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Talking Heads – Kerri Tesfamariam

Shot by Alessandro Mannelli – Fashion Editor Francesco Saverio Costanzo – Model Kebri Tesfamariam at Elite – Grooming by Erisson Musella – Casting by Irene Manicone at IM Casting – Styling Assistant Davide Quici // Sweater and Trousers Balenciaga – Top DSQUARED2

The life of a model is a bit chaotic, not always knowing when, or even where, you‘ll have your next booking. How has that impacted your daily life?
It changed my entire daily routine! I started modeling when I was 19 years old. As much as I plan or anticipate, the fashion schedule is pretty unpredictable, but I love everything about it. Any day, anything can happen. It literally can be over for me tomorrow. So I try to focus on the positive and be present in every moment!
What do you do to manage stress? Do you practice yoga, blast music or take a walk?
Mainly, I workout on a cross-fit basis and like to reflect on my day right after, sometimes by writing thoughts in my notebook. Most frequently, I have deep conversations with my friends.
Small rural town or big city?
Big city! I like crowds, all the people, smells, noises and sounds. That’s not to say I don’t like and enjoy the quaint atmosphere of a small village or town, because I do.
Are you a big food enthusiast? What would your ‘last meal’ be?
‘Injera’, without a doubt! It’s an Eritrean (my ethnicity) dish, made of a thin pancake with a variety of toppings, beef/chicken, vegetables and salads, all cooked with Eritrean spices. You take a piece of the pancake and dip it in one of the toppings, with your right hand only!
What’s your biggest fear in the world?
I have two fears, to be honest with you. I’m afraid of disappointing people. Even though I’m highly aware that I can’t satisfy everyone, I really just want to live up to my expectations. Second sometimes, I need to wear contact lenses after shows. I always wear them if I have to, even though I absolutely hate contact lenses and the thought of them going in my eyes scares me to death! It simply doesn’t feel natural for me to wear them.
What was the very first modeling gig you had? Were you scared and uncomfortable?
The first time was for an Amsterdam-based brand called Ninamounah. I had to step outside of my comfort zone, as I didn’t understand what it meant to be a model yet. At first, I thought it was all about staying cool and with my expressions. I quickly found out that I was very wrong! I had to pose in ways I’d never seen, dress in clothes that I’d never worn before. So, yes, it was scary! Anyhow, working with that team made me push my own boundaries, extending my understanding and ability to evolve as a model and even the person I want to become.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever been asked to do while modeling?
Luckily, thus far, my career hasn’t brought such odd things as you’d expect. Yes I did some interesting shoots, so what would I call crazy? Probably getting my first reality check of modeling and the industry with just three steps. It was my first ever FW casting, in January 2019, for Palm Angels. I was super excited, motivated and ready to crush it. As I walked into the casting, I was full of expectations and thought they’d be happy to see me too. I was ready to do my walk, take photos and was already convinced I’d book the show. Then, after just three steps, they literally sent me away and called the next model. My ego was damaged for a minute. It’s how I learned how difficult this business really is. You must be on your best game every day and strong enough to deal with rejections on a daily basis.


Jumper Celine – Trousers JW Anderson x Moncler // Top and Dress Marni – Shoes Moncler

If you opened your phone to show me, what app’s would I find? What application do you use the most?
Except for Instagram? Chess! Recently, I learned how to play the game. It’d surprise you how, at any age, you can still learn new things. I could play for hours, online, with friends etc. Chess requires focus and strategic thinking. I’m glad that I can challenge my mind with such a game.
Texting or calling?
Calling! Well, FaceTiming actually. I want to see your face and hear your voice when I talk with you, even if it’s over the phone. It makes things feel real. I find it difficult to text/WhatsApp for a long period of time, so I try and use it as a functional app.
What’s your favourite book?
‘If They Come in the Morning: Voices of Resistance’ by Angela Davis. It’s about a strong female philosopher activist, Angela Davis herself. She was involved in the Black Panther Power movement in America around 1970. She wrote about her beliefs, experiences in social inequality and how she argues social rehabilitation in the U.S. system. The copy I own is one of the original prints, released in 1971. This is a book full of hard truths and hard-to-bear facts. That’s precisely why I like it, but I don’t necessarily recommend it, as it might be a confronting book for some.
What’s the last thing you do at night before going to sleep?
I try to put my mind in a state of relaxation before going to sleep. Involving things that don’t have deep meaning per se. So I put music on, often play chess and/or play Call of Duty online (Smiles, E.D).
If you could only live in one place for the rest of your life, where’d it be and why?
Tokyo! I can’t stress enough how beautiful and endless that city is. I’ve lived and worked in Japan for three months. Life doesn’t stop, day or night.
Favourite guilty pleasure?
They say everybody has a guilty pleasure. I guess mine isn’t so guilty, but I’ve always been inspired by lyricists in Hip Hop, especially songwriters that don’t necessarily rap or sing. So, sometimes I grab my notebook and think I’ll become the next J Cole. You’ll never hear me rap a single word of these lines, but maybe one day I’ll become a songwriter.
What items are on your fashion wish list?
Ready? I have a little list. One, a Dior blue knitwear sweatshirt from the 2003 fashion show. Two, a Valentino x Undercover trench coat from FW19. Three, a pair of vintage Gucci loafers in brown leather and wide trousers. Four, a pair of Prada black combat boots. Lastly, the Bottega Veneta Intrecciato shoulder bag.


Total Look Balenciaga // T-shirt Balenciaga – Trousers Marni – Shoes Gucci

What three values would you say are engraved in you?
A strong work ethic, working for the thing I desire. Philosophical and empathy; I’ll most likely be the first to offer you a drink on a night out. The first to notice something could be wrong in a social atmosphere. I believe elements of empathy can guide you to a powerful future.
If you could jump back, or to the future, what era would you choose to live in?
Eritrean independence day, celebrated on May 24th, 1991 after fighting a long standing war with Ethiopia since 1961. A moment I’d have loved to have lived in. This piece of history is the reason why I have family all over the world. I find it an amazing thought, how after over half a century, what happened then has directly impacted daily life today in my culture.
Do you have a ‘celebrity crush’? Who is it and why?
There’s one artist I certainly admire: Jhené Aiko. Having a crush is a big word, but besides an amazing voice, she’s genuinely beautiful! She has always been one the greatest artists I’ve ever listened to. I’m a big fan of slower R&B, so it’s not difficult to come to this conclusion.
What zodiac sign are you? Does it resonate with you at all?
I keep listening to what people tell me about astrology, but I’ll never understand any concrete part of a zodiac sign. I guess I’m just bound to what’s realistically happening. From there, I assume my beliefs. I’m a Taurus, but I don’t see any pre-defined reason to my being.
Do you see yourself in the future doing something besides modeling? Or would you like to continue with it for the rest of your life?
I love behavioural studies and psychology. I see myself working a job where psychological points of view make a physical difference. That being said, I don’t know yet what career direction I want to push myself towards. Yet, I know that’ll succeed in everything I give my all to.
What’s your favourite song?
‘Song Cry’ by August Alsina. The best modern R&B song ever recorded in its time! As I said, I’m a big R&B fan (Smiles, E.D).


Jumper Celine – Trousers JW Anderson x Moncler – Shoes Superga