Women who can ARIZONA MUSE

The third in an empowering series of interviews, we’re speaking to inspirational and ambitious women to uncover the secrets of their success.

Tucson-born Arizona Muse rose to modelling fame in 2009, shortly after the birth of her son, and has appeared in a long list of both editorial and campaigns. As well as being the face of Karen Millen for SS17, Arizona has graced the covers of American, British, Italian and French Vogue and most recently made a welcome return to the catwalks, walking for Chanel, Prada and Lanvin.

I love it when I'm included in the creative process; it really feels like a collaboration. If I get to a job and realise I’m the model and they’re going to put the clothes they want on me and create the lighting they want and instruct me, it can feel a little unfulfilling.

I make sure I’m never away for more than one job at a time. A lot of models will do two or three week-long trips, but I can't do that. I always have to come home between jobs, even if just for a day, and I make sure I work on projects that are wonderful, so when I come home I’m in a great mood for my son.

I feel like I went through a phase where I was sacrificing in every department. I didn’t get enough time for myself or for my son, and I didn’t get enough time to work because I needed to be at home – that’s really a recipe for unhappiness. I took some time off and realised something had to change, because it’s a wonderful job I’ve been given and I want to enjoy it.

When I feel inspired at work, have amazing friends, a child who's flourishing and a happy relationship I feel successful. In the beginning I felt success was featuring in a certain campaign or getting a specific job, but I think there was a purpose to that; when you’re in your early twenties and just starting out, success is trying to get up the ladder.

I’m really happy in my career right now, and I’m going to start planning my wedding soon! Next year is going to be a big year for me, saying vows and feeling the 'lifelong' part of my relationship – though I haven’t started planning anything; the engagement is still very new to me.

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A lot of the stress I felt before was because I didn’t know if my career was going to continue. As a model, you have zero guarantee that anyone is ever going to book you again. That fear was very real to me at that time, and rightly so. I'd love to go back to my 21-year old self and say, “it’s going to be fine, people do keep booking you so just relax”.

There’s a lot of contentment in happiness. When you’re content with your life, understanding that it moves without you moving it, you don’t need to control every aspect of it to enjoy it. Having the people you love near you is very important. I’d say to my younger self, “stay in touch more with family” – I think it would have really helped me throughout the last eight years.

I’ve become more daring because I get to wear adventurous clothes as part of my work. I feel more comfortable now stepping out of my mainstream style, but I hate wearing clothes I don’t feel comfortable in. I had an outfit the other night where the shoulder kept falling down and the shoes were slippy. By the end of the night I really realised that yes, confidence comes from the inside, but it also comes from what you’re wearing.

I like to dress up when I go out and look smart – I love a silk button-up shirt or a jumper. I also like thigh-high boots, either flat or with a heel, for more laid-back style.

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