“I made my worldwide debut exclusively for Saint Laurent in three amazing looks and closed next to Naomi Campbell under the Eiffel Tower. Is this real life?”
Days after making her international modelling debut, walking exclusively for Anthony Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent spring/summer 2020 show, 21-year-old Australian model Aylah Peterson spoke to Vogue about the edifying experience set under the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower.
While the fine-featured model made her foray into the rather competitive industry at just 15 years of age, she decided to forgo modelling when she graduated high school. At the time, not even she could have guessed that the move to cut off her long lengths in her backyard last Christmas would lead her directly to Paris.
Embracing her new look, Peterson was signed by Kult Models in Sydney with a newfound self-confidence that saw her named as one of Vogue Australia’s future faces in the October 2019 issue. “I couldn’t believe it. I was so shocked and excited,” she recalls.
While Peterson was working abroad in London, her agency secured her a meeting with Saint Laurent’s casting team, an audition that would go on to propel the up-and-coming young model to great new heights.
Two weeks after travelling to the brand’s Parisian mansion dressed in “a black skort dress, sneakers and a cap [while] the other girls were in black skinny jeans, high heels and tank tops,” Peterson had her first fitting, shortly before she was cast in Saint Laurent’s highly-anticipated pre-show film.
“As I was walking towards the location for the film, I looked up to see the Eiffel Tower glistening with yellow lights at night and tears welled up in my eyes,” the model tells Vogue. “It was so beautiful and I felt so grateful for everything that had led me to this moment.”
“When I got to the location, they told me I was going to be filming on top of the Eiffel Tower. I cried again,” she confesses. “It was the most magical night of my life and I’ll never forget that feeling.”
Having committed the career-making moment to memory, Peterson recalls a brief interaction with supermodel Naomi Campbell backstage before the show that was equal parts awe-inspiring and comical.
“Naomi was so graceful, classy and polite,” she shares. “At the rehearsal after we practiced closing, she was running through backstage to get ready for what she thought was the whole finale. She said ‘oh there’s no finale? I thought there was a finale’”. In response, Peterson admits she told the ‘90s icon, “Naomi, you are the finale!” The model adds: “There’s no denying the woman’s a queen”.
After celebrating the feat with fellow model Elise van Iterson, who opened the show wearing micro suit shorts and a cropped blazer, with a coffee and a spot of vintage shopping the following day, it was back to work for Peterson, who confesses she’s eager for what’s next.
“I have so many exciting things happening, just waiting to unfold,” she tells Vogue. “I can’t wait to reveal it all to you. Stay tuned whilst I figure out this new crazy life of mine.”