1. Please tell us a little about yourself, what you do/your passions etc. as we know you're a woman of multiple talents and an influential figure to many!
Thank you!! So I am Elspeth Van Der Hole - a fitness trainer, boxing coach, illustrator, photographer and mental health advocate. Recently diagnosed with endometriosis and I speak generally and openly around educating myself further in female health, and the link it has to our brain and bodies in both mental health and exercise.
Overall I guess I’d say I’m an entrepreneur but I just enjoy following the next path life takes me along, I’m a firm believer in things happening for a reason so I don’t base my identity on one specific career or “thing”, I’ve learnt to just do what makes me excited, happy and safe.
2. What made you apply for the open-casting? Had you done anything like this before or was it totally new territory?
As a fashion photographer I have spent years photographing others and always enjoyed the other side of the camera too, things have changed a lot since I was younger and it was never a consideration that I would ever be a model back in the 90’s or 00’s as I wasn’t tall enough and didn’t fit the stereotype of what a model should be.
As I’ve got older I love challenging societal ideals and I’ve really enjoyed jumping on that side of the camera more often. It’s not new territory for me as such, but each shoot reinforces that there’s a place for my body type to be seen and celebrated!
3. What did you think of the pieces themselves/how did you feel wearing them?
I thought they were great, I really love the way they are a capsule collection style, easily mix and matched but can be worn as a classic two piece. Designed for all kinds of body types and really comfortable to wear, confidence boosting!
4. Was the day as expected? Talk us through the day itself, how it felt on set with the others, how you felt it went etc.?
Such a WHOLESOME DAY. I had never met any of the other girls before but it was just so welcoming, I think I was the last to arrive which is always daunting. And I had really bad period pains / bloating that morning so I could easily have been in a vulnerable and negative headspace, but I felt so welcome and encouraged that it empowered me to continue to allow myself to celebrate my body despite a flare up.
5. What would you like to see more of across the swimwear industry as a whole?
I would like to see the continuation in accepting all bodies of all shapes and sizes, and not just about showing flesh - I love long sleeved and more styled swim pieces as well, I’m a paddle boarder so a long sleeved one piece is ideal for me on a long paddle so I don’t get cold or burn on sunnier days!
6. Describe the day in 3 words?
Wholesome welcoming wonderful.
7. What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to our open-castings?