The world is captivated by the mesmerizing eyes and fabulous face of supermodel Daria Werbowy. While it is true that she is an incredible beauty, there is much more to Daria than meets the eye. As designer Karl Lagerfeld put it, "She is much more than a model - a personality and a unique beauty, a rare mix."
At the age of 14, the willowy, five-foot-11 Mississauga teen, still sporting braces on her teeth, had never seriously considered modeling. But a meeting with a schoolmate's mother, who owned a modeling agency, changed all that when she signed the young beauty. Now, only 12 years later, Daria Werbowy has one of the most recognizable faces on the planet, and Forbes magazine has named her one of the top 10 industry earners.
Although born in Poland, Daria is proud of being Canadian: "Without my parents, Daniel and Anna Werbowy, I would not be a Canadian citizen? I will always be proud to be Canadian."
When Elmer Olsen, Elite's head scout, left Elite to begin his own agency, Werbowy followed him and her career began to flourish. By 2001, Daria had graced the covers of Elle Quebec, and Clin d'Oeil, and went national in Canada with a shoot for FASHION. Her career now guided and nurtured by IMG, Werbowy gained a foothold in the international market. She has graced the covers of more than 60 fashion magazines, including 21 issues of Vogue, and starred in ad campaigns for Prada, Gucci, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. Equally adept at print, editorial and runway, Werbowy has worked for clients such as Hermes, Valentino, David Yurman, Missoni and Versace.
In 2005, she opened and closed a record-breaking 12 designer runway shows during one season. That same year, Werbowy became the face of Lancôme, signing a multi-year contract with the sophisticated French beauty brand. Her new Brazilian Earth Colors collection for Lancôme was launched in the spring of 2008.
A graduate of Cawthra Park Secondary School, Daria considers art one of her creative passions: "Art is definitely something I'm going to be working at my whole life. It's my outlet. It gives me solace and comfort to be able to sit backstage on my own and draw ink sketches and let everything come out through my hands."
On a trip to Brazil to work on the palette for her line, Werbowy had a chance to work with the youth at a local charity: "I had the opportunity to be one on one with the children, and to see how exposure to art changed their lives and brought out their inner happiness. It was beautiful to see the transformations and the effects of creativity. It's something I can relate to."
In collaboration with Lancôme, a portion of the proceeds from her Brazillion Earth Colors line benefits Centro Espacial, a non-profit organization focused on arts programs, founded by artist Vik Muiz. Like Werbowy's experience at Cawthra Park, the youth can concentrate on an academic program that is enriched by the arts.
"They can become a singer, a costume designer, a makeup artist, a set designer, a curator." Werbowy is focused on how the program exposes the kids to new possibilities for their future: "A lot of these kids would never even think it's possible to have these jobs, because they're trying ever day to get food on the table and deal with all their social issues."
Werbowy is definitely more than simply an unique beauty, she has a warm heart and a voice she wants to use to benefit others.