The fashion god has spoken: there is a new top model, anointed by the most powerful figure in the industry — American
’s editor, Anna Wintour.
Featuring in a 14-page shoot in the latest issue of the magazine, the star status of Arizona Muse — who has also gone by the less eyecatching name of Zoe — has been underlined in an overly effusive editor's letter. Describing the 22-year-old from Santa Fe as “a gorgeous, smart grown-up”, Wintour goes as far as comparing Muse to Linda Evangelista and Natalia Vodianova.
Praise from Wintour is, of course, priceless. American
's readership is around 1.2 million, and its pages are studied in detail by the fashion industry. The magazine is where a model can go from an anonymous clotheshorse to a household name.
“It’s rare for Anna to champion an individual model,” says Muse’s agent, Amanda Bretherton, the president of Next Model Management.
Dazed & Confused
is dedicating its March fashion issue to the model. “It’s something we have never done before,” says the title’s fashion director, Karen Langley. After signing with Next in 2007, Muse’s modelling was cut short when she had her son, Nikko. On her return two years later, her cropped bob, strong eyebrows and megawatt smile caught the mood of the moment.
The qualities of the model — by all accounts, a down-to-earth realist with a penchant for Gabriel Garcia Marquez novels — could be lucrative. Natalie Joos, a casting director who picked Muse as one to watch for V magazine's Faces of 2011, said: “She is more like you and me.” Except, potentially, with a much larger bank balance.
With Wintour’s backing, Muse could be among the top earners in modelling, even matching Gisele Bundchen, who earned $25million last year.