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Miss SA Top 15 mid air experience over Zimbabwe -at one stage

Successful international model eyeing the hot spot

By CityLife Arts Writer


Meet Jordan van der Vyver from Greenpoint in Cape Town. Not only is the 24-year old a very successful international model, but she is now also one of the top 15 semi-finalists in the Miss SA 2020 competition.

With her travelling schedule temporarily on hold, due to the Covid-19 lockdown, we caught up with Van der Vyver – via Zoom – to ask her about life as an international model.

When did you start your modeling career?
I started part time in 2010 and have been a full-time model since 2014.

Given that you travel a lot, what are the three things that are essential for you when flying?
Neck pillow, headphones and aerosol water spray (for the face, it’s a life changer)

What do you always pack first?
I’m quite methodical so tops and pants.

What type of modeling do you prefer and why?
Campaigns. They’re usually shot in amazing locations which makes it seem like an all expenses paid holiday to a place you might never have visited in your lifetime. It broadens one’s horizons! You get to know the crew more personally and usually everyone on these sets is happy and stress free which makes for an amazing experience.

Has the pressure for models to be ultra thin eased in recent years?
Unfortunately, no. While the industry has become inclusive and more diverse, if you are a model with a certain look, you are still expected to be fit and meet certain measurements. It’s a job requirement, and our Z-cards are like our qualification certificate.

When you are working internationally what is a typical day for you?
Each city has its own routine but generally on a shoot day in studio, I would wake up super early to work out before the call time, get to set early or on time with clean hair, face and nails and then the makeup artist and hair stylist would set up while I have a coffee and some breakfast. Once they’re set up, I get my hair and makeup done, which takes an hour or two, and then go straight into wardrobe all while the photographer is preparing the set and lighting.

The first shot takes the longest but after that we get into a rhythm and it’s easy going from there. In the afternoon we have a lunch break, touch ups for hair and makeup then finish shooting the rest of the clothes.

At the end of the shoot I take off my makeup, get home and go to the gym if I didn’t get to the gym that morning. I make dinner, read and relax then before bed, I always repack my “model bag” and replace anything that has been used. To end the day I clean my hair, face and nails to be ready for the next day again.

Jordan van der Vyver on one of her international modeling shoots


On a non-shoot day, I’m still working, so I get up early-ish and go straight to the gym. Get back to wherever I’m staying and get ready for the day. Go out for breakfast, meet a friend for lunch and then create content for my social media pages. Throughout the day I’ll be going to castings and meeting potential clients and brands. Once my work day is done, I head off to the grocery store and pick up ingredients for dinner, get home, make dinner then watch a programme on TV or read a book before going to bed.

Your favourite destination?
Always Cape Town.

Worst travel experience?
I had a job in Tenerife, Canary Islands. I always choose the best available airline with the least amount of travel time so I was on my way to having a great trip. However somewhere over Zimbabwe we started noticing the plane was going in circles and of course passengers started panicking.

The captain came on the intercom after an hour and said they were having problems with the weather instruments so we had to turn around. At this point I started crying because I thought I wasn’t going to make it to my job.

Touchdown back in Johannesburg, my family had to pick me up again and take me home just to bring me back the following day to get on the next available flight. I eventually made it to Tenerife a day late. The job was half completed by another model and I had to shoot the second half having had very little sleep and I had not even been given time for a shower.

When you are overseas, what three things do you miss about SA the most?
Woolworths (actually all our brands), the quality of our food and I dearly miss my loved ones.

You have the day off – do you laze on the beach with a good book, wander around a museum or art gallery or get involved in something physical?
One thing about me is that I don’t like sight-seeing on my own because I have no one to share the experience with. If I can’t spend the day with a friend, I’ll walk around, go to a park or go window shopping. When I’m by myself, I can’t sit in one place for too long because I get bored quickly and then I have a lot of time to think of all the things I could and should be doing!

Apart from entering Miss SA and making it to the Top 15, what have you been up to in the last few months since travel has been restricted?
I have kept myself busy with work, exercise and cooking. This lockdown has given me time to invest in myself without any distractions and I’ve come out grateful for this time of reflection. I have also recently completed a course in calligraphy and I hope to get back into studying soon.

To follow Jordan on social media, go to:

  • Facebook: @Jordan van der Vyver
  • Instagram: @jordanvdvyver 
  •  Twitter: @_vandervyver
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