Danielle Sharp: Sex Bomb vs Fashion nerd
SYS has a chat to one of the UK’s most up and coming glamour models:
There is a certain dichotomy to Danielle Sharp. You might have caught a glimpse of her, sans clothing, on the covers of mid-shelf lads’ mags at your local newsagent but, while she is gaining celebrity as a spectacularly-chested glamour model, the 20-year-old is just as interested in creating clothing as she is in removing it.
Indeed, the affable Miss Sharp doesn’t fit the stereotypical glam mould. She doesn’t, for instance, spend her spare time hobnobbing with permatanned c-grade celebrities and throwing herself in front of the paps in the hope of a bit of tabloid coverage. Rather, if you were to venture to her home town of Grimsby, in the north of England (“It’s literally grim!” she later informs me), you’re likely to chance upon her sifting through dusty old charity shops in search of garments to take a pair of scissors to.
Yep, while the male population of the UK are checking out hotter-than-the-sun pictures of Danielle in magazines and online, the Fashion Brand Management student is busy rummaging through jumble in the hope of finding garments she can alter and breathe new life into. It is a subject for which she bursts with enthusiasm. “I like old scruffy little charity shops. Just because you know it’ll be cheap, and when it’s cheap you don’t feel like you can’t cut them up and change it. And it’s for charity! When shopping I just let my eyes travel across all the different patterns. It’s annoying because sometimes you will see something which has the perfect pattern, but awful material. So both pattern and material are very important to me. I love anything that stands out, things which you would never come across again interest me. I’m a big fan of texture – feathers, fur, beads, sequins… anything magical,” she says, laughing at her own description.
Of course, the lure of pretty, cheap things sometimes cajoles the fashion lover into purchases that are made with the heart rather than the head. When I tell her of a pair of beautiful leather shoes I bought in Australia for $7 even though they in no way fitted me, she lets out a belly laugh of recognition. “The amount of beautiful shoes I own which I can’t wear is horrendous,” she admits. “I’m very bad at buying things which are pretty much unwearable. Sometimes I buy things for display. My room is crammed with nice objects.”
Talk turns to her favourite era of fashion. “I love the 1930’s and 1940’s. I think it was the peak of style. Women looked so classy and elegant. I am imagining Coco Chanel when I say that.” Danielle’s fashion sensibilities put her a world away from the archetypal image of a Nuts Magazine hottie that one rarely sees in much more than underwear. So, how does this gentle fashion student – who takes selfies in her charity shop buys and puts them on her blog, along with pretty homemade art and origami – end up as one of the rising stars of the glamour industry? “Last summer, I had no job and needed money. I always had big boobs and I guess I just thought, ‘fuck it, if it’s going to help me out financially, I’ll do it.’ So I applied to Sam Bond and they took me on and got me work.” However, while her decision was initially fuelled by necessity, it is not something that she regrets in the slightest. She is, in fact, delighted she made the leap. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” she nods.
While her move into modelling is proving to be incredibly fruitful, it does undoubtedly highlight a fascinating juxtaposition between her career and her interests. One wonders whether these two sides to her are ever hard to reconcile? The fashion nerd versus the sex-bomb. “The modelling is a good way of self-promoting I suppose,” she shrugs. “And I’ve always wanted a sexy side. It’s helped me be less self-conscious, more confident and proud of my body. It also allows me more free time to be creative. I can work for one day and be able to afford to live for a couple of weeks, rather than having a part-time job. When I worked at McDonalds there was no time for it.”
While Danielle is a beguiling, smouldering presence, being in front of the camera was not something that came naturally at first. “It was something I had to adapt to. When you first start you just wanna laugh because you feel stupid. But before I started glamour modelling I had done a few shoots for friends studying photography, So I kind of got used to that. But at first it felt strange being practically naked. But then I thought, ‘who gives a shit?’ I don’t care what people think anymore, and it feels good. The shoots are very professional. I think people imagine it’s worse than it is.”
Despite the newfound fame, the thousands of twitter followers and all of the exciting doors that modelling is opening for her (she talks of possibly moving into acting in the future), Danielle remains grounded. She is, essentially, the same humble young urchin from Grimsby that used to gaze in awe at the older girls and their trendy threads. At the end of a long day’s work, she is more likely to be sitting at home with a sketch pad than hitting the town on a drink and drugs binge. “I don’t feel like life has changed at all,” she affirms. “Obviously when I’m on a shoot, it’s a great day and love doing it, but when I go home afterwards I’m still at home doing the same things, my life is far from glamorous.”
And what does the future hold for the delightful Danielle Sharp from Grimsby? Alongside more modelling and her acting aspirations, ultimately her dreams relate to a simple love of fashion. “I have lots of ambition and passion to work in fashion, I’ve always loved it and I have a huge imagination. I would very much like to learn how to sew professionally so I could start making the clothes I design and imagine. I like to think as big as I can,” she smiles. “But you have to take it one day at a time of course.”
Interview by Bobby Townsend.