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Victoria’s Secret model Nadine Leopold recalls leaving Austria at 16 to pursue a fashion career: ‘I was really overwhelmed’

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 28: Nadine Leopold attends the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show viewing party pink carpet at Spring Studios on November 28, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)

(2017 Michael Stewart)

Nadine Leopold was a teenager when they are behind everything she’s ever known to become a model on the other side of the world, and a few years later, she can say it was worth it.

In 2017, the now 24-year-old she made her debut at the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, and was named New York’s “it Girl” of coveted fashion magazine WWD. The blonde beauty has also posed for Harper’s Bazaar Serbia, as well as numerous editions of Glamour.

A few years back Leopold was also linked to the British heartthrob Harry Styles, with whom she reportedly split in 2015 after a whirlwind romance.

Now, Leopold is participating in the E! docu-series “Model Squad,” which explores how nine supermodels prepare for the fall job season, with preservation of their personal life and competitive career.

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Brutal Thursday ? @victoriassecret

A post shared by Nadine Leopold (@nadineleopold) on Jun 21, 2018 at 5:58am PDT

Leopold spoke with Fox News about the leaving of Austria, why some girls “perish” in the fashion industry, as well as the biggest obstacle they had to endure.

Fox News: What convinced you to let cameras follow you around Model ‘Squad’?
Nadine Leopold: First of all, it is fun because it is just me and a couple friends. We are all friends. But it was also a good opportunity to give people a glimpse of what the modeling industry is really like. Especially because there are so many misconceptions.

There is only so much you can show on social media. So it is actually nice to see young girls how it really works, and what our lives are really about.

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It’s showtime baby ???? @victoriassecret #vsfashionshow

A post shared by Nadine Leopold (@nadineleopold) on Nov 19, 2017 at 11:26pm PST

Fox News: looking back, leaving behind Austria, to strive for the modeling must be a tough decision for you. How did you cope with the loneliness and isolation?
Leopold: It was very difficult, especially because I was 16 years old and my English is not so great. I come from a very, very small town and that kind of thing just does not really happen. I was really overwhelmed by everything that was going on.

But I had a really good agent who took care of me. My mother was on the phone with me 24/7, which helped a lot. Thank God there was Skype around. I had a really great support.

Fox News: What is one obstacle you faced in the modeling world?
Leopold: Believe it or not, is rejected for employment. I think all girls go through. It is really very difficult to go through that, get over it and then feel confident enough to not give up, go home and be sad about it or take it too personally. That is honestly the hardest part of a model.

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TONIGHT is the night that ? watch the #VSFashionShow on CBS at 10/9c ?? than excited ?✨?

A post shared by Nadine Leopold (@nadineleopold) on Nov 28, 2017 at 5:23am PST

Fox News: In a past interview, you described other girls perish in this industry, that is no-nonsense, cutthroat and tough.
Leopold: very competitive. And the industry never stops looking for new girls. You’ve been rejected a lot, but you constantly informed of everything. Some of the girls it is very personal and it is difficult. Each month you do not work, one day you are not working – it can get.

You need tough skin to survive. A lot of girls think that it’s easier than what it really is. She jumped in quickly and you’ll realize that you need to be strong, not only for maintaining your career, but also the stay in this sector for a very long time.

Fox News: Is it true you were bullied at school for being too tall and skinny?
Leopold: Oh yes. At school I was known as the girl with the long legs. I was too skinny and all my friends were shorter. It was really tricky to grow. And I think that if the whole career started, I realized there were a lot of girls like me in the neighborhood.

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Thank you @unicef & @luisaviaroma for having me on the amazing summer gala in Sardinia ✨ what an incredible night ✨

A post shared by Nadine Leopold (@nadineleopold) on Aug 12, 2018 at 7:26am PDT

There were other long, skinny girls going through the same thing. It seems like a lot of the models have the same story about how they were bullied when they were at school. You just stick out if you have the long, lanky girl.

Fox News: How has being a Victoria’s Secret model empowered you in any way?
Leopold: I remember when I was 14 years old and I would see the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on TV. I was just under the impression of all these beautiful girls and I looked at them. But now, it makes me feel powerful and it gives me a voice. You go from being bullied to fulfill such a big goal on that job. It’s a very special feeling. You feel really proud of.

Fox News: How do you find that balance between opening up to the other girls on social media, while keeping your private life private?
Leopold: It is certainly difficult, not giving too much away about your personal life. But it is still our own Instagram, so you can decide what the public should see. So I have a feeling that I have a good balance of keeping my private life private, but also not too private. It is really a matter of balance.

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New hairstyle ? @stefano_greco

A post shared by Nadine Leopold (@nadineleopold) on Feb 9, 2018 at 7:45 pm PST

Fox News: What is the strangest thing you’ve ever had to do for a good photo?
Leopold: I had to shoot with an ostrich during the mating season. That was probably the strangest day of my life *laughs*.

Fox News: What are three fun facts that our readers should know about you?
Leopold: I’m a huge video game nerd. I love to be at home in my sweatpants playing video games. I don’t have to think about how I look or what anyone else thinks of me. I’m just in my own little world, and I love it. I love eating pizza. I eat it so much. I don’t even want to think about it *laughs*. And I have an English bulldog who is the laziest dog on earth. But I love to spend time with him.

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