Petra Collins’ elfish and graceful appearance is liable to mislead people sometimes. At the moment she is one of the faces of the GUCCI Bloom campaign shot by Glen Luchford, but that is more a well-paid side job for the the 24 year-old, who became probably one of the biggest high-flyers of the art/fashion scene in the last years. In 2013 Collins made a noise in the world when she condemned the hypocrisy, which hide behind the shut-down of her instagram account because of a post showing herself unwaxed in a bikini. Concerning this matter The Huffington Post published an article by her, which went viral and became a major moment in feminist debates on social media. At that time she had already started the online platform The Ardorous, which she created to give female artists space to curate and present their artwork, since she did not find any appropriate medium to present her art in the extant art world. Since that day her career seemed to run by itself: Working with Ryan McGinley, curating exhibitions for the MoMa in New York and being published in almost every well-known magazine of the international art world…
Here are 5 facts you should know about this ambitious young lady:
1. Being no A-grade student was her path to success
She was born and raised in Toronto with her younger sister Anna, who is also an artist and ballet dancer. She was a dyslexic, having trouble reading and writing, therefore Collins had to leave high school before graduation. She changed school and ended up in an alternative school with an art teacher who supported her creative talents. “Having a great teacher and school kind of saved me”, she says. From then on the 15 year-old recorded her feelings and impressions with her 35mm camera – until today she exceptionally uses 35mm film for shootings. In 2014 the Capricious 88 Gallery in New York hosted her first solo exhibition and released the pictures in an illustrated book entitled: “Discharge”, a photo series, which was emerged between 2008 and 2014, showing the artist’s authentic view of girlhood and womanhood.
2. She is Gucci’s Muse
In 2016 she debuted on the runway for Gucci – looking like the embodiment of the brand’s new image with her signature 70’s-infused ethos and the sensuality-over-sexiness attitude. This autumn she can be seen in the new Gucci Bloom campaign, for which she is modeling next to Harif Nef and Dakota Johnson in a flowery, rural setting wearing colorful vintage dresses. But modeling is not her favorite kind of work, she says. Even more honored she felt when Alessandro Michele chose her as the director for the Spring/Summer eyewear collection. For this project she travelled to her second home Budapest (she has Hungarian roots), the result was a short film titled “Hungarian Dream” a dreamscape showing bits from Collin’s own childhood memories. Her young cousins play the kids in the movie. A typical move for Collins, who often works with friends ans people she is close with. “Their world is so big and mysterious. When they put on grandma’s sunglasses they imagine a whole new exciting world” she commented in an interview.
3. GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS – Her girl squad
The risk of getting jealous if you read the list of the people Petra Collins is friends with is higher than high. Tavi Gevinson, the founder of online magazine Rookie, is one of her best friends since Petra published her work in it. The two women worked together on many projects, in 2015 they released their book “Babe”, with written contributions by Arvida Byström, Sandy Kim and Kerley Sciortino (#Sluteverforever). None other than everyone’s darling Selena Gomez calls Petra her BFF and hired her friend to direct the video for her new song “Fetish” which was awaited by her fns eagerly. They both created a whole new image of the former Disney star: She bites into glasses, melts down in the kitchen and prepares a candle light dinner for herself. Selena and Petra are both born in 1992, they first worked together for Wonderland magazine – their closeness can be easily seen in the video, because the pictures are authentic and show off the vulnerability of Mrs Gomez.
4. She is hitting the hit-lists
2016 she was named one of the Dazed & Calvin Klein’s 100 Creatives Shaping Youth Culture and one of the Vogue’s 40 Creatives To Watch in the same year. She also was listed as one of the 30 Artists to Watch by Artsy. She was also considered one of Canada’s top 30 young photographers under 30 years of age by Bloun Artinfo. So did The Toronto Star, where she was also called a “Person to Watch” already in 2013. A noteworthy career for a girl who decided to move to New York just 4 years ago without any financial backup and arrived with only a suitcase and $500.
5. Sleep is her miracle cure
She dreams of sleeping in a room that is one giant bed, she confessed in an interview with W Magazine. Sleep is a big topic for her, not because she is lazy but she often mentions that she loves to rest. Time in bed or just hanging on a couch with her friends is a big part of her life and means quality of life to her. Her favorite choice for a sleepover guest, if she could make a wish? Definitely Rihanna, “she is so sexy” Collins admits.
photos via Pinterest, theardorous.com,gramunion.com,vogue.com,dailymail.co.uk,tumblr.com