Where fashion meets food: Model Elettra Rossellini Wiedemann launches healthy pop-up eatery for New York's well-dressed set
Elettra Rossellini Wiedemann is a model with an appetite that extends far beyond runway success.
For the second season running, the daughter of Isabella Rossellini is delivering her well-honed recipe of balanced eating, trail-blazing chefs and locally-grown produce to New York Fashion Week.
The 28-year-old former runway model has turned away from walking the Fashion Week circuit in favour of concentrating on the nourishment of its designers, models, buyers and glitterati.
Thank goodness! Elettra Rossellini, the beauty behind the pop-up restaurant wants to deliver the best of the city's food scene to fashionistas
Goodness will see a roster of top chefs
take to the stoves of the Museum of Arts and Design's Robert restaurant
from February 11 to 14, commandeering the kitchen to deliver, one meal
at a time, the best of what the New York food scene has on offer.
Ms Wiedemann told MailOnline that nearly a decade in modelling and had inspired her to launch the restaurant. 'I would visit these cities and I never had time to go and experience the city.' The restaurant brings 'new talents on the culinary scene' to the Lincoln Center crowd, showcasing the city for its busiest visitors.
Spawned by her interest in food – Ms Wiedemann completed a two-year Masters degree at LSE in which her dissertation focused on the future of feeding urban populations – the pop-up will see celebrity chefs Mario Batali of Babbo, Leo Forneas of Robert, Alain Allegretti of La Promenade des Anglais and Julian Medina of Toloache deliver a range of food flavours, from Mexican to Italian, to the well-dressed crowd.
The impressive cast of A-list chefs, she said, was simply the result of hard work: 'You knock on people's doors, introduce yourself and ask them,' and while 'chefs source from local purveyors as much as possible,' she admits that being green often comes at the expense of convenience – something she hopes Goodness will encapsulate.
Standing tall: The ecologically-minded food champion is no stranger to high fashion, here pictured at the Dior Haute-Couture show in Paris at the end on January
In a release, Chef Mario Batali said
that 'fashion and healthy, wholesome food don't necessary go hand in
hand, but Elettra's visionary focus is beautifully merging the two
He touches upon a truism – fashion and food are not the easiest bedmates at the best of times.
'I'm definitely driven by the desire to provide healthy food for my industry' she explained, berating the unhealthy and inappropriate food options at gruelling fashion shows.
'I had to fit a dress and all I
could find was McDonald's – which is obviously not conducive to walking
down a runway later'
'I found it hard to find food I needed [as a runway model]. Obviously I had to fit a dress and all I could find was McDonald's – which is obviously not conducive to walking down a runway later.'
Attitudes to eating disorders in the industry have changed for the better, she says. Ten years ago, there was no discussion about the dangers of the size zero affectation – now, she says, there is 'open dialogue – people are speaking.'
That openness flows into the Goodness philosophy, too, and the restaurant is supported by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, who have given it their Health Initiative Stamp of Approval.
At a forum hosted by the Council yesterday, Ms Wiedemann joined Anna Wintour, Arianna Huffington and Monique Pan to underline the importance of health when it comes to the fashion industry.
Yes, Chef: Mario Batali will cook at the Goodness pop-up restaurant on Saturday
Speaking at the Manhattan event, she accentuated the importance of mentors and maintaining balance when it comes to outside interests.
A girl's 'self-definition' she said, should not be formed by solely her job.
She clearly does not miss her days as a catwalk model. 'It was fun while it lasted', she said, explaining that most girls only do runway shows early in their career.
'I'm happy to move on… I've very happily side-stepped that whole circus.'
The face of Lancme now spends much of her time modelling for campaigns and editorial shoots – as well as travelling and training for the triathlon she has coming up.
Sick of visiting the gym for 'no reason other than vanity' triathlons give her the welcome opportunity to 'focus on competition and being healthy.'
The wholesome restaurant will sit alongside a Lancme touch-up station, Wi-Fi hotspots and a 'Goodness lounge' by Renaissance Hotels. She hopes to recreate the pop-up – which she sees as a 'celebration and enhancement' of a city – at European fashion weeks, too.
From sustainable cooking to circuit training and catwalks to health initiatives: It's all a refreshingly long way from the emaciated images of models so often portrayed and criticised.