Katja Runiello is a renowned German model and successful businesswoman.
I had the chance to interview the 29-year-old from Hannover on her career, her model agency KR Models and a few other topics as part of my regular “Off the Pitch” feature series. The result is an interesting interview which introduces us to Katja’s world of modelling and her business.
Enjoy the exclusive “Off the Pitch” interview with www.chrispd.de…
Katja, thanks a lot for making some time for this interview. How are you doing?
Thank you, I’m doing very well. One has to feel well because of the perfect weather. (smiles)
You are a renowned model and actress in Germany. How does your success feel like and what are your goals for the future?
I really enjoyed the success at the beginning of my career. But then suddenly my hobby, the modelling, became my full-time job. It has not been easy since then and the job became a routine to me.
How did you get into modelling? And did you have any patrons who helped you to reach your professional goals? Did you have any role models while becoming a model?
That’s a good question! Everything started because of my mother who is a hobby photographer. She started to take pictures of me when I was 14 years old.
I started to earn some money with modelling after my first cover shooting eight years later. I was aged 22 and I made it to the cover of the Penthouse magazine in November 2007. Since then my modelling career took off and I was offered many jobs as a model and also a few small television roles.
Then I had my appearance in the RTL show “Der Bachelor” (German version of ABC’s reality television dating game “The Bachelor”) in the autumn of 2011. This appearance put me on the map across Germany.
I didn’t have any patrons and I worked hard to achieve this. My role model was Heidi Klum, because she has been always a person who regulates her objective with full determination. I like that attitude and I love power woman.
What was your first job as a model? How did you get the job and how did it proceed? I guess it was quite strange for you to be in front of the camera for the very first time?
My first paid job was the shooting for the Penthouse cover in 2007 as mentioned before. I was approached by a photographer at the “Modelkartei” (an online portal for models and photographers). He asked me, if I was interested in the shooting and I had a few days to take a decision. I considered it as a steppingstone and agreed to the shooting. I’m thankful that I had the chance to make this experience, although this kind of shooting was never my target. It was a one-off shooting for me.
I’m concentrating primarily on fashion, portrait and lingerie shootings.
What are you working on right now and what are your future aspirations?
I’ve launched my own model agency KR Models (www.kr-models.de) one and a half years ago and it keeps me busy. It has been always my dream to run my own model agency besides working as a model… and I fulfilled my dream!
Please tell me more about your model agency KR Models. How did the idea emerge to start an own model agency? What does KR Models offer and which is the target group you would like to approach?
Well the main reason was that I always felt pity that there was only a preference for tall models in the business. I myself had often no chance to get a job due to my height of 1.68 m. So I had the idea to launch an agency which doesn’t specify any minimum height, because it’s not all about the height! And the idea goes down well so far! We have a portfolio of approximately 400 models, which are booked regularly for different kind of jobs around the world.
We do also place photographers, make-up artist and hostesses for trade fairs, events and more.
So you and your models are not only available for bookings in Germany, but also for jobs all around the world?
Yes, absolutely! We started with our services in Germany and then we received requests from Europe and most recently from other parts of the world e.g. a catalogue shooting in Miami.
You will have many new fans in India after this interview. Have you been to India and/or do you have any plans to visit the country?
No, I haven’t been to India yet. But I’m really into the Indian culture and I would like to visit India very soon to experience the country.
What does hit your mind first when you think about India?
Indian food and ayurvedic massages. I love both very much.
Would you fancy to work as a model in India or to even have a try in the colourful world of Bollywood?
Yes, of course. I’m always open-minded. Bollywood movies are really interesting and I love to watch them.
We are coming to an end and I would like to finally give you the opportunity to add anything important you would like to say and I didn’t ask you.
Well, you did ask me all the important questions and I have enjoyed the interview very much. I’m looking forward to meet you again soon… and maybe the next time in India. (smiles)
Katja, thanks a lot for this wonderful interview. I wish you all the best and a lot of success in all your future activities.
Your’re welcome and the same to you!