Turning 18 is a big deal for Giselle Norman. It's not just the fact that she can "get a real ID, drink and get to vote," as it also means new doors are about to open for the model as she comes of age.
While the fashion industry continues to expand its practice of duty of care by - amongst other stipulations - upping the age requirements, it means that a model's rise has to be more staggered.
Girls of the season exist during fashion month and amongst the campaign securing, but for those making the decisions of further education or taking up the job full time, things will be more spaced out than before when age specifications were placed in the mid-teens rather than the over-18 mark of today.
Giselle is a testament of this new practice. Her shows plentiful, her campaigns fruitful and yet almost a year since she made her debut is, she is only now giving her first interview, on her 18th birthday.
As her friends were submitting UCAS applications this May, Gisele made the decision on a train headed to the South of France for the Louis Vuitton cruise show to close her school textbooks for good.
"I remember being on that six-hour long train journey with my mum and her being like, 'Come on, Giselle, get your work out' and I started crying. It was then that she said 'Right, modelling or school?' and straight away I was like 'modelling, modelling, modelling.' I was at the bottom of the class, I didn't know what I was doing, and I enjoy modelling. I remember calling Storm and being like 'I'm leaving school,'" she told Vogue. "It wasn't really a hard decision because my parents were really supportive, and they knew that I was doing well in modelling and how much I was struggling at school. So, it's chilled."
"I felt sick but so excited. I can remember walking out and seeing everyone's phones rising. In my head I was like, 'Oh wow, this is actually happening," she laughed. A few days earlier she had phoned home with the news and the Norman family - there's four sisters in total - were all in elated tears.
"It's different now. When I'm doing shows now, I'm able to block everything out," she says with the seasoned nonchalance of a catwalk regular who has racked up over 50 shows in less than a year. "At my first show I was so aware of everyone around me, and the music. My legs were just moving for me."
Part of the new British invasion of models like Fran Summers, Hannah Motler and Nora Attal currently taking the industry by storm, there's an energy surrounding them that feeds on the opportunities and the doors being opened for them.
"I think that we are all quite down to earth and we don't take life too seriously. Everyone just takes is as it goes. We're happy and excited, and really taking it all in. We all get on really well with everyone and we don't judge. We go there, we talk to everyone, we have a good laugh."
Warned by those around her of the reputation that precedes the fashion industry, and the modelling sector in particular, Giselle and her infectious positivity have found the situation to be quite the opposite. "I came into it having heard stories that the girls would be bitchy, and it would be overly competitive, but I've walked in and my opinion has completely changed," she explained. "I've made such good friends, who I'm really open with and can have such a laugh with. I can be myself, I don't have to try and be something I'm not. It helps to know that I am doing the same thing that they are doing. There's a weird thing that happens twice a year with fashion where we come together every day and I love being with them. There is not a single girl that I don't enjoy the company of."
Growing up in West Sussex, modelling was never a profession that crossed her mind as she struggled with self-confidence issues, but all it took was a certain Cindy Crawford - who Giselle now shares an agency with - to shift her mindset. "I didn't really know about modelling when I was younger, but the first model I was ever shown was Cindy Crawford because I was really self-conscious of my beauty spots," Giselle explains laughing at the situation today. "I remember walking into my mum's office and saying to her 'Look, I'm really conscious. Please can I have them lasered off?' She didn't even talk to me and continued typing but was getting up a picture of Cindy and said to me 'Do you think she's beautiful? She's famous for her beauty mark on the side of her lip.' Ever since then I've thought she is so beautiful and I remember walking into school the next day and being like, 'these moles are beautiful, so shut up!' I've actually never told anyone that story, not even Kaia."
Now, the opportunity seized, modelling is certainly a natural fit for the highly personable Norman. "I'm not really very jealous of my friends going to uni, because a lot of them are very stressed at the moment and I know that if I was still at school, I would be getting sick with the amount of work and I wouldn't be enjoying it. I know university just isn't for me and I wouldn't be getting a lot done there. I just think I may as well get a step ahead and get started. I get to talk to so many different people now and travel the world, meeting all the amazing people, the clothes, the places I get to go to. I didn't think this would ever happen to me and it has happened so quickly. I'm loving it." You can tell she really is.
What's next for the model who barely out of A-levels has captivated the imagination of almost every international fashion house? "When I started, I dreamt of a lot of things that have happened already. One of them, for instance, was walking Chanel. I didn't think that would happen. I always see the Vogue covers on my mum's coffee table and always wish that I could be in one one day!"