A model’s life is glamorous, exciting and full of unforgettable adventures but it is also challenging and hard work. We sat down with top model Elza Matiz to learn about everything from her skin care routine to her favorite shows and photo shoots.
Elza began her career while still in high school, at the age of 16, when she was cast to walk exclusively for the Prada 2012 runway show in Milan. Following that, she walked runways in Paris for Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Miu Miu, and Yves Saint Laurent, which she opened and closed.
She has appeared in Versace and Prada fashion advertisements. Elza became the face of Estee Lauder fragrance ads in 2022. She also has a contract with the La Mer and She served as an ambassador for the TAG Heuer linked launch in 2020.
Elza has become a runway regular for Jean Paul Gaultier, appearing in his 50th anniversary and final couture show. She has also appeared in Vogue editorials shot by Tim Walker, Steven Klein, and Peter Lindbergh, as well as magazine covers for Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and international issues of Vogue. She has collaborated with photographers including Steven Meisel and Karl Lagerfeld.
Featuring ElZA Matiz at sublime Management @sublimemanagement
Photographer Enrique Vega @EnriqueVegaPhoto
Stylist Cannon at The Only Agency @thecannonmediagroup @theonlyagency
Production & Logistics Sublime Management LLC @SublimeManagement
Hair Elsa Canedo using Rene Furterer @ElsaHair
Makeup Anneliese Tieck using ILIA Beauty with Judy Casey
Stylist Assistants Bridget McDonald & Portia Cherie @MakeupByAnely with @JudyCaseyinc
IRK: You model for Estee Lauder and La Mer, what is your skincare ritual like?
Elza: My skin care routine is truly a moment of self-care. In the morning I keep it simple and quick. I’ll wash my face with a gentle water-based face wash. I follow that by using a Hyaluronic Acid Serum, Niacinamide Serum, Hyaluronic Facecream, and an SPF 50. I rarely wear makeup, but I always use a lash serum on my lashes and eyebrows, as well as some tinted face oil on my cheeks to give them a healthy, natural glow. At night, I turn my bathroom into a mini spa. I begin by using a cleansing balm and a light water-based face cleanser to double-cleanse my face, after which I follow with a seaweed face mask or a 10-minute nano-current facial. Every two weeks, I give myself a home diamond facial and light peel. I’ll use a hyaluronic serum, vitamin C serum, eye cream, and hyaluronic face cream after the facial. It sounds like a lot, but I enjoy taking the time to relax and unwind after long days on set or international travel.
IRK: Is there a beauty splurge you think is totally worth it, and do you have any specific beauty product that you have with you when you travel?
Elza: I am obsessed with skincare gadgets that deliver instant results. One of my favorites is the ZIIP nano-current device. It’s a game-changer for me during fashion week or before photoshoots. It stimulates the facial muscles, lifts the contours, and reduces puffiness in just 6 minutes. It’s very lightweight and easy to use. When I travel across time zones for work and show up on set with jet lag, this little device helps me look fresh and radiant.
IRK: You recently walked Haute Couture fashion week in Paris. What is your fitness routine like leading up to the shows?
Elza: It takes a lot of discipline and dedication to be ready for a couture show. I follow a rigorous workout routine that includes cardio, strength training, and Pilates. I also nourish my body with healthy, balanced vegetarian meals. I believe that beauty comes from within, so I stay grateful for every opportunity.
IRK: What are some of your favorite couture shows you have walked?
Elza: One of the most unforgettable shows I have walked was Jean Paul Gaultier’s 50th Anniversary and final solo couture show. Jean Paul and his team are like a family to me, they are so kind and generous. Working with them is always a joy and a celebration. The show was a spectacular tribute to his 50 years of creativity and innovation. He presented new pieces as well as some iconic collector items from his archives, such as the “Le Coq” jacket that I am wearing on one of the IRK Magazine Covers. Tanel Bedroissantz, who has been Jean Paul Gaultier’s muse since the 90’s, and who is a true inspiration, wore this jacket in both his runway looks during the show.
IRK: That Viktor & Rolf Couture moment is legendary! Tell us!
Elza: It was an amazing experience! I love working with Viktor & Rolf and their team. They are from Holland, like me, and I have been working with them since I started modeling 12 years ago. They trusted me to wear the legendary Bed Dress, which was a challenge. It was very heavy, with a metal structure on my back to hold up the pillows, and I had to kick hard on the runway to make the sheets and duvet look light and airy. I also had no time to rehearse, because I came from another show for Jean Paul Gaultier and I had to rush on a motorcycle through Paris. When I got to the Viktor and Rolf show, the audience was already seated and my hair and makeup was done in line-up. Just before I went on stage, they told me the runway layout and that there were stairs involved. But we did it, and it was beautiful. The Bed Dress runway moment became an instant sensation. It was everywhere on social media, on late night talk shows, even in an anime and American VOGUE created a challenge for people to recreate the look at home. It was surreal.
IRK: You’ve worked with Enrique before, how do his photos inspire you?
Elza: I first met Enrique through my husband at a cozy cafe in Santa Monica, California, seven years ago. We also shot a Vogue cover story together with Cannon a couple years ago. It was so fun to reunite again for IRK Magazine. Enrique has a gift for capturing colors and light in his photos, it’s like a painting. He is also very creative and has a keen eye for beauty, his work is always uplifting and full of energy.
IRK: Out of all the shoots you’ve done, which one is the most memorable?
Elza: Oh, that’s tough! I have been fortunate to work with some of the most talented artists in the industry. One of the shoots that really stuck with me was with Steven Klein and Phylis Posnick for American Vogue. We were in a huge garden in upstate NYC, and there was a replica of the David Statue that I had to kiss in one of the shots. Steven gave me a whole backstory for my character, and we had so much fun on set.
IRK: What inspires you to model?
Elza: I love the creative side of modeling and the challenge of bringing a vision to life.
IRK: How do you stay motivated?
Elza: All I need to stay motivated is a good cup of coffee, and I’m ready to rock. I love what I do, and I always try to have fun and learn something new on every shoot.
IRK: Favorite model of all time?
Elza: Linda Evangelista, hands down. She was the inspiration behind this production, and it was so much fun to channel her. The team and I created some amazing images that pay homage to the chameleon supermodel. She is incredible at bringing energy and character to every shot.
IRK: What’s your favorite Linda Evangelista fashion editorial?
Linda Evangelista and Peter Lindbergh’s collaborations are amazing. I’m especially drawn to the Harper’s Bazaar November 1992 story where she soars through the NYC streets and effortlessly balances on top of a street sign in her Chanel heels like a fashion goddess. Another iconic story is the one in the Bahama’s for Vogue Italia December 1989. It captures so much energy and emotion. It’s absolutely stunning!
IRK: What top photographers , stylists, makeup and hair inspires you?
Elza: I’m inspired by many artists in the industry. One of them is make-up artist Erin Parson, who was the first artist to do my makeup. She is now the leading make-up artist at Maybelline and I’m so proud of her! She also has a great Instagram account where she posts videos of recreating historic makeup with authentic materials. For example, she made Cleopatra’s blue eyeshadow look with crushed Lapis Lazuli stones, which were sacred and powerful in ancient Egypt, where it was believed to lead the soul into immortality and open the heart to love. Lapis Lazuli was also said to contain the soul of the gods. I love how she combines make-up and history in her videos!
IRK: What are some of your favorite makeup products?
Elza: I love the Estee Lauder Pure Color Creme Lipstick, it’s a classic color that goes with everything. My favorite mascara is the Armani Beauty Eyes to Kill, it’s smooth and long-lasting. I also love all the Pat McGrath eyeshadow pallets, they are so rich and vibrant.
IRK: What book are you loving right now?
Elza: I’m reading “Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons” by Julia Gillard. It’s a fascinating and inspiring book that explores the experiences and challenges of female leaders around the world. It also gives practical advice on how to overcome gender stereotypes and biases in the workplace and society. I think it’s a must-read for anyone who wants to learn from the stories of these incredible women.
IRK: Any advice for starting models just getting into the professional arena?
Elza: Modeling is a rewarding but challenging career. You need to take care of yourself, both mentally and physically. Don’t let the pressure or the competition get to you. You have something unique to offer, and you should celebrate your individuality. Don’t compare yourself to others or take rejection personally. It’s not about you, it’s about finding the right fit for each client. You are also your own boss, so be professional and responsible. Read your contracts carefully, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. And most importantly, have fun and learn from every experience. There is so much to discover in fashion and business, and you can grow as a model and as a person if you keep an open mind.
IRK: How can people follow you on social media?
Elza: You can find me on Instagram @elzamatiz where I share my work and my life with my followers.
EDITOR AT LARGE Cannon