GIRL UNINTERRUPTED

Island Interview With Tess Ward

By Bridget Arsenault
Tess Ward appears to have it all—she's a professionally trained chef, who has a much-lauded cookbook, The Naked Diet, on shelves across the globe; writes a coveted food blog The Yes Chef; has strutted across the runway for Dolce & Gabbana, as part of their top-secret millennial-themed show; and in 2017 fronted her first campaign for the cult jewellery brand Monica Vinader. Oh to be 27 years old, brimming with talent, charm and head-turning beauty.

Despite the many accolades and accomplishments, for Ward her in-demand ‘it girl’ status feels quite different: ‘Oh my god, I definitely would not call myself an it girl. That’s kind of funny,’ Ward responds with a giggle.’

What sets Ward apart from some of her Insta-generation counterparts is that her career in food and wellness came out of strife. ‘For me it was having issues that got me into cooking. I always really liked food but it was only when I realised that I couldn’t touch the food I liked because I had digestive problems that I really reassessed what I wanted and looked at cooking in a different way.’

Having found success from a young age and in a moment where labels and media outlets are open to new dynamic collaborations, looking to young women with style, grace, influence and opinions to engage with their brands, looking to young women with style, grace, influence and opinions to engage with their brands. It means there's more democracy behind the scenes. "People [at big brands] are interested in working with people who are creative and doing things that are interesting.

THERE’S A LOT MORE OF AN ORGANIC RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPING BETWEEN PEOPLE IN CREATIVE INDUSTRIES AND FASHION BRANDS. I DON’T EVER GO ONTO A SHOOT AND THEY SAY ‘THIS IS WHAT WE’RE GOING TO DO.’

They always ask me ‘how do you like to style your hair? What do you think of these items? And they already have a sense of what I wear from my social media and from events and pictures. And they’re really receptive to making it personal to me, which is just really exciting because you feel involved in the process.’

Ward is always looking ahead. Although she can’t confirm or deny (much like was the case with a certain rumoured romance between Ward and One Direction’s Harry Styles), she hinted that a TV show is in the works. And as someone with heaps of charisma, beauty and confidence, it seems like the ideal next step.

And regardless, Ward's refreshing outlook means little will stand in her way. 'I work in food, so you let go of the small stuff and I just think, this is my body, and I'm happy with how it is. It's not exactly how I'd want it, it's not perfect, but it's who I am and that's enough.'

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