text by Yukiko Yamane
photo by Tereza Mundilová

14 Issue:Maya Dejean (High-school student/Model)

Age is just a number and there is no clear definition of being what is an adult and every person is different. We can’t define it, so everybody is looking for their own answers in life. 14 is a sensitive age. It’s when you start thinking about your own future, so we wanted to make a series of age 14. After the Tokyo and New York issue, we selected 15 people in Berlin who have very diverse background, different ages and professions for 14 Issue in Berlin.
Second interview is High-school / Gymnasium student Maya. She takes advantage of her height and enjoys modeling now. What does she think about the presence and her future? We heard her stories at her beautiful garden with clear skies and some watermelons.

—Hey Maya! Please introduce yourself at first.

Maya: I’m Maya, 17 years old and a model. I was born in America and live in Berlin now. I really love styling and do it often for my older sister. I love art, especially oil paintings. Summer is my favorite season.

—Could you tell us about yourself when you were 14 years old?

Maya: I was really active. I did a lot of sports like Track & Field, Kickboxing etc… I already knew that I wanted to do something creative and the direction that I wanted to go because I did an internship that was actually really helpful. I was at a pattern studio and had a lot of fun!

—What did you do in those days?

—What did you think about at age 14?

—Please tell us your most memorable moment at age 14?
Maya: I have three best friends and we called us “Push up babe”. We always went eating and shopping together. I spent most of the time with them. They made a birthday party for me me and I had a great time.

—Cool! What did you want to do when you were 14 years old?

Maya: I wanted to be a fashion designer and have my own collection, brand, boutique. However I learnt from my internship that there are lots of things that I have to do. Then I started to think how a business can succeed. I felt I became more objective. After Gymnasium, I would like to study about business and economics as well as communication which is a good foundation to start my own business.

—I see. Would you like to continue modeling?

Maya: Sure. I can imagine to continue modeling in the future. But It’s very important for me to have a stable career at the moment because the modeling can’t continue forever.

—By the way why did you start to be a model?

Maya: I met the director of the youth choir at church when I was still going there. He was a modeling scout and artist too, so my dad recommended me to him. He said I have a potential and we did a first test shoot. Then he sent the photos to another photographer and I started my modeling career. My dad was always taking pictures of me since my childhood, so it’s quite natural for me. And dressing up is a dream of every girl! I was 178cm when I was 14 years old and I am 182cm now.

—You were already tall in those days.

Maya: Yes. I think my height is one of my privileges. Obviously everybody commented on how tall I am and it sometimes annoys me, but actually it’s a good thing. I have many friends who are smaller than me. They look at me and say “Ah you’re so tall” and “Can we switch our height?”. Anyway, I like my height now. I can wear all clothes.

—I think it’s your special and good point too! What good and bad things have happened to you as a model?

Maya: I really like modeling because I can meet a lot of people and find so many friends. On the other side, the model can’t decide about the clothes. Sometimes I have to wear really tight pants and can’t move, but I just have to learn to work around it. Also my other friends often say there are a lot of body shape issues at fashion week and we totally discuss it. In Berlin it’s actually no big problem because they understand diversity.

—You could learn many things from modeling. What inspired you at age 14?

Maya: My favorite book was “Of Mice and Men” written by John Steinbeck. I read it in class and really loved it especially the story line. Personally I really don’t see the American dream in my life, so I took this book and put it into my life.

—Do you have any message to people who are 14 years old?

Maya: Don’t read anything specifically, but definitely read something. Find something that you want to read because reading is very important. Find passion for music if you don’t have any yet. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes all the time.

—Do you have any upcoming news that you want to share to the readers?

Maya: I’m in a couple of magazines his year, so please check my Instagram. I have a friend from high-school and he presents his collection, so I’ll do some modeling for him. Also my sister and I will do some sewing and customizing, tailoring. Very excited!


photography Tereza Mundilová
text Yukiko Yamane

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