ARTICLE DEREK BLASBERG
PHOTOGRAPHY KARL LAGERFELD
A CHANCE ENCOUNTER AT A NEW ZEALAND BUS STOP PAVED THE WAY FOR THIS NEW FACE TO RULE THE RUNWAYS FOR GIVENCHY, CHANEL, AND MORE
Ashleigh Good is at a café near her hotel in Paris. A stunning gal with pouty lips, almond-shaped eyes, and high cheekbones, she’s also tired. “I wish we could have done this interview last night, when I was packing,” she jokes. Good was up late for her V shoot, with legendary night owl Karl Lagerfeld. She got home at 5 am and met me four hours later, en route to the airport. “I just always feel like I’m packing my suitcase,” she says.
That trusty suitcase has been her primary residence for the past year. Born in Kent, just outside London, Good moved with her family to New Zealand when she was 10. A decade later, lightning struck when she didn’t have a ride to the coffee shop where she worked and ended up taking the bus. That’s when a model scout driving by spotted her, circled the block, and signed her up. “I did some castings at New Zealand Fashion Week and didn’t get booked for anything,” she remembers. “But then Ford took me, and within a week I was in Paris on an exclusive job for Givenchy.”
Her career has continued to blossom: not only has she been championed by the likes of Lagerfeld (who booked Good for five consecutive Chanel shows, including closing the Spring 2013 Haute Couture collection, in which she and Kati Nascher appeared as lesbian brides, a nod to the gay-marriage controversy in France), but she has also become a favorite of Carine Roitfeld (who was introduced to her via Riccardo Tisci and loves her tomboyish appeal), and is currently the face of Max Mara’s Fall campaign. “I remember my first time at Givenchy, sitting all alone with no one talking to me,” she says of her fateful first fashion show. “So from then on, I never wanted to see anyone left out, so I go up and talk to every new girl. I make new friends all the time. It makes the job a lot easier.” She’s walked miles of designer runways, and when we finish here, she’s getting on a plane to Moscow, at the behest of Raf Simons, for a Dior show in the Russian capital.
She will get back to New Zealand six times this year, “which isn’t bad, because it’s so far away,” she says. “Though it’s pretty bad for my bank account.” When Good gets home, work isn’t far from her thoughts. She’s the eldest of four, and says her 20-year-old sister and 13-year-old brother are gorgeous enough to get into the business too. As is her nine-year-old littlest sister: “We do photo shoots all the time, except I’m the photographer and she’s the model.”
Though she clearly comes from a blessed gene pool, Good says she never anticipated being a model. Her father owns a call center training business, and the week before she was booked on the Givenchy exclusive she got a job answering phones for an insurance company, which she says she thought was the greatest gig. “When I got that job I told my boyfriend, ‘My life is going to change.’ I was going to get minimum wage, weekends off, a steady income. I was stoked! [And] I was right. My life did change. But more than I ever expected.”
Makeup Topolino (Calliste) Hair Laurent Philippon for Bumble and bumble (Calliste) Manicure Anny Errandonea for Chanel (Marie-France Thavonekham) Digital technician and retouching Ludovic Dhardivillé