Anna Ewers, 23, is being demographically appropriate: She’s on the phone while playing ping pong in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg, the spiritual home of 23-year-old models. “I’m playing ping pong for my workout,” she says jokingly. The Germanborn model adds, very Germanically, “I was playing yesterday for two hours. And today, I’m playing for another two hours!” It’s actually some rare time spent at home for Ewers, who in the first three weeks of the year has already logged work trips to Mexico, Barbados, and Los Angeles. Ewers’s moment, launched by Alexander Wang in his Spring/Summer ’14 show, has displayed no sign of ebbing. Besides more than 100 editorials and magazine covers, she is a face of Wang, Balenciaga, and Boss, transforming from Teutonic minimalist to comely Bardot with a sweep of eyeshadow. For the Clemente session, Ewers was very much herself—well, a Versace version of herself. When I’d suggested the idea of having her portrait done by him, she jumped at the chance. “It’s so amazing that he painted me. He is a super famous artist, so it’s really cool,” she says. “I think he captured me as I am,” she says of her three-hour sitting. “And we took a few cigarette breaks, which was really good.”
Ewers has had a long appreciation (for a 23-year-old) of art. Her favourite painting is Andrew Wyeth’s haunting Christina’s World. Like so many girls, she has a postcard of it bought from a museum store. “I don’t know why I love it so much,” she says. “It’s just an amazing painting.” She also has a love of Sebastião Salgado’s photography. “I go to museums to look at things, and I get lost.”
Her 20s, so far, has been working out just great. “They’ve probably been the most exciting years of my life. A lot is going on.” While she’s more established, she’s simultaneously more hectic. “I am getting more and more work, but at the same time, I’m getting into the rhythm and getting used to travelling so much.” She adds with the lightest boast, “Oh, I can sleep whenever, wherever.” What about coffee? “I can also drink a lot of coffee and sleep afterward. I think it’s because I’m young.” (Insert a yelp from every thirtysomething woman on earth.)
In a relatively short career, there have been many highlights. “My first cover!” Ewers prudently notes of her debut on our pages last year. “My first Balenciaga show. My first Prada campaign, because it was my first big campaign. And my first Alexander Wang campaign, which was definitely the most exciting one because I was just starting out, and I was like, ‘Whoa, this is amazing.’”
Ask about an older woman Ewers admires and she rather adorably replies, “Daria Werbowy [who is 32]. She’s supercool, she’s not too much on social media, and I don’t think she cares too much about fashion— like I don’t.” Ewers has yet to meet Werbowy, “but her career is impressive, and she’s super chill.”
Ewers’s style is also super chill. She wears a lot of Alexander Wang, as she is close friends with the designer. “Too many navy and grey cashmere sweaters!” she says. “It’s a problem.” A night out, and she’s in “a little black dress, black heels, a little eye, and a cute lip.” Skincare? “I love Weleda. It’s German. It’s good.” Favourite destination? “My dream is to go to Mongolia. I’m going in August. I need to go to places that are wilder than Paris, Milan, and London.” And, finally, favourite meal? “Spaghetti Bolognese. I shouldn’t eat it often, but I eat a lot of it.” Ah, the joys of being 23.