Girl you need to know: model and traveller Christina MacPherson

12 September 2017
By Fashion Quarterly

Who’s that girl? Each week, we interview up-and-coming influencers, It girls and future #bosses. This is Christina MacPherson, model and professional traveller (yup, you read that right!)

You are what we like to call a slashie, a model slash writer slash traveller. How do you successfully balance the demands of your gigs?
I learnt about a year ago that saying yes to every job was hurting my health and creativity, so I’ve learnt to say no. I don’t want to work every hour of every day, so I make sure I only take on jobs that I’m passionate about and can give everything to. I’m in an industry that is fairly fickle – people can get sucked into a world of make believe, unreal expectations, and the need to be ‘cool’. I might be a ‘slashie’, but I’m definitely not cool, so not taking this industry so seriously, and being flexible, silly, open and honest is key (for me).

What’s your story? Where did you grow up and what do you do now?
I was born in Australia but moved when I was a few months old and grew up in Samoa, Fiji and England. I went to uni in Australia, travelled overseas a lot, had a million different jobs, and now work full time as a freelance writer, model and content contributor.

Why did you decide to make the move across the ditch to NZ? What do you love about it?
I’m a hopeless romantic, and after knowing a guy for less than a month I decided that I needed to follow him back to his country. It worked out pretty well because we just got engaged a month ago! I’ve been welcomed by an incredible group of friends who I feel are each going to change the world for the better. I feel so lucky to have fallen into the special community that surrounds me here. NZ makes me feel very calm in an otherwise chaotic world.


Studying both creative writing and theatre, how has your degree helpful and contributed to where you are today?
It’s been helpful in that I’ve  learnt exercises and techniques on how to bring about creativity and motivation even on days where it’s lacking. During my time studying, uni also taught me to never, ever again drink cheap white wine…

What do you attribute to your success on Instagram?
Instagram is such a crazy app isn’t it?! For me, I wanted to be as authentically myself whilst still creating my own ‘brand’. I think my Instagram is pretty genuine, and I think people relate to that. I hope so anyway.

How has social media contributed to the opportunities you’ve had?
It’s allowed other brands, businesses and people to notice me far quicker than had I not been on social media. And from the online popularity, opportunities have come. It has been hard work – I spent years shooting and writing for next to no pay whilst working two jobs – but I’m at a comfortable place now. And I feel really lucky and happy about that.

You have worked with some pretty major international brands including Wrangler, Shakuhachi, Converse and Dr Martens. How do you decide whether to work with a brand?
I always research the brands I work for, and I need to relate to the message their sending, or agree with the ethics behind it. I work for a lot of big name brands but I’ll never say no to a brand just because they’re smaller. If a brand is relatively unknown, but has a beautiful message and is implementing important practices then I will want to work with them.

Can you tell us about any exciting campaigns that you’re currently working on?
At the moment I’m travelling across Italy working for a few Australian labels including Afends, Somedays Lovin and Sportsgirl. In a few days I’ll be heading back to NZ and doing some work with my partner Tom (@tompaterson_nz 😜) at the Winter Games, then we head to Samoa, Portugal and Nicaragua for some exciting shoots – I can’t tell you what for though because I’ll be murdered if I do…stay tuned!

Is there any advice you would give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps career-wise?
I’m really not one to give advice because I feel like it’s different for each person. I will say it’s not easy. People see photographs and a following and think I do nothing and life’s a big party but I’ve worked many, many years doing the hard yards.  I guess I’d say work hard, be a nice and easy person to work with/for, and never take the industry too seriously. The moment you think you’re too cool is the moment you need to get out. Also…wine.

What are your must-haves when packing for a trip overseas?
Toothbrush, camera, Google Maps, notebook, baby wipes (you’d be surprised just how handy these are for every situation…😳), and water water water.

Where is your favourite place you’ve visited and which destination is on the top of your ‘to visit’ list?
Hmmm I’m in Italy at the moment and it’s pretty incredible here. I also love the natural beauty of Greece. Honestly though, the South Island of New Zealand is probably the most gasp-worthy place I’ve been to. Top if the list is Chile or Portugal – I want to go and get completely lost.

Photos: Instagram

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