At the tender age of 14, Iva Fruehlingová moved to France, on her own, to pursue a successful career as a model. In recent years, she has returned to the Czech Republic, where she is now a successful pop singer. On top of that, she has just brought out her first book, a collection of short stories entitled Příběhy modelek [Models’ Stories]. I spoke to Fruehlingová at the launch of the book, and began by asking her what had inspired it.
“When I was 14 years old and I went to Paris to do this business, there was not really a lot of information about modelling here in the Czech Republic. So I thought maybe if the new models and their parents know a little bit more about this profession, they could be careful about certain things.”
What things should they be careful about?
“That’s what you can read in my book! [laughs]. They should be careful about choosing an agency – I think that’s the most important thing. And knowing what to do when there are some not really…pleasant things happening around you.”
For you, what are the best and worst things about being a model?
“The best thing is thanks to modelling I am where I am now – I can do the business that I love, I can sing, I can write a book [laughs], I can do a lot of things. I would never have done them, maybe, if I wasn’t a model, because it opens a lot of doors.
“The worst thing is that I was not really born for this business, I didn’t feel it inside me. I was sad that people care only about how you look and they don’t care about what you have inside, what you’ve done…about your soul.”
Often when models change jobs and do something different they are criticised by the media and others – do you expect any kind of backlash, now you’ve written this book?
“Well, you know, I stopped being a model a long time ago. I’m a singer now and…I don’t feel this. I hope not! [laughs].”
What’s next for you? More writing? More music?
“Actually I’m doing another kind of project with my musicians. They’re singing too in this project, it’s kind of a Czech band. Also I will do another album by myself in France and here…you know, a lot of things [laughs].”