Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wife, Mother, Model, Muse | An Interview with Tiah Eckhardt

 Who is Tiah Eckhardt? 
She's from Perth, grew up on the beach, dancing, singing, acting, started modelling at aged 14, travelled the world, fell in love, had a baby and now lives in San Francisco, California. Has life passions for writing and lingerie and now combines both on her blog The Daily Knicker, in between balancing life as a mother/wife and a working/travelling model.

What was growing up like for you?
I think I always knew somehow that I was in a really culturally isolated place (Rockingham, WA, The Bogan Capital of The West), but I had tastes of the world through film, books and music. I immersed myself in those things all the while plotting a lifelong escape. It was very beautiful though and I have lots of fun memories growing up doing dance and theatre with my siblings.

Was modeling and fashion something you always had an interest in or was it something that you fell later?
 I think when I started buying magazines as a teenager I realised fashion was like a kind of theatre, a self-created spectacle. That appealed to me. So when I got the offer to model I jumped at it.

How did you get involved in modeling and what attracted you to it?
 A family friend referred me to an agency. A fun way to make money and possibly travel was what attracted me to it.

What is the biggest misconception about being a fashion model?
That you get paid bajillions of dollars to essentially do nothing except have people tell you you're amazing all day.

If you weren't a fashion model what do you think you would be doing?
Writing or designing lingerie. Though judging by my Netflix behavior I probably would've studied something like Medieval History at Uni.


What do you enjoy most about modeling and what keeps it fresh for you?
Nowadays, the money. I've worked so hard for so long to a point where now I get paid pretty well for what I do. But it's not always like that. All those "cool" editorials? They don't pay bupkiss! The people are what keep it fresh and interesting for me, and lately, being able to have a little control and creative direction.
What do you love most about being a woman and are there any women you particularly look up to?
 My tits. Hahaha.... no, really. On a deeper level, being able to have a balance between soft and strong, light and dark, in my personality. I think as a society we so encourage women to be strong as well as feminine. But we're not so quick to encourage typically 'girly' emotions in men for fear of being viewed as weakness and I think that's wrong. So I guess as woman, I'm grateful I can do and be anything. That's the main thing my mum always told me and cliche, yes, but I look up to her the most.

Your husband Patrick Delaney is also a model. How did this fashion fairy tale come about?
 We'd seen each other peripherally before but never spoke, by the time we met properly and started dating Patrick had long-since quit modeling and was working as studio manager for the artist Banks Violette. We literally just met at our friend Paul Sevigny's bar The Beatrice Inn because I'd lost my friend and Patrick had lost his so he just started talking to me because we were both loners. He was so cocky but at the same time, secretly sheepish. It was adorable. I think I kissed him an hour later. I actually didn't even realise how beautiful he was until weeks later because I was so blown over by his personality, it kind of came second!
Patrick & Tiah

As well as being a high fashion model you are also a mother and wife and you run your own lingerie blog. How do you find the time to juggle everything and still remain centered?
I don't. Seriously, it- and I- can be crazy. Anyone who's trying to raise a child with zero-minimal help will tell you that. Put two jobs on top of that, international travel, it's full-on. Trying to structure a schedule for any of the things I do is impossible by their nature and everyday I just try to do the most I can!
 I mentioned you have your own lingerie blog. Can you describe your lingerie obsession?
 What is it you love about lingerie and what is it that makes "great" lingerie?

 I think it's just so glamorous and pretty and powerful. Lingerie can change your body, change your mood and improve your whole wardrobe as well as the way you carry yourself. I love that it's equal parts functional and frivolous. For me, good lingerie makes your body look great beneath clothes, looks good without clothes, is comfortable, of superior quality and has some incredible design element.

How would you describe your personal style and who are some of your fave style icons?
To be honest, day-to-day I'm either in gym clothes or band t-shirts with black jeans. I'm really big on texture, so I have lots of black, just in different textures like lace, silk, velvet and leather. When I have to go out or put any thought into my outfits I 'character' dress a lot- Lolita, Dominatrix, Screen Siren, whoever I feel like that day, so my wardrobe is all over the place and has a bit of fashion multiple personality disorder.

Who are some of your favorite brands to work with?
I'm currently the brand ambassador for Berlei underwear and they create beautiful images, have the best product, are such a pleasure to work with and really support my blog- they are basically a dream client. Fashion-wise I always love working with Wheels & Dollbaby as Mel is one of my best friends, it's always fun, she lets me bounce ideas off her as we have such similar personal style. I've also been fortunate to work for them in other capacities, producing shoots or helping out in the office, whether it's looking after online accounts or writing press releases. So feel like I have an understanding of what Wheels is about and have developed a real attachment to them over the years. I really like working with people I have more than just a superficial relationship with.

 When Tiah isn't playing the role of model, muse, mother, wife what is she doing?
Nothing. That pretty much takes up all of the time. Pass out exhausted in bed? Grab an hour to watch Game of Thrones, Supernatural or The Walking Dead whilst having a glass of wine and giving my husband a cuddle? Not too exciting, sorry!
 Is there any one brand you would love to work with that you haven't had the opportunity to work with?
 I'm so lucky I've worked for all my dream lingerie clients like, Berlei, Agent Provocateur and Eres- I need to come up with new dreams! I've always adored French labels Fifi Chachnil and Chantal Thomass so I would love to shoot for either of them. I've also shot for the French edition of Playboy before but I think I'd really like to do the original US one too, maybe in kind of a 60's style, because it's just so iconic!

What are some of the best and worst lessons you have learnt throughout your career so far?
Best? Be nice, be fun, be professional, don't be rude and don't think you're better than anyone else, you're not. Work hard and it will pay off. Every thing you have can be taken away from you any minute, so be damn grateful for what you have. Worst? Sometimes the ruthless people that use and cheat and back stab and climb and treat people like crap get everything and no karma, but there's nothing you can do about it.

If you were asked for advice on getting involved in the modeling industry what would you say?
If you want to model because you think it'll be easy, glamorous and everyone will tell you how beautiful you are and you'll make lots of money and be famous, think again. Generally you will be hungry, missing your family and having no idea where your next pay check's coming from, all the while spending your days traipsing to appointments where it's people's actual jobs to pick at what's 'wrong' with you. But if you can handle that, want to travel and maybe have some crazy adventures of the variety most people don't get to have... Then be smart, treat yourself as a business, learn everything about the industry you're in and apply it. Grow a really thick skin too (metaphorical, but literal also helps).

What can we expect from Tiah Eckhardt over the next year?
I'm just gonna keep being myself, working hard, doing what I want to do and trying to get some sleep now and then. Oh and maybe a take a vacation!