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She is still quite young but su­per sharp ... she’s coming into her own

T here aren’t many 17-yearolds that could sway the di­rec­tion of an in­ter­na­tional cos­met­ics brand but for Lianna Perdis it was as sim­ple as a chat with her dad.

Napoleon Perdis was com­mit­ted to calling a new brand of his cos­met­ics em­pire To­tal Babe, but his model daugh­ter was hav­ing none of it — in­sist­ing that the name had to be To­tal Bae.

“Orig­i­nally my dad wanted to call it To­tal Babe,” she says.

“I told him, be­cause of so­cial me­dia and things like that, ‘The lingo is a bit dif­fer­ent now so in­stead of babe, peo­ple say bae.’ It was a lit­tle bit shorter, catchier.

“My dad couldn’t quite get his head around short­en­ing words, but in my gen­er­a­tion we like to shorten words. To­tal Bae is what I’ve rec­om­mended him to do but it al­ways had to go through the boss.”

Perdis is not alone in ad­vis­ing dad Napoleon on po­ten­tial di­rec­tions for the busi­ness.

“My sis­ters too (triplets An­ge­lene, Athina and Alexia) they are 15-years-old and also have an opin­ion on the brand.”

The in­put has been wel­comed, though, with Napoleon im­pressed at the work his el­dest daugh­ter put into the project.

He says he was on eggshells early on but found work­ing with her “flowed re­ally well”.

“It was com­fort­ing to know that we could look at each other and un­der­stand what each was think­ing and I think that was a very touch­ing mo­ment for me,” Napoleon tells BW Mag­a­zine.

The 17-year-old also left her fa­ther “proud and quite sur­prised” at her “de­ter­mi­na­tion and strength” in the corporate en­vi­ron­ment.

Like most teens, Perdis jug­gles high school school and some part-time work. Un­like most teens, how­ever, the Aus­tralian-born, Athens­based beauty’s main job takes her around the world. In May, she re­turned to Aus­tralia for fash­ion week and to shoot the cover of BW.

She was also booked ex­clu­sively to close the run­way show — a coup for any model — for Aus­tralian de­signer Christopher Es­ber. She also walked the run­way for at Es­ber at New York fash­ion week in Fe­bru­ary.

“Ob­vi­ously school­ing comes a lit­tle bit first but mod­el­ling is very im­por­tant to me and I take time for it,” Perdis says. P erdis has only been mod­el­ling a year, ar, but she has al­ready scored nu­mer­ousus mag­a­zine cov­ers, in­clud­ing Greece’s’s Harper’s Bazaar and Madame Fi­garo ro and Aus­tralia’s Girl­friend. Es­ber, con­sid­ered one of Aus­tralia’s bright­est young de­sign tal­ents, is one of her big­gest sup­port­ers. Perdis will be the face of his is Cruise collection cam­paign, to be shot in New w York next month when they are both there for r New York fash­ion week.

“I gen­er­ally al­ways stick to the same girls foror each sh show and have them as a start­ing point,” ” Es­ber says. “It does evolve each sea­son and I like th that sense of con­sis­tency as th­ese girls endd up uno un­of­fi­cially be­ing the faces of the brand, soo it’s imp im­por­tant for me to keep that.

“Ev “Even when de­sign­ing the next collection you ha have them in mind.

“I’m al­ways on the look­out for women with a strong sense of per­son­al­ity and I feel Lianna has that. I love that she is still quite young but su­per sharp and am­bi­tious. “She’s coming into her own.” Her fa­ther’s con­nec­tions have un­doubt­edly helped, but Perdis bris­tles at crit­ics’ sug­ges­tions that it is the sole rea­son for her suc­cess.

“I don’t re­ally like to pay at­ten­tion to that,” she says. “Es­sen­tially, if some­one wants to cover me, it just doesn’t hap­pen be­cause of my dad. I have to be good enough to be on the cov­ers of th­ese mag­a­zines.

“He can help, but only to a cer­tain ex­tent. So I have to sus­tain it and go be­yond for my­self.

“Yes I do have to work harder so peo­ple don’t go, ‘Oh she just got it be­cause of her dad,’ but then at the same time be­cause of my dad I have got­ten great op­por­tu­ni­ties that maybe mod­els just start­ing off haven’t had. My port­fo­lio al­ready is quite large con­sid­er­ing I only started a year ago.”

The Napoleon Perdis the brand has al­ways been a fam­ily af­fair.

It be­gan with a stand-alone store on Ox­ford St, Padding­ton, in 1995 and the prod­ucts are now stocked at Myer and David Jones Stores across the coun­try and 86 con­cept stores world­wide.

Napoleon’s wife, Soula-Marie is the chief op­er­at­ing of­fer and his brother Emanuel is the found­ing man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, so it’s no sur­prise Lianna wants to join the fold.

Af­ter com­plet­ing her In­ter­na­tional Bac­calau­re­ate next year, her plan is to study a bach­e­lor of arts in me­dia and com­mu­ni­ca­tions at an Aus­tralian univer­sity while jug­gling mod­el­ling and the fam­ily dy­nasty.

“Hands down, I’ve al­ways wanted to be part of the busi­ness,” she says.

“I don’t think that in order to be a busi­nessper­son you al­ways need a busi­ness de­gree, you need to just have the knowl­edge and skills to adapt and solve prob­lems and sit­u­a­tions. I’ll see what as­pect of the busi­ness I want to be in too.” F or the time be­ing, she will con­tinue as the cre­ative di­rec­tor and face of To­tal Bae, as well as fo­cus­ing on her mod­el­ling. This first ex­cur­sion into the fam­ily busi­ness has been a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence, though, like her fa­ther, she had to over­come an ini­tial strange­ness. “It wasn’t that weird, I didn’t think much of it, ex­cept for the fact I had to call him Napoleon,” she says. “He did take my ideas se­ri­ously. Ever since we were lit­tle and sit­ting at the ta­ble for din­ner, we’d al­ways talk about the busi­ness ... it’s al­ways been a part of me. “With To­tal Bae I was go­ing to the of­fice a bit more, work­ing with prod­uct de­vel­op­ment, go­ing to Milan and Ja­pan for the man­u­fac­tur­ing and I re­ally en­joyed the busi­ness as­pect.” The bud­ding mod­el­ling mogul is ready to take on the busi­ness world, first she has to get through the rest of high school.

Lianna with dad and men­tor Napoleon Perdis; and (right) with model Jor­dan Bar­rett.

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