Born and raised in the small town of Pittsfield, a rural community nestled along the western edge of Illinois, fashion model Anna Speckhart moved to Los Angeles when she was 18 years of age and was discovered by Vision Models. She quickly started her fashion career with a move to Paris and currently resides in New York City.
The captivating brunette has appeared in campaigns for Abercrombie & Fitch, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Gap, and she has been featured in numerous magazines including Elle France, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar Spain and Vogue Nippon. She also appeared on the cover of the Italian edition of Flair magazine, posed for Victoria’s Secret and is the face of the fragrance “Anna” by Blumarine.
Speckhart is currently signed with Vision in Los Angeles, The Society in New York, D-Management in Milan and Elite Paris. To learn more about Speckhart and her work, follow her on Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter.
What was your upbringing like, and how did being raised in a small midwestern town shape who you are today?
I grew up in a town of 4,600 people, and I am the youngest of six. My family is extremely overbearing (Hi Mom and Dad, I love you!) and my town probably knows more things about me than I do. Growing up, I didn’t exactly appreciate living in a tiny town or having to share one soda with my five siblings, but now I’m obsessed with both of them. Between the two, I have been able to stay grounded and somewhat sane in this industry.
How did you initially become interested in modeling, and at what point did you realize that you could potentially make a living as a model?
I remember being really young and fantasizing over becoming a model, but my parents nipped that in the bud and that idea quickly faded. Even after I was scouted I decided to go to college instead. I did University for a year, had my first break-up, and decided I needed a change. Out of the blue, I packed up and moved to L.A. In the back of my head, I didn’t think I would actually become a model. I just was in teenage heartbreak city and wanted something new.
What was the most difficult part of adjusting to life in Los Angeles?
The most difficult part of moving to L.A. was learning how to be an adult. My parents are the most loving and supportive people I know, but they made it clear that if I couldn’t support myself with modeling, it was back to the farm. The days of “but I’m the baby of the family” were over. (I’m sure all my siblings are laughing thinking I still pull that card all the time. “Hey guys, nobody puts baby in the corner.”)
How were you “discovered”?
Technically I was “discovered” by a scout, but I believe I was discovered by a casting video. I laugh about it now, but that video went “viral” at the time and all of a sudden agencies in Paris and New York wanted to sign me. In a lot of ways it was a total fluke, but just goes to show you have no clue what’s in store for you. In case you’re interested here’s the video. (I’d like to thank an old agent of mine, Victor, for taking this. Now cue the hair shake and sultry eyes.)
Have you always been comfortable in front of the camera, or is that a skill that you acquired over time?
Definitely not, however I’m now at a point where I feel very comfortable. I take it day to day and learn as I go. I’m sure you could fill a book of my awkward model photos, but I like my kookiness and am confident being me.
What do you enjoy most about being a fashion model? Are there any aspects of it that you don’t enjoy?
I love all the opportunities this job has given me. I’ve traveled around the world, met amazing people, and made a living doing it. At the same time this career is not the glamorous lifestyle a lot of people depict, at least for me. It can be exhausting and very lonely. There’s always the good and the bad and at the end of the day I’m very fortunate. If there’s one bit of advice I could give it would be, “Even though this job feels so personal, don’t take it personal. It’s subjective and you’re doing great just being you.”
What do you miss most about Pittsfield?
My family. I have five brothers and sisters and 12 nieces and nephews. To say the least, it can be overwhelming, but I love it. So much so, that I bought a farm back home and built a house. That has been the biggest opportunity and what I’m most proud of. Hard work pays off. If I could, I would pack up all my things and move there full-time. (Don’t worry agencies, I still have some other goals to attain before I jump ship).
What’s the coolest piece of clothing you currently own?
A Britney Spears “Oops! …I Did it Again” concert tee.
What’s the best meal you’ve had recently?
Last time I was home, I made Thanksgiving dinner and am counting down the days ’til actual Thanksgiving. I could have that meal everyday. Turkey, stuffing, pie… yum.
What’s the best song you’ve heard recently?
I’m a sucker for Taylor Swift’s new album. Who doesn’t like a little post break-up, girl power, pop music?
What would you like to do that you simply haven’t found the time for yet?
I would love to go on a fishing trip in either the Panama or Costa Rica. Crossing my fingers for a trip with my Dad in 2015!
What are you working on next?
As far as work goes, that changes daily and there are always surprises around the corner. As for me, I am planning on making some banana bread this afternoon. That’s about as far as I can plan right now.