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