She may be one of the iconic models who solidified the 90s as the legendary supermodel era, but as Patricia Hartmann proves, the belief in the beauty of women - and life - is the greatest attribute of all.
Imagine this. You are sitting in a coffee shop, riding the train, crossing the street or walking through the mall. You are carefree with a fresh face of makeup with brightly colored fingernails and having one heck of a good hair day. Everything seems perfect, even your outfit (which you weren't sure about when you purchased it online). You purchase the newest issue of your favorite fashion magazine because your favorite model is on the cover. You love her look and it keeps you inspired to one day be in her shoes, on the cover and on the fashion runways around the globe.
And then it happens. You are approached by someone who asks you the question of a lifetime:
"Have you ever thought about becoming a model?"
These are magic words to the ears of an aspiring model. It is the moment that most aspiring models dream of - being discovered. It is this moment that happened to a young Patricia Hartmann.
"I did not dream of being a model, that kind of happened by chance," recalls Patricia, who happened to be approached in a café in Munich at age 17 by a modeling scout. "She asked me if I wanted to be a model and to come in to do some test shoots. I had to finish school so at 18, I was sent to Paris for the summer to see how it goes and never came back. I stayed there for 6 years."
Born in Munich, Germany as the middle child of 3 - an older sister and a baby brother, Patricia was a girly-girl as a kid. Her childhood influenced the start of her modeling career, where she credits her parents. "Honestly, my role models as a kid were my parents. I grew up in such a loving family and that actually did help me during my modeling career. I had a lovely childhood," says Patricia. "People think that modeling is just this incredibly glamorous job, which it definitely is. But, there is kind of a flip side to it because it is also a profession where someone can say to your face, 'Sorry, we are not going to hire you because we don't like your nose.' You have to be able to accept that criticism on your looks and that's not very easy," shares Patricia. "When you're 17 years old or at any age for that matter. I guess my parents raised me in a way that made me confident without being arrogant, and I think there is a big difference because being blessed with a great career, it is important to stay humble and be grateful for the opportunities you were given in life. Whether they came upon you or whether you created them for yourself but regardless, that as always been important to me. When I did become a model, my parents were immensely proud when my career took off."
Patricia's modeling career blossomed at the Chanel show in Paris. "They sent me for an audition and I had never been on the runway before. Karl Lagerfeld, who still designs Chanel today, kind of fell in love with my look. I was Karl Lagerfeld's darling for a while." Having longer hair at the time, Karl Lagerfeld asked her if she'd be willing to cut her hair. Celebrity hairdresser, Yannick D'is, gave her the iconic short haircut that put her on the map of the fashion industry during this epic show under the tutelage of one of the industry's greatest mentors, Miss J Alexander. "That evening, they were like, 'Karl Lagerfeld fell in love with you and you're booked for the Chanel show.' I was so nervous and I told my agent, 'I don't know how to walk on the runway. I've never done this before. This is a huge event.' and they said, 'Okay, we have someone for you. You are going to do sessions with Miss J.' And, I know you guys [Linger Magazine] know Miss J. That was the first time I met J and we have been friends every since. We are still in touch like almost everyday. I love, love him so much!"
Playing dress-up with everything that was sparkly and shiny was a huge part of her childhood as a little girl. Her love for makeup is one thing that Patricia never grew out of it. "I love, love makeup," muses Patricia. "That transforming artistry that I find truly fascinating is using it to feel beautiful because when you feel beautiful, you look beautiful." Finding makeup truly fascinating, Patricia believes that using makeup to feel beautiful is all about attitude. This belief rings true for Patricia so much that she revolutionized a beauty movement with the launch of her beauty brand, Runway Rogue, where the motto The Attitude of Beauty resonates in each lip product. "We all have days where we feel less than perfect and that kind of shines through in your attitude. That is why I feel so strongly about my Runway Rogue message, which is called The Attitude of Beauty," she explains. "Especially in social media, the criticism just takes on a different form than back then when they can tell you 'I am not going to hire you because I don't like your nose'. Now, criticism through social media due to the anonymity factor is even worse. And that's where the Attitude of Beauty comes in, because in my opinion, beauty is never one-size-fits-all."
Patricia shares that inclusion, exploration and experiences is the inspiration behind Runway Rogue to strike up the conversation on social media and on their blog. "Not everyone gets to walk on the actually runway, but everyone has their own runway, which is Life. Life is your runway. That is why I named my brand Runway Rogue. I truly believe that because we all want to feel beautiful. - whether you are going on a date or no matter where you are, what you are doing. You want to look pretty. A little swipe of little lip color can give you that boost, then why not?"