From Nada to Prada: An interview with model Diana Noje

With her sky-blue upturned eyes and long hair pouring down her shoulders, Diana Noje is a stunning beauty. Currently a PR and Communication student in Bucharest, Romania, she’s been modelling for almost six years now.

During her modelling career, she’s been everything: from an innocent blonde angel to very seductive women with feline flair. Magazines such as ELLE, Cosmopolitan, All or Rumours, have all featured the 21-year-old Romanian beauty.

The model’s romantic allure has landed her a lasting collaboration with Cherry Chau, a well-established jewellery brand in China. Diana has particularly strong ties to the Chinese brands. She flies at least three months a year, and Hong Kong it’s a top destination.

cherry chau

Diana as the new face of Cherry Chau Picture credit: @diananoje

I sat with her and we talked a lot of trivia. We discussed her career – how she kicked it off, the good and bad that happened along the way; the craziest thing she did for a shooting, and so on. But take a look by yourself.

When did you begin your modelling career and how were you discovered?

It all began when I was 15… A lady owning a small model agency in my city stumbled across my Facebook profile. She then sent few photos of me to a big agency in the capital. I went for a “test shooting” and they asked me straight away to sign a contract with them.

Were you into the idea of modelling before this? Did you expect it would be such a big thing for you?

Like many girls, I fancied the idea of being on the magazine covers or in big brand ads, but I never thought that it could happen to me. When I started, it was all a game for me. Since the beginning, I felt comfortable in front of the camera and I enjoyed every minute of it. I didn’t realise when it turned out into something this serious.

What about your first modelling experience? How was it?

Actually, I’ve got a job at my very first casting, in Istanbul. I was so excited to be there! And that joy was caught on camera – it was the kind of happiness my client was looking for. I posed for a jewellery brand, and I had the chance to work with an experienced model who taught me a lot. At the end of the day, my client gave me a jewel to celebrate my first modelling job.

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Now, do you remember the first time you ever dressed in designer clothes? How did you feel wearing them?

I come from a small city where there are no luxurious brand shops. So, when I started modelling, I had my very first contact with clothes that until then, I’ve only seen in magazines. Like any other girl, I was amazed by how they fit my body and how good they made me look. I remember asking myself when will I be able to afford any of those clothes. (giggles)

🔜 LOOKBOOK x Otilia Brailoiu '17 #otiliabrailoiuatelier

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What was the first designer item you’ve bought/received?

It was the first time I went to China and stayed there for three months. I remember I was wandering around in a duty-free shop and I felt so happy thinking I was finally flying back home. So, I wanted to spoil myself after all that working. Because it was in winter, I bought myself a pair of boots and a statement scarf from Burberry. It was the best feeling in the world at that time.

burberry

Diana wearing her Burberry scarf Photo credit: @diananoje

Which of your physical features do you consider to be your defining one?

I’m often told that my eyes, and I agree with that.

Do you have a go-to picture pose?

After so many shootings, I’ve got to know my body pretty well and what posture fits me the best. It’s all about choosing a good angle for my profile – like on those times when you take selfies – and focus on the eyes.

What is the craziest, most scandalous thing you ever did for a shooting/ fashion campaign?

Cutting my hair, I. Luckily, it was very long at that time and I ended up with a medium length haircut. Once, I was proposed to cut it short and dye it red. It was for a major campaign in Hong Kong, but I didn’t have the courage to do it.

Can you tell me something funny that happened to you while shooting?

There are many moments that come to my head right now… But I think that time I had to change my clothes in a park full of people. I had an outdoor shooting and there was no place where I could change myself. Of course, the people on the set helped me and they covered me up, but I was still embarrassed. Now when I think about it, it’s quite funny. (smiles)

@diananoje in action

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Do you remember a moment when you experienced a lot of emotions?

I had a lot of emotional moments – especially when I was away from my family and my friends for a long time. I remember the first time I went to China, at 16… As soon as I reached my hotel room, I went straight to the shower and cried for a good amount of time. It was happening all so fast and everything was so different from what I did before. I was thinking I can’t do this.

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Diana in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China Picture credit: @diananoje

What was the worst experience you’ve been put through?

The worst moment I’ve experienced so far, was when I worked a whole day with only one break, and at the end of it, the client said he won’t pay my agency because he doesn’t want to use the pictures anymore. I had an outdoor and studio shooting on the same day. A while after this, I found my pictures online and I discovered that the agency for which I worked in that city, lied to me. They actually took the money – my money. I was left with a poker face.

What is your all-time favourite shooting/ fashion campaign?

I think it’s the underwear shooting I recently had in a beautiful mansion by the lake. It was the kind of house that I would love to live in – so peaceful and zen. It didn’t feel like working at all.

luxurious mansion

Diana taking a break on the sofa Photo credit: @diananoje

Can you tell me something only a person who works in your industry would know?

It’s never what it looks like. Now every time I look through a magazine and see a picture, I know how much effort is put into it. I understand how much work is done before the final pictures come out. Sometimes we would spend hours only to get a good lighting before even taking any pictures…

What do you do besides modelling?

Right now, I’m a second-year PR and Communication student – it takes all of my time. Also, as part of my daily routine, it’s a must to go to the gym. When I have some free time, I like to spend it with my friends and my boyfriend.

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With or without make-up? Do you have a signature look?

Umm, I always put on some sunscreen and conceal before I go out. Usually, when I’m not working, I try to let my skin breath after wearing all that heavy make-up.

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What’s the one thing you do, and nobody knows you’re doing it?

I like cooking. I must say I’m not the best chef, I know, but I enjoy doing this; especially when it comes to cooking healthy recipes. We must stay in shape, don’t we? (smiles)

gym

Diana at the gym Photo credit: @diananoje

What did modelling teach you?

I’ve learned a lot throughout the years… Like, how to live on my own in a foreign country, how to take care of myself… Modelling made a more responsible person and I must say that I was very lucky to have experienced all of this. All in all, it played a major role in my development.

So, what now? What do you do next? Any hopes, dreams, expectations?

I never know what I’m doing next. Usually, I don’t like to make any long-term plans. For now, I want to finish my university and continue with modelling – while I still can. I want to see new places, explore new cultures and I would love to visit America. And why not, have a modelling contract there.

You can follow Diana and her thriving career on Instagram and Facebook.

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