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(2022 - Winter/Spring Issue)


At 14, Monika Schnarre won the Ford Modelling Agency’s Supermodel of the World competition. A year later, the Scarborough native became the youngest model to grace the magazine cover of American Vogue as well as appearing on the coveted pages of Sports Illustrated’s famous swimsuit issue.

“The Ford modelling competition catapulted my career and changed my life forever,” says the accomplished model, actress and business entrepreneur, recalling the heady days of the mid-’80s when Schnarre spearheaded her own open-call modelling appointments despite her mom’s wishes. “I made eight appointments. I still have the piece of paper, and I said, ‘Mom, you’re taking me,’” explains the fashion beauty about her career path that took her from the suburbs of Scarborough to the glitz of California.

In 1989, Schnarre wrote a book of her modelling experiences titled Monika: Between You and Me. After that accomplishment, Schnarre became an actress starring in nearly 50 films and TV shows from Beverly Hills, 90210 to the popular daytime soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful.

In her latest stint, the successful model icon has lent her name to the launch campaign of a new Canadian luxury leisure womenswear label, Espino.

DS: Tell us about your latest project.

MS: I love supporting female entrepreneurs. Tara McCarthy, the owner and designer, is a friend of mine. It’s a new Canadian womenswear company made for women by women, handmade in Toronto. It’s cosy and chic leisurewear. So as we move away from our sweatpants in this pandemic these clothes are a beautiful alternative. You can see on the different ways to wear this leisure clothing.

DS: What’s your dream vacation?

MS: I’m light-skinned, and I’m not good at sitting still on a beach. So my dream vacations are always about exploring fresh places like Thailand or Tuscany, which is my favourite place. What’s interesting to me is going into the little villages.

DS: How about Canada?

MS: I love the interior of British Columbia and Lake Louise in Alberta. Over the past 20 months, I have taken road trips around Ontario’s countryside and I feel so lucky to see these wide-open spaces.

DS: How do you stay in shape especially during the pandemic?

MS: I work out daily and am lucky to live up north. My dog and I can hike. I can eat right and exercise. Unfortunately, there are no group activities, so I can’t go to yoga, but I’m lucky to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.

DS: How do you stay healthy?

MS: I’m working with a company called the DNA Company, related to genetic testing for health optimization. It’s fascinating from a genetic standpoint, as I discovered I was eating all wrong. I was eating keto, running, and those things were terrible for my health so I’ve learned a lot about my body and women’s health.

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