Erin O'Connor

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
A girl must have an indefinable magic, real character, a strong sense of self. Her role is to respond to the brief of a photographer or communicate the vision of a designer - while making whatever she does look utterly effortless and whatever she wears utterly seamless.
As a child I wanted to be a ballerina, ice-cream van owner, wife of George Michael, a nun, and a music conductor. Music, Chants & Rapps
As a model, part of my job is to be critiqued physically.
As a small child, me and my pals fantasised about one day owning an ice-cream van. To have ice creams on demand would have been a dream come true.
As I began to get a deeper understanding of the vital life-saving work Save the Children does, I felt compelled to help in any way I could. This is about safe-keeping, inspiring and empowering a future generation - to facilitate them to make their own lives a little bit better. Future ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
At school I was very shy and coincidentally inherited the title 'little miss worry guts,' and that was just among the staff. I learned early on that I could make people laugh, and as my small neat body betrayed me by growing to dizzying heights, I used it as a tool that translated into complete slap-stick comedy.
Caution is the key to safe cycling. I'm aware that cars are bigger than me, but I feel quite safe. I'm in control, liberated and free, when I'm on my bike.
Clothes are like a suit of armour when you're young. I was quite a shy teen, so I wanted to make aggressive statements with the way I looked. I'd say my goth/indie stage was the worst: there was a lot of experimentation involving pink food dye in my fringe. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
Conformism is a potent statement, and as much as we do talk about individuality in fashion, there's a sense that people are fearful of not conforming and not being part of action.
Cycling is a great way to learn about your city. I love being outdoors, especially in good weather, but I'm not a fair weather cyclist. I'm happy to get a red nose in the cold. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Fashion is intoxicating, and it plays a part in all of our everyday lives. A lot of people use it as a form of escape, of realising a fantasy, and in some ways that becomes an unobtainable norm.
Fear has been my biggest friend. Fear of the unknown. Whenever I've been afraid, I've been very self-protective.
For my last meal, I'd want an Irish breakfast with soda bread and one of my dad's omelettes with three or four eggs. Families, Children & Parenting
Growing up, I had an insane crush on Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys.
How awful to be a perfect beauty! How confusing! God. Can you imagine? Religion & God
I am aware it's easy and may be fashionable to pose with a slum child, and the irony of getting the media along means that it can come across as disingenuous. But you take these things on board, and you hope you mean it whenever you get stuck into something. Hope
I am concerned about ageism and the loss of beauty - the perception that as you grow older, you 'lose your looks,' which I think is diabolical.
I am rubbish at the gym. I prefer to exercise by moving around - it doesn't matter whether I am dancing on a Friday night or on my bike getting from A to B.
I am selective. If I do splash out, it's an investment, and I wear things for years.
I am the world's laziest shopper, but very rarely have I had to take anything back.
I can play the flute. Music was my favourite A-level, and I used to love composing my and stylising my voice to sound like 90's singing sensation Tori Amos. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Music, Chants & Rapps
I do like shopping high street, but I do consider the long-term value of a specific piece and, also, one day giving it up for somebody else to love and enjoy. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I enjoy travelling the world, but nowhere beats Walsall.
I had one particular handbag disaster when I couldn't get into it, and when I finally did, it flew over the red carpet and was caught by 200 lenses. Not a great moment.
I have a regular cleansing, toning and moisturising routine.
I have previously been a very enthusiastic consumer, and I didn't think about the origins of garments enough.
I have two curiosity cabinets at home filled with finds from jumble sales, markets and my travels. My favourite piece is a voodoo mask from just outside Cape Town.
I knew I'd made it when my face appeared on a stamp.
I lead a very busy life and don't have a lot of time, so my skincare needs to be easy and portable. Life ;Time
I love the physicality of my job and how my mind and body are most happy when I'm expressing and moving. My face was always secondary to body alignment and the dynamism of making a moment come alive. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I love the sun, but we don't get on at all; it doesn't agree with my Celtic tones. I also like nothing better than putting on a big ski jacket and feeling the wind in my face. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I love vintage clothes. But they don't love me very much. It is difficult to find anything that fits me because of my height, but if I do fall in love with something, I'll buy it and display it like a work of art at home. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I see myself as the female John Cleese.
I seem to disappoint people a bit. They want the full regalia - but I don't walk around in a corset the whole time. Time
I take my mentoring responsibilities very seriously.
I think most models fear growing old, but from a tender age I had always chosen to play someone grown up. I am slowly but surely catching up with the people that I have spent the last decade and a half trying to portray.
I think most of my career has been built on conviction and the personality to carry that image or stride confidently on the catwalk. That was my beginning and, hopefully, my legacy.
I think there is some resistance when people talk about ethical fashion, and a tendency to panic that if you're bringing a moral agenda and highlighting the origins of the garments, you can't incorporate style. But there's no reason why style and conscience can't co-exist.
I understood early on that I was not the best-looking girl in the room. But I knew my advantage was a hard work ethic and I was ambitious: I knew I could be a great model. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I want to show that we all have the right to be ourselves, and I certainly don't want to freeze time. Time
I worry about how accessible cosmetic surgery has become. Of course, if it has genuinely helped people, and their confidence has grown as a result; who am I to form an opinion?
I would say I live half in New York and half in Claridge's. How decadent! How hysterical!
I'm bad at rationalisation - very bad.
I'm interested in looking for solutions because it's become the case that in fashion you're either a villain or a victim. Look at the industry's very limited remit in terms of body size, for example.
I'm like a tourist when I'm in London.
I'm often mistaken for a man.
I'm too diplomatic. I tend to edit my mind before I speak - it can be incredibly draining.
I'm utterly androgynous, and I truly love it. It's been part of my identity for so long. I've never been that pretty girl, and I wouldn't want to be. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
In my career, which has been fairly two-dimensional, people make decisions based on your persona.
In my job, I am portrayed as a misfit, a grandiose high fashion lady or an unearthly creature. At home, it's important I can look in the mirror, strip away the disguise and be comfortable with who stares back.
In my work, I'm called to a job at the drop of a hat, so I like a sense of order to my holidays, and holding a map makes me happy. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
In the early days of my modelling career, I think the industry was uncomfortable with how strikingly different I was.
It makes me cross when I hear people say, 'It's so last season.' I always say, 'It's vintage.'
It's a big shame that when you have a platform to write about Save the Children, the media interest lies with my moral alignment.
It's a very intimate thing to invite someone into your home; there's a lot of trust involved. Trust
It's like recycling: selling old clothes to help make new ones.
It's not about hiding your imperfections on a shoot; it's about embracing them and being unapologetic about them.
I've been cycling ever since I was a kid. I remember taking my cycling proficiency test aged seven - I got to school at 7:30 A.M. to practise, I was so nervous. After that, I always cycled to school.
I've been on both sides: the victim and the villain. I was the victimised model, and everything from my weight to my fertility was held up for discussion. And then I was the person that could garner some kind of positive outcome, by taking on the role of vice chairman of the British Fashion Council and becoming an activist of body image.
I've enjoyed many camping holidays with my sister and her children, but we're pretty posh campers.
I've worn a lot of humdingers in my time, but as a model it's my duty - my responsibility - to bring life to any garment. That can be challenging when it comes to high fashion, where the creations can be very eccentric, but I've gained a reputation for being the go-to girl who can pull it off. Life ;Time
My hair is an untidy bob. I am very dark, but I embellish the roots because I am white in one clump.
My job is to sell clothes to very rich women. Women
My perfect bag would be practical but also have the stylish element to it; it would be bold and colourful. I would actually be able to open and close it. That would be a first.
My plan growing up was to leave home and try not to panic. I always knew that to strive to be self-sufficient was an important ambition.
My story wasn't one of those cliched stories of being an ugly duckling, I had a pretty good time at school. But then I think being six foot by the age of 15 meant that I couldn't help but be noticed, and that was when my physical being felt quite painful - I could not any longer walk into a room without being noticed. Time
My style has been nurtured over time. It's more about knowing what doesn't suit you. I love suits and anything sharp, and I know that shape suits me. I don't feel feminine in floaty dresses with spaghetti straps - I feel more like Freddie Mercury in drag. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
New York is on a grid system, so it's slightly less challenging logistically, but Londoners are more relaxed in their selling approach. With that intense shopping service in New York, it's easy to get carried away and make a wrong purchase. Here, there's a different flow. You are left to explore, and individuality is key.
Rejection is, of course, part of any successful model's career, as ironic as that sounds. It's how you pick yourself up and get on with the job.
Someone once referred to modeling as being like winning the lottery gene pool. It's such an odd way to put things, but what is different about modelling is that the industry often picks you.
Starting my career in London was no accident because the city and the industry here are all about theatre and drama, and I respond well to that.
The 'Best of British' is a positive thing that's bandied around, but also it's applied pressure to our country in terms of economic growth. I think we've always felt the rest of the world is so much more powerful in terms of being commercially viable, but we can take great pride in our level of creativity.
The great outdoors is a theme with me; a walking holiday in Scotland is perfect - Culloden and the forests of Aviemore are both favourites.
The Model Sanctuary is not about self-indulgence - it's about reminding and allowing them to become self-sufficient human beings. I wanted to alert people to the fact that we're not the victims, but nor are we the villains. We want fair practice and positive, sustainable change, working with the fashion industry, not against it.
The model sanctuary was borne of a complex, political, societal debate. It was proposed to us from various bodies that we give models medicals once a year, and if they didn't pass that medical, there's a chance they'd legally lose their right to work. Health, Healthcare & Medicine ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
There are great slender models, great tall models, Amazonian models, great busty models - my point is models of all shapes and sizes, age, ethnic background should be embraced and celebrated.
Water - I drink gallons of it! You can use the most luxurious skincare products in the world, but they won't work as well if you do not hydrate from inside. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
We won't get economic growth if we don't look after our mothers and the potential of the next generation. They need to be prioritised.
When I first began modeling, I was very conventional looking. I had hair down to my waist in a side parting - almost church-like. But beneath the sheath of hair lay this Amazonian, strong-looking frame.
When I was 13 or 14, my parents had a bit of a windfall so bought a lovely new kitchen, but I burnt it down. I was making cheese on toast when flames escaped from the grill. My father stopped the fire with blind panic and excessive water. I was forgiven, but it put me off cooking for years.
When I was at primary school, we had this theory that if you ate an egg, it meant you'd get pregnant and give birth to a chicken or another egg. It was something we dared together. I avoided eggs for years, but now they're my favourite food. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
When you're physically growing up, you develop emotionally with that.
Winter is my favourite season.
With high fashion, it's a performance. You're trying to interpret a fantasy in a very physical way, and you really are playing a character. I've played men, dead people, famous people, historical icons, and it's no mean feat. It's quite an insular experience even though the crowd is in front of you and there's an expectation. Fame