Once known for its racially oppressive system called apartheid, it has gone from being divided by black and white to a rainbow nation of multiculturalism. From being the focus of anti-apartheid protests to hosting notable global events such as the FIFA Confederations and World Cup, modern-day South Africa is now a global power on the rise.
Even in the world of entertainment and modeling, the Rainbow Nation’s reach is far and wide. Not even 30 years ago, South Africa is the last place one would think of as a country where some of today’s hottest fashion models and A-list Hollywood actors would come from, due to their checkered past.
Notable Afrikaaners in the world of entertainment include Academy Award and Golden Globe model, actress and producer Charlize Theron, Victoria Secret’s supermodel Candace Swanepoel and Pretty Little Liars alum, Sasha Pieterse.
Even in the world of glamour and fashion modeling, names such as former Sports Illustrated, GQ and FHM glamour model Tanit Phoenix and Ash Tove have made their mark. Heidelberg-born fashion and lingerie model Ilze Fourie is the next in a long line of South African goddess beauty.
For whatever reason, its seems that long-legged and simply stunning models grow on trees in this nation of 54.9 million. Despite being 42, the dark-haired stunner in Fourie has managed to stand the test of time in what is consider a young person’s game in modeling.
Thanks to a Stephanie Seymour type of look in being fair-skinned with dark hair and a shapely 5’8 figure, Fourie has modeled for the likes of magazine covers such as GetIt and MOLLMag, in addition to Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair, Intiem, SAMen and Brides Magazine. Below is my Q and A with Ilze where we talk about 40 being the new 20, why women from South Africa are so beautiful and how to correctly pronounce her unique name.
Name: Ilze Fourie
Birthplace: Heidelberg Gauteng, South Africa
Ilze is not a common name, how do you say/pronounce it? It has its origins in the Germanic language. Pronounced in German as IHL-Zah.
In an industry that discriminates against age, how do you feel that you’ve overcome ageism? The first 40 years of childhood is the hardest. 🙂 I believe you’re not getting older, you’re just getting more entitled to be your fabulous self. There will be obstacles, doubters, mistakes, but with hard work there are no limits. Believe in yourself, stay positive and know your own worth.
Being over 40, what do you feel that you’ve done and accomplished that has helped stand out over others? When you are young, you tend to believe what people tell you, and that’s dangerous. As you get older, you learn that you are never as good or bad as they say you are. If you understand this, you win….(and being a Liqui Moly Calendar Girl at 40 was quite nice…wink wink)
Do you feel that 40 is the new 20, both figuratively and literally in the modeling world? I do believe life really does begin at forty. Up until then you are just doing research. :-). Never put an age limit on your dreams. You can’t help getting older but you don’t have to get old. Age is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength. We see that more and more woman over 40 are still very active in the modelling world, and that is awesome!
Is age overrated and a number? if so, why? Yes, you are as young as you feel.
What older model, or model from the past inspired you to continue modeling into your forties? Cindy Crawford
What is it about women from South Africa being so beautiful, is it something in the water down there? Haha…must be.
What brands have you modeled for? A few, all the brands have their positives so I can’t really choose one.
Where has been your favorite place to shoot? Mozambique
What is the most exciting aspect of modeling? Creating magic, traveling and meeting new people.
With summer now here, what fashion and style tips and trends do you have for looking good when the temperature rises? Wear plenty of white, don’t be afraid to flaunt your midriff, wear oversized hats, big sunglasses, tailored shorts, go crazy with bangles, a maxi dress or two.
Athleisure? Fashion or fitness fad? Fitness at the moment
What swimwear trends do you see being big this summer? Definitely stripes and bright colors, I see a lot more cut out/one shoulder one-pieces around this summer.
What is your go-to swimwear style that you MUST have? My Victoria Secret black bikini. Always a winner.
Within the industry, who is your modeling inspiration? I love Alessandra Ambrosio
What is your workout and fitness secret to staying in shape? Cycling, gym and body20
What is your opinion of the whole “shaming” issue that seems to permeate across social media and how have you handled it, if any haters tried to call you out? The concept of naming and shaming has become a popular tool on social media to expose the nefarious actions of others. People seem to think they have freedom of expression to say what they want as it is their “personal/private page”. Truth is, nothing on social media is private. I will acknowledge what is happening and will refuse to engage or perpetuate the shaming.
What would you say is your best feature? My cheekbones
Any beaches you plan on hitting up this summer? Just returned from Phuket (Thailand) yesterday!
Any future projects coming down the pipeline? Yes! A Dia De Los Muertos shoot
Outside of modeling, what are your hobbies? Cycling, gym and golf
Sports question: Who are your favorite teams and clubs? Motorsport, F1, Ferrari
What are your favorite cities to travel to? Venice, Italy, New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Paris, France!
What advice would you give to women aspiring to get into modeling? Get a well known respected agency. Be professional and reliable, take care of your health and your body, practice your poses, have fun, loosen up and be yourself.
Special thanks to Ilze for her time and assistance during the Q and A interview process. Images used with permission and are the rightful property of their respective owners.