"I’m not used to being the star": Fernanda Ly on adjusting to fame and opening the Myer show

Sarah Carty and Amy Stevenson

Australian model Fernanda Ly may have walked for some of the most renowned designers in the world but she still sees herself as a just a regular girl from Sydney living out her dream.

Speaking with Be before the Myer Spring/Summer 2016 runway show last night, the 20-year-old from Cabramatta, who is known for her signature striking pink hair, said walking beside veteran model Jennifer Hawkins in the show is "weird" and "exciting" and praised the retail giant for their culturally diverse selection of models this year.

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“I’m very excited to open the show," Ly told Be.

Fernanda Ly opened Myer's Spring/Summer 2016 runway show last night.

"We’re (Jennifer Hawkins) walking quite close to each other which is a bit weird because I guess I’m sort of important for this show.

"It’s different because I’m not used to being the star. I’m just a regular model."

The model, who has opened shows for the likes of Louis Vuitton and appeared on the covers of Vogue Italia, Vogue Japan, Vogue Australia and Teen Vogue, said her friends in New York, where she now lives, are pretty blasé about her career, however when she returns to Australia she's seen as a superstar.

"I don’t really know what I’ve done but okay, let’s go with that," she says of the attention she receives Down Under.

Ly, who has Chinese-born parents, was discovered when she was still at Busby High School in Green Valley and said her parents weren't too happy with her decision to take on modeling as a career.

Ly joined Jennifer Hawkins and other models on the runway.

The young model, who has deferred her University degree to pursue her dream, claims her parents were "against it" in the beginning, but have since come to accept her life.

"They thought it was really dangerous, because you hear those stories about models but they’ve grown to be accepting," she said.

Ly said it was hard trying to juggle her schoolwork with her modeling work and believes she would have achieved a higher grade in her HSE if she weren't so focused on the world of fashion.

"I didn’t do as good as I wanted, obviously because I was working so much but I got into University, I got into the degree that I wanted to do and I’m still working now," she said.

"I made the decision to defer my University degree when I did my first Myer show two years ago.

"I saw these girls who were doing it full time and I thought; what am I doing running around half-heartily going to Uni, skipping class, running on no sleep and going to Myer for fittings and castings. I can study when I’m older it’s no big deal."

The Sydney girl also opened Louis Vuitton's Spring/Summer show in Paris this year.

Ly said she was flattered when she was asked to by Louis Vuitton artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière to open his Spring/Summer show in Paris this year and was even more astounded when he created a piece for her especially to wear.

"The fact that Nicolas chose me to open the show and then he said that he created my outfit especially for me and it was inspired by me was pretty amazing," she said.

When it comes to both walking for Myer and opening the show, Ly praised the brand for employing models from culturally different backgrounds, claiming it's a step in the right direction for the fashion world.

“When you see the show you’ll see there are a lot more Asian girls, there are a lot more models that aren’t just blue-eyed and blonde," she said.

"Modeling in general is really slow to keep up with diversity and accepting other people so it’s really nice to see that.

"When you think of models you think of everyone looking the exact same but now we’ve got all these individuals and Australia’s such a multicultural country, why aren’t the people who are wearing the clothes reflecting what everyone else looks like in the country?"

As for her candy floss pink hair? Ly says "a change would be nice" so watch this space.

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