Model muse

2 min read


A supermodel since the 1990s, Erin O’Connor carries the party spirit into the new year in a new collection

Esatin top with pussy bow, £160; Evanescent tapered-leg satin pants, £180. All available from

Aschool trip to The Clothes Show Live in Birmingham in 1995 changed Erin O’Connor’s life forever. Aged 17, her striking looks caught the attention of a fashion scout, and within two years she was modelling for big hitters including Versace, Prada and Calvin Klein.

However, it was her work with Alexander McQueen and Karl Lagerfeld – who described her as “one of the best models in the world” – that made her a household name, with her shoots and catwalk appearances becoming fashion moments in history.

Along the way, Erin has used her platform to help others and is an ambassador for several charities, including Save the Children and Borne, a medical research charity aiming to prevent premature birth. Her work earnt her an MBE in the 2017 Birthday Honours.

Most recently, she’s spoken out about struggling with post-viral fatigue after a ninemonth bout of strep A and glandular fever at the beginning of the pandemic.

Now 45 and mum to sons Albert, nine, and four-year-old Eddie, Erin is back in action, fronting Essentiel Antwerp’s winter campaign. We caught up with her to find out more…

Erin, why have you partnered with Essentiel Antwerp?

“I love Essentiel Antwerp’s non-conformist take on modern elegance.”

Do you have a favourite piece?

“The blue tapered-leg satin pants with the matching blue satin top with pussy bow [see left]. I’ll actually be wearing this as a bridesmaid to a friend’s wedding.”

How will you style it?

“No accessories needed! The outfit speaks for itself in a punchy royal blue – no embellishments allowed!”

How would you define your personal style?

“Fluid and fast-paced.”

What’s the most precious item we’ll find in your wardrobe?

“I have a vintage Vivienne Westwood couture gown with a corseted top that was bespoke fitted to me. The inspiration for it was Portrait of Madame X by John Singer Sargent.”

What’s on your winter wish list?

“I have my eye on the Wales Bonner x Adidas leopard-print trainers (I’m currently watching a pair on Ebay!), but anything leopard print. I’ll put it on a chair or I’ll put it on my feet!”

What beauty essentials do you swear by?

“Good skin. 111Skin sheet masks have been a life-saver for winter red carpets. And Orveda’s Omnipotent Concentrate serum and the occasional Augustinus Bader facial – they are out of this world. Also, Suqqu foundation for perfect skin.”