Photo: Valentin Fougeray via Instagram (@valentinfougeray)
Model and influencer Stefanie Giesinger has undoubtedly made a name for herself over the past few years, both within Germany and at an international level. At only 17 years old, while still a student at Rittersberg Gymnasium, Stefanie came out victorious in the ninth season of Germany’s Next Top Model, effectively kick-starting her career. The newly gained recognition led to opportunities such as landing a role in comedy film Der Nanny in 2014 and featuring on the cover of Cosmopolitan Deutschland later that year.
Stefanie is widely admired for more than her undeniable beauty and elegant style, though, with fans appreciating her vulnerability, honesty and positive outlook towards life, even through dark times. During her first year in the public eye, the model bravely shared her experience of living with primary ciliary dyskinesia, a rare genetic disorder affecting the respiratory tract. Her story about having to undergo an eight-hour emergency surgery at age 13 especially touched and inspired viewers and attracted much media attention. Stefanie’s powerful character and willingness to build a connection with her audience likely played a role in her being recognised as “Idol of the Year” at the About You Awards in 2018.
This year, the public have been given a chance to get to know Stefanie on a more intimate level, with the influencer being the latest focus of Her Story, a Sky documentary series. Stefanie recently premiered the video on her YouTube channel, where it will remain available until mid-January. In the series, Stefanie unpacks the complexities of the fashion industry and even confesses that she no longer wants to model, but her optimism and hopes for the future remain untainted.
Her projects don’t stop there, though – Stefanie is also the owner of skin care range МОЙ and co-founder of fashion label Nu-in, the latter emerging just half a year ago. The name МОЙ (“mine” in Russian) is a nod to the influencer’s Russian roots; her parents emigrated from Siberia just a year before her birth. The range itself includes face masks, hydrogel eye pads and eau de parfum amongst other products, and can be found in Dm pharmacies in Germany.
Photo: @moybysg via Instagram
Nu-in has already become a successful brand which prides itself on the label’s ethos of sustainability and accessibility, while also securing good factory conditions. Stefanie, along with her boyfriend and fellow co-founder Marcus Butler, hope to one day branch out and open up a brick-and-mortar store.
This success, however, was not accomplished free of hindrances: just last week, Stefanie and her team received a letter from well-known fashion brand NA-KD, criticizing Nu-in for “imitating NA-KD’s website, Instagram account, products, the way in which products are styled and presented”. Nu-in has since responded by giving counterstatements to each allegation and publishing the exchange of letters on their Instagram page for transparency reasons, with Stefanie stating: “We don’t want to be silenced (...) I personally think they see a threat in us, because we are doing things differently, we are so bold in our mission”.
Stefanie and her boyfriend Marcus posing for nu-in. Photo: @nuinfashion via Instagram.
“When I was really young I wished I had been born a boy, because instead of being told ‘Wow, you’re so pretty’, I would have heard: ‘I’m proud of you and all that you’ve accomplished’”, the brand owner proclaims in Her Story. With women often having to work twice as hard to be valued outside of their appearance and to be celebrated for their accomplishments, it is all the more impressive to watch Stefanie’s growth over the years. With a kind heart and an attention to issues afflicting our society, Stefanie Giesinger is on the path towards garnering more support and making a real impact.
Watch Stefanie discuss the past year of her life on Her Story: